I have always believed that if you find a type of exercise you enjoy doing you will stick with the program. I love to strength train, but there are specific exercises I would rather avoid. I love my back and hamstring day because I prefer pull days. Push days (chest, triceps and shoulders) I don’t always look forward to. It is because these areas of my upper body are weaker and I find the exercises harder.
There may be people who love to run, but may find uphill sprints or inclines daunting. Or bootcamp participants who find burpees hell on earth. Well, this is how I feel about bench presses. When I think of what I have to do on chest and shoulder day during my warm up, I begin to dread the dreaded bench press.
However, I have to do it. Bench presses are a part of the program and lots of them. Five sets of ten repetitions to be exact. Not fun in the least to me, but a necessary evil.
She looks so sweet and innocent until you lie back and lift off the bar…..
I do have my ways of getting through this exercise I love to hate. All is not lost with my gym nemesis the bench press.
- I focus on the last repetition of the last set as I approach the bench. I remind myself of the, “hey, I just did 50 bench presses!” feeling that is to come. My chest is on fire, I feel great and I can feel that the pectoral muscles went to work.
- I put a song on repeat to get me through the bench press burn. Right now, it’s Justin Bieber’s What do you Mean? There I said it. This middle-aged woman has a Justin Bieber song on her playlist. It is the song that is helping me at the moment so no shame. Okay, maybe a little shame.
- I promise myself a little end of the week treat if I can get through this. Usually on a Friday, I treat myself to a Starbucks.
- I try to focus on how far I have come with bench presses. My chest and shoulders have become stronger over time and my weight has increased on the bar. I think back on when I could not even lift the Olympic bar, and the progress I have made and continue to make.
I think bench press and I will become friends. I am sure over time it won’t be as difficult. Me and pull-up bar are still not on speaking terms, but I really am starting to warm up to bench press.