If you’re struggling with gains it’s time for the 20 reps bench press!

Bench pressing for 20 reps will help bust through ruts in progress.

The bench press is often used as a staple of upper body conditioning. This exercise produces considerable stimulation of the chest, arms and front shoulder muscle fibers.

However, people often get stuck in a rut and never make gains past a certain point.

One great way to get out of that rut is to increase repetition range to 20 — whether you prefer the flat pressing version or an inclined bench.

Benefits of a 20 Rep Bench Press

This will shock the muscles, as they are not accustomed to high repetitions.

This new shock will bring out a training effect.

Second, 20 reps will build a desirable strength/stamina bridge.

Shutterstock/Vadim Zakharishche

The 20 rep approach can be used to build “long strength.” Long strength is a more extended type of strength output when compared to exercise that’s quickly completed.

This is a mid-range power output that some people don’t take into account. A 20 rep set is a step in the direction of building up this other type of extended strength.

The body needs this type of strength developed and maintained on a consistent basis.

Unfortunately, some never do build up the strength/stamina bridge and are completely lacking in this realm.

The 20 Rep Bench Press
The chest and arms will be sore following the initial routine. But your body will adapt to this new shock after a few weeks.

Certainly, one cannot bench press as much weight for 20 repetitions as they can for eight, so you use a lighter weight at the start of this new approach. You’ll need to humble yourself to do this.

Warm up thoroughly first, and do one or two working sets of the 20 reps.

The 20 Rep Bench Press Workout

After a few weeks increase the weight load. You can add a very light weight and keep close to the 20 rep range, or up the load more for a 15 rep max (give or take) and then just work up to the 20 reps.

Stick to the program for a few months or do it every few weeks for two weeks, or any number of permutations. A 20 rep bench press routine will be a welcome change from the same ‘ol stale program.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.