I’m sure you’re not the only one who’s ever wondered, “Can I Do Bench Press Twice a Week?”
The bench press is without doubt one of the most popular exercises performed in the gym.
Literally everyone benches, and it’s often viewed as the benchmark (no pun intended) of upper body strength.
So, does it make sense to bench press more often than the standard once a week?
Allow me to explain what you need to know about bench pressing twice a week, or even more.
Can I Do Bench Press Twice a Week?
You can do bench press twice a week, and even more depending on your goals. In fact, most competitive powerlifters typically bench 2-4 times a week. With that being said, bench pressing more often will mainly improve your bench press. There are other exercises, such as push ups, dips, incline dumbbell bench presses, which will provide better overall pec development. You can also improve your bench press by training secondary and antagonistic muscle groups, e.g. delts, triceps, and lats.
1. Your Bench Press Powers of Recovery
There are no actual “rules” to how often you can train bench press (or any other exercise for that matter).
So, if you wanted to train bench press twice, three times, or even six times a week then this is perfectly feasible.
In reality, it’s more down to how quickly you recover from your previous exertions.
To be honest, I’ve never really enjoyed training the “bro-split” where you simply train one muscle group per day.
For me, it just doesn’t make sense to leave a muscle group untrained for 7 whole days.
I have always trained each muscle group 2-3 times a week, although I typically use a variety of exercises.
This allows me to hit that specific muscle from a variety of angles without becoming too reliant on one single exercise.
With that being said, I see nothing wrong with bench pressing twice a week.
In fact, most powerlifters will train the bench press 2-4 times a week, and the same can be said for the squat and deadlift.
But, once again, it all comes down to your individual powers of recovery.
A competitive powerlifter literally eats, drinks, and sleeps the “Big 3” exercises.
Therefore, over time their body will have adapted to the stresses of these exercises.
So, whereas someone may be able to train bench press 4 times a week, you may struggle to hit the movement twice a week.
However, as long as you feel you can recover adequately then by all means bench press more often.
2. Bench Pressing Twice a Week to Improve Bench Press
I will say that by training the bench press more often you will mainly be improving your bench press.
This is the same as training any exercise more often.
Personally, I think there are far better exercises for overall chest development, and I’ll get to some of these in a moment.
So, while you may notice certain changes to your body by performing the bench press twice a week, you will mainly become more proficient at the exercise.
In fact, you will generally find that someone who trains a variety of chest exercises will have better pec development than someone who only ever bench presses.
Going back to the “Big 3” again for a moment, they aren’t actually the best exercises for the main muscle groups they train.
So, whereas a squat is mainly viewed as a quad exercise, hack squats, leg presses, and leg extensions would produce better quads.
The deadlift is viewed as a glute and hamstring exercise, but hip thrusts and Romanian deadlifts would do a better job.
And the same can be said for the chest when it comes to the bench press.
I’m not knocking any of these exercises.
In fact, if you add bent over rows and overhead presses to the Big 3 you’ll have a great full-body workout from just 5 compound exercises.
In fact, for some people these are the only exercises they’ll ever perform.
But, the more often you train the movements, the better you’ll become at performing the exercises.
Yes, you will notice changes to your body as you progressively overload the exercises, but linear increases in weight will eventually stop.
So, I would say that if you simply want to get better at the bench press, or perhaps even specialize the movement for a few weeks, then go ahead.
However, if you’re looking for a more muscular chest or better pec development then there are better ways of doing this.
How to Get a Huge Bench Press With Perfect Technique
3. Train Bench Press Differently Each Time
Firstly, there’s nothing wrong with doing the same bench press workout twice a week.
However, I’ve already spoken a little about variety, and the same can be said for training one movement.
By this I mean that you don’t have to go extremely heavy in both bench press sessions.
Then again, you don’t have to train the bench press specifically for hypertrophy twice either.
Personally, I would prefer to break things up by using different reps and sets schemes each time I train the bench press.
Additionally, even the speed at which you perform bench press can provide some variety.
So, if you’re looking to hit bench twice in the same week I think it’s much better to train the exercise slightly differently each time.
As an example, perhaps you could train on Monday with 8 sets of 3 reps.
Then on Thursday you could train 3 sets of 15 reps.
This way you get ample rest and recovery time between your two workouts.
Plus, one day you can go extremely heavy, whereas the next session you’re almost training for endurance.
Then again, on another day you can train for power by speeding up the movement and explosively pressing from the bottom position.
However, just the simple fact that you’re training a couple of times a week with some variety is likely to produce far better results.
4. There Are Better Exercises For Pec Development
I’ve alluded to this a few times now, but I think there are better exercises for overall pec development.
The bench press is typically viewed as the best chest exercise there is.
However, more often than not, most of us barely feel the exercise in the chest.
In fact, I know many people typically feel bench press either in the front delts or the triceps much more.
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Admittedly, these are smaller muscle groups and will therefore generally be your “weak spot” when it comes to benching.
By this I mean that your front delts or triceps are more likely to hit failure before your chest.
With that being said, the bench press is still a fantastic mass builder.
However, if you’re more interested in building your pecs and really developing them, there are better exercises.
I typically have 3 main go-to exercises for the chest and they’ve served me well over the years.
RELATED====>Are Dips and Push Ups Enough For Chest?
Okay, you may not get the same strength gains as using the bench press, although this very much depends on how you train the exercises.
But, I will say a healthy fix of these 3 exercises can really help you to blow up your chest.
Bench Press Isn’t The Best For Chest
5. Other Exercises Can Improve Bench Press
Something else to consider is that there are other exercises that can help you improve your bench press.
And weirdly enough, some of the exercises aren’t even chest-related.
I’ve spoken of the weak points already, and therefore improving strength in these areas can definitely help you bench more.
I actually think there’s a great knock-on effect from the barbell overhead press to the bench press.
Basically, the stronger your shoulders are, the more you should be able to bench.
The exact same can be said for the triceps.
In fact, the triceps are probably the main weak link in the chain when it comes to any pressing movement.
So, the stronger your triceps are, the more you should be able to press, whether on a bench or overhead.
I will also say that the lats play a huge role when benching.
You’re not specifically training the lats, but as the antagonistic muscle during bench press, they are definitely stimulated to some effect.
I usually like to work the lats with some light rows or face pulls prior to benching.
This usually allows me much freer movement when I bench press, and this is noticeable in both the weights and reps I’m able to use.
So, the moral of the story is that even if you’re looking to improve your bench press by performing it more often, don’t forget there are other muscle groups that play a part.
So, as you can see, it’s absolutely fine to do bench press twice a week, and even more if you wish.
This mainly comes down to your powers of recovery, but it’s not unheard-of for lifters to bench more often.
You will get stronger and more muscular by benching more often, but you’ll mainly become more proficient at the exercise.
So, if you are looking for more chest development there are better exercises.
Plus, don’t forget that training other muscle groups can actually help you to increase your bench press and get better at the movement.
Hi, I’m Partha, the founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I’m someone who’s been passionate about exercise and nutrition for more years than I care to remember. I’ve studied, researched, and honed my skills for a number of decades now. So, I’ve created this website to hopefully share my knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, get fitter, or build muscle and strength, I’ve got you covered.