4 Tips for 225 Pound Bench Press

One of the most important tests that an athlete has is the 225 bench press. If you’re younger such as high school level, this may be the 185 bench press or some other variation. The bench press is meant to demonstrate overall strength and I think it’s a great universal indicator of an athlete’s overall structure and efficiency.

Whatever test it is that you’re up against, there’s a few different ways you can begin to improve your bench press numbers. From the start, make sure that your technique is solid so that any tips or tricks you begin to apply make a difference.

The 4 methods you can use to almost instantly increase your success in the 225 pound bench test are:

  1. Set Up
  2. Warm Up
  3. Structure
  4. Accessory Training

Say we’re here on the day of the test. These are a few things to keep in mind to get you best numbers up today:


Your set up for the 225 bench test can make or break your success. It’s the most important part of your bench and the foundation of your bench. And without a strong foundation, your bench will suffer.

So, here’s a step by step of how to set up for the bench press:

  1. Sit on the end of the bench
  2. Lay on the bench and bring your feet behind your knees to create tension in the hips and glutes. This will be critical later
  3. Grab the bar just outside of shoulder width
  4. Pin your shoulders down and back
  5. Unrack the bar keeping tension in the upper back
  6. Take a big breath in and lower the bar right below your nipple line
  7. As you press up, imagine you’re pressing two gas pedals with your feet to slide yourself up the bench (you won’t actually slide up the bench when you have weight on the barbell)
  8. Squeeze the glutes while you do this as well
  9. Exhale as you press up


The strength of your bench press is also built upon a good warmup. Say you’re going up to your max at 225, it’s important to slowly work up to this by warm-up up and gradually adding weight on the bar so that you’re prepared.

When my athletes are testing out at 225 I might have guys warmup with 135, then jump up to 185 for up to 5 reps. Next I’ll have them touch 225 once and re-rack it. After getting two minutes of rest, they’ll hit just one rep with an even heavier weight such as 250.

We do this in order to excite the nervous system. This works just like complex training so you’re able to wake up all those muscles. Once you’ve done all this, you can come back to your test weight at 225 so it may even feel lighter.


Depending on your training, you should know what number you’re normally at. During your test-out we can shoot for a couple more reps since you’ll have the adrenaline kicking in.

Say your current number is at 20 reps.

When training for your test, I want you to start breaking your maximum number down into clusters. As you unrack the bar, hold your breath in really tight and rep out 10. After you lock out the 10th rep you can take another breath, hold it in and hit another 5 reps. Hold your breath in again for another 2 or 3 reps. Everything following this will now be a single rep with a new breath for each one.

This is where you can continue to add reps on to your maximum number.


One of the factors I most like to work on for bench press are the triceps. Some great exercises for this are rolling tricep extensions, close grip bench press, and push-ups.

Most guys lose out on this test with their lock out. Having strong triceps helps you resist fatigue during your test and goes a long way in helping you perform better.

Some great accessory exercises that will support your bench press are:

1. Close Grip Bench Press

How to Perform the Close Grip Bench Press:

  1. Grab the barbell shoulder width apart
  2. Pin the shoulders down and back and un-rack the barbell
  3. Lower the barbell down right below your chest
  4. Explode up

2. Board Press

How to Perform the Board Press:

  1. Have a friend place a board on your chest
  2. Pin the shoulders down and back and un-rack the barbell
  3. Lower down on to the board
  4. Explode up
  5. Repeat

3. Floor Press

How to Perform Floor Press::

  1. Lay on the ground with dumbbells in hand
  2. Pin the shoulders down and back
  3. Lower down slowly onto the ground
  4. Kiss the ground with your elbows
  5. Explode up

4. Pin Press

How to Perform Pin Press:

  1. Place a bar on pins slightly above your chest
  2. Start from a dead stop, pin your shoulders down and back, and explode up
  3. Come back down slow + controlled

5. Rolling Triceps Extensions

How to Perform Rolling Triceps Extensions:

  1. Lay on a bed with dumbbells in your hands
  2. Extend the arms
  3. Lower the dumbbells down by the side of your forehead
  4. Roll the elbows forward and extend at the elbows

There you have it.

I really like to start with stimulating the nervous system by un-racking a high weight. Also begin to play around with your current test number during training so you can have a sense of how to break up your repetitions. Add in plenty of tricep work and other accessories to your training and you’ll be crushing this test next time it rolls around.

Strength that Translates to Power

If you’re interested in developing strength that translates to the field, check out my free Advanced Strength Series.

You’ll learn methodologies that will help your 225 bench press even further, and help you translate your strength over to the field.

Click Here to Enroll In The FREE Advanced Strength Series


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