The Spoto Press is one of those bench press variations to really enhance your chest and pushing strength.
For powerlifters and those who just love to put up big weight, we are always looking for ways to really boost our strength so those big PR’s will continue to be greatly enhanced. While benching and benching and more benching may seem like the best option for you, it really isn’t. You have to find fun and engaging ways to continually see growth and this benching method has potential to skyrocket your gains.
The Spoto Press is something you may not have heard of, but you will be glad you did. Designed to enhance the bottom portion of the bench press, this effective method can seriously boost your bench and aid in your powerlifting goals of continually putting up monster weight. This press will make you feel uncomfortable, in a good way, so you get used to really feeling what it’s like to be under that much weight. By increasing time under tension, it will also work your muscles so they are forced to grow.
What Is The Spoto Press?
The Spoto Press was discovered by legendary powerlifter, Eric Spoto, whose specialty is the bench press. What Spoto discovered, and ultimately what the Spoto Press is, is that you can pause at different heights during the benching motion, in particular the bottom. Not only will this enhance the initial pressing motion upwards, but it will work your mid-range section of the lift as well, since isometric work does tend work areas around the targeted spot (1). This will mainly assist you with not getting stuck at the bottom of the bench press.
About Eric Spoto
Eric Spoto is an American powerlifter and arm-wrestler, who mainly specializes in the bench press. He is best known for holding the world record in the raw bench press with a monster lift of 722 lbs. Interested in strength sports at a young age led Spoto to compete in various events. Through increased training and sheer determination, he became a serious force in the powerlifting world, especially when it came to the raw bench press. He currently sits at number three in the world for raw pressers, but his style of training with this press has left his mark on powerlifting with the Spoto Press.
Benefits Of The Spoto Press
With the Spoto Press, you are taking the isometric overload during the motion when you typically are at a weaker point naturally. This forces you to fight the resistance and stabilize the weight, relying on other muscles to activate to keep that weight from falling on you. By engaging muscles like your triceps and shoulders, you will effectively work to lift the weight up, thus enhancing the pressing power of the bottom of the movement (2). By increasing time under tension as well, you are aiding in muscle hypertrophy to see some serious progress with your lifts.
Tips & Effectiveness
For those just starting out, the Spoto Press can work to give you good form, especially at the bottom of the lift where you aren’t naturally the strongest. When you move to higher weight, this will greatly pay off in the long run. It will allow you to build more muscle before moving up to higher weight, so once you do, you’ll be more than effective. For more advanced lifters, this will only elevate your training and performance even more. Sometimes going back to the basics can help reset poor form that’s settled in, but this will also increase strength and effectiveness by finetuning the bottom portion of your lift. Give yourself the edge as best you can and take the Spoto Press for what it is: a bench press enhancer.
While performing the Spoto Press, it is important to have your feet positioned the right way. Keeping them grounded will allow you to drive through the floor and give your back more support as you drive that weight up. Take less strain off your back to prevent injury, but also really work to push big weight. While your grip should be whatever is comfortable, a closer grip will increase your range of motion and offer better opportunity for strength at the bottom. A wide grip will allow more muscle activation but will limit your range of motion. Keeping your body tight is important for proper form and will only enhance that muscle growth and really work to pause for a second or two at the bottom of the lift to work on time under tension and muscle overload.
Featured Barbell For The Spoto Press
Having the right equipment is important, especially for your home gym now that gyms remain closed or at limited capacity. This barbell is perfect for the Spoto Press and really work to enhance those big gains.
American Barbell 20KG Training Bar
American Barbell 20KG Training Bar is a versatile bar tested and approved for training and competition. The precision ground alloy steel bar shaft is tested through a rigorous process to ensure longevity and excellent whip for optimal performance. A finished hard chrome adds extra durability and corrosion resistance for nice added features. The bar sleeves work to rotate smoothly and this bar is 20kg, 28mm in diameter, and 2,200mm in length. American Barbell Training Bar is built to last while providing comfort and longevity for all of your goals.
The Spoto Press is a great bench press enhancer and can be used for a variety of benefits. Everything from time under tension, to better range of motion, to serious PR’s, the Spoto Press is one of those methods you need to try. From legendary powerlifter Eric Spoto, this method has proven effective time and time again and is a necessity for those powerlifters looking to enhance their bench press. Add the Spoto Press method into your benching routine and see what this can do for you. You won’t be disappointed with the results.
*Images courtesy of American Barbell and Envato
- Oranchuk, Dustin J.; Storey, Adam G.; Nelson, Andre R.; Cronin, John B. (2019). “Isometric training and long-term adaptations: Effects of muscle length, intensity, and intent: A systematic review”. (source)
- Waller, Mike; Piper, Tim; Miller, Jason (2009). “Overhead Pressing Power/Strength Movements”. (source)