To start with, Ive learned that ultimately you have to pace yourself - work up to something rather than jump in to the deep end. So here is my 4 step plan:
Step 1. Start with the lightest weight. Bench pressing puts a lot of strain on your arms, so by starting light (see fig 1), you are warming up the joints, preparing them for the pain.
Step 2. Having warmed up your joints in your arms, its time to increase that load a bit. Remember to lie flat distributing all the weight rather than bearing it on a specific point (see fig 2).
Step 3. Its time to increase difficulty as well as weight. This is where things start to get a wee bit tricky. The purpose of this stage is to give you a mental workout aswell as physical. Its all about attitude and approach. Do it without looking. (see Fig 3) Think - Concentration not strength. Think - If a man speaks in the forest and there is no woman there to hear it, is he still wrong?
Step 4. The last step in this workout marathon is the chest expanding triple-backweight overload endurance lift. To succeed at the stage has taken me at least 6 years of practice. The key to this is realizing that even when you think your arms can't hold more - some how they over time expand to hold more than you could ever have imagined or dreamed of (see fig 4). And its not just the size of the load - your self confidence increases as you learn what you are capable of. You not only lift the load, but hold it steady and sure with 100% certainty.
At this time I am planning to start a quadruple-backweight overload endurance lift. I will let you know how that goes in due course....
I also gotta give credit to my "personal trainer" for continually showing me what Im capable of. Thank you.