Jason Stallworth 405 bench

How to Increase Your Bench, Squat, and Deadlift: Critical Bench Program 2.0 Review

Are you stuck at a 225-pound bench press? Or maybe it’s 145? Or 315? I know, it’s frustrating!

In this post, I’m going to show you several ways how you can increase your bench press in my review of what I consider the top strength training program on the planet, Critical Bench 2.0.

Oh, and it’s more than just getting better at bench pressing. You’ll also learn how to boost your other main lifts like squats and deadlifts

What Is Critical Bench 2.0?

Critical Bench 2.0 is a full-strength training program designed to help you break your personal records. Although the focus is on increasing your bench press, it will also help you gain overall strength and explosive power.

The Critical Bench program was created by Mike Westerdal. Mike is a renowned powerlifter and strength training coach. He holds a BS, is a certified personal trainer and owner of CriticalBench.com.

Mike Westerdal has competed in several federations of strength training and is known for helping hundreds of weightlifters and athletes increase their bench press and overall strength.

In the Critical Bench 2.0 program, Mike puts an emphasis on proper form and teaches you techniques to make serious gains. His program also helps trainers and athletes get stronger without injury.

Critical Bench 2.0 program review

Who Is Critical Bench For?

Critical Bench 2.0 is for those who are serious about getting strong and are willing to commit to following through on a strength training program that works

I want to take you through some key points about the program. If you have two or more of the below goals, then Critical Bench will certainly benefit you.

What you can expect from the Critical Bench program:

  • Fastest way to increase your bench press by 20-30 pounds
  • Secret techniques for rapid strength gains
  • Will also help you increase your squat and deadlift max
  • You’ll gain lean muscle mass(assuming that you eat good)
  • Teaches you proper form and how to avoid injury when lifting heavy weights
  • Mike gives you a ton of free stuff when you purchase Critical Bench that will help you take your gains to the next level

**If you’re looking for the typical bodybuilding workout program, Critical Bench 2.0 is probably not for you. Although this program will help you pack on muscle mass, the focus is on strength gains..

How To Increase Your Bench Press Fast

bench press 315

It’s important to understand that the almighty bench press is far more than just a chest exercise. Although bench pressing with indeed make your chest bigger, there are more muscles involved to perform the bench press with proper form.

Performing the bench press exercise also recruits your shoulders and triceps. There’s also a push from your legs, as you will learn more about this technique in the Critical Bench program.

You may not be aware that the bench press also uses your back muscles (lats) and biceps during certain parts of the lift. This is why the bench press is called a compound, multi-joint exercise. It’s a true feat of strength.

Increasing your bench press will help you get stronger in other areas. You will notice that you will be able to squat and deadlift more. These are two more exercises that are essential for strength and mass gains.

So the fastest way to increase your bench press is by not neglecting your other lifts. In other words, don’t just focus on bench press alone. Also make sure you’re doing squats, deadlifts, and other compound exercises. 

More Benefits Of Increasing Your Bench Press

A fact about lifting heavy weights, in general, is the release of certain hormones in your body. Having a strong bench press can lead to an increase in natural testosterone. Heavy benching can also increase human growth hormone levels.

These two hormones are essential for gaining explosive power and strength. But they’re also important to maintaining overall health and longevity.

Since bench press is a compound exercise recruiting several muscles, you will experience the benefits of increased testosterone and growth hormone. It’s a win-win.

The more you lift, the stronger you get, and the healthier you become. And this is also part of what Critical Bench teaches you. 

How Bench Press Helps You Pack On Muscle Mass

incline barbell press chest day chest exercises

The Critical Bench Program 2.0 also puts an emphasis on what I call powerbuilding. Powerbuilding combines strength training methods with techniques that help you gain muscle size.

Although the program doesn’t promote bodybuilding results, you can easily use this program to make bodybuilder muscle gains if you wish. 

You see, when you lift heavy weights, you exert more force. By doing this, you burn more calories and increase your heart rate during your workout. It’s the same concept as the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) method.

The Critical Bench Program focuses on making you stronger and building muscle without gaining fat. The powerbuilding concepts found in Mike Westerdal’s Critical Bench Program will not only help you increase your bench press but you’ll find yourself going up in weight on all of your lifts.

At the same time you’ll notice changes in your physique as you’ll be training harder, and ultimately with more weight than you’re used to. Especially if you’re eating healthy and doing some cardio a few times a week.

Critical Bench Review

empty bench press with water bottle and gym towel

As you can see, Critical Bench is more than just a program that helps you increase your bench press. Sure, that’s the ultimate goal. But this is a full-strength training program

The Critical Bench 2.0 program gives you the exact types of workouts you need that will allow you to recover properly so that you can grow. This allows you to make incremental gains week after week. You’ll essentially force your muscles to get stronger.

As great as the program is, I want to break down the pros and cons in my Critical Bench review below: 


  • Methodical way to get stronger, faster
  • Helps you build a solid foundation for strength
  • You’ll learn a lot about your body and how to break past your limitations
  • The incremental gains you’ll make every week are exciting and keep you motivated
  • You’ll gain strength on all lifts, not just bench press
  • Mike gives you a TON of free stuff with Critical Bench that will help educate you further and make more gains, long-term
  • **Mike offers monthly coaching as an option


  • Great for strength but not the best for bodybuilding (building muscle size)
  • I wish there were just a little more volume added for muscle gains

Keep In Mind…

  • Remember, the bench press is a compound exercise using multiple muscles, not just your chest. This allows you to push more weight which is taxing on your body and central nervous system. So you need proper rest and recovery
  • It’s also important to remember that nutrition also plays a crucial role in gaining strength and muscle. If you don’t eat, you simply will not grow. And if you don’t give your body the right types of foods, you won’t have the energy to train heavy. You can read more about nutrition in these posts: How to Build Muscle on a Vegan Diet and
    Vegetarian Mass Building Meal Plan

Where to Buy Critical Bench 2.0

Critical Bench 2.0 program review

You can pick up your copy of Critical Bench 2.0 directly from Mike Westerdal’s website at CriticalBench.com.

I am partnered with Mike on his program and I do receive a commission when your purchase. I stand behind the quality and results you’ll get from Critical Bench!

And I also thank you for supporting my site! 

Free Stuff When Your Order

When you order The Critical Bench Program 2.0, Mike Westerdal is also throwing in several freebies.

Once you purchase the Critical Bench program you’ll also get:

  • Customized Training Logs
  • Bench Press Fundamentals Online DVD
  • The Critical Deload Routine
  • Critical Conversations with Elite Iron Warriors
  • Critical Exercise Guide
  • In-Depth Report on Creatine’s Usage In Sports
  • This is a tremendous amount of valuable tools and information to get stronger and gain more muscle mass.

So not only are you getting the world’s best strength training program, but you’re also getting a ton of free guides to help you in all aspects of building muscle and getting stronger.

Train with Passion,


Are You Ready For A Bigger Bench?

Mike Westerdal provides a wealth of information in these bonus programs and guides. Although the Critical Bench Program 2.0 is focused on increasing your bench press strength, this program and all of the free guides that come with it will transform your entire body while making you bigger and stronger.

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