T Nation

Always Arch for Bench Press?


Do you guys always bench PL style with a tight arch? I was wondering the other day if it would be smart to bench bodybuilder style occasionally just to build the chest kinda like an assistance excercise. Just wanted to hear other peoples thoughts on the matter.


Powerlifters bench like they do to move the most weight they can without injuring themselves. It's generally easier on the shoulders with less risk of things like peck tares.

I don't do it because if I do it a while, my shoulders start to ache.


You should always bench press safely. That doesn't necessarily mean an insane arch, but having your shoulders squeezed together and staying tight. To work the bottom of the bench press, or chest, try DB bench.


even with an arch the chest gets its work. Never seen someone who can bench 400 not have a big chest. If ur looking to build a chest as well as your bench use other chest exercises after your bench. And yes same thing as above, it is safer handling heavier loads.


I always have an arch. Small it may be but an arch none the less. Your should never be completely flat (just laying on the bench) IMO.


I am working my ass off to achieve this right now.


I like feet on the bench for targeting the chest. Of course, pinch your shoulder blades together and tuck your elbows at least some. I would recomend light to moderate loads because it can be more stressful on the shoulders.

And for me, this exercise is less shoulder stressful than a pronated DB bench press.


I used to arch, but it started hurting my rear delts/lats when the weight went heavier and my muscles squeezed. Now I stay flat. Maybe a little arch here and there.


Im a ways away myself 400 is no joke


If you want to work the clavicular insertion of your pectoral muscles, then following up your normal bench press routine with 2 sets of guillotine press shouldn't be a huge negative.


I always use competition technique when training the big 3. I don't want to screw with the motor patterns on those lifts by altering them in any way, for any reason.




So no close grip bench? Or do you just do it with full arch, leg drive, etc.


I think he means when training his competition bench. CG is assistance work, so you don't need to train like it your main lift. It is there simply to build the main lift. At least that's how I see it.


I see. Thanks.


you guys ever notice some of these monster benchers with little or no arch tho? Al davis, Rhino, and KK come to mind. ive always wondered their reasoning for their set ups


I believe its merely personal preference. They learned to bench with a more minor arch, it works for them, and they move big weight with it. No need for them to change.


x2 I use a pretty small arch. Forcing a huge arch never really did anything for me.


Agreed. Sometimes I can't get as tight if I'm sore, but I say always get as tight as possible. Why not train the way you're going to compete?