T Nation

Bar Path on Bench


When benching I normally bring bar down to lower pecs, medium grip, arched tight back and minimum shoulder rotation, short bar path as I understand is the correct method. This is also what feels most comfortable to me and allows me to push heavier weight much easier.

But my problem is it's only to a certain point. When the weight starts getting heavy to the point I'm doing the joker sets for singles, for some reason I automatically or instinctively start to splay my elbows and bring the bar down much higher on my chest which causes me to fail the lift many times.

I try to consciously stop it but as soon as weight gets real heavy I automatically do it every time.

What is the reason for this and how do I correct it? I guess the obvious answer is don't go that heavy and stop doing it lol.


It's likely that it's just the load uncovering a weak-point, maximal loads are good for that; lifts near anybody's true 1RM will cause some breakdown in form. You can always try a false-grip, which might feel more natural for you and help with the correct bar-path. Do you do the FSL or Down Set work (not sure which template were talking about)? If not, do it. I also like doing Dips in-between any pulling exercise.


This answer is simple: don't do joker sets.

Use the sub-max training and FSL work consistently to help build strength and reinforce technique.


What i found works best for me strength wise (for pressing only) is to work up to my TM but not for a PR(just prescribed reps) and keep going with joker sets for doubles then singles. Then I go back down to my TM for the PR and maybe two FSL's.

On squats and DL's going up to my TM for PR and then doing 75-80% of TM for a do die widow maker set of 20 reps always getting the 20 even when I feel like I
m gonna die from lack of oxygen:)


Ok thanks.