T Nation

Bench Critique

My bench has been stuck at 205 for a while and I’m pretty sure my form could use a little work, probably a lot. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance. This video is from, 160 x7.

I do not think its your form holing you back from a bigger bench, put on some more body weight and lower the reps

[quote]Bangerangg18 wrote:
I do not think its your form holing you back from a bigger bench, put on some more body weight and lower the reps[/quote]

Thanks for the advice. Right now I weigh 220 at 6’6". Also, as for the reps, I was on my third set of bench for 5/3/1 for week 1.

You got a good program and good enough technique but you would be surprised how much your bench would go up putting on 20-30lbs of bodyweight. Obviously it will take time to put on this much but it will pay off tremendously. Plus triceps and upper back are a must for tall lifters. Always seem to lag behind. So go out and grab a burrito! or two…

[quote]scottkoscielniak wrote:
You got a good program and good enough technique but you would be surprised how much your bench would go up putting on 20-30lbs of bodyweight. Obviously it will take time to put on this much but it will pay off tremendously. Plus triceps and upper back are a must for tall lifters. Always seem to lag behind. So go out and grab a burrito! or two…[/quote]

Thanks for the advice!! One thing with my form is that I notice my left wrist is bent. I need to fix that. Also, putting on weight won’t be an issue.
I do dips for my tris and chest, and for my back I do kroc rows and OH press, too. Again, thanks for taking the time to post.

Read the section in the book dealing with technique

Just a few things that I see. Your feet are waaaay under the bench and you are on your toes. While this is not wrong, you move around on the bench quite a bit while pressing. If you are tight I should be able to walk up to you and push you with my knee and you not move. You seem to be a taller dude or the bench you are on is low as hell or both… I found that taking a wider stance while getting on my toes BUT just enough to press my heels into the floor gave me a shit ton more leg drive.

Don’t forget to squeeze your ass to keep the butt on the bench- Think “BALLS TO THE BENCH”, and try to touch your shoulders to your ass.You won’t obviously but tht’s how to maximize your arch. When done correctly your quads should be almost hurting from the stress on them from the leg drive. You seem to be placing your feet way back there simply for the sake of putting the there, I may be incorrect but you get my ideas right?

I noticed you pressed the bar up and then out from the uprights. This movement alone destroys any set up you thought you had. “ROW” the bar out as if you are doing a straight arm pull down. Then after you do that let the bar settle before you lower it. This will let everything get into position and allow you to lower the bar in control with your LATS to a specific spot on your chest. In your vid, it seemed that you touched in a different spot every rep. The spots were subtle but different. ( you got higher each rep, and pushed into the uprights more each rep)

I saw no “bowing of your body” which means that I question your leg drive. Are you driving up onto your traps? I also see your wrists bent back a lot. Get the bar down closer to the wrists. This will allow you to straighten the wrists more. You also will find that you don’t drift back towards the uprights as much this way.

Your first rep or two stayed ‘relatively’ tight but that got worse as the reps increased. I’d do doubles or triples while staying properly tight, I mean pretend that someone is gonna kick you in the nuts tight, when you lose that rack the weight. In time your reps will increase while keeping tight. Did this make sense?

Not that it matters but how do you get 202# on the bar? Did you mean 205? Hope this helps. Watch the video again after reading what I’ve wrote. See if you see those things I’ve talked about. Good luck on smashing that 202ish barrier man!!

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
Just a few things that I see. Your feet are waaaay under the bench and you are on your toes. While this is not wrong, you move around on the bench quite a bit while pressing. If you are tight I should be able to walk up to you and push you with my knee and you not move. You seem to be a taller dude or the bench you are on is low as hell or both… I found that taking a wider stance while getting on my toes BUT just enough to press my heels into the floor gave me a shit ton more leg drive.

Don’t forget to squeeze your ass to keep the butt on the bench- Think “BALLS TO THE BENCH”, and try to touch your shoulders to your ass.You won’t obviously but tht’s how to maximize your arch. When done correctly your quads should be almost hurting from the stress on them from the leg drive. You seem to be placing your feet way back there simply for the sake of putting the there, I may be incorrect but you get my ideas right?

I noticed you pressed the bar up and then out from the uprights. This movement alone destroys any set up you thought you had. “ROW” the bar out as if you are doing a straight arm pull down. Then after you do that let the bar settle before you lower it. This will let everything get into position and allow you to lower the bar in control with your LATS to a specific spot on your chest. In your vid, it seemed that you touched in a different spot every rep. The spots were subtle but different. ( you got higher each rep, and pushed into the uprights more each rep)

I saw no “bowing of your body” which means that I question your leg drive. Are you driving up onto your traps? I also see your wrists bent back a lot. Get the bar down closer to the wrists. This will allow you to straighten the wrists more. You also will find that you don’t drift back towards the uprights as much this way.

Your first rep or two stayed ‘relatively’ tight but that got worse as the reps increased. I’d do doubles or triples while staying properly tight, I mean pretend that someone is gonna kick you in the nuts tight, when you lose that rack the weight. In time your reps will increase while keeping tight. Did this make sense?

Not that it matters but how do you get 202# on the bar? Did you mean 205? Hope this helps. Watch the video again after reading what I’ve wrote. See if you see those things I’ve talked about. Good luck on smashing that 202ish barrier man!![/quote]

Thanks for all the advice man. I am tall, I am 6’6" so you were right. My leg drive isn’t great so I will try your stance. I’ve always been told to tuck my feet under so that is the reason I do so. Also, I will try to keep my wrists straight. For some reason this has always been an issue. When taking the bar off I usually do ‘row’ the bar out. My main issue is keeping tight. There are times where my shoulder blade will be hanging off the bench on one side. It pisses me off because I am in no way tight.

Have you tried lock outs? Or heavy negatives? Both help with over loading the muscles and helping you get stronger by being use to heavier weight. Like StrengthDawg said your bar position hitting your chest has to be spot on for consistency. Also placing 45lbs plates by your feet can help you get your foot positioning the same each time too. Last advice is to keep everything tight as possible through your lift. From the feet to your head. Think of a spring. Tighten everything down and let the force of your body help push the weight.

[quote]waldene wrote:
Have you tried lock outs? Or heavy negatives? Both help with over loading the muscles and helping you get stronger by being use to heavier weight. Like StrengthDawg said your bar position hitting your chest has to be spot on for consistency. Also placing 45lbs plates by your feet can help you get your foot positioning the same each time too. Last advice is to keep everything tight as possible through your lift. From the feet to your head. Think of a spring. Tighten everything down and let the force of your body help push the weight. [/quote]

I have not tried either of those, I will read up on them and maybe give them a try. Thanks for the advice! Keeping tight is my buggest issue and seems to be the reoccurring theme of everyone’s advice.