Bench Grip

Ummm…this might be the dumbest question ever asked in this forum but I feel a need. As far as the bench press goes, is there a grip width that is universally accepted as the primary width to gain size, as well as one for hefting up the most weight? I ask because in the new article that explains close-grip lockouts, the example’s grip is about what I use for regular bench presses. Am I screwing myself out of growth/strength potential here?

We dug that pic out of the archives to show the rack set-up in lockouts, but he’s not using a close grip.

As for your question, it depends on what type of bencher you are. Some naturally bench a lot with their triceps, so a closer grip is best for them strength-wise. A wider grip, on the other hand, makes you use the pecs more than the triceps.

Ian King has suggested taking a wider grip for those who bench a lot but are unsatisfied with their pec development. They could be tricep benchers so widening the grip will help them with chest development, though their loads will go down at first.

“though their loads will go down at first.”

…I had a girlfriend once who was just like that…a solution to this problem is to get married…your load will go down nevermore…

Doesn’t help your bench but the extra suffering sure takes your mind off your weak-ass titties.

“How marriage ruins a man! It is as demoralizing as cigarettes, and far more expensive”

~ Oscar Wilde

“Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery”

~ Erma Bombeck

“Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?”

~ H. L. Mencken

“Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in?”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

…yeah, I got carried away…sue me


I have to disagree here.

I always get a kick out of all the quotes that you are able to spew out. How the hell do you remember all that?

Keep em coming.

Oh as far as the original post. I would suggest changing up your grip every no and then. Find your weakness and target that grip but dont ignore the others.

I personnaly can bench far more with a wide grip then a close grip so I have been concentrating on my tri development.


Phill ~

My need to answer your question in an honest and forthright manner is going to expose me for the charlatan that I am. I have been living a lie all this time and hiding behind paper walls of fraudulent fabrications and living under the roof of prevaricate pre-amble.

I am indeed Nobel Laureate Gao Xingjian and although my “universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity” may indeed have netted me some cash and a really cool medal thingy, my secret passion for the words of those that came before us was ignored by and large by my publisher (Larry, third door past the toilets). So, I come here to keep my memory sharp and relate what I can.


I just look 'em up.

“The Nobel is a ticket to one’s own funeral. No one has ever done anything after he got it”

~ T. S. Eliot


Would you like me to take care of that load for you baby boy…

Chessie M.

its always too early in the morning or too late at night for me to know what they hell the cake is talking about…
plus I is dumb…

Hey Steve, if you want my advice, make widegrip your primary grip, and then move it in for lockout or closegrip work. I always benched wide grip and it got my chest huge. Also, using a wide grip is one of the first steps in perfecting your groove and building a big bench. I’ve been doing wide grip bench my whole benching career. I neglected triceps for the few few years, which led to some disproportionalities which I am working on now, but as long as you put an emphasis on tris at the same time you’re building a big bench using a wide grip, you will push more weight and get big while doing it. If you have been benching close for a while, it may take some time, but I think wide grip is definitely the way to go.

The way I see it, swollness starts in the near the heart, right outside them… in the pectorals.


I don’t like taking the risk shoulder wise of wide grip. I use close-grip/regular grip universally.