T Nation

Bench Lies



please excuse my English.

I am and have ever been a crappy bencher.
Last year I tried to bench differently and LOST (!) 10 lbs on my benching PR.

I would like to know your thoughts about this article :

because THIS is what happened to me.
I tried to board press, to press elbows in, lowering the bar over the stomach area, and press in a straight line...and so on...

At the time, I did not realize why my bench went worst (if this was even possible, LoL...).

After reading this article, I think I found part of the answer.
Your thoughts ?



I agree with most of it. Go watch Alan baria, Eric Spoto, ed coan, etc bench press. They don't tuck that much, they don't have huge arches, and they bench in an arc toward the shoulder.


Sounds like you were trying to bench like a Geared guy. So that's your biggest problem.


Mostly spot on.


That article messed me up a bit too... especially the diagram showing the bar paths.

I have a shitty bench and my bar path is probably closer to the novice. I tried bringing it further over me like Kaz, but that basically just mean flaring my elbows. Maybe it's bad, but I went back to what felt more natural.


Getting the bar over the shoulders keeps you from having an unnecessary lever at that joint.


Is there some other way to do it besides flaring the elbows? I haven't filmed myself, but it feels like I push it relatively straight up and bring it back over my face just towards the end.


Once the bar is off the chest/abdomen and back over the shoulders, there is no reason to not flare your elbows at that point. That lets all muscles involved be in a mechanically advantageous position. Flaring at the bottom - Bad; Flaring from the midpoint up - Fine.


I'll just have to work on it. And flaring at the midpoint is what I meant. I instinctively do this when it gets really heavy, so I thought the bar path stuff might just be form breaking down.

I tried it today and I got 1-2 extra reps on my last AMRAP set than I thought I would, but I also didn't front squat first today, so that was probably a larger factor.

Thanks for the input.


Agree with everything already said. There's a very narrow window for your groove on bench, get out of it and you loose power, I've puns finding the right grips very important also


I found a 2 board press carried over well due to my sticking point being the same height, but training the close grip bench is much more effective for me than anything else geared guys typically train. (floor press, board press, band press etc)


When it's up in the air, do you move it horizontally and then come down, or do it at the same time?

I've been working on it... don't know if it's working.. probably hurting a bit as a distraction, but something to master


At the same time in pretty much a straight line, but coming off the chest, it goes up, then drifts over the shoulders for maximum leverage then continues up.