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Bench Press and Olympic Lifting


Hi my coach have told me that I shouldn´t bench because my shoulders and pecs get so tight if I do. Anyone with a different opinion, and do you incorporate vertical pressing into your olympic lifting. By the way I dont do any other sport then OL.


IMO thats only true when you have limited flexibility to begin with (ex: beginners). A more logical reason for not benching is avoiding adding extra muscle mass where it doesn't directly benefit the lifts. That being said, there is nothing wrong with adding shoulder stability exercises. Plenty of elite lifters include benching in their routines; there are even videos on the web of Kolecki and Chigishev putting up some serious numbers.


If you're doing 95% OL and bench like 5% of the time, your pecs are not gonna seize up all of a sudden. I would say the greater concern is recovery and purpose. A serious OLer really derives no benefit out of benching (given they do not suffer any shoulder instability). Also if one were benching seriously, a good portion of energy would be wasted on that movement, stalling recovery for the next session.

That being said, I bench with my team sometimes. We call it dessert after our regular session.


Stronger upper body can't be a bad thing, can it.


if your sport is Olifting y would u want to waste recovery on benching? you could get by just fine with benching without losing any flexibility but you could spend your time on much more effective lifts


Ok, thanks for the great replies. I think im not going to bench and just focusing on the lifts for some more time.


It can if it affects your efficiency in the lifts. Bud Charniga wrote about upper body strength being detrimental in the jerk because 1) the mechanics of pressing are different than jerking (jerk comes from the legs not upper body) which may make a lifter try to press the weight rather than drop under it, or 2) an 'overactive' upper body may not relax enough to jerk properly (which is why a lot of SMs or PLers have a hard time with the lifts).


I do a fair amount of push ups...at least 80reps in a week...I have no shoulder issues but my chest is tighter after that many push ups.



during the school year, I do dumbell Bench Press once a week after Snatches and squats.


If you are tight in the shoulders and chest, and have a hard time holding the bar in the right position over your head, then bench pressing is your enemy and you should never do it.

If your a normal human with normal human flexibility, then moderate bench pressing probably wont hurt you if its done along with your OL training. Whether or not it will help you is a subject of some controversy.

If you have very loose shoulders, an excess of mobility, and a lack of general strength, (like some of the 10 and 12 year olds that I coach) then bench pressing will probably help.

This, I believe, is the LAST word in bench pressing for OL, lol.



Technically you don't need the sternal head of your pecs to do over head pressing.
(you just need your clavicular head of your pecs to do over head pressing.)

Ideally if you wanted to weigh as little as possible and lift more id say don't bench.

But thats just my personal opinion.


What correlation is there between bench pressing and any style of olympic lifting?




None. All you need is technique and strong quads to be a good weightlifter.