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Bench Press Blues

haha ya the old grindin slab known as the bench press, dude dont worry your pretty tough for a 19 year old. God knows i couldnt do that anymore but just look at your close grip bench thats your key right there! first of all its a modified bench I know plenty of people who cant do that much on a close grip and still bench 350 lbs.

So take into consderation hand with on the bar proper lifting form and some bench blocks there any powerlifters hero! bench go up BIG if you can master them suckers with some bands/chains!
luck to ya

Do you ACTUALLY know people who can bench 350 but can’t close grip 225?

There are a few at my uni gym who think close grip means thumbs almost touching. Just saying.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
Do you ACTUALLY know people who can bench 350 but can’t close grip 225?[/quote]

Maybe his version of a close grip is having your hands 2 inches apart. I call a close grip having my index finger on the smooth part of the bar.

I think most people’s close grip is 80% of their normal bench.

well I guess I would ask is how close is your close grip. A rule of thumb for me is that it should be atleast two hands in from your normal bench press maybe an inch or two inwards on top of that.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:

I don’t want to get better at “low” reps either. I want to get better at maxing out. I don’t want to leave the range of singles, doubles, and triples for my Max Effort work because that’s what Max Effort work calls for and because doing work in the 1-3 rep range with Maximal weights is a weakness for me.

I’ll also be using reps between 6-20 on exercises like Weighted Dips, Weighted Chins, Rows, Triceps Extensions, Military Presses, Rear-Delt Flys, and other exercises that will help raise my bench press but aren’t actually bench pressing.

I don’t want to sound like a snob because from my numbers it’s clear that I’m a novice bencher, but are you familiar with the Westside Method of training or the Max Effort method of strength training? The Max Effort method has done wonders for my squat and deadlift, and I believe it’s not only the best way to build pure strength, but also the best way to build strength without gaining size (granted I know everyone wants to be huge, but the Max Effort method chosen over the Bodybuilding method will make you stronger pound for pound).[/quote]

I am an amateur. I decided to venture into the iron world since my training was incomplete: stamina and endurance/cardio were my main focus.
I had read that the best for gaining pure muscle/strength and not size was a 3 set of 5 reps plan. I’m not particular for gaining size. I’d prefer not to, if given the choice.
Tell me more about this program. Is it basically just do 3 reps? What are the sets like?
Can you give me more info :stuck_out_tongue:

FightingScott how often to you test your 1RM on the bench? From skimming the above thread it seems maybe you have been avoiding or at least not flat benching a whole bunch. While I’m a big fan of what Westside would call like ME exercises there is a point that you gotta bench to improve your bench. You can dip, military press, floor press, board press and the like all you want and there will be indirect carry over but on some level you gotta do the bench itself.

My stock answer these days whenever any complains of a sub-par bench is to evaluate your rotator cuff complex training. I hit my tator’s twice a week and believe that’s a big component of a healthy bench.

[quote]blazindave wrote:
FightingScott wrote:

I don’t want to get better at “low” reps either. I want to get better at maxing out. I don’t want to leave the range of singles, doubles, and triples for my Max Effort work because that’s what Max Effort work calls for and because doing work in the 1-3 rep range with Maximal weights is a weakness for me.

I’ll also be using reps between 6-20 on exercises like Weighted Dips, Weighted Chins, Rows, Triceps Extensions, Military Presses, Rear-Delt Flys, and other exercises that will help raise my bench press but aren’t actually bench pressing.

I don’t want to sound like a snob because from my numbers it’s clear that I’m a novice bencher, but are you familiar with the Westside Method of training or the Max Effort method of strength training? The Max Effort method has done wonders for my squat and deadlift, and I believe it’s not only the best way to build pure strength, but also the best way to build strength without gaining size (granted I know everyone wants to be huge, but the Max Effort method chosen over the Bodybuilding method will make you stronger pound for pound).

I am an amateur. I decided to venture into the iron world since my training was incomplete: stamina and endurance/cardio were my main focus.
I had read that the best for gaining pure muscle/strength and not size was a 3 set of 5 reps plan. I’m not particular for gaining size. I’d prefer not to, if given the choice.
Tell me more about this program. Is it basically just do 3 reps? What are the sets like?
Can you give me more info :stuck_out_tongue:
[/quote]

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/9week-training-program.htm

this is the 9 week beginner version. Its hard to really give details because it is designed to be individualized. but the basic format is 2 max effort days (finding a 1-3RM and doing a few sets above 90%) and 2 Dynamic effort days (multiple sets of 1-3 reps done for speed) and in some cases especially with us newer guys, Dynamic days are replaced by rep days to get in more volume and not worry quite as much about speed.
Most powerlifters use some version of this or at least borrow many of the principles. and being that a lot of powerlifters want to remain in their weight class, it is clearly good for strength without size.
give it a try, its only nine weeks.

[quote]blazindave wrote:

Can you give me more info :stuck_out_tongue:
[/quote]

I know exactly what you mean. I’ve got a picture of myself similar to yours where I’m running out to my bike in a Triathlon.

This SquatRx video has an excellent description of the Westside Template. EliteFTS and the Westside Barbell website had a lot of info on this type of training.

The main features of the Westside Barbell Method are:

  1. Maxing out every week in a Supplimental Exercise for the Squat/Deadlift and maxing out every week in a Supplemental Exercise for the Bench Press.
  2. Training the Squat, Bench, and Deadlift for Speed Strength with 40-70% of your max on different days for 1-3 reps but
    as many as 10 sets.
  3. Using Accessory Exercises for the Posterior Chain, Abs, Back, Delts and Triceps to strengthen muscles and (if needed) increase size.
  4. Rotating the Supplemental Exercises you use every 1-2 weeks so the central nervous system does not become fatigued.
  5. Using Accomidating Resistance such as bands or chains to alter the strength curve. This is valuable for all athletes. Think about the bench press. It’s hardest at the bottom and easiest at the top. But if you use chains, as the chains come off the ground the bar weight increases and you must learn to provide more force as the bar travels. This develops power. Changing the strength curve is also handy for equipped powerlifters whose bench shirts or squat suits assist them at the bottom of their lifts but not as much at the top.

I actually have almost the exact same numbers as the OP for bench, weighted chin and strict standing press.

OP do you have relatively long arms?

I find that long arms are a much greater disadvantage in a full ROM bench press than they are in any of the other exercises that you have mentioned.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
ukrainian wrote:
Pemdas wrote:

I agree. I think it may be your chest. Why? Because your close grip bench is only 10 pounds off your max regular grip bench. But it may also be because you naturally have a closer grip. But maybe at the bottom when the chest is worked the most, you stall out in strength. Still, vid might be good. I have a wider grip, but once I get to the point where triceps begin to kick in more, that is when I lose the weight most often.

I don’t think my weak point is my chest. I think it’s my shoulders mainly because of the discrepancy between my Military Press and my Bench Press. And even if I don’t bring the Dumbbells to my chest, they still go through a decent range of motion (how often do you see anyone touching the Dumbbells to their chest?) So I think working my shoulders more, working on speed, and working on isometrics will help me out since these are things that I have neglected but chest work (Hammer Strength Chest Press, Dumbbell Pressing, etc) is something I haven’t neglected.

[/quote]

There isn’t really a discrepancy between your military press and bench press. Most people can Military press about 60% of their flat bench. You are claiming that you can do about 60% for 3 reps, which supports my theory that your are a tri/shoulder dominant bencher and that you have a week chest in comparison.

[quote]Regular Gonzalez wrote:
I actually have almost the exact same numbers as the OP for bench, weighted chin and strict standing press.

OP do you have relatively long arms?

I find that long arms are a much greater disadvantage in a full ROM bench press than they are in any of the other exercises that you have mentioned. [/quote]

Hey, its not that we have bad benches, its that we have great deadlifts.

OP I’m kind of confused here. I don’t see why you are refusing to do full ROM for your chest work but yet complaining about your bench numbers,and saying they aren’t correllated? Dude I bench 410 and I can only do 125x10 for the dumbells and I use full ROM. Seems to me that you must not be going down far at all.

Chest is brought into the exercise of at the very bottom of the bench press so if you are neglecting to go down all the way you are just going to be hitting your triceps/shoulders hard, but taking it easy on your chest. Take the hit to your pride, lower your weight, and do full ROM. Just a though.

There isn’t really a discrepancy between your military press and bench press. Most people can Military press about 60% of their flat bench. You are claiming that you can do about 60% for 3 reps, which supports my theory that your are a tri/shoulder dominant bencher and that you have a week chest in comparison.

You’re right! There isn’t a discrepancy between my military press and my bench press. But I think that’s because both are bad.

[quote]evansmi wrote:
Regular Gonzalez wrote:
I actually have almost the exact same numbers as the OP for bench, weighted chin and strict standing press.

OP do you have relatively long arms?

I find that long arms are a much greater disadvantage in a full ROM bench press than they are in any of the other exercises that you have mentioned.

Hey, its not that we have bad benches, its that we have great deadlifts.[/quote]

Haha I like your logic.

Sadly in my case my deadlift sucks as well. It’s increasing pretty quickly at the moment though.

It sounds like you just need more direct bench work. Do a sheiko bench program for 4 weeks and see what happens.

Hello everyone. Im new to this site, and i have a question. I can benchpress 120 kg(270 pounds) for 2 full reps but i have problem. I have recently been doing partial reps for the benchpress with very heavy weight, where i only go down halfway . I have heard that this is very bad because it creates muscle imbalances.

But when i started doing them i noticed increases in strength and size. My max went from 110 kg to 120 kg 2 reps. The problem is now the partial reps seem to have stopped working, and i feel pain in my left shoulder after i do them. should i stop doing them?

[quote]steel_12 wrote:
Hello everyone. Im new to this site, and i have a question. I can benchpress 120 kg(270 pounds) for 2 full reps but i have problem. I have recently been doing partial reps for the benchpress with very heavy weight, where i only go down halfway . I have heard that this is very bad because it creates muscle imbalances.

But when i started doing them i noticed increases in strength and size. My max went from 110 kg to 120 kg 2 reps. The problem is now the partial reps seem to have stopped working, and i feel pain in my left shoulder after i do them. should i stop doing them?[/quote]

Partial Movements are great when used appropriately but they shouldn’t make up the majority of your training volume. Powerlifters will do partial bench presses by placing 1-4 pieces of 2X4 on their chest. Another Partial Bench Press movement is Rack Lockouts where you press the bar off safety pins in a power rack. The pins can be set at various heights depending on where your sticking point is in the bench press. Another Partial Bench Press movement is the floor press where you just lay on the floor instead of a bench and press from there.

All these partial movements have a solid object such as planks of wood, steel safety pins, or the floor stopping the lifter from touching the bar to his chest. But when you do partial movements where you are the only thing determening the range of motion, you end up doing two things.

  1. You have no solid frame of reference for if you’re getting stronger or if you’re just shortening your Range of Motion.
  2. You start lifting weights your body is not yet ready to handle.

If you do use the good kind of partial movements, you should alternate a partial movement with a full range movement. So you could cycle these lifts:

Incline Bench
Floor Press
Bench Press
2-Board Press