T Nation

Bench Press Confidence


#1

T-Nation:

This is my first post to the forum's, but i have been an avid reader for a while now. I started a new thread because i am struggling to improve my bench press. I have done a lot of research and read a lot, looking to the tutorial videos by dave tate on elitefts, and those are very helpful, but i am doing a poor job of transferring that knowledge onto the bench.

My main issue is i cannot get any leg drive into my bench. Dave state's to pull your feet under you and drive your heels down to create the band and drive your upper back into the bench. I have no confidence in that i do not feel more power from this position, and cannot hit as much weight from this position as i can from a traditional flat-footed bench set up.

I am confident in the squat and deadlift, because i can see my form, and correct mistakes because i can see where i am missing. I cannot see myself bench, so it is hard for me to know if my technique is correct based on feel alone.

I am hoping that someone can give me some ques or tips that i can drill so i can practice this technique. i understand the importance of the set up of the bench, but need to become confident in the technique.

To help, here are some of my stats: I am 6'00'' and weigh around 235. I have hit 315 for a single recently, but that was with a traditional stance. I am a bit longer, built more like a wide receiver than a fullback. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as i look forward to continued improvement in the bench press.


#2

That doesn’t make much sense. You should have more stability with your legs underneath you, so I don’t see how your bench would get worse with better stability. Vids would certainly help.

I prefer a wide base and heels firmly on the floor, so that might be worth a shot for you. When you drive your heels into the ground, your glutes should flex, your hips will pop up slightly, but your butt will never come off the bench.


#3

Keep your knees below your hips at all times. Makes it near impossible for your butt come off the bench no matter how hard you push with your legs.


#4

Thanks so far for the advice. I think when i pull my feet underneath me, my hip flexors are not flexible enough to get a flex in my butt as i drive. I saw a video from andy bolton that said he had similar problems. He described it as feeling like he was in a canoe, and when he had his feet under him, and the weight over him, he didnt have much stability. He widened his feet and planted his heels (as heavytriple said)for the drive and that helped.

@fletch1986, knees below hips at all times is something i can take with me to the gym as a good key for training. Thank you.


#5

dwfox: I used to feel the same way when I started tweaking my bench for more of a powerlifting style…I ended up settling on a wide foot stance with my feet not so far back behind me…but the wiidth of the feet greatly increases the stability, so I think its an even trade off…I am long like you, so this may work for you…

The best thing that helped me was floor pressing because it teaches you to really keep your legs tight and to clinch your ass cheeks…clinching the ass like you’re trying to avoid prison rape added a ton of stability to my bench


#6

[quote]VTBalla34 wrote:
clinching the ass like you’re trying to avoid prison rape added a ton of stability to my bench[/quote]

This must be the secret on how guys get so big while in prison.


#7

I do use floor presses, but i never focused on what my ass cheeks were doing. I never thought i would look forward to practicing not getting raped.


#8

I should sue Wendler for stealing my ideas:

http://www.T-Nation.com/strength-training-topics/1181