T Nation

Bench Press Grip


#1

greetings,

yes, I did do a search... found a couple GREAT articles, but not what I'm looking for...

I've got the 1.5 x acromial process article... when I measured My standard bench grip, I'm pretty dang close, and it's an easy adjustment... little less than half an inch...

I also do WIIIIDE grip bench... I take My standard bench grip, and go one hand width wider... ABOUT four inches per side... yes I feel a little stress on the shoulders, but what I get for that is enough tightening in the outsides of My chest to say I should keep doing it... much lighter weight, never try to get heavy in this lift...

the question... does anybody else do 'regular' AND 'wide grip' bench?... and results positive or negative?

thanks so much,

Bear


#2

Ive tried wider grip but close grip gives me much better results.


#3

I would assume that people that do both do it because it provides them results. You’ll probably have to learn for yourself regardless of others’ experiences.


#4

I bench with a pretty close grip also, my hands are probably a foot apart. I have tried training wider to varying degrees and while I do think it has helped I still feel the strongest with a close grip. It also makes my shoulders feel their healthiest too.


#5

thanks all…

cparker, results speak for themselves… clearly what you’re doing works for you… I’ll keep at it then because it seems like some work both ‘regular’ and wide… I’ll quit putting so much emphasis on doing both every workout though… see where that gets Me…

thanks so much,

Bear


#6

I’ve also read the 1.5 measurement however if you search Jennifer Thompsons 101 bench tutorial she states 2 x acromial process and this woman at 132 benches over 300 raw and is a multi world champion so it’s quite a confusing when you get contradicting information.


#7

You will have your personal best grip. This could be a little wide, or a little close. It will vary from person to person. It’s just the width that feels best, and allows you to press the most weight. WHATEVER that width is, that’s your “standard.” When the big lifters talk about grip width, they are only really telling you what grip they like best.

If you bring your hands closer together than “standard” its a “close grip” bench, and will shift emphasis to the triceps.

If you moves your hands farther out, that’s a “wide grip.” This will make it harder to use the triceps and, bring more chest into the lift.

You could think of close grip bench and wide grip like assistance exercises. Lifts that you do to target a specific area of your body, or “weakness” in your main lift. Similar to dumbbell benching, or incline benching. “Standard” width benching for lower reps to build your strength, then wide grip benching for higher reps to build your pecs. Or to build power out of the bottom of your bench press.

Louie Simmons has talked about using illegal wide benches for years. Check out his article “Raw Benching.”

"I met Bill Seno; he was a bodybuilder/powerlifter, which was common in the 1970?s. Bill was a bench record holder as well. He used a close grip style, with his massive size. Bill told me to bench ultra wide (illegal grip), one inch outside of the rings. He recommended that I do a six rep max week after week, until I could go no further. At that point, he said to go eight reps until I could no longer make progress, then on to ten reps, and again to failure. At that point, he recommended returning to sixes, and repeating the cycle- going for a new record with six reps, then eight, and so on.

Did it work? It took my 340lb bench at 172lb body weight, to a 515lb bench at 212lb body weight. Warm up a lot, and make smart jumps. A 3-week wave at one weight worked best for me. Thanks, Bill."


#8

My normal bench press grip is definitely what others consider close grip (about a foot apart, maybe a bit closer even, like CParker). If I move out a fist width, I’m significantly weaker (~7%). I’ve been benching with this wider grip for a couple months now to some benefit; but as much as it has gone up, so has my normal (close to others) grip.

It’s pretty individual.

Jeremy Hoornstra has a mediumish grip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6ucUyuPgVE

Konstantin Konstantinov is a bit closer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9D9w6FSX4w

Jennifer Thompson benches wide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vryoGcsso4

Fredrik Smulter is also wide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PM0hb_L5Z8 (turn down volume before watching; trust me)

You’ll see a lot of form differences between great lifters wuth all 3 lifts. Wide squats, wide conventional deadlifts, close stance squats, close conventional deadlifts, close sumo deadlifts … etc etc. Everyone’s built differently.


#9

wow…

this is awesome information… if I look at the Jeremy video… My normal grip is second finger on the ring of the bar… when I go wide I go all the way out to the end of the knurling with My little fingers… it is an assistance exercise in My routine, and I never get REAL heavy out there… so refining the question mebbe… in YOUR opinions, with a normal grip as wide as Mine is, do you think I need to keep the wider grip as an assistance movement, or am I safe in letting it go…

wow… I’m lookin up names and watchin videos as fast as I can…


#10

[quote]Temji wrote:
greetings,

yes, I did do a search… found a couple GREAT articles, but not what I’m looking for…

I’ve got the 1.5 x acromial process article… when I measured My standard bench grip, I’m pretty dang close, and it’s an easy adjustment… little less than half an inch…

I also do WIIIIDE grip bench… I take My standard bench grip, and go one hand width wider… ABOUT four inches per side… yes I feel a little stress on the shoulders, but what I get for that is enough tightening in the outsides of My chest to say I should keep doing it… much lighter weight, never try to get heavy in this lift…

the question… does anybody else do ‘regular’ AND ‘wide grip’ bench?.. and results positive or negative?

thanks so much,

Bear[/quote]

All things being equal, the wider grip is more effective. The shorter range of motion will allow more weight to be lifted, no matter specific muscle strengths and weaknesses. When switching from a narrow to a wide grip, one just needs to allow some time for the pecs to strengthen and grow, since these muscles are obviously involved in the wide grip press to a greater extent.

I had great success with moving to max legal width of 81 cm, and this is coming from a long-armed (6"4’ wingspan at 5"11’) tricep bencher who benched with index fingers on the smooth for most of his training time. I went from a 300 to a 350 raw bench @ 19 pretty fast from moving my grip out. If you want to move maximal weight, you should use maximal width, unless you have some obscure shoulder condition, but then you’re obviously a rare exception to the rule.


#11

so… putting all that together… I’m going to keep doing regular and wide grip, but keep raising the weight on the wide until it IS the regular… or til I can’t lift any heavier, whichever happens first… I’ll post back on this original thread every once in a when and keep anyone who’s interested updated on how that’s going…

thanks all!!!


#12

so… awesome advice and some ojt led to this… keeping My grip on the bench where it is, and going wide incline… that ‘illegal’ grip mentioned above… doing it this way gives Me room for one MORE exercise in chest routine… seems to be working well, I’ll update another time or two if any are interested


#13

[quote]DaneMuscle wrote:

[quote]Temji wrote:
greetings,

yes, I did do a search… found a couple GREAT articles, but not what I’m looking for…

I’ve got the 1.5 x acromial process article… when I measured My standard bench grip, I’m pretty dang close, and it’s an easy adjustment… little less than half an inch…

I also do WIIIIDE grip bench… I take My standard bench grip, and go one hand width wider… ABOUT four inches per side… yes I feel a little stress on the shoulders, but what I get for that is enough tightening in the outsides of My chest to say I should keep doing it… much lighter weight, never try to get heavy in this lift…

the question… does anybody else do ‘regular’ AND ‘wide grip’ bench?.. and results positive or negative?

thanks so much,

Bear[/quote]

All things being equal, the wider grip is more effective. The shorter range of motion will allow more weight to be lifted, no matter specific muscle strengths and weaknesses. When switching from a narrow to a wide grip, one just needs to allow some time for the pecs to strengthen and grow, since these muscles are obviously involved in the wide grip press to a greater extent.

I had great success with moving to max legal width of 81 cm, and this is coming from a long-armed (6"4’ wingspan at 5"11’) tricep bencher who benched with index fingers on the smooth for most of his training time. I went from a 300 to a 350 raw bench @ 19 pretty fast from moving my grip out. If you want to move maximal weight, you should use maximal width, unless you have some obscure shoulder condition, but then you’re obviously a rare exception to the rule.[/quote]

You are really just over generalizing saying that the widest legal grip is the most effective, if that were the case everyone would be doing it by now. And an “obscure shoulder condition” doesnt define anything, individual differences are the biggest factor. Different shaped shoulder sockets and acromions will dictate how safely wide someone can bench, not even getting into arching.