T Nation

Bench Press Issues


#1

Registered for my first powerlifting meet, 5 months out--male classic raw 82.5kg division. I've always trained my bench press with my butt coming up off the bench. Now training with efforts of keeping it glued down, but my max is significantly lighter than before. Anyone have this same issue? Any training techniques I need to try to fix this? My bench feels VERY weak and awkward when keeping my butt down, and I feel like I'm getting zero leg-drive. I'm really hoping just to get my current "illegal" bench max to match my "legal" bench max by the date of the event. All help appreciated.


#2

Assuming your heels don’t have to touch the floor: Tuck you feet under further until it no longer happens.


#3

Yeah that’s not an issue that’s pretty standard, I honestly don’t know why you’re so surprised. My max is 320, but with my ass in the atmosphere I can probably put up 365.

Read this article:

Focus on technique. 5 months is more than enough time to fix your bench and bring up your numbers.


#4

Find the technique that works for you and then groove the hell out of it. Moderate weight for moderate reps very frequently.

Do some heavy benching but focus mostly on making the technique your focus.


#5

Some old coach (Bill Star?) tied a plate to a rope, then made guys sit on the rope when they benched. If their butt came up at all, they would drop the plate.

-I used the bamboo bar for a few sets after bench presses. You hang weights off the bar with bands, and they shake all over the place. It really helped me figure out how to get set up tight and solid on the bench. The bar going side to side really challenges foot/leg position and drive.


#6

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
Some old coach (Bill Star?) tied a plate to a rope, then made guys sit on the rope when they benched. If their butt came up at all, they would drop the plate.

-I used the bamboo bar for a few sets after bench presses. You hang weights off the bar with bands, and they shake all over the place. It really helped me figure out how to get set up tight and solid on the bench. The bar going side to side really challenges foot/leg position and drive.

[/quote]

I haven’t used a bamboo bar, but even without the bamboo bar, hanging the weights with bands makes staying tight critical thoughout the entire range of motion. I’ve done with light, moderate, and heavy weight with differing straight weight to ‘crazy’ weight ratios.

I find with light weight, I like a higher ratio of crazy:regular and vice versa for heavy. You know… I think I might do that for my training session tomorrow.


#7

I tried the bamboo bar one time, and thought it was pretty silly. Then I watched an Eric Spoto video, he did them, so I tried them again. Second in a workout, after regular, heavier bench presses. The weight is light, so you don’t get beat up, and you can really fine tune your groove without blowing up shoulders and elbows. It was so normal for me to bench then hit some dumbbell benches that the bamboo bar was a great “new” exercise.

I agree about less bar weight, more hanging weight. The bamboo bar is just a stick, so it weighs almost nothing. You need more crazy load. Also hanging multiple small weights per side makes the bar jump around more than a single, heavier weight per side.

After a couple months the newness and coolness kinda wore off. This week I put a chain on each side of my normal barbell bench. It felt like a totally new exercise. Less chaotic, but a different “challenge.” Cool stuff.