T Nation

Bench Press Ownage

I was at the gym yesterday afternoon. Doing my HSS-100 program. I was on my chest day and feeling pretty good on my bench. 225 went up no problem. Then 245 and still no problem. Then came 265 for reps of 3-4 is when disaster hit. (I have done this weight before for a set of two with relative confidence.) The weight lifting gods were not on my side this monday. I unracked the weight got ready to start my rep, when all of sudden my wrist buckled under the bar and the whole 265 came crashing down on my chest. Luckly a guy I lift with managed to lift it off of me onto the saftey hooks. Needless to say I was was completely in shock…literally. It happened so fast that I had no idea wtf happened. I have done this weight before many times and I had no problems before with weak wrists. I tell you I felt like a freaking truck hit me in the chest. Lost my breath and everything. I wouldn’t wish that shit on my worst enemy. It hurt!

Needless to say I was that jack ass in the gym that pretty much everyone would make fun of after an accident like that. Man did I hear it from everyone. Even the assholes doing curls in the squat rack. “You should have a spotter man, your going to hurt yourself”. Yeah man thanks for the advice, I didn’t realize that you need to do curls in a squat rack for saftey too. Fucking assholes

My take in it is this. Shit happens. 1 sec of lack of concentration can mean bad shit happens in the sport. If I had a spotter it would done nothing. It wasn’t like I was in the middle of a rep and it got stuck at my chest. It fucking slipped out of my hand.(which is why I want chalk at gyms) Granted its a noob mistake but you fucking learn from these things and move on. The only good thing that happened afterwards was that my adrenline was cranking so I had an amazing workout afterwards. Though I don’t think I will live this down anytime soon.

one more thing…To add insult to injury too, I got a nasty paper cut putting my programs away on my thumb. Just not a good day for me I guess.

Out of curiousity, do you use a thumbless grip?

nope…I only go thumbless when I do close-grip bench to cut down on wrist pressure.

Though my thumb defientely got hurt. It is very sore and black and blue.

I just did this the other day with 295lbs, I was #3 of a 5 rep set and both wrist just buckled. Luckly my spoter was on it and I didn’t get crushed. But it scared the sh!t out of me! But it pissed me off more and that gave me the push to finish the set and then do a set of 2 @ 315lbs. A personal best, so all in all not too bad. BE CAREFUL!!!

I did worse when I was starting out. I couldn’t get it off my chest, and it ended up tipping and crashing on the floor. So everyone looked over to see what a jackass I looked like.

[quote]five-twelve wrote:
I was at the gym yesterday afternoon. Doing my HSS-100 program. I was on my chest day and feeling pretty good on my bench. 225 went up no problem. Then 245 and still no problem. Then came 265 for reps of 3-4 is when disaster hit. (I have done this weight before for a set of two with relative confidence.) The weight lifting gods were not on my side this monday.

I unracked the weight got ready to start my rep, when all of sudden my wrist buckled under the bar and the whole 265 came crashing down on my chest. Luckly a guy I lift with managed to lift it off of me onto the saftey hooks. Needless to say I was was completely in shock…literally. It happened so fast that I had no idea wtf happened. I have done this weight before many times and I had no problems before with weak wrists. I tell you I felt like a freaking truck hit me in the chest. Lost my breath and everything. I wouldn’t wish that shit on my worst enemy. It hurt!

Needless to say I was that jack ass in the gym that pretty much everyone would make fun of after an accident like that. Man did I hear it from everyone. Even the assholes doing curls in the squat rack. “You should have a spotter man, your going to hurt yourself”. Yeah man thanks for the advice, I didn’t realize that you need to do curls in a squat rack for saftey too. Fucking assholes

My take in it is this. Shit happens. 1 sec of lack of concentration can mean bad shit happens in the sport. If I had a spotter it would done nothing. It wasn’t like I was in the middle of a rep and it got stuck at my chest. It fucking slipped out of my hand.(which is why I want chalk at gyms) Granted its a noob mistake but you fucking learn from these things and move on. The only good thing that happened afterwards was that my adrenline was cranking so I had an amazing workout afterwards. Though I don’t think I will live this down anytime soon.

one more thing…To add insult to injury too, I got a nasty paper cut putting my programs away on my thumb. Just not a good day for me I guess.

[/quote]

I had the same thing happen to me when doing pin presses. I usually bench in a power rack anyway, with the pins set just so I can touch my chest with the bar, but be able to sneak under it if I miss.

Scared the crap out of me, even with the pins.

Hey, if you have the nads to keep striving for heavier weights sometimes this type of thing is going to happen. Don’t let your ego get bruised too badly and don’t let it make you too self conscience to keep grabbing the heavy weights in the hopes you don’t embarrass yourself.

I am just glad you didn’t seriously hurt yourself and when you do bench heavy have your spotter right there (sounds like he wasn’t, but got there quick) so if things go wrong he can help you quick time. When I bench extra heavy my spotter is right there hands close to the bar in case it’s needed.

Take care,

D

That sucks, but most have been there, it sucks worse then,haha. More than once I’ve looked like a jackass, but I don’t care. Glad you’re ok.

Just wear some wrist wraps next time for a near maximal attempt.

“Cast them” like in the recent elitefts artcle.

I have been avoiding wrist straps at all costs. I don’t want to become dependent on them.

I am suprised though that there have been many other people that had the same thing happen to them. Thanks for the reply’s guys.

This never actually happened to me (knock on wood) although my wrists have slipped while benching I have always been able to keep control of the bar. I did see this happen to a guy in my gym once though, once I saw he was Ok after dropping 315 on his chest I must say I was laughing pretty hard at him.

[quote]tigerak02 wrote:
Just wear some wrist wraps next time for a near maximal attempt.

“Cast them” like in the recent elitefts artcle.[/quote]

I dissagree. five-twelve has no history of weak wrists, this sounds like a fluke accident (or lack of concentration). If you rely on wrist straps you will end up with weak wrists. Just chalk it up to experience…sorry five, couldn’t help the pun.

Wear wrist wraps for anything over 75% of your 1RM. This crap about being reliant on them or using them will make your wrists weak is a bunch of baloney. Where’s the evidence? Uninformed people say the same thing about using a belt. Nobody asks what you can bench without wraps.

You probably do other exercises without wraps (DB anything, curls, military, etc) Those are enough to keep your wrist naturally strong without worrying that benching with them will counteract that.

[quote]Antman517 wrote:
Wear wrist wraps for anything over 75% of your 1RM. This crap about being reliant on them or using them will make your wrists weak is a bunch of baloney. Where’s the evidence? Uninformed people say the same thing about using a belt. Nobody asks what you can bench without wraps.

You probably do other exercises without wraps (DB anything, curls, military, etc) Those are enough to keep your wrist naturally strong without worrying that benching with them will counteract that.[/quote]

I still disagree. The evidence is there. Look how many people rely on wrist straps (not the same as wraps, I know) that can handle heavy loads, but when they try to lift without them their poundage goes significantly down. Same thing with the guy who puts a belt on for his first set of squats and wears it all the way through bicep curls. It’s acting like a crutch, and the lower back muscles will not be as strong as someone who does not rely on using a belt.

I do think wraps and belts have their place, but you are talking about someone who has never had a problem with his wrists, and has never had a problem benching 265, who had a bad day. I don’t think he needs to start wrapping his wrists everytime he tries to press 225 or more (or whatever 75% of his max is). I firmly believe that too many people rely on straps/tape/braces/belts that don’t need them.

Maybe if you had said 90% of max I’d be a little more swayed by an argument, but if someone can’t handle 75% of their max without support, I think they may need to focus more on strengthening their weaknesses.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

[quote]Modi wrote:
Antman517 wrote:
Wear wrist wraps for anything over 75% of your 1RM. This crap about being reliant on them or using them will make your wrists weak is a bunch of baloney. Where’s the evidence? Uninformed people say the same thing about using a belt. Nobody asks what you can bench without wraps.

You probably do other exercises without wraps (DB anything, curls, military, etc) Those are enough to keep your wrist naturally strong without worrying that benching with them will counteract that.

I still disagree. The evidence is there. Look how many people rely on wrist straps (not the same as wraps, I know) that can handle heavy loads, but when they try to lift without them their poundage goes significantly down. Same thing with the guy who puts a belt on for his first set of squats and wears it all the way through bicep curls. It’s acting like a crutch, and the lower back muscles will not be as strong as someone who does not rely on using a belt.

I do think wraps and belts have their place, but you are talking about someone who has never had a problem with his wrists, and has never had a problem benching 265, who had a bad day. I don’t think he needs to start wrapping his wrists everytime he tries to press 225 or more (or whatever 75% of his max is). I firmly believe that too many people rely on straps/tape/braces/belts that don’t need them.

Maybe if you had said 90% of max I’d be a little more swayed by an argument, but if someone can’t handle 75% of their max without support, I think they may need to focus more on strengthening their weaknesses.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
[/quote]

I agree man, I just would rather not use them. I think the only time I could see using them is on a max effort attempt.

Did I mention my chest still fucking kills. Hope it will be good to go by next chest day.

About 25 years ago I experimented with a thumbless grip. After about a month I was doing a set of 5 with 315 as a final warmup. I felt strong and blasted up the last rep. At the top the bar rolled off my hands at full extension.

My life flashed before my eyes as I realized 315 was about to crash into my chest from full extension (I’m 6-2 so have long arms and not much of a rib cage so it was quite a distance). After it hit my chest a couple guys lifted it off.

I got up happy to be alive and it seemed nothing was broken so I did a few more sets (not my planned workout however). I was sore as hell for a week - probably should have just stopped when it happened. Had x-rays but nothing was broken. Have not used the thumbless “death grip” since.

Enough of my old story - been there, made a fool of myself too. I would suggest just concentrating on keeping tight all over when you lift - treat your setup for all your sets just like you would a heavy single. Avoid wrist wraps unless you want to use them on heavy singles to squeeze out a little more weight.

My question is, why bother risking your wrists for a 90%+ attempt w/o some solid wraps?

For your supposed “weakening of wrist strength”?

That’s a bit ridiculous.

Many people simply don’t grip the bar hard enough. I would suggest squeezing it as hard as possible with your hands. The tighter your forearms, wrist, hands and whole body are for that matter the more weight you will be able to handle…

I have to admit I am amazed by how many people have had this problem happen to them.

I was sure I was going to get flamed when I posted this, but instead it is the complete opposite.

I like the squeeze the bar as hard as possible tip. I think I will try that next.

When did we get to 90%+ 1RM? If you want to wear straps when lifting near your maximum, and you have had issues in the past, go nuts. I said that I thought they had their place for some people, and on some lifts. However, if you rely on them all the time, or even at 75% max, you will be promoting weakness in the supporting musculature.

Many people spend their entire workout (after their warm up) in the 75%+ range. If that’s the case, they would be using wraps for the whole workout. In my mind that would promote weak wrists.