T Nation

Bench Press Rack

Need a little advice. My gym has these crappy hammer strength bench racks. I’m a short guy and when I get into a good tight position my arms are to short to unrack properly and maintain my tightness. Even with a spot I can’t keep my form tight. The end result is that I strained my pec one day and decided to discontinue barbell BP until i could figure out a solution (and heal my pec of course).

Besides just finding a gym with better equipment, do you guys have any tips?

I forgot to mention that my gym doesn’t have a power rack so that possibility is out

I can’t picture the piece of equipment you’re talking about that they have, but is there any way to strap an extra pad on the bench?

Are you sure the bench rack doesn’t have any adjustments anywhere?

I’ve been on some bench press benches that didn’t get low enough for me to un-rack the weight without getting out of position, even with a lift from someone, but luckily that was only one of the benches in my gym and I usually benched in a power rack anyway since I didn’t have many quality spotters on hand.

I’d say a few towels folded up on the bench, but I don’t think that would be solid enough to lay on and bench with.

Maybe cut a few slabs of ply wood and glue, duct-tape, or nail them together to lay on the bench and get a few inches higher.

Trade gyms with me, one of my gyms the rack is much lower than I’d like it so I basically waste 1 rep getting the bar in the starting position.

get a good spotter

Bring in something to lay on.

I’ve had this same problem. was never able to find a real good solution. If you can find a good hand off you can get set as they are supporting most of the weight. Also take your grip in.

If the bench and rack are two separate pieces, bring a few appropriate length pieces of 2 x 12 to put under the legs of the bench. If it’s all one piece, I suppose you could stack one or two lengths of 2 x 12 (or 2 x 10) on top of the bench.

Anyway, I think wood would be a lot better than towels or another pad… Less lumpy and more stable.

For now I found a temporary solution. If I drop the seat on the Incline bench I can get the barbell on the middle pegs and get a clean pull out of the rack with my lats instead of protracting my scaps to lift the bar out. Haven’t done inclines in a while and they don’t hurt my mild pec strain, so i guess it was meant to be. Thanks for all the tips with the flat bench guys

I think I’ve seen the rack you are talking about. It looks real nice, but has redicously deep “j-type hooks”.

Here’s a options:

1- As others said set the bench on wood or plates. Just be sure to have the same height under your feet as you put under the bench. I’ve had to do this in my home gym with my rack.

2- Put a tightly folded towel in the hook under the bar. Not so much that it could roll out, but enough that you don’t have to lift the bar more than an inch.

3- Ask for a spot.

But stick with incline for now until your pec is healed for sure.

A couple of pieces of thick plywood under the feet of the bench might help.

Guess I should have read all the posts before responding.