T Nation

Bench Press


On the bench press I am currently doing 2X5 @ 185lbs. and will continue to progress with more weight as the workouts continue. I am doing a "strength maintenance" while dieting and cardio(40 Day Program-Dan John).

While doing the bench press I felt it more in my shoulders than in my chest. I watched Tates video on benching and I don't think I am doing it wrong, but the bench has never been my favorite and I have no one with me to tell me I'm doing it wrong.

Has anyone had this same experience, and if you have, how did you correct it?



film yourself and post it if you want critique.

Most likely you have the bar too high on yourself when you bring it down. Bring it down so that it lightly touches you on your chest/lower chest rather than up high near your shoulders.


That seems about right. I'll see what I can do about a video camera.


Not really sure what your specific goal is, but remember that Tate's video is about teaching technique to increase poundage on benchpress. It is not necessarily targeted to hypertrophy. I don't think he would care too much about "feeling" it in the chest versus shoulders.


My goal right now is weight loss. I am doing strength training to maintain, basically. My issue was the fact that I know I can push more weight, I just did not want to injure my shoulder in the process. I wouldn't describe the feeling in my shoulders as "sore" or "the feeling" you get from working out. It was more of a "HEY STOP THAT!" feeling.

Thanks for the input though, maybe I won't follow Tates recommendations as closely do to the fact I'm not trying to push up tons o weight.


That kind of pain is an indicator to stop that using lift ASAP. If you have no other shoulder issues (pre-existing injuries, pain with any other exercises, etc.), I'd drop the barbell bench press and switch it for something like a neutral-grip (palms facing each other) dumbbell press. That's much more shoulder-friendly.

If you do have a history of shoulder problems, I'd make it a priority to correct that.


Guess I should have read this post BEFORE upping the weight 20 lbs huh? Thanks for the advice, I'll move over to the neutral grip starting tomorrow. I do not have too much history. I have subluxated (sp?) my right shoulder, but my left is the one I feel it the most in.

Thanks Chris.


Agreed, switch off to something different. You can try to come back to the barbell at some point, but honestly if your only goal is hypertrophy you don't really need it.