T Nation

Bench Problem

Whenever I bench press my arms shake like crazy. I can bench 300 but anything over 135 makes my arms shake. It’s distracting and embarassing. Any suggestions?

One suggestion, move to the smith machine. Here is the deal, there is more of a neural affect to lifting sometimes than there is muscular which is why the release of epinephrine can sometimes generate large increases in strength when adrenalin is instigated through the “fight or flight” response. If you can handle lighter weight without shaking, the problem no doubt lies with your perception of the weight. Throw in a device designed to take that fear away and the shakes may leave. That is unless you already have alzheimer’s.
Professor X

alzheimer’s or Parkinsons?

You may just have weak stabilizers. Are dumbell presses part of your routine? If not, replace some of your barbell bench w/dumbells and do dumbell shoulder press.

I totally agree with patty and disagree even more with Professor X. The smith machine is the biggest waste of gym space that exists. If you have acess to a swiis ball learn to do dumbell presses lying on the ball. It is a stabilizer problem that needs to be fixed. Training on the smith is going to allow you to handle more weight than your body could handle without the help of the machine. This increases your chance of injury big time. Once you master presses on the swiss ball a nice flat stable bench is a peice of cake. I suggest reading some material by Paul Check or Juan Carlos Santana. “Smith machines are for dorks”

Perhaps, your not tensing up the rest of the body to support the bench press? Are you keeping the shoulder blades drawn in tightly to provide a stable base for your shoulder girdle? Once you let them slip out from underneath you, they’re out to stay for the remaining reps. Also make sure your feet are dug into the ground in order to keep you from wobbling side to side on the bench. In addition, Squeeze the bar as tight as you can. Maybe, you just need to take a benching session to examine your technique.

Do your arms shake during other heavy lifts ? How about on heavy overhead presses. It may just be the way your body works.