Benching militia style

I have started to implement changes in my bench style, using a metal militia type of setup and benching in an arc instead of straight up and down, as well as tucking hard to get the bar down and flairing the elbows to lockout. At nationals i failed inches away from lockout with 495lbs. After only two weeks of changing to this style i blew up 505 with ease. Has anyone else tried the militia technique and how did it work for you?

I’ve been working on it for 3 weeks. I’m not picking it up as quickly as I’d hope, so nothing to report. With the heavier weights, I revert.

The switch from flare to tuck to flare gives me nightmares.

Will report in time.

At the westside seminar at my office last weekend Jim wendler showed us the militia style and helped with the bench shirts. My pr was 315 at 198. It became 365 in 15 minutes. .

I follow the westside template, but will bench with their style now. Jim wendler also saw a huge jump in his bench.

It is amazing how well it works, 505 flew up pretty easily, their setup is good by making your back feel almost springloaded and my lockout is much stronger due to the arc range of motion and the flaring of the elbows.

Anyone got any good links to the metal militia style? Is is really only applicable for benchers with a shirt?

My technique sucks.

Just to confirm: set bar straight over spot to touch. Start flared, transition to tucked, tuck like a MF’er, press, bring bar over face while transitioning back to flare.


Is the metal militia style only applicable for lifters using a shirt?-like Creed asked.

The MM style is somewhat applicable to someone without a shirt except you would not bring the bar as low on the stomach or anything, but the setup, tuck and flare and whatnot could still be used. On the MM set they have some video clips you can watch, its But yes basically the technique is as described, but the setup is a very important part and Sebastian Burns covers it in an article on that site.

I love the metal miltia bench style and have there video…the only thing i dont like about it or differ from is i love to do board presses in my shirt…i do 1 board -2board…and foam press wich with max weight comes about 1/2 to a 1/4 inch from my chest…the boards in my shirt help me find a grove and help me learn my shirt with out beating the shit out of my shoulder by doing so much full range work…thats the only thing i dont like about there system…big m

Big Martin, do you still do westside speed work or are you training purely MM style? I am making my workout into sort of a hybrid where on dynamic days i do triples with light weight for speed and then some heavier triples, finally i put my shirt on and do some heavy triples or singles full range or off of boards. Using this method i feel i get the best of both worlds.

No i dont use there system it is way to much volume and full range work for me…i am still using the westside speed bench but i am only using bands 1 time a month they were too much on my body and have felt much better since using straight weight more…i am trying to do all my max effort work with my shirt on off either 1-2 board or foam…and on speed day i do 9 sets and then do some more shirt work but usually try to go off 3 or 4 boards…i think metal militia would kill me…i can bench full range and get results tried it and my bench went backwards and my joints and shoulder killed me…the foam press is as close ot full range as i go…i have also started doing mostly triple i cant remember the last time i did a single for my bench and it has worked wonders…espicially with my shirt groove and shirt form and work…i guess you would say i do a hybrid with straight weight speed work and only use bands about once a month…but i have been using the metal militia bench for for a while now…i love the catch low and throw high elbow flair at the top has worked very a ton for me…big m

Stick to westside boys.
No reason to be benching for 4 or 5 hrs.

I agree that the westside system is overall better. I just like certain aspects of the MM program such as the setup and benching in an arc. The amount of time they spend in the gym is way too long, basically i am trying to come up with a system that has the best of both worlds.

why is this pressing technique called the melitia way of pressing?

isnt it very similar to the J press?

if it is

Its the most common way of bench pressing… everyone does it except westside

if it isnt, how exactly is it different?

also, what ramifications does using the ‘militia’ tuck to flare technique have on your dynamic pressing?

do you try to emulate the technique on your dynamic presses or do you still use the straight up and down technique?

part of the benefit of the dynamic exercise other then the fact it works strength-speed, is that it is really the only time to practice your actual bench technique, but the weight on dynamic day seems to be too light to use the tuck to flare technique???

so on dynamic day do i use the tuck to flare technique without having the extra weight to keep me honest, or do i use the straight up and down technique and lose some potentially critical rehearsal (and neural carryover???)

I use the tuck and flare while doing dynamic benches as well as bringing the bar low just like i would in my DD shirt. By doing this you get more comfortable with the style. You are right that most people bench in an arc, often however people press a little too much towards the rack which means they usually have weak tris. I bring the bar to around 4" above my belly button and lock out over my lower face, flaring halfway through the motion.

You make good points Chris Aus.

Lifters just have to experiment to see which technique suits them best. It depends on how people are built. I really think that people who are built well in the shoulders/arms are going to go Westside style and people who are built well in the chest but have more slender arms will do better with elbows out. I fall into the latter category.

I tried Westside style many years ago and could not do it. I switched back to what felt “normal” for me and my bench took off.

Really, these different techniques are not new they’ve been around for years.

kenmen, you bench in a shirt?

I agree that build must have alot to do with which technique is comfortable. I 6’2, 270lbs and have a long, narrow torso with long arms. With benching in a straight line i would blow the weight off my chest and fail near lockout. With this i am strong all the way through. Although if you told George Halbert to switch to this style he would laugh. Obviously his build and strengths are better suited for the westside method.

No. And, honestly, my post refers to power training that I did way back in the early eighties when I was a teenager. I benched 341.5 at 165 when I was 19… no shirt.

I’m seriously considering some sort of power competition (down the road)… say perhaps in a couple of years, and I’m always trying to learn as much as I can so I can plan properly. I’ll admit I’m a little bit of a “technique” freak. I think it’s fine to try different techniques but not fine to “force-feed” something that does not feel natural. I think what Westside teaches is fine… those guys are smart and have a good track record… but their way is certainly not the only way to go in regards to the bench and squat. There are a lot of other good powerlifters out there too besides just Westside! All I read on here is about Westside. Westside this Westside that. Hey, what they’ve done is great by developing a system that powerlifters can follow. Maybe that’s why it is so popular and much discussed. There are really not that many other well-known powerlifting protocols (how-to’s) out there. But, as Dave Tate even recently said, lifters need to follow a basic routine for quite awhile and develop good basic techniques before they are ready for some sort of a “specialized” program working on “special- strengths”, etc. A lot of great strength athletes have probably never done any of that stuff. Now, that does not mean it’s not worthy or beneficial. But, I don’t know that it’s a panacea either.

On the bench shirts, I don’t know that I would ever use one… perhaps the single-ply poly (or whatever!). Whatever the WABDL uses.

I got off target a little up there.

Here is why everything here seems to be Westside this, Westside that: It works for a significant number of people that use it, and the ones that I have seen not succeed with it sabotaged it themselves.

It’s pretty obvious that everybody should do what works best for them. Ed Coan doesn’t train in a Westside style, but he’s done okay. :slight_smile: There is a difference, though, between finding a program that works for an individual (you) and finding a program that works for the masses.

Many lifters that follow Westside protocols are competing with the best in the world, so I doubt it’s holding any of them back. Very few lifters that follow Westside protocols are not making progress. This is why it’s so popular here - even the “normal guy” can make gains through it.

This brings up another issue - there are other things that can be just as important as what protocol (sets, reps, exercises) you follow. These things are often ignored by people focusing too much on what % of their 1RM they did at what speed and with what tension.

And Chris, stop asking so many questions. :slight_smile: Just messing with you. Good questions.