T Nation

Benching Phobia


I am a little girl when it comes to the bench I have made progress in it but nowhere to what I should be at. Primarily because i am scared when i bench. Atthe moment im doing 185lbs for reps about 7-10 trying to increase. I have a hard time because I never push myself as hard as I can when I bench i get so scared even with a spotter like i never feel really secure.

I mean squatting is no problem i have the safety bars there to protect me if i dont complete the rep but when im benching no safety bars just my judgment or a random guy that i asked to spot I can't ever put my trust in him to let me go to failure.

I would FUCKEN love to use the squat rack to bench but there is only one in the Gym and i would feel like an Ass to take it away from somebody who wanted to use it for squatting. Any ideas to help my Fear?


Smith machine. Had the same issue - Mostly paranoia caused from a lack of spotter. I'd become apprehensive before the lift, and that's really the last thing you want to happen.

If you do use a Smith for your primary lift, make sure you do some DB pressing or something too for your "stabilizer" work.


try pulling your panties up?



i mean, you're talking about failing at the last 1 or 2 reps at the end of your set right? just have a spotter who seems like he can help you get the weight up if that becomes an issue.

you're not going to die bro. 185lbs can rest on your chest for a few momements. it's not like you're ME lifting and worried about dropping that shit on your chest.

transitioning to a smith machine is only going to solidfy you're aprehension when it comes to the bench press. i'd suggest continuing to do it. when you gain some strength and size and start looking like a badass mofo, i'm sure your fears will have subsided as well.

good luck!


yeah having your panties around your ankles might be distracting you


You have to get hard.

Well that's the quick simple answer, but how about something else.

Something I have done with people who are nervous going heavy on the bench is to get them in the squat rack (just look like you're going hard and no-one will care), and set the bar on the parallel bars quite low to their chest, then get them to lift it off concentrically. It's usually the fear of not getting it up (like most male fears really), that puts people off going heavy (or you're actually just too weak in certain muscles).

Then you keep going heavier, basically doing 1RM's, to get their confidence up for what they can actually do.

Basically this is a way to find your 1RM in a safe manner, then you can be confident setting a training load at 80-90% of that and repping it out on a normal bench.

Equipment is equipment. If you're using it for a specific purpose then be confident and do it.

And finally, a couple of thoughts,


and, if you don't want to try the above, just think to yourself what all the bodybuilding T-Nation guys would say if they were right there watching you and you didn't try to lift the heavy weight properly, free-form, and by yourself!!!


dont put collars on the sides and if you fail, you can dump the weight like a girl. but most likely if you fail and people are around, your not gonna die


lol please don't do that. b/c then my workout partner and i will point and giggle about it.


lol i never sed i do it, i just thought of maybe a good way to not make this kid feel bad. if i cant get the damn weight up i arch until im ont my toes it i have to lol


It's not like you're gonna unrack the bar and your elbows will give in, making the weight free fall onto your sternum. It's more like you're gonna fail at the last rep a few inches above your chest, rest it on your chest, and somebody will get it off or you will roll it off.

A year ago, I was decline benching with more weight than you're using, at my school's gym. The guy spotting me decided one hand would be enough to spot me; it wasn't. The bar fell onto my mouth. I bit clean through both of my lips, but luckily, nothing was broken.

I did decline with the tampon for a few months because of that.

If my mouth can take a barbell, your chest will be fine.

Or, just use dumbbells.

Also, don't be a vagina.


i was incline BB pressing 2 Thursdays ago, not max work, reps of 5. My right shoulder gave out and a felt a huge POP. I managed to get the bar back to the hooks. i grabbed my right shoulder with my left hand and my shoulder was not there. dislocated it. still hurts to raise my hand over my head.


sorry you have a frail body?

not sure how that applies to this thread.


That sucks dude- any idea why it happened?


okay guys thanks for the help, I use DB's but is fucken hard to go up in weigh when the DB's go up in 5lb Increments instead of 2.5lbs which is really homo


not really
How heavy are you going? I'm guessing like 55s, right?
Okay, when you can do 55sx12, move up to 60sx8 or something. Even if you only get 5 or 6 reps, it's fine. Just increase weight or reps every workout.


why dont you just find a chick to work in with?


One thing that helped me break into new levels of heavy are supra maximal supports. You're probably a lot stronger than you think. Toss that on some 1RM max finding. Feeling some heavy poundage bearing down on you will eventually evolve to be a comforting feeling.

One last idea. Take about 155 or so and on each rep let the weight come right down and rest on your chest. You won't die. You'll get some great explosive work blowing it off the bottom and you'll see that it isn't so bad. Touch, rest, and go.


Make sure you have a good spotter who is strong enough to lift the weight should you reach failure early. Relax, I think everyone has been nervous at some point, just gotta get through it.


Do heavy ass overhead pressing and use dumbbells.

Wow, that was easy.


Good idea, Wanna be workout partners?