Hey Paul, I have a question regarding the bench press.
I have three friends (all have been working out regularly for about 3-ish years or so). One is mainly focused on strength and wants to compete in powerlifting someday. One is mainly focused on size and aesthetics, like a bodybuilder that doesn’t want to compete. And the final one is just someone who wants a little of both and wants to be happy.
They always argue about how to bench properly. It should be said that they have no shoulder injuries
The strength-focused one says that you should pack your shoulders/scapulas back and hold them there to provide stability and limit the range of motion, arch your back as much as possible, tuck your elbows as much as possible, “bend the bar”, etc to lift more weight, and says that getting stronger will get you bigger regardless of how you do it, so doing it in a way that lifts more weight will be better for both
The size/aesthetics-oriented one says that you should do the opposite (no back arch, arms flared as much as possible, squeeze the bar inward, don’t use leg drive, etc) and says that getting big is done by training like it.
The middle-ground one says that you should have a slight arch in your back, arms at a 45-60° angle, and use leg drive, and says that you can and should build both at the same time.
We all have huge respect for you, and we all agreed that since you e done both strength and size work and are incredibly knowledgeable for all things lifting, that what you say is probably the beat information we can get.
So what do you think? Is one benching style better for strength and another’s for hypertrophy, or is there one style that is best for safety, strength, and size? And if it’s the first one, what are they each, if you have time?
Thank you so much for the reply, have a great day
(Btw, I know I posted something regarding benching a while ago, but I thought I should ask you since you’re so experienced with both of these categories)