Cambered Bar: Yay or Nay?

Hi Coach,

Any opinion on this? Using a cambered bar for benching? I like the idea of hitting my pecs harder, but worry about increasing injury risk.

When you say “cambered” are you referring to what is commonly called an EZ-curl bar?

Surely, you are not referring to a MacDonald Bar.

I believe this is also known as a cambered bench bar. Jim Wendler mentioned it in an article:

I tried increasing the stretch on the bench press using a MacDonald Bar. I felt safe only using light to moderate weight. Seemed way too dangerous on my shoulders. I never used one again.

TC should be able to give you much better recommendations.

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I personally don’t like it.

It allows you to go “too low” for your own safety, although you can always limit how far you go down. But more importantly, the hand position (parallel to the floor) at the pronounced depth can be hazardous and will lead to more anterior deltoid stretch than pecs.

To increase bench press range of motion I prefer a Duffalo or Buffalo bar which only increases range slightly and have the hands in a slightly better position to go down lower more safely.

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