T Nation

CG Bench - Thumbless or Thumb Around?


Up until recently, I always did them thumbless. I always do thumb around for regular bench, but for close-grip, I feel it a bit more in my tri's and slightly more power with thumbless. Tonight for my heaviest set I did thumb around, because I had kind of an almost scary incident a couple weeks ago. For close-grip, I unracked the bar, put the thumbless grip in place, but then the bar did a slight roll in the opposite direction and almost came out. My wrists had briefly lost stability or something. I fortunately recovered in time, but that was scary and could have been quite damaging.

So with the thumb around, I feel slightly less power and not as good of a drive, but I guess not a horrible difference. Not quite sure which way to go. Guess it is better to be safe and sacrifice a few pounds if need be.


I benched thumbless (aka suicide grip) for years because it always felt more confortable for me. A number of years ago, I unracked 275 and lost grip in my right hand. Still not sure what happened, possibly lost focus? My spotter was a little slow as I was usually good for an easy 8 and the bar bounced off my chest. I was pretty bruised for the next week. Since then I've switched to full thumb.


I used to go thumbless, but now full grip. i feel stronger that way.


This is the one time I'm going against suicide. As you progress in weight you will continue to lose balance in your hands. Your thumbs are a lock for the bar to stabilize..so use them

really, you will benefit more by

  1. not focusing on thoughts of slipping

  2. have a secure base grip



we have opposable thumbs for a reason = lift heavy shit and toilet seats


I alternate between suicide and normal grip.

I don't think it matters much in the grand scheme of things. Some days, for me, one grip just feels better than the other.

I wouldn't invest too heavily in the idea that this will make or break your CGBP.


Always thumb-around.

Safety is paramount! I'm effin' sick and tired of nagging injuries anyway.


suicide grip all the way.


Always thumb around.

If your grip slips at anything above even only above 180-200lbs when in lockout position, the kinetic energy from the bar is more than able to break ribs.


I use thumbless for everything - presses..rows..pull ups. I use it with dumbbells and even when I do flys and have never once felt like anything was going to slip.


Same here...


Btw, my grip has not slipped even a single time in about 10 years of training, and with weights of up to 585 recently.

I really think you guys either have super-sweaty hands, crappy bars or you just grip it wrong... There's a difference between bar high in the fist or low etc. Somewhere someone recently mentioned that people often kind of forget about their pinky finger, so try gripping extra hard with that and see if it helps.

With the heavier weights I've got to play around a little until my grip feels "right", but that's about as much complication as I've ever faced.




what pressing movements you do'n with 585? don't tell me it's some hammerzz strength bench press:)

video or it didn't happen...


I think alot of it can stem from flexibility issues with the shoulders, possibly the infraspinatus. If you cant internally rotate your arm due to an inflexibility there, going thumbless with give you some extra play in that you are not locked into a position on the bar. As far as safety goes obviously the standard grip is the way to go. I've trained quite a few people that cannot feel CG benches correctly unless they used thumbless. In almost every case they had GIRD.


idk, my opinion come from my small hands