T Nation

Close Grip Bench for Improved Lockout

I run 5/3/1 BBB Template and I’ve been progressing nicely especially on the Bench and OH Press but something I’ve noticed when going for new 1RM on Bench and to some degree OH is that I get it off my chest easily but the 2nd half of the lift it’s like someone flips the power switch off. For example I maxed out fairly easily with 235 on the bench, then with 245 I got it off my chest with ease, but at the halfway point the bar just stopped cold.

I’m thinking it’s a tricep strength issue so I was thinking of switching my 5x10 bench work to narrow grip to see if that helps the tricep strength. Good strategy or any alternate suggestions to build power on the top half of those lifts I can integrate in?

I have found that doing closer grip incline press as an assistant on OHP day has helped me a lot. I feel it has excellent carryover to Bench and OHP.

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:
I have found that doing closer grip incline press as an assistant on OHP day has helped me a lot. I feel it has excellent carryover to Bench and OHP. [/quote]

I’d actually thought about adding standard grip incline too, but close grip incline might be the best of both worlds. I’ll give those a try tonight. It probably wouldn’t hurt to work from a different angle anyways because it’s been a long time since I’ve worked anything besides flat bench and direct overhead for pressing movements.

[quote]ThePitbull86 wrote:

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:
I have found that doing closer grip incline press as an assistant on OHP day has helped me a lot. I feel it has excellent carryover to Bench and OHP. [/quote]

I’d actually thought about adding standard grip incline too, but close grip incline might be the best of both worlds. I’ll give those a try tonight. It probably wouldn’t hurt to work from a different angle anyways because it’s been a long time since I’ve worked anything besides flat bench and direct overhead for pressing movements. [/quote]

I say closer grip incline instead of close grip as I have my hands about 3 inches closer on each side than my standard bench. give it a try for a couple weeks.

First time I ever benched 3 plates I got my incline (thumbs length from smooth) and close grip (pointer on smooth) to where I was repping 2 plates for sets of 6-8. My grip is/has always been close-ish (thumbs length from smooth on non powerlifting bars) so mileage may vary. Give 'em a shot.

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:

[quote]ThePitbull86 wrote:

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:
I have found that doing closer grip incline press as an assistant on OHP day has helped me a lot. I feel it has excellent carryover to Bench and OHP. [/quote]

I’d actually thought about adding standard grip incline too, but close grip incline might be the best of both worlds. I’ll give those a try tonight. It probably wouldn’t hurt to work from a different angle anyways because it’s been a long time since I’ve worked anything besides flat bench and direct overhead for pressing movements. [/quote]

I say closer grip incline instead of close grip as I have my hands about 3 inches closer on each side than my standard bench. give it a try for a couple weeks.
[/quote]

Will do, appreciate the advice sir. I think I’m a good month of addressing that weak point from tacking on another 20 lbs to my current max which is pretty exciting to me.

You’d probably get better advice on the powerlifting board, just fyi.

[quote]WhiteFlash wrote:
First time I ever benched 3 plates I got my incline (thumbs length from smooth) and close grip (pointer on smooth) to where I was repping 2 plates for sets of 6-8. My grip is/has always been close-ish (thumbs length from smooth on non powerlifting bars) so mileage may vary. Give 'em a shot.[/quote]

Didn’t see this earlier, thanks for the advice. I definitely think mixing it up a little will help since I’ve been doing the standard lift alone for probably 2 years straight with little variety. The upside is I feel like I’ve really nailed down my setup, getting tight, and engaging my lats because of all the repetition not to mention articles and discussion on here. It feels like I’m to the point where I have form down and focusing on working on weak spots will help me make the next jump in weight.

[quote]DoingWork421 wrote:
You’d probably get better advice on the powerlifting board, just fyi.[/quote]

I thought about that, but I figure enough of those guys seem to check BSL that I would still get their responses if they care plus since I don’t do meets or anything and I’m only doing 235lbs I thought it fit here.

[quote]ThePitbull86 wrote:
I run 5/3/1 BBB Template and I’ve been progressing nicely especially on the Bench and OH Press but something I’ve noticed when going for new 1RM on Bench and to some degree OH is that I get it off my chest easily but the 2nd half of the lift it’s like someone flips the power switch off. For example I maxed out fairly easily with 235 on the bench, then with 245 I got it off my chest with ease, but at the halfway point the bar just stopped cold.

I’m thinking it’s a tricep strength issue so I was thinking of switching my 5x10 bench work to narrow grip to see if that helps the tricep strength. Good strategy or any alternate suggestions to build power on the top half of those lifts I can integrate in? [/quote]

You say you’re “progressing nicely especially on the bench and OH press”. If thats still the case why not just continue with what you’re doing? I may be interpreting this the wrong way, but it seems you tested you’re 1RM and found a sticking point. Everybody has a sticking point, and yours is where most people seem to have it in those lift. If you’re still adding weight to your sub max lifts in 5/3/1 and “progressing nicely” I wouldn’t add anything. Also BBB stands for boring but big right? If I remember correctly that template involves just more volume on the main lift as assistance. How long have you been doing that?

Closegrip pause reps are my number one recomendation.