T Nation

Coach with no Clue on Benching, Need Scientific Help

So today I got yelled at for benching with an arch. I was told you aren’t supposed to use your legs at all, among other things.

This is our “baseball coach” and he also has us stopping the range of motion short without a board or anything, which is decelerating the weight totally with soft tissue (idiotic I know)

I was really confident there would be some research on compressive forces or torque of an arched bench press versus a flat bench press. I can’t pull anything up though.

Quite frankly I’m pissed off, I have to do the “test” flat on the bench and no leg tension and I have zero grove cause this is BS.

He even told me he wouldn’t look at the research if I got it, but I’m going to give it to him anyways and be tempted to tell him it’ll be on his conscience when someone gets hurt using shit form.

/End Rant.

Really any evidence would be great

(I was already mad before this as I was supposed to pull 450lbs today, but well, I had to do the “strength tests” of bang some BS weight out for 30 reps on isolation lifts and bench press)

Benching with an arch is not the end-all of benching, flat back benching is just as safe. Besides you can’t arch on high-rep sets.

I also don’t understand how it could be any less safe to stop your pressing motion without boards vs. with them.

[quote]baseballer2150 wrote:
So today I got yelled at for benching with an arch. I was told you aren’t supposed to use your legs at all, among other things.

This is our “baseball coach” and he also has us stopping the range of motion short without a board or anything, which is decelerating the weight totally with soft tissue (idiotic I know)

I was really confident there would be some research on compressive forces or torque of an arched bench press versus a flat bench press. I can’t pull anything up though.

Quite frankly I’m pissed off, I have to do the “test” flat on the bench and no leg tension and I have zero grove cause this is BS.

He even told me he wouldn’t look at the research if I got it, but I’m going to give it to him anyways and be tempted to tell him it’ll be on his conscience when someone gets hurt using shit form.

/End Rant.

Really any evidence would be great

(I was already mad before this as I was supposed to pull 450lbs today, but well, I had to do the “strength tests” of bang some BS weight out for 30 reps on isolation lifts and bench press)[/quote]

man, that sucks.
I flat back every once in awhile to make sure I can still do it, but not at high weight.
I’m also interested to learn about the soft-tissue only deceleration, I wasn’t aware of any dangers but would like to know.

[quote]daraz wrote:
Benching with an arch is not the end-all of benching, flat back benching is just as safe. Besides you can’t arch on high-rep sets.

[/quote]

That’s purely individual. Most lifters I know don’t have a problem holding an arch throughout the duration of a high rep set.

The biggest thing is my grove when I switch to totally flat, quite frankly, it’s gone. I haven’t been benching all that long, and I’ve really worked hard at solidifying my arched form.

And yeah I definitely don’t have a problem holding my arch in a high rep set.

The ROM thing, well first off, the shortened ROM sucks in general in my opinion, I’m talking stopping a good 4" off the chest. Maybe I"m dead wrong in thinking about decelerating the weight, but i mean personally i feel no lat activation when I stop that high off my chest, and the next day my shoulders are twice as totally as if I went full ROM with an arch.

I’ll try and pull up some reading I remember about stopping your bench short on ROM and how the shoulder capsule isn’t necessarily in the greatest situation to be doing it.

I’m a pitcher, shoulder health is a huge deal for me. And well anything that detracts me from my goals because a team “requires” it when I know I can be more successful another way, pisses me off. I’ve already blown two days of training attending “optional” things that they yell at you for not missing.

The biggest thing is, is that this High School health teacher basically thinks he’s above sports scientists or just afraid to be wrong to me (his player).
He said regardless of a study he wouldn’t change his mind.
Keep in mind, we have half racks, and he yelled at me for racking the weight in the post (which has a gun rack) and told me I was supposed to put it at the end of the safety catches and then do my lifts at the very end of the platform outside the catches. That’s what I"m stuck listening too.


Maybe I made a bigger deal out of the issue because of personal bias against the coach, idk. He insists we doa 96 set 3x10 continuous circuit. For baseball, when the whole team is 165lbs soaking wet except for myself, and I’m a whopping 185lbs lol.

You might want to check out Elite Fitness Systems (www.elitefts.com). They have a lot of bench articles and a lot of people who know a lot about benching.

Fred

[quote]Irish Grip wrote:
You might want to check out Elite Fitness Systems (www.elitefts.com). They have a lot of bench articles and a lot of people who know a lot about benching.

Fred[/quote]

Oh I know man, I’ve read most all the articles on Elite, and everything back to like 2002 on T-Nation. Covered Zatziorsky’s Science and Practice of Strength Training, etc.

What’s just killing me is that a coach would ignore one hundred people who train athletes for a living in favor of his own “opinions”

I see other people at the gym telling others that having an arch back is bad…Mind your own damn business!!

I’m not sure I remember how to bench without an arch effectively. I had to do it for my PT practical exam and it felt really off.
Sounds like your coach is not going to change his mind about the issue. Generally people who know everything know nothing, IMO.

Keep your arch small and wear a baggy sweatshirt, maybe he won’t notice. You’ll still be able to get some legs into it, but it might be hard to get really tight through the torso and shoulders.

If he is pissing you off too much about the arch, really the arch is just to activate the lower pec more (which has a higher potential mass and strength than the upper pec). It is a totally powerlifting thing.

One thing I AM worried about is your coach making you stop 4 inches from your chest. Go as deep as your chunky chest allows you to without resting the bar on your chest.

A. The reason people use boards when benching is it allows release of isometric tension, which then allows you to practice it as a power movement rather than a strength movement. This means you can push more explosively with more speed.

B. Also boards are used to measure a certain depth for when an athlete knows he has a ‘sticky bit’ in his bench. He will push out of the sticky bit repetitively with as much speed(see A.) as he can. This will help remove the sticky bit. If you don’t have a sticky bit, and you are allowed boards, just use a really low board (2 inch).

[quote]forevernade wrote:
If he is pissing you off too much about the arch, really the arch is just to activate the lower pec more (which has a higher potential mass and strength than the upper pec). It is a totally powerlifting thing.
[/quote]

What…the…fuck…???

[quote]Hanley wrote:
forevernade wrote:
If he is pissing you off too much about the arch, really the arch is just to activate the lower pec more (which has a higher potential mass and strength than the upper pec). It is a totally powerlifting thing.

What…the…fuck…???[/quote]

I agree What THE FUCK?

I had a question but I skipped over where you already explained so I wont ask

hehe sorry
now cant you just do his little thing,“jump through hoops” so to speak and then after continue training anyway you wish?

http://www.criticalbench.com/ They may have some good stuff here.

Benching flat isn’t the end of the world. You should just spend some time doing it. It’s no different than doing close grips or incline as far as mixing things up. Dr. Fred Hatfield suggested doing flat bench until just before meet time. I guess same methodology as Westside. You don’t necessarily have to, or want to, do the exact competition movement in your normal workouts.

I personally don’t bench flat as I feel and arch and touching low is a little easier on my shoulders, but i’v only been doing this purposely for less than a year. I managed 365 touch (probably a bit of a bounce, but that was a long time ago) and go in college with a flat back and elbows out.

As for stopping short, I have no idea. Leaving your elbow out may be pec tear waiting to happen. If you keep you elbows in and you forearms perpendicular to the ground, your pec insertion point and elbows should be fine. No idea how this will effect your shoulders.

You could just say fuck the test and keep the weight lite and safe.

Maybe just feign effort during his 'workouts" and tests.

Then train your ass off, your way, at another point in the day.

Proceed to leave everyone else behind.

[quote]Power GnP wrote:
daraz wrote:
Benching with an arch is not the end-all of benching, flat back benching is just as safe. Besides you can’t arch on high-rep sets.

That’s purely individual. Most lifters I know don’t have a problem holding an arch throughout the duration of a high rep set.[/quote]

525 for 5 off a 3 board (shirted)
545 for 6 off a 4 board (shirted)
495 for 10 off a 5 board (shirted)
315 for 9 (raw-dog)
225 for 21 (also cooked rare)

All arched like a mothertruck! What can I say? I’m 6-3 with long arms and I need all the help I can get! I guess my point is that it CAN be done.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
forevernade wrote:
If he is pissing you off too much about the arch, really the arch is just to activate the lower pec more (which has a higher potential mass and strength than the upper pec). It is a totally powerlifting thing.

What…the…fuck…???[/quote]

What was wrong with what I said? I thought that was part of the reason people arched. Of course, with a response like that, I am wrong…

You’d have to have a pansy ass lower back to hurt it benching.

This myth is complete nonsense.

[quote]forevernade wrote:
Hanley wrote:
forevernade wrote:
If he is pissing you off too much about the arch, really the arch is just to activate the lower pec more (which has a higher potential mass and strength than the upper pec). It is a totally powerlifting thing.

What…the…fuck…???

What was wrong with what I said? I thought that was part of the reason people arched. Of course, with a response like that, I am wrong…[/quote]

Bump?

i’d just guess that most highschool coaches dont know anything about weightlifting except what they did wrong in highschool…

[quote]forevernade wrote:
Hanley wrote:
forevernade wrote:
If he is pissing you off too much about the arch, really the arch is just to activate the lower pec more (which has a higher potential mass and strength than the upper pec). It is a totally powerlifting thing.

What…the…fuck…???

What was wrong with what I said? I thought that was part of the reason people arched. Of course, with a response like that, I am wrong…[/quote]

If you don’t KNOW something then please refrain from making an uninformed guess. And yes, you are wrong.