T Nation

Dan Green Bench Technique, Lat Activation?


#1

Question for Bench specialists:

I was watching a video of the amazing Dan Green benching raw and for want of a better description it seems that he lets the weight really sink down deep into his lower chest before he presses.

Is the reason for this to do with him actually pulling the bar down into his body to help him activate the lats as he does this raw rather than with a shirt or is the weight sinking that low purely because of the actual weight he's benching ?

Also kind of related when in this position I understand that you have to keep everything tight but does this method also allow you to unload some of the weight off your triceps before you press the weight back up ?


#2

It’s because the federation he is in allows him to sink in his chest. Basically, by sinking the bar in your chest, you can really heave it off your chest. If you watch him bench, his first 1/2 to 3/4 of the lift is to no or minimal effort, this is all caused by the heave. Then, all he has to do is lockout.

Other federations don’t allow the bar to sink into your chest at all.

I’ve trained both. The heave method definitely allows you to bench more, but, you also have a farther bar path to go.

Find out what your federation allows (if you compete), then go by their rules.


#3

[quote]tredaway wrote:
Question for Bench specialists:

I was watching a video of the amazing Dan Green benching raw and for want of a better description it seems that he lets the weight really sink down deep into his lower chest before he presses.

Is the reason for this to do with him actually pulling the bar down into his body to help him activate the lats as he does this raw rather than with a shirt or is the weight sinking that low purely because of the actual weight he’s benching ?

Also kind of related when in this position I understand that you have to keep everything tight but does this method also allow you to unload some of the weight off your triceps before you press the weight back up ?[/quote]

Hoornstra benches the same way. My fed doesn’t allow sink and heave. IMO, it’s similar to using a shirt(other than the groove) that basically stops the bar at the bottom(depending on the shirt you use). Those guys practice a lot of dead bench using that sink/heave method for reversal strength.

I can’t say it’s cheating if the fed allows it, but I don’t have much respect for that style. Those guys are crazy strong, just don’t agree with the style.


#4

I’d be interested to hear which federations don’t allow you to sink the bar as I thought that the only rule was that there can’t be any downward movement of the bar after the press command. On a similar note, I believe the main disadvantage (if you want to call it that) is that you have to be very careful not to let the bar lower further into your chest at all after the press command is given.


#5

[quote]tylerkeen42 wrote:
I’d be interested to hear which federations don’t allow you to sink the bar as I thought that the only rule was that there can’t be any downward movement of the bar after the press command. On a similar note, I believe the main disadvantage (if you want to call it that) is that you have to be very careful not to let the bar lower further into your chest at all after the press command is given.[/quote]

I think the definition of sink and heave is as you put it: no downward movement after the press command has been given.

However, the technique used by Dan Green and Jeremy Hoornstra would more than likely get red lighted in 100% RAW where I compete. Any time you use the body and chest to move the bar up before it leaves the chest is heaving in my mind. Notice: I said my mind, but I’m not the rule maker or a judge at these meets.

I believe I might have an extra 10-20lbs in me if I benched the way they did because it seems they are getting momentum benching that way if you watch their competition presses. It might however be a good way to keep yourself from the sink and heave as per definition of it if the bar is in about as far as it can go.


#6

[quote]tylerkeen42 wrote:
I’d be interested to hear which federations don’t allow you to sink the bar as I thought that the only rule was that there can’t be any downward movement of the bar after the press command. On a similar note, I believe the main disadvantage (if you want to call it that) is that you have to be very careful not to let the bar lower further into your chest at all after the press command is given.[/quote]

UPA will flag you, watch Lilliebridge bench, he’s upa and I compete at the same meet he attends in Dubuque Iowa, you can’t sink the bar or flagged.


#7

I’m not aware of any fed that says you can’t sink the bar into your chest. Sinking and heaving are two different things. Feds that are giving red lights for sinking most likely shouldn’t be.


#8

[quote]burt128 wrote:
I’m not aware of any fed that says you can’t sink the bar into your chest. Sinking and heaving are two different things. Feds that are giving red lights for sinking most likely shouldn’t be.[/quote]

How are sinking and heaving different? I guess you could sink without heaving, but why on earth would you want to?

So, I guess you technically could be right, they may allow a sink without a heave, but I can not think of any reason anyone would do that. But it may be just to allow a little sink on the stop of the chest, as there will naturally be a little sink in when you stop at your chest.


#9

[quote]dzirkelb wrote:

[quote]burt128 wrote:
I’m not aware of any fed that says you can’t sink the bar into your chest. Sinking and heaving are two different things. Feds that are giving red lights for sinking most likely shouldn’t be.[/quote]

How are sinking and heaving different? I guess you could sink without heaving, but why on earth would you want to?

So, I guess you technically could be right, they may allow a sink without a heave, but I can not think of any reason anyone would do that. But it may be just to allow a little sink on the stop of the chest, as there will naturally be a little sink in when you stop at your chest.[/quote]

It depends on whether or not the ref has signaled yet or not. The rules in most feds that I’ve read say that sinking cannot occur after the press signal has been given. So if you pause it, wait for the ref to give the signal, then sink and press, it would be illegal. As long as the signal has not been given, you can continue to sink.


#10

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]dzirkelb wrote:

[quote]burt128 wrote:
I’m not aware of any fed that says you can’t sink the bar into your chest. Sinking and heaving are two different things. Feds that are giving red lights for sinking most likely shouldn’t be.[/quote]

How are sinking and heaving different? I guess you could sink without heaving, but why on earth would you want to?

So, I guess you technically could be right, they may allow a sink without a heave, but I can not think of any reason anyone would do that. But it may be just to allow a little sink on the stop of the chest, as there will naturally be a little sink in when you stop at your chest.[/quote]

It depends on whether or not the ref has signaled yet or not. The rules in most feds that I’ve read say that sinking cannot occur after the press signal has been given. So if you pause it, wait for the ref to give the signal, then sink and press, it would be illegal. As long as the signal has not been given, you can continue to sink.[/quote]

Yea, once the command is given, any down is a no no. But, sink with no heave makes the lift that much harder.

I really think UPA doesn’t even allow the sink.


#11

How can you anyone nitpick about heaving? More importantly, how the fuck is this even a rule? It doesn’t cause harm to a lifter, and it doesn’t detract from the strength or skill it takes to perform the lift. I don’t get anything out of heaving, so I don’t heave, but if people get something out of it, then good for them.

This shit is worse than being angry at sumo pullers, and almost as bad as some branch of the IPF red lighting benches that touch too low because the “bench is a chest lift”. What’s worse is that a bench that is heaved is redlighted, but a bench that is less than a two inch range of motion (there are women out there who can bench like that) isn’t.

Bouncing the bar, hips leaving the bench, and ultra ultra reduced range of motion should be the only things that can cause a bench to be red lighted.


#12

[quote]Destrength wrote:
How can you anyone nitpick about heaving? More importantly, how the fuck is this even a rule? It doesn’t cause harm to a lifter, and it doesn’t detract from the strength or skill it takes to perform the lift. I don’t get anything out of heaving, so I don’t heave, but if people get something out of it, then good for them.

This shit is worse than being angry at sumo pullers, and almost as bad as some branch of the IPF red lighting benches that touch too low because the “bench is a chest lift”. What’s worse is that a bench that is heaved is redlighted, but a bench that is less than a two inch range of motion (there are women out there who can bench like that) isn’t.

Bouncing the bar, hips leaving the bench, and ultra ultra reduced range of motion should be the only things that can cause a bench to be red lighted.

[/quote]

Whilst I don’t think your comment was aimed at me, when I posted my question I wasn’t being negative about Dan’s technique I was just curious as to why he allowed the bar to sink so much on his chest. I’m with you as long as the bar isn’t bounced and the range of motion isn’t vastly reduced via extreme arching what ever works is fine with me :slight_smile:


#13

[quote]tredaway wrote:

[quote]Destrength wrote:
How can you anyone nitpick about heaving? More importantly, how the fuck is this even a rule? It doesn’t cause harm to a lifter, and it doesn’t detract from the strength or skill it takes to perform the lift. I don’t get anything out of heaving, so I don’t heave, but if people get something out of it, then good for them.

This shit is worse than being angry at sumo pullers, and almost as bad as some branch of the IPF red lighting benches that touch too low because the “bench is a chest lift”. What’s worse is that a bench that is heaved is redlighted, but a bench that is less than a two inch range of motion (there are women out there who can bench like that) isn’t.

Bouncing the bar, hips leaving the bench, and ultra ultra reduced range of motion should be the only things that can cause a bench to be red lighted.

[/quote]

Whilst I don’t think your comment was aimed at me, when I posted my question I wasn’t being negative about Dan’s technique I was just curious as to why he allowed the bar to sink so much on his chest. I’m with you as long as the bar isn’t bounced and the range of motion isn’t vastly reduced via extreme arching what ever works is fine with me :slight_smile:
[/quote]
It was directed at Osu. I get the curiosity and all, if I had an angry tone or anything to my post, it is that Osu keeps posting really really shitty advice (who knows, maybe it has merit, but it seems literally the opposite of everything that I know works) then shitting on lifters that are twice as strong as him.


#14

[quote]Destrength wrote:
What’s worse is that a bench that is heaved is redlighted, but a bench that is less than a two inch range of motion (there are women out there who can bench like that) isn’t
[/quote]
I agree with most of what you said but I have a huge issue with this statement. Since I don’t think using your physical capabilities to put yourself in a position to lift the most weight possible is wrong, it’s pretty much what the entire sport is about.

You wouldn’t say Lamar Gant’s deadlifts don’t count because he has long arms and (perhaps a more appropriate comparison) you wouldn’t say Andrei Belyaev gets into too efficient of a position in his deadlift so it doesn’t count


#15

[quote]Destrength wrote:
How can you anyone nitpick about heaving? More importantly, how the fuck is this even a rule? It doesn’t cause harm to a lifter, and it doesn’t detract from the strength or skill it takes to perform the lift. I don’t get anything out of heaving, so I don’t heave, but if people get something out of it, then good for them.

[/quote]

The actual issue is that some, including Green, have had benches white lighted for what appears to be sinking/heaving AFTER the press command has been given.

The difference between heaving and not, for a bench presser skilled at the movement, is like the difference between a strict press and a push press. It’s a very different movement. Your point that YOU suck at heaving is quite irrelevant. It just means that you suck at it. Kind of like how I suck at push pressing. I can get maybe 10 extra pounds out of a push press, but I know other lifters who get like 80 extra pounds out of it.

Also, your point about ROM vs. heaving is nonsense. I don’t know why you thought it was anything but that.


#16

[quote]Destrength wrote:
It was directed at Osu. I get the curiosity and all, if I had an angry tone or anything to my post, it is that Osu keeps posting really really shitty advice (who knows, maybe it has merit, but it seems literally the opposite of everything that I know works) then shitting on lifters that are twice as strong as him. [/quote]

I’m curious as to how so. Give an example. What advice do I give that’s bad? What works for you is what works for you. What works for me is what works for me. I haven’t bad mouthed anyone stronger than me for methods they use or those who are weaker than me. I’m only here to help. Take the advice or leave it. Your choice.

My strength levels are pretty average for a guy at 39 having only been powerlifting for 5 years w/ no drugs. Started out at 235 bench and 275 pull and squat. Now hitting 375 bench in competition in a very strict fed w/ a 501 pull and 450 squat all raw no wraps at 239lbs all done last year. I’d say that’s pretty good progress outside of my 20’s for a guy w/ average genetics.

There’s always someone stronger.


#17

[quote]osu122975 wrote:

My strength levels are pretty average for a guy at 39 having only been powerlifting for 5 years w/ no drugs.
[/quote]

You’re fucking kidding right? No drugs? A) You’re on TRT, and have been for at least 2 or 3 years, and B) You’ve talked about running higher than TRT doses (500mg if I remember correctly).

I had no problem with anything you were saying until that. And I don’t even want to hear about how TRT has just made you like every other 39 year old dude. You run 250/week, right? That puts you well above the average 39 year old dude.


#18

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]osu122975 wrote:

My strength levels are pretty average for a guy at 39 having only been powerlifting for 5 years w/ no drugs.
[/quote]

You’re fucking kidding right? No drugs? A) You’re on TRT, and have been for at least 2 or 3 years, and B) You’ve talked about running higher than TRT doses (500mg if I remember correctly).

I had no problem with anything you were saying until that. And I don’t even want to hear about how TRT has just made you like every other 39 year old dude. You run 250/week, right? That puts you well above the average 39 year old dude.[/quote]

LOL…been on for two years at 100mg every two weeks. My last blood test put my total test at 441, which is low in comparison. Talked about 500? Yes…but never did. Didn’t feel I needed it. Yes, I am on TRT, but are my levels far above normal? No. They are right in the medium of an average male my age. That puts me on equal ground w/ every other average male who doesn’t need it.


#19

So when you said this a year ago:

[quote]osu122975 wrote:
My doc has me on 100mg every two weeks for TRT (no where near enough). I basically do 250 per week and continue to make gains over time. I’ve done 500 (blood spot test showed me over 1600 total test at 6 week mark) in the past and made gains but truthfully don’t see a huge difference between the 2 so instead of spending more money I cruise at 250.

The reason I suggested it mostly is I’ve known others who have done 250 and made gains by adding an oral to the mix. I guess all I’m saying is don’t underestimate a lower dosage. Obviously the gains will come at a slower pace, but a safer and healthier pace; especially for a guy who is 24 years old.

I too have often thought about adding Var in for a few weeks on top of what I normally dose on test to see the affects of it. Someday…

[/quote]

you were, what? lying? joking? I don’t get it.


#20

Yep, you’re right. 500 one time for 8 weeks. Did not want the expense and legal risks so I stopped.