T Nation

Extreme Arch Benching


The origins of extreme arch benching lies in this exercise. The Wrestler’s Bridge. The Strongmen of old placed a barbell on the floor by their head, did a pullover to lower chest and pressed.

All the same muscles used, and more, much more. Hard-core, authentic, and probably healthier.

Mike Mahler performing the Bridge from his article Combat Conditioning. I quote him for setting up the Wrestler’s Bridge:
“Lie on your back and put your hands beside your head. Push up off your feet and push your chest back at the same time. Rest on your forehead. Now rock back and forth, decreasing the distance between your legs and head. Keep your body really tight and flex every muscle from your chest, neck, back, all the way to your legs and feet.”

World record is something like 411 lbs. for 2 reps. Learned of this from Willoughby’s “The Super Athletes”.

I’ll rattle a few cages now:
modern bench pressing is not exactly an aborted child of
Wrestler’s Bridge/pullover/press
because benching appears to still be alive, it’s more like a deviant child.

A theory is that benching contributes to external rotator injuries because of a loss of “tightness”.
The “tightness” phenomenon is the recruitment of stabilizers, forcing the body to function as a whole.
Wrestler’s Bridge is the essence of “tightness”. No napping allowed. No “control” issues: can’t control the bar through pullover to lower chest and press, can’t do the lift.

The deviant child brought a whole slew of problems with it: loss of stabilizer recruitment, loss of control, loss of flexibility, AND OF COURSE the performance of “tool”-assisted supra-maximal weights.

Der Hund will surely gather over that last one.

The best raw bench I have heard of is almost twice as much as the 411 in the wrestler’s bridge, pullover press exercise.

Benching = heavier weights

Heavier weights = greater motor unit recruitment

Powerlifters are judged by amount of weight lifted in the bench NOT the pullover press

Shirts = more weight

more weight = better pr’s

I like my bench shirt…

i dont understand the point of this thread, honestly.

I didn’t either, I was just trying to have some fun!

One of the points is that the use of a bench is a later phenomenon. How do I know this? Two sources. Willoughby’s “The Super Athletes” and, shield your eyes, a link given at the bottom of the Slate.msn piece “One Giant Lift for Mankind”.

I’ll give you both links.

http://www.americanpowerliftevolution.net

and of course
http://slate.msn.com/id/2104915/

This is a concept: The Emperor’s New Clothes look familiar.


The guy that did the 411 lbs. for 2 reps could bench over 500 lbs. I think it was Doug Hepburn.
And I doubt the Strongmen did the Bridge on their foreheads, probably the top of the head.

Hey guys, guess what, the Nautilus Pullover machine would be good for this lift.

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1103241951845.bridgelift.jpg

Here is a photo of Oscar Osthoff performing this exercise in the 1904 olympics. It is from the American Powerlift Evolution website, a must read for me and I assume any strength fan.

Regards,

John Jr.

Now this is a crazy lift. This I don’t recommend.

This picture is also from american powerlift evolution.

“The Super Athletes” by David Willoughby. Published in 1970, it makes a perfect accompaniment to the .com listed above.

Holy crap! I can just imagine what happens if the bar rolls off of your feet!

How many inches between the bar and the ground with 45’s on?

We used to practice arches from a standing position back to the arched positsion as warm up and preparation for throws. There were also alot of arch based mat moves for evasive actions and reversals. But this arch press is new to me! I’ll have to add this to my repetiore of freak moves. Thanks

Scott613:
Here’s my recent exchange with big martin, another self-professed lover of his bench shirt. I just read your post(s) in the Paul Chek thread, clicked back over here and could not reconcile the conceptual ignorance you posted here with the consideration given in the Chek thread. Care to explain?

"big martin:

Here’s some humor for you:

They say one of the reasons people call heroin “Horse” is because it makes them feel STRONG. Are they really that strong? This is where I find you powerlifters: you won’t answer that question. If you aren’t really that strong, why pretend it’s a PR?
So, any more than you’d find me in a Shooting Gallery jabbing heroin syringes in my arms are you going to find me donning a bench shirt to set new PR’s.

Now refuse to answer the above question and I’ll say you types are the ones that make the internet a “shitty” place.

Here’s my middle ground: I think the shirts and suits are false, but I don’t think roids are. Here’s how: let myostatin be the teacher. Animals that produce far less myostatin, by mutation, gain far more muscle WITH IDENTICAL DIETS AND IDENTICAL EXERCISE LEVELS. Does that mean we should kill those animals, or confine them? No. Genetics is fickle. Until you are as strong as Rychlak, Kennelly, or Mendelson, etc. YOU shouldn’t use shirts or suits because you aren’t their equal. They didn’t get their raw strength by shirts, do you think your shirt will bring you their raw level eventually?

Tell us YOUR raw numbers and we’ll check back in 6 months, 12 months to determine if shirts have been worth YOUR time. "

Does Scott613 have any insights for the above?

i am still not seeing the point of this post.

btw rychek isnt very strong raw (relative to say, mendy)

i think some of you fail to realize that powerlifting is a competition. when it becomes a competition and you become competitive logic and health go out the window. as long as people are using shirts i’m going to use a shirt.

[quote]Limbic wrote:
Scott613:
Here’s my recent exchange with big martin, another self-professed lover of his bench shirt. I just read your post(s) in the Paul Chek thread, clicked back over here and could not reconcile the conceptual ignorance you posted here with the consideration given in the Chek thread. Care to explain?

"big martin:

Here’s some humor for you:

They say one of the reasons people call heroin “Horse” is because it makes them feel STRONG. Are they really that strong? This is where I find you powerlifters: you won’t answer that question. If you aren’t really that strong, why pretend it’s a PR?
So, any more than you’d find me in a Shooting Gallery jabbing heroin syringes in my arms are you going to find me donning a bench shirt to set new PR’s.

Now refuse to answer the above question and I’ll say you types are the ones that make the internet a “shitty” place.

Here’s my middle ground: I think the shirts and suits are false, but I don’t think roids are. Here’s how: let myostatin be the teacher. Animals that produce far less myostatin, by mutation, gain far more muscle WITH IDENTICAL DIETS AND IDENTICAL EXERCISE LEVELS. Does that mean we should kill those animals, or confine them? No. Genetics is fickle. Until you are as strong as Rychlak, Kennelly, or Mendelson, etc. YOU shouldn’t use shirts or suits because you aren’t their equal. They didn’t get their raw strength by shirts, do you think your shirt will bring you their raw level eventually?

Tell us YOUR raw numbers and we’ll check back in 6 months, 12 months to determine if shirts have been worth YOUR time. "

Does Scott613 have any insights for the above? [/quote]

I am sure scott613 has plenty to say to you. And whatever beef you have with Scott or Big Martin, well that’s your problem. This is the problem I have with you. All the posts I have read by you have been nothing but negativity towards people that do not share your opinion. If you want to call people out then step up yourself. You constantly talk shit to all the people that bench in shirts, yet as far as I know you have never sacked up and stepped on the platform yourself, raw or equipped. And I admit it I have not done so either. But I have more respect for the people that do, than you will ever have for yourself. And believe me, I will be on that platform one day. In fact, this will be my official declaration of one day putting myself on the platform. I hope it will be before the end of 2005. What do you plan on doing?

If you want to use your nautilus machines and discredit many methods that have proven to make people seriously strong, I don’t give a fuck. I do not expect this post to have any effect on what kind of person you are, but I have reached a point of annoyance with you that I have to say something to you even if it is on an internet forum.

If knowledge is what you are seeking, then seek it. However, the way you present yourself does not demonstrate that. I expect you to come back with one of your meaningless statements, like “Reason is merciless when it comes to money”. Instead how about you come back with your own raw numbers, the same that you called Scott and Big Martin out with. By the way, numbers don’t mean shit unless they are in competition.

frogs:
This is from an exchange with peyton:
peyton said:
"Have you ever worn gear Limbic?
Here are my current raw numbers at 181 lbs bodyweight:
squat- 515
Bench- 335
Deadlift- 515 "
I replied with “Now this I can relate to. I have never used gear. I have had two injuries, and without those injuries my strength level would have been by now similar to slightly above at same bodyweight, working out consistently less than 5 years.”
In 2 years or so I may compete. I played sports in high school so I’m not afraid of competitions. But if you are keeping company with Atreides, who wants only meets and numbers, and if you are to be consistent with your very last statement your present strength level is naught until you post meet numbers: fuckit man, both you and Atreides should CONTRIVE some numbers for this site. Pony up.

As for Nautilus machines, I don’t use any. I like two of them, don’t say I love them all. I think you like to feel “included” in the anti-machines club. Stay there cause that mindset is bullshit anyways. I spoke of this with you before, the only way to use a machine is to attempt to dominate it. Otherwise get off it.

So here’s how I find you. You pretend a false reasonableness. You must be hungry again. Bucking for poster of the week yea?

As for methods that have made people seriously strong I say the common denominator is the emotional connect to the training whatever it is. The creation consumes: best do it consciously.

I present myself as “this is what I understand, WHAT DO YOU SEE?” You can grow petulant because I look without belief, care not for immature “includings”, and de-mask the salesman. Grow up.

It’s not negativity: it’s a higher positivity.

Limbic,

Yeah, I post sarcastic things to people who like to discredit PL’ers for using lifting gear. Gear or no gear, PL is a sport. I haven’t posted huge numbers and have only been PL’ing for about 8 months. I recently started using a bench shirt, because I plan to compete in equipped meets, and I LOVE it. Do I do all my training geared? No. Raw strength is hugely important. Have you ever worn a bench shirt? Do you even know what you are talking about? You don’t just throw the shirt on and automatically your numbers go up. THE SHIRT DOES NOT LIFT THE WEIGHT. If you have never worn a shirt I don’t expect you to understand. If you never plan to compete in PL, I wouldn’t expect you to wear a shirt, no reason to. PL is a sport, and as long as gear is legal, people will use it. If people would quit bitching about raw, or 1-ply this and 2-ply that, it would even be a better sport. I am totally psyched about my first meet and can’t wait to get on the platform to test myself. I give every PL’er all the credit in the world. They are all awesome, I don’t care if they are male/female, drug free, juicing, raw, geared, 1-ply, 2-ply, multi-ply, poly, denim or canvas. Just lift the freakin weight. If people would quit whining about drugs, gear, raw, and what Fed is better than the others, it would be a better sport. Dave Tate had a great rant on the elitefts.com q&a, the gist of it was PL’ers need to support the sport. it is a small sport with maybe 30,000 lifters. If people would stop whining about what they think is wrong with the sport and concentrate on bringing people into it, the sport would be far better. Maybe I am overstepping my boundaries since I haven’t stepped on the platform, but I am already addicted and plan to PL for life. If you aren’t trying to do something positive for the sport, shut your freakin’ mouth. Particularly if you have never lifted or never plan to lift on the platform. Stay at your keyboard and keep typing your rants with your “Internet balls”. Better yet, why don’t you show up at the Arnold in March for the WPO meet. Tell Steve Goggins, to his face, that his 1102 lb. squat was fake because he wore a squat suit. Or tell Chuck V. that his 1025 squat is fake cause’ he lifts in a suit. The funny thing is, these guys don’t seem to gripe about who uses what gear or training method, they just lift the weight and support all other lifters. We can all learn a lot from people like them. Chill out limbic, noone wants to hear your net-whining.

Hey Scott,

Good luck at your first meet. You’ll have an amazing time. Just make sure to set reasonable opening numbers so you don’t bomb out.
What weight are you competing at?

I became so much more excited about my training and PLing in general after my first meet. Have fun and lift big.

limbic you’re a moron. i read through most of your posts, all you bring here is negativity. why do you bother?

if anybody needs to grow up it’s you.

[quote]aaronm wrote:
Hey Scott,

Good luck at your first meet. You’ll have an amazing time. Just make sure to set reasonable opening numbers so you don’t bomb out.
What weight are you competing at?

I became so much more excited about my training and PLing in general after my first meet. Have fun and lift big.

[/quote]

Thanks man! 220’s. Looking forward to it. Just started breaking in my gear, first meet is in April. PM me, I will keep you posted!

I’m not sure what the point of this argument is all about and how it relates to extreme arch benching, but I figure I should chime in and waste a few minutes of work time.

I competed in my first powerlifting meet in October, Hudson Natural Open (USAPL Sanctioned meet). Powerlifting is a sport and there is optional equipment to wear. If someone doesn’t want to use any of the equipment, they can still compete without it. Since you aren’t required to wear the equipment, I don’t see what the big problem is. I competed RAW (and will continue to do so wearing my $30 wrestling singlet) at the meet and was quite happy with it and my last place finish. Everybody there was supportive regardless of a person wearing any equipment or not. I just don’t see how it is an issue to get all riled up over. I think this would be like me complaining because I compete against meat-eaters, because eating meat might make a difference and I choose not to do it.

Regards,

John Jr.

Rules won’t help you overcome weakness.