T Nation

Fat Bar Bench Substitute


I know that using a fat bar for the bench is a nice varation to use as far as full range movements go. I have been looking at adding it to my max effort cycle to start the new year so I have another full range movement. There is one problem, I don't have a fat bar. I've been doing some thinking, though and I think I might be able to find a way around it. Could the effects of the fat bar bench be replicated by wrapping a towel or two around the bench (then taping it down) and then just pressing?


I believe I read once that Dave Tate was using one of those long foam tubes used to help you float. I guess you would have to cut it lengthwise and it would just wrap itself aroung the bar...hmmm...I'm going to try this myself.


You could use a squat bar. It's somewhat thicker and I like to use it to pull. You could also wrap your knee wraps around the bar. I think that may even work better than a towel.


You can also use some plumbing pipe insulation from Lowe's or Home Depot. It is already pre-split so you can slip it on the bar with ease.


Well, I tried my own suggestion, and it's amazing what it does to your grip, tri's and may even help with strengthening the bottom of your bench.


The foam is a little over an 1" thick, and even with weight on it, it compresses to no less than 5/8" to 3/4", so even when the bar hits your chest your hand are being pushed down that much lower.


Another pic.


Last pic.



I'll have to give that a try.


You can also slip PVC pipe over the bar press. The PVC has to thick and big enough in diameter to fit over the hubs.