T Nation

How Close is Close?

It seems that I’d been benching ‘wrong’, aka doing close grip instead of doing ‘regular’ BP.

My ‘regular’ BP was shoulder width, and my close grip was hands touching each other at the center.

I’m guessing both of these are wrong.

Is the BP wider than shoulder width (yes), and the CGBP just at shoulder width?

At shoulder width I can CGBP the same weight that I can BP. If I put my hands together at the center of the bar, the weight I can CGBP drops drastically!

Which is the ‘correct’ width for BP and CGBP?

Thanks for any info.

Close grip should be your hands as close as possible with both arms staying parallel to each other, shoulder width is fine.

Regular width should have your wrists directly over your elbows. But that is very individually based and depends on upper and lower arm length.

So no hands touching each other at the center of bars for CGBP?

Fuck no. How the hell can you get any sort of range of motion doing that? Did you ever even feel your triceps doing anything or do you just take everything to the extreme of a literal meaning? Sorry for being so harsh but I’ve never understood how anyone can do one set with their hands that close together and not realize its completely useless and never do it again.

or you can have this reply, I couldnt decide.

Did I stutter?

This is mostly unrelated, but I will say that I prefer close-grip benching with the EZ-bar, with my hands on the innermost curve (only an inch or two away from each other).

It beats the hell out of regular BB close-grip benching for me.

[quote]BONEZ217 wrote:
Fuck no. How the hell can you get any sort of range of motion doing that? Did you ever even feel your triceps doing anything or do you just take everything to the extreme of a literal meaning? Sorry for being so harsh but I’ve never understood how anyone can do one set with their hands that close together and not realize its completely useless and never do it again.

or you can have this reply, I couldnt decide.

Did I stutter? [/quote]

Haha, no you didn’t stutter. Thanks for the reply.

I might still keep doing that with lower weights because it does hit the inner chest from what I’ve read…

Or I can avoid it because it makes your wrists much more prone to injury.

I think I’ll go with the latter.

Thanks for your help bonez.

Another couple quick questions:

-Would reverse grip BP target the triceps more directly than CG bench presses?

I’m doing these for the tri’s and would like to hit them hard.

-Would there be any purpose to doing the ‘super close’ grip BP i described. I read it re-involves the chest. Does it work any muscles that the regular BP or CGBP wouldn’t?
I’m thinking not, but wanted to make sure since you’d know better.

Thanks again.

Thanks.

If you want your hands really close together do “squeeze press” with dumbells. It’s a chest exercise. You can probably find a description in a search.

You will be able to handle more weight with standard close grip press than reverse grip. Add a pushdown movement (rope and/or straight bar) and an overhead extension movement and you have your bases covered with triceps training.

I’ve found that close grip pressing in a Smith allows one to focus more on the triceps than with a barbell.

A good distance for most people is 14", which on most bars has the hands on the knurling but just reaching the edge of the smooth.

Having the hands much closer than this is IMO a mistake, though some do it. I believe they do so only out of taking the words “close-grip” too literally rather than actually finding it better from any comparison.

The way I usually tell is CG is with my pointer finger on the smooth part of the bar or narrower. This obviously depends on the bar but most of the bars ive ever used were the same.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
A good distance for most people is 14", which on most bars has the hands on the knurling but just reaching the edge of the smooth.

Having the hands much closer than this is IMO a mistake, though some do it. I believe they do so only out of taking the words “close-grip” too literally rather than actually finding it better from any comparison.[/quote]

That was my mistake.

I thought the shoulder width was regular and close was hands touching.

Thanks for all the help y’all.