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How Do You Bench Press with Your Chest?


#1

My chest is growing but I wanted to come here and ask you something. I understand that you must squeeze your chest at the top of the exercise, but when I read stuff about bench press, it says to move the weight with your chest. How the fuck can you possible move significant weight with your chest and not your arms?


#2

Your chest, amongst other things, pulls your arms in towards the middle of your body. Concentrate on bringing your biceps in to meet each other, let your elbows extend unconsciously. Obviously, there will be elbow extension and therefore other muscles involved - it is a compound lift after all.


#3

[quote]GetSwoleToday wrote:
How the fuck can you possible move significant weight with your chest and not your arms? [/quote]
Trying to move significant weight using just the chest is an invitation to a pec tear. There’s a reason guys who bench the most do more triceps work than pec-deck.

If you want to build your chest, use techniques that activate the pecs similar to what tsantos said. If you want to bench huge weights, the chest muscles are not the most important priority.


#4

Thank you. That’s what I thought. Been doing it the right way.


#5

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]GetSwoleToday wrote:
How the fuck can you possible move significant weight with your chest and not your arms? [/quote]
Trying to move significant weight using just the chest is an invitation to a pec tear. There’s a reason guys who bench the most do more triceps work than pec-deck.

If you want to build your chest, use techniques that activate the pecs similar to what tsantos said. If you want to bench huge weights, the chest muscles are not the most important priority.[/quote]
The pecs are rarely a limiting factor in a properly executed bench, which makes sense given the amount of muscle there relative to the triceps. That’s why benchers tend to work the triceps more, IMO. Weak link in the chain, as it were.

Course you could be like professor x and decide that the best way to work the chest is to pre-fatigue the tris and then bench…


#6

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:
Course you could be like professor x and decide that the best way to work the chest is to pre-fatigue the tris and then bench…[/quote]

Heard some guy say this at my gym. Please tell me this instance is some inside joke from a thread. Can’t be serious…


#7

^^

I would listen to that gentleman on the subject of benching


#8

[quote]akmcsnarfy wrote:

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:
Course you could be like professor x and decide that the best way to work the chest is to pre-fatigue the tris and then bench…[/quote]

Heard some guy say this at my gym. Please tell me this instance is some inside joke from a thread. Can’t be serious…[/quote]

lol, yeah, X didn’t know what pre-exhausting was and started like a 30 page argument about it…


#9

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]akmcsnarfy wrote:

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:
Course you could be like professor x and decide that the best way to work the chest is to pre-fatigue the tris and then bench…[/quote]

Heard some guy say this at my gym. Please tell me this instance is some inside joke from a thread. Can’t be serious…[/quote]

lol, yeah, X didn’t know what pre-exhausting was and started like a 30 page argument about it…[/quote]
Haha, loved that thread. One of the all time bests.

Definitely sarcasm. X and people like the guy at your gym somehow don’t understand that beating down a weak part of the movement doesn’t force the other muscles to work harder, it simply causes failure to happen sooner.

An interesting thing with bench is that in myriad studies you get better pec activation with a narrower grip, and it’s due to the increased range of motion vertically and the greater movement of the humerus throughout the lift. So my advice would be to narrow grip to inside the rings somewhere (but not in the smooth or anything crazy) and not overtuck the elbows.

If you bench in a slight arc, you’ll get contribution from all the muscle fibers in the pecs. If you look at a picture of the pecs, you’ll notice that the fibers running along outer part will be at the best mechanical advantage in a decline, so they’re important to the bottom of the lift. As you arc back (slightly) you can see where the fibers running across the middle of the chest are at a greater advantage to contribute to lockout. This is one reason why it’s crazy to consider the lockout as the triceps phase…really you will hurt your lockout by not involving the pecs more.

In short, bench correctly and you’ll hit the pecs just fine. Always good to do inclines as well.


#10

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:

Haha, loved that thread. One of the all time bests.

[/quote]

Yep. That was THE definitive shit-storm thread.


#11

EDIT: Thought Yogi was saying i should listen to X about pre-exhausting. Just realized he was referring OP to CC. Derrrrpppppp


#12

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:

An interesting thing with bench is that in myriad studies you get better pec activation with a narrower grip, and it’s due to the increased range of motion vertically and the greater movement of the humerus throughout the lift. So my advice would be to narrow grip to inside the rings somewhere (but not in the smooth or anything crazy) and not overtuck the elbows.[/quote]

On topic, I agree using a narrower grip works well. I think it’s easier on your shoulders too.

I’ve found that using a thumbless grip seems to naturally put your arms at a better angle to get the extra ROM and for some reason feels more natural/comfortable.


#13

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:
Haha, loved that thread. One of the all time bests.[/quote]

Don’t waste any time looking for it but off the top of your head do you remember that thread name? Would love to read that


#14

[quote]akmcsnarfy wrote:

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:
Haha, loved that thread. One of the all time bests.[/quote]

Don’t waste any time looking for it but off the top of your head do you remember that thread name? Would love to read that[/quote]


#15

Found this in that thread:

[quote]johnman18 wrote:
I have a dream…that one day we can have a T-Nation without Prof.X. That lifters small and roided out(lol) can converse maturely on subjects pertaining to weight lifting. I have a dream gentleman!!![/quote]


#16

[quote]akmcsnarfy wrote:
EDIT: Thought Yogi was saying i should listen to X about pre-exhausting. Just realized he was referring OP to CC. Derrrrpppppp[/quote]
Pretty sure he was referring to me, partially because I bench 450 and partially because he posted a “^” after my post, haha.


#17

[quote]cueball wrote:

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:

An interesting thing with bench is that in myriad studies you get better pec activation with a narrower grip, and it’s due to the increased range of motion vertically and the greater movement of the humerus throughout the lift. So my advice would be to narrow grip to inside the rings somewhere (but not in the smooth or anything crazy) and not overtuck the elbows.[/quote]

On topic, I agree using a narrower grip works well. I think it’s easier on your shoulders too.

I’ve found that using a thumbless grip seems to naturally put your arms at a better angle to get the extra ROM and for some reason feels more natural/comfortable.[/quote]
True on all counts, pretty much.

Thumbless grip takes some of the effort out of setting the upper back for you. The tradeoff is slightly worse wrist positioning (assuming your full grip is correct), so lockout is more of a struggle. I have issues with thumbless grip, though.


#18

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:

[quote]akmcsnarfy wrote:
EDIT: Thought Yogi was saying i should listen to X about pre-exhausting. Just realized he was referring OP to CC. Derrrrpppppp[/quote]
Pretty sure he was referring to me, partially because I bench 450 and partially because he posted a “^” after my post, haha.[/quote]

ya, I was. I’m mad jealous of your bench


#19

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:

[quote]akmcsnarfy wrote:
EDIT: Thought Yogi was saying i should listen to X about pre-exhausting. Just realized he was referring OP to CC. Derrrrpppppp[/quote]
Pretty sure he was referring to me, partially because I bench 450 and partially because he posted a “^” after my post, haha.[/quote]

ya, I was. I’m mad jealous of your bench[/quote]

If you want his Bench just practice TONS of benching with your feet in the air, Arnold presses, and crunches. Those are the only lifts he does.


#20

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:

[quote]akmcsnarfy wrote:
EDIT: Thought Yogi was saying i should listen to X about pre-exhausting. Just realized he was referring OP to CC. Derrrrpppppp[/quote]
Pretty sure he was referring to me, partially because I bench 450 and partially because he posted a “^” after my post, haha.[/quote]

No you don’t. Its ok pal. Everyone knows that quarter rep maxes don’t get you anywhere and when you say 450 you really mean 225.