T Nation

How to Bench Correctly?


So, how do we do this. There must be something more to just gettin under the bar and benching. I've been trying to undertake a more powerlifteresque (sp?) technique, but am not FULLY aware of what this is. I'm actually into this for both strength and aesthetics, so however can give me advice on how to bench right feel free. Cheers lads.


Are you currently or do you plan on wearing a bench shirt? What type of bench shirt? What brand of bench shirt? Do you just want a big gearless bench press (raw lift)?

The technique involved with a shirt is a little beyond my knowledge but from the people I know, have trained with and have seen use them in competition, all of the above are pertinent questions.


I know this is a newbie question but what is a bench shirt? I've tried to google this but I didnt find any real results.


Read every thing by Dave Tate HERE>

That should get you started and answer all and more of your ?'s


Appreciate it mate. I'm not gonna compete so i'm looking more for a big gearless bench. I've been working with dumbells strictly for the last 2 years and not touched a bar, I can rep 90lb dbs but can't rep 2 plates a side. It's pretty fooked up. So yea I'm just looking for more strength, I figure for a natural strength = size, I've never seen a big natural dude who was'nt strong as fuck.



This one is pretty good too.


Get this if you have the cash:



Hmm, thanks guys. This is great and all, but i'm not looking to re-structure my current training routine just to bench more. I was really looking for technical advice, on how to PERFORM the lift better. I guess thats what I should have exaspirated from the get go. My apologies. But the material provided was appreciated regardless.




Here is an article MR wrote regarding the set-up and it is geared to people just learning the set-up.

Good luck



I made a switch more toward strength than "aesthetics" over the years. I have built relatively large pecs (or tits whatever as I'm about 18% BF) and I have also managed to build up to a 370 PL style bench.

I'm NOT boasting here, but it is just to give YOU a frame of reference (well, I am proud of a 370 raw bench). In comparison, for PECS, I usually did dumbell bench presses with a very very slight decline angle and got up to a pair of 100s for 12 smooth reps.

The first thing for me in the PL bench is that it really isn't a major PEC exercise. The elbows need to kept as close to the body as possible and I mean that even with my index finger on the power rings, my elbows are practically brushing my lats at the bottom.

In fact, my triceps are compressed against the lat and by flexing the lats, the compression on the tri's actually starts the weight moving.

Also, the PL bench really involves "tilting" the scapula back to get the whole shoulder girdle rotated under the bar. Its more like a forklift. The bar touches a point about 2-3 inches above superior (closer to the head) than the belly button as opposed to somewhere around the nipple area.

You can do this with a little arch, or a lot af arch, and eventually will need to practice flexing everything along the posterior chain from the calves, hams, and glutes and keeping them flexed hard throughout the lift.

Tate's 12 steps was my basis for this about 4 years ago when I started making the transition, but I did not fully understand it at the time.