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How to Mimic a Higher Bench on a Competition Bench?

I’ve always benched on my bench at home, which I assumed was standard, then comes my first meet and it is a full inch or two shorter.

Since then I’ve been training at a gym which has your standard benches, so they are the right height. But, every now and then I bench at home. At home I can do 365, at the gym and meet I can do around 15-20 lbs less.

I can’t wrap my head around what the advantage of my taller bench is, which means I don’t know how to try and replicate the arch, drive, whatever on the shorter bench.

Any ideas on how to replicate the stance of a higher bench on a lower bench?

I’m 6,3 320 of that helps, 25% body fat as of Saturday, so my belly is large. I bench using an inzer 13mm lever belt, front of body belt is low, back of body belt is high to push that good ole far up and lessen the length of my bench.

It sort of feels like on a higher bench I get less arch, and the lift itself is shorter. So, I’ve been getting s better arch on the smaller bench, but it just feels so much harder.

What do you normally do with your feet?

On the shorter bench, maybe try sliding them forward, in front of your knees, and apart. Try to get your knees lower than your hips. Use your leg drive to jam yourself higher up the bench, drive your traps into the bench. Don’t try to “arch up” so hard. Just get tight.

On both benches the balls of my feet are touching the ground and that’s it; however, the tall bench is much less touching and my leg drive ends up having all of my foot touch the ground. The small bench I feel 0 leg drive on and feels like all arch. What I ended up doing is what you suggested, but I need to do even less arch and more legs out like you said. I also now wear my healed shoes for bench hoping that will help a bit.

http://youtu.be/PI1olEteiBA High bench video
http://youtu.be/a7QF-5BXSRI Low bench, fast forward to one minute to see attempts

Song guess my feet are flat on the ground, although I definately have more toes involved in low bench and more heal involved on high bench. I think pushing legs out will really help, now just gotta find that sweet spot.

Any other pointers?

Man, I’m not a good enough bencher to be giving anyone pointers. But feet tucked under isn’t the best setup for evryone.

Like you said, find that sweet spot. Spend some time at the gym, on the low bench, figuring out where you feel strong. Think of it like working on your golf swing. Practice.

With your feet out in front a little more, you can think about driving your toes through the front of your shoes. Instead of pushing your feet down, and your hips up. This helps me drive into the bench. Like I’m trying to get the vinyl from the bench to bunch up under my traps.

Also, I like to wrap some flex bands, long-ways, over the bench. When I set up on those, it’s really easy to dig in tight on the bench. This makes lining my feet up more easy and natural.

My bench at home I literally fold up the fabric when I drive, so I know I’m doing good there. At the gym I use stick um spray, works like a charm

Put an inch thick board under the bench feet?

I think that’s the opposite way to go, if anything, add an inch thick something on my back to mimic the height. And, regardless, I can’t do either come meet time.

The board would go under your feet, at home. This would “lower” your high bench.
That way, you could set up “high” ,on the bench you’re comfortable with.Focus on how your shoulders and back feel.

Then add the board under your feet. Get your back and shoulders set the same way first, and then get your feet set, to maintain that position.

On your first meet attempt, you can see your upper body is set tight. Your feet shuffle around, almost until you un-rack. You don’t let your foot position dictate where your back and shoulders go.

On your 22nd and especially 33rd attempts, you can see you set your feet first. On the low bench this throws off everything. You can see how high on your chest you touch, and how the bar drifts back, out of the groove.

The 2nd attempt I had 0 leg drive (first had little leg drive also, I remember feeling that was very heavy), feet were way under / back. If I drove with that stance I would have either slipped on the bench, or, raised my ass, so bad positioning. You mentioned bar path, and I felt it too, very high on my chest. For the 3rd attempt, instead of fixing my stance, I tried to fix the bar path, went way too low, and it didn’t go anywhere.

I see what you mean about the board now, makes sense, I will probably do that when at home.

I shuffle my feet around right to un-rack, I sort of cork screw in to get a good grip with my feet, then when it feels right, I un-rack, which I think is good. I agree with my next attempts, my feet were set already (I tried to get more of an arch, bad idea).

I definitely think for me, leg drive > arch in terms of helping my bench. I can get drive on the high bench due to fee positioning, just naturally fills in, on low bench, it is uncomfortable. So, I’ll kick my legs out more and see how that goes, and lower my arch.

Not to dis T Nation,
But you could hit up Vince Dizenzo, at that other site.

He’s one of the best benchers ever, and will respond to any questions.

I know he had some back issues that made him alter his set-up. He may have some good insights.

How are things going? Have you gotten more comfortable on the lower bench?

yes, most definitely. By essentially benching flat foot on a lower bench (normal size bench I should say), it effectively allows me to pretend to do a leg extension, and actually get power. For example, yesterday, on the slippery benches I was physically moving from my leg drive (until I sprayed the bench with some stickum).

My max on the high bench is 365. yesterday, I did 275x9, while dieting, so I definitely feel much better now.


So benching flat-footed is not a total myth!

ha, well, in my case (6’3", 320-330 lbs) it is not a myth :slight_smile: On my bigger bench, however, I am not flat footed.

Sorry I miss read your post, so you are saying your home bench is an inch or two high? If so then find out exactly how much too high it is an lay a 8’ x 4’ sheet of ply under the bench mark where the feet of the bench is and cut (use a jig saw) out a hole for the feet; voila one lower bench.

Ya, great idea and I plan to do that when I’m home benching.

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Dont you just need to have something to raise your feet rather than lifting the entire bench?