T Nation

Max Bench Press Form Check

Hello! I noticed that when I do my max bench my elbows tend to flare out. Do you think this form is still acceptable or would you guys recommend making changes.

It should also be mentioned I have been stuck at this weight for about 6 months. I’m hoping once I begin my first cycle I should be able to get to 270.

Well you’re supposed to flare your elbows on the way up. Check out Dave Tate’s “so you think you can bench” video. It gets linked and referenced all the damn time, but there’s a good reason.

Hey man, nice bench, it was a little tough to see, but you didn’t flare them on the way down, touched your sternum and flared them on the way up. I’d say your form is fine.

I would advise you to ditch the heels up approach, and just go flat foot, as with your personal arch, you won’t notice much difference, but this will big you way more leg drive, (pushing your feet into the ground as your press the bar off the chest) which would likely get you a PR on that alone.

Also, your upper back is a little loose, you don’t seem to be pulling your shoulder blades together at all, what this does is gives you a solid base to set up on, increases your arch, and improves force output.

Also, your wrists are falling back a bit too much. this makes for a harder lockout as the weight is behind the forearms.

I would highly encourage you to watch this video series.

Also, when you said cycle, did you mean training cycle or training cycle? I won’t get into the dangers of steroids, I train with geared and clean lifters all the time, but I would say it’s a little early to go ON. I’ve seen guys that held off for a while and when they did go on they benched 500 raw, I’ve seen other guys that went on around your level and it took them years to hit 365.

If you’ve been stuck at that bench for more than a month, you’re programming is way off. I’d advise you to look into the Sheiko routine, and just doing the bench portion with a ton of back work, it’s a ton of volume with 80% maxes, and it’s wildly effective and hard.

  • Squeeze your shoulders together and DOWN as hard as possible.
  • Don’t press the weight out with your shoulders. Try to pull it out with your lats.
  • I’d go with a flat-foot setup given your size and arch.
  • More air; try to raise your chest up by squeezing your back together.
  • Tuck your elbows more on the descent. They are way too flared to begin with.
  • Strengthen your triceps and upper back a ton. Never too much.
  • Squeeze the bar extremely hard.

This is some really great advice guys, much appreciated. Yeah, I was talking about steroid cycles but I think before I go that route I’m going to try some of these techniques first and see where it gets me.

[quote]USAWchamp wrote:
This is some really great advice guys, much appreciated. Yeah, I was talking about steroid cycles but I think before I go that route I’m going to try some of these techniques first and see where it gets me.[/quote]

You need to gain a shit load of size and strength before you think about going on.

Not sure how much larger/stronger I can get. Been training for 6 years and I’m 29 now so I know my testosterone isn’t getting any higher. I will certainly exhaust all other options before going the steroid route but I know it will happen eventually.

[quote]USAWchamp wrote:
Not sure how much larger/stronger I can get. Been training for 6 years and I’m 29 now so I know my testosterone isn’t getting any higher. I will certainly exhaust all other options before going the steroid route but I know it will happen eventually.[/quote]

Na don’t worry about that. Your testosterone should be fine. What you need is a better training program and more food. Men reach their physical lifting peak in their late 30’s. In fact there are many, many powerlifting and strongman champions well into their 40’s. That’s one of the great things about strength! Anyway, I’ve never used steroids, so you can take my advice on that with a grain of salt, but as far as I know, the longer you can delay “flipping the card” the better off you’ll be once you do.