T Nation

Opinions: Bench Assists/Lift-Offs


I was just curious as to what everyone thinks here about bench assists?
One of my training partners usually asks for a "lift-off" before every other set and I was just curious as to what everyone's thoughts are on this.
I personally don't think it's that big of a deal, that's why I usually comply with his request unless it's super light and he's just being lazy.

So, Lift-Off's: Ok or Not Ok?


Well, if its really heavy, lifting off by yourself can screw up your shoulder placement and tightness and all that shit, right?


I agree, if it's heavy or heavy for that person I think the assist is whatever. Just help 'em a bit. No biggie.


A lift off makes a significant difference when I approach my max and ask for them when I approach my working weights.


Due to allowing you to stay tight, or because you are not wasting effort trying to position the bar yourself? Just curious as to your take on it.


Both. There was a really good video not too long ago by Dave Tate on the main page about this. When I pull it out of the rack with heavier weights my position gets fucked and I can't get back to where it was. A lift off solves this and I maintain position.


I always ask for a lift off and a spot on my lest set of bench. Lift off because it's a bitch like the posters said above. Unracking a relatively heavy weight has a real chance of screwing my set up some how.

I also like having a spotter there just in case I slide off the bench a little to one side (with shitty rec center narrow benches) or whatever. I don't ask for a spot or liftoff in any other lift but bench.


Why does it matter how heavy the weight is? You should set up the same way every set.


In theory, I agree! However, I find myself with weight range less than 75% that I do not set up or prepared or position like the heavier weight. Although I know I am suppose to be "explosive" with all weight range, it just doesn't happen.


The only reason I don't get a liftoff on every work set is it's a pain finding someone who knows how to do a proper liftoff.




Just get a pilot lololololol.

Sorry :expressionless:


In addition to losing position as already mentioned, the actual 'lift off' part of the bench puts a ridiculous amount of strain on the shoulder. If I don't have a lift off, I won't flat bench heavy.


I always ask for a liftoff when I get over 80-85%.


Training alone, I don't have the option of a liftoff. To compensate for this I have to set up closer to the racks.

This is now coming back to bite me in the ass since I end up setting up on the platform as close to the racks as I do in training (it's a habit). So if any bench drifts up any at all I'll hit the racks and miss the lift.

Aside from that, it is difficult if not impossible to reset your upper back after taking a bar out of the racks alone.

Use a liftoff whenever possible.


i take a liftoff on every set. i want all my sets to have exactly the same set up and bar path. if you really want to get strong at the bench, it all needs to be automatic. if you are benching correctly, your scaps should be retracted and you should be flexing the middle of your back as hard as you can. this is impossible to if you are lifting the bar off yourself.

unfortunately most liftoffs are useless. if your person giving you the liftoff is actually picking the bar up and then out, then the whole point of the liftoff is void. the liftoff should be straight out. there shouldn't be any upward movement of the bar.


depends on the jcup height and shape. if its a huge jcup im not pressing it out and trying to reset my shoulders...my bench is shitty enough as is. if its a good jhook at the right height ill latdrag it out. however, any lift @ or above 90% and im tkaing the handoff, because i want to make that lift.

my brother just started lifting with me and he's got the handoff nailed. he lifts, lets out, and yells release and everything.


I would usually advise a liftoff on just about any press that's not a warm-up.

The reason for this is that you can keep your scapulae retracted if you get a handoff, but by trying to press the weight off the pins, you'll protract your scapulae in the process - and you won't be able to bench as much without your shoulderblades back.


I get a lift-off every set.

Gotta practice like you play.