T Nation

Pain When Performing DE Bench?

On DE chest day I like to use the flat bench for 9x3 with wide, med, close grip, with 30-45 seconds rest between sets. I use a 55, 60, 65%, 1 rm 3 week cycle.

My problem is that DE benching causes me severe arm pain, which feels exactly like tendonitis, in my bis, forearms, tris, and a bit in the front and medial delts. It’s so bad sometimes that I literally can’t continue with my workout because the pain is shutting down my strength capabilities. This pain occurs after about 5-7 sets of DE bench and never occurs on ME day or any other day for that matter, but it does affect my next 1-2 workouts as the pain in the forearms does not fully subside for 2-3 days.

Has this occurred with anyone else in the past? Have you found a convenient solution to allow you to continue to use speed work to develop maximal force? I am thinking of switching to using about 45% with a more repetition oriented goal, perhaps 5x10 as fast as possible, but there’s really no basis behind this solution, it’s just my next step in finding an answer to my problem.

Also, I am familiar with rest and recuperation. I take my active recovery week every 2 months. Usually taking 1-2 full days off from lifting/GPP per week, especially the day after DE chest. I am also familiar with GPP, which I incorporate on my off days, but which I do not use to focus exclusively on my arms, in fact quite the opposite. I tend to directly train my bis and forearms (with the exception of grip training), as little as possible.

Any comments?


No one has any suggestions for dynamic or speed benching besides the typical DE bench press? I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve come up with ideas such as push-ups onto a box or plates, throw & catch on the smith machine with 45% max. Any other ideas or opinions?

Let me get this straight. Your shoulders and elbows are killing you but you want to continue doing a dynamic bench, just with another form of resistance? Is that correct?

First how much do you bench? You may not even need DE at this time.

How long have you been doing them? DE benches are intensely pylometric. I think the pain here is a sign that your tendons haven’t adapted to the shock training. If so, it should get better if you work up to them. Bands may also actually help because the make you stay tight. I noticed back when I did DE benches that I didn’t stay tight especially for 3 reps. My body shifted all over the place.

I do have an option though. Get a 2x4 about 3 feet long. Set up a simple bench at about a 45 degree angle against the wall. Lay the 2x4 across the lower part of the bench and do pushups with your hands on the 2x4 but throw yourself away from the bench while holding on to the board.

Oh yea, also, if your arch is not great yet or you have trouble holding your arch for the 3 reps, try doing the DE benches on a slight decline.

My number one recommendation though would be to use doubled bands and only a little bar weight.

hfrogs - yes your summary is mostly correct. Dynamic benching seems to just tear up my forearms and biceps, and a little in the triceps near the elbow. I got 285 today for a 1 rm, tying a PR from before I went in the hospital last August. Although I may not “need” DE movements, I feel that speed lifts greatly influence my force development, and thus max strength.

I do have a good arch/form on the bench. I’ve been using the narrowest bench in the gym in order to train myself for stabilization. My DE benching is quite solid and tight.

As per some other suggestions on PM, I am going to try some floor pressing for speed, and possibly some different kinds of plyo push-ups. I will definitely abstain from typical DE benching for a while. Also, I am not using bands at all, so that might help too. I’m going to look into picking some up soon.

That is true that the speed helps with force development. But at this point, judging by your max, I would say your speed will be most influenced by gaining max strength. That is why I say you may not need DE right now. But before you can do anything else, you need to take care of the pain in your shoulders and elbows. Doing more DE but with different movements is not going to help.