T Nation

Powerlifting Max Bench Arch

It seems to be a trend these days, you ever read the comments on some videos? Or a guy sets a deadlift record and ten people comment about Eddie Hall pulling 500kg, or something something Larry Wheels. Social media is a magnet for idiots.

At the very least you want the sternum tilted upwards. A big arch will reduce ROM which means less strain on the shoulders overall, but it’s hard to argue that it’s for health purposes.

This didn’t actually answer my question.

She was bragging about how much she benched. Cool. What compelled you to argue about her form with her?

People who make comments about stuff like that just have no idea what they are talking about. Would you comment about NBA players’ dunks not being impressive because they are so tall? “Hey, I’m 5’3 and my vertical jump relative to height is 30% better than ______, he ain’t even shit at all. Give me 7 foot net and I’ll show you bitches how to dunk!”

Every sport is biased towards those who have certain proportions and unusual physical abilities, like flexibility in the case of bench arches. If you don’t like it the watch something else instead of crying about it due to your own insecurities.


I can’t tell if I am poorly explaining my question or if you are poorly understanding it.

You felt she was delusional. Cool. What compelled you to be the one to break her of this perceived delusion?

I didn’t know the rules before I commented.

It is an accomplishment, and he should get a hell of a lot stronger and destroy all records with his leverages and flexibility. You are the one with a problem.

It is better to be thought a fool and remain silent than to speak and remove all doubt.


Right. This is what I am asking about. I see stupid stuff hourly and never feel compelled to comment on it. I can’t fathom what would have compelled you.

I am saying nothing: only asking.


That’s because you don’t compete. The point is to move the most weight within the rules. In any sport, the point is to do the most within the rules (or outside of them if you can get away with it apparently). You are saying things that are actually patently incorrect and stating them as fact. A flat back is NOT better for anything, other than the fragile egos for people that are delusional.


Maybe you should take a look at his log so you know what you’re talking shit at.

Shit, I didn’t realize I was in the powerlifting forum. :grimacing: . I see why I pissed someone off. I shouldn’t be here.

Let me get the fuck out of here. Sorry :neutral_face:

Some people arch because it helps them with their shit, some people don’t have the mobility for it, which is fine too. There are strong benchers with and without arches, and benched arching isn’t confined only to powerlifting competitors.

But that being said, if the concept of arching on bench is foreign to you, you don’t even lift.

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The first time I got around some real benchers at the yearly college bench press competition and saw them bench I was like, “Shit, I could bench a lot too if I did it like that.”


Could you after trying it?

I have a good arch for a man, but I can still bench almost as much with a flat back. Probably +10-15% with the arch.

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If there was a standard distance for all lifts then they would probably have me pulling off of blocks.

And I have never heard of a leg press contest, but if all you need it 3 inches of movement and you want to compete in that then why not? Some guys would be leg pressing several thousand pounds.

Some guy told me that at a commercial gym years ago, he said he could bench 4 plates like that. His best bench was 225 for a couple reps.

If I do floor press the bar actually touches my chest slightly, and I’m obviously not arching plus I do it with my legs straight out so zero leg drive. My best triple was maybe 10-15lbs behind my comp bench 3rm at the time. Seems to me that arching is mostly about getting into a solid position to support the weight, unless you have an extreme arch like some guys.


It wasn’t just the arch, but the whole thing with tightness and focus and just doing 1 rep. I was like a H.I.T. go to failure advocate at the time and doing 1 rep in the least tiring way seemed silly.

And no, I still sucked at benching when I tried to arch more.

Me too. I have gotten bigger now that I rarely ever fail reps. Seems doing sub max rep work (keeping a few in the tank) with an extra 150 lbs on the bar has made me bigger than burning out without those extra plates.

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I was told arching is cheating. That being said, I stopped benching 8 years ago when I got lifters shoulder for going too far down with the bar. It hurt so bad I gave up benching.

You don’t see the irony here?


I was told that Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy were real. I feel your pain.


I want to echo what Mark Bell had once said.

It can be frustrating in PLing that everyone will hound and salivate to argue about if someone broke parallel in a squat - even with 1000 lbs on their back, the extra half inch to break parallel will make the lifter trigger a bunch of online haters about how they didn’t deserve their lifts or records.

Meanwhile, benching rom is getting smaller and smaller. Soon there will be a half inch ROM to break a record. It makes sense why Mark said that people outside of powerlifting think the sport can be pretty ridiculous. Stepping back it makes sense that it could never get back to the olympics.