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Questions about Benching and Deadlifting

Hi all. Two questions I’m hoping to get some help on. One concerns benching. I’ve recently read an article in an old back issue of T-mag written by Dave Tate. In it he talks about ways to improve benching and one of the ways is to keep the elbows tucked in. I find that doing this forces me to use much less weight. Maybe I’m not doing something right. Also, regarding deadlifts, I find that the heavier weights I lift, the narrower a stance I need to use, in order to get the weight up. Does this make sense? I’ve found that with a wide stance, I can’t lift as much as when my feet are closer together. Thanks for any help y’all can offer.

You are weaker in the bench press with your elbows tucked because your triceps are weak. As far as the deadlift goes, I’m guessing that your hips are your weak point.

I dont know the answer to the deadlift question but i might can help with the bench question. Just concentrate on bringing the bar to a point below the pecs and your arms will have to be tucked. If your arms start to flare you will feel it because your wrists will be out in front of your elbows. This is the exact thing that happened to me at my first meet. I was concentrating on bringing the bar low and i brought it too low and i had to flare my arms just to move it off my chest. I only benched 335 and to give you an example of what im capable of, i did 295 plus one set of chains today after all my speed sets and the weight was very fast.

Also if you are having trouble keeping your arms tucked them you need to train the heck out of your lats and triceps to better control the bar in that path.

The above point(s) about triceps strength are most likely right on the money. As far as the deadlifts go, I would say that it may well be a lack of familiarity with the stance (and a lack of training time using it) that prevents you from getting as much power out of it as with your narrow-stance lifts. The way to cure this, obviously, is to spend a month or two getting used to the new stance and then see if you’re “really” weaker using it or not.

Also, it may well be that your particular body proportions give you an advantage one way or the other. In that case, of course, there isn’t really much you can do about the strength difference, but you should still probably train using both stances just to vary the effect on your muscles. Hope this helps…