T Nation

Skinny Guy Bench


I have a question for those of you out there more experienced than myself... To begin, I'm 6'2 and 178 pounds (skinny as shyt). I've read about how tall, skinny guys are supposedly at a disadvantage because of biomechanics and blah blah blah... I hate excuses. Anyway, I finally got around to actually trying it out today. I rolled up a towel and placed it on my chest so that my elbows barely extended below the bench at the bottom of the movement.

As I'm sure you all could have predicted, it was a hell of a lot easier than getting half an inch from my chest like I was used to. So my question... In your opinions, keeping in mind that my goal is to get bigger, would it be better to keep going all the way down when I bench, or would I be better served to limit my range of motion somewhat so that I can use more weight? Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated.


I'm 6'6" and have always used a full range of motion and built up my chest well. I don't like making excuses about my size for any exercise, just do it.


it is better to limit the movement to put your arms into a better range of motion. if you want full range, do a different exercise. also consider, someone else who goes all the way down and isn't suffering in the elbows because they have shorter arms, well, are they missing out from the extra range of motion? no.


i've been where you're at, but i don't have any bench advice for you.

without making any assumptions, i just wanted to emphasize the importance of squats and deads towards reaching your goal.

of course, none if this matters much if you're not eating big, real big.


If you were going down to half an inch from your chest, you weren't going "all the way down" to begin with.


Not to be argumentative, but I WOULD consider that going all the way down. I have no interest in bouncing the bar off my chest or resting the bar on my chest, so stopping with the bar half an inch from my chest is all the way down for me. As to the squats and deadlifts comment, I LOVE me some squats and deads! lol I use full range of motion on all my exercises and have no problems. My only question is about the bench, as to whether it would actually be a beneift to restrict my ROM in order to move more weight, or if I should stick with the full ROM allowed by my body and lift the lower weights.


The ROM you are using is probably better; it is recommended by many like Paul Chek and in the book Scrawny to Brawny. Make sure to do shoulder prehab exercises too.


touch your chest!!


I was 6'3" and 167 at one point. My bench was 145, now it's 225 (got a ways to go). I've found that full ROM is better for chest deveopment. I squeeze my shoulder blades all the way together before I start and it helps.

I've been alternating full ROM and partial ROM every 2 weeks lately and it's helped my strength.

Eat some food and you won't be a skinny guy anymore. Oh, and if you are skinny the best thing I found to help me gain weight (besides eating more) was to cut down on my other activity's. I used to surf, skateboard and ride my bike for hours. Minmizing that allowed me to gain weight.

And definitely do some r. cuff at the end of your bench workout.


The chest is mainly involved at the bottom of the movement. By limiting your range you are limiting chest involvement.

So if you're doing bench for your triceps, sure, go down 4". But if you're doing it to add mass to your upper boddy, if you can do it pain free, let the bar touch your skin.

Do not rest it on your chest, keep tension on, bring it smoothly to your chest and then push with your chest to get it back up.


I stop maybe 1/8th inch short of touching my chest for the reason being to keep continuous tension on the muscles. Also sometimes maybe every 5th chest workout it helps to add a lot more weight than you're used to and either do negatives with a spotter or heavy partials also with a spotter. These techniques allow you to used heavier weight than you're accustomed to and overload the higher motor unit chest fibers very easily. They've helped me several time bust a plateau.