T Nation

Slingshot Bench Results


#1

Hey, what do you guys think about adding the slingshot to help with a stagnant bench? Like every dummy newbie, bench was my first go to lift. Here’s the problem. I’ve had relatively the same bench for years- between 280 and 310. I increased my body weight from 180 to 205 (at 6’2’’) and that helped a little but not as much as I’d like. Are their any lanky, good benchers out there?
I like to keep my body weight low relative to height because I do a lot of outside activities.


#2

As someone with the same problem it probably won’t hurt so give it a try. Also keep in mind its not just for going heavier you can use it with the same bar weight and just get more reps.


#3

Slingshot hurts my shoulders.

How often are you benching (inc sets/reps), which variants and assistance work are you doing?


#4

Once I healed up my shoulders, and started working more of overhead work, my bench shot up without training it really, whats your overhead press looking like right now?

P.S. also really lanky bencher I’m 6’7" and my wingspan is a 3 or 4 inches more than that


#5

I have tried it on and off, good for the occasional overload, but a high frequency program like Smolov did wonders, and lots of OH pressing.


#6

That’s interesting, first time I have heard that. Is it the supramaximal weight that hurts your shoulders or do you find it hard to keep your shoulder blades retracted?


#7

The slingshot could potentially help, but it is just one bench variation out of many. A while back I heard some people talking about how their raw bench increased while doing most of their training either in a shirt or with a slingshot so I tried doing more slingshot work and it didn’t really help. The slingshot has a few purposes, such as helping you train around an injury (in some cases), an overload movement to get you used to maximal weights, and building the triceps and lockout. Not many raw lifters actually have a problem locking out their benches, but triceps help throughout the whole range of motion. Lately I have been doing close grip slingshot bench to build up my triceps.

Increasing you bodyweight will probably do more for your bench than any one exercise. 310 sounds like a good bench for a tall skinny guy. What is your current bench programming like?


#8

I do 5-3-1 mainly, so 1 or 2 times a week.


#9

My overhead press best is 175x4. I think I’ve gotten 185x2 as well.


#10

310 is my very best and not something I can do everyday. I did 295x3 on my 5-3-1 week. I guess it’s an alright bench for my body type. I Honestly don’t vary my training much. Bench, dips and occasionally muscle ups.


#11

If that’s all you do for bench then it would probably be easy to get some gains by changing up your training. Are you only doing one work set, as the standard 5/3/1 goes? Increase volume if it’s low, add exercises like close grip bench, long pauses (2-3 sec.), wide grip, flys, dumbbell presses, and so on.


#12

I do the 531 sets followed by the first set for reps (usually 10 reps). No flys or dumbells. My work outs are very bare bones


#13

Adding more volume can help. I used reverse bands to help build my bench. The picture shows 315 w green bands which reduced the weight by about 70lbs at my chest. I used this as an overload approach, similar to what you could expect from a slingshot I’d think. I changed the bands to blue after a couple of weeks, weight reduction was about 50lbs, then down to orange bands which reduced by about 30lbs. At this point I could actually bench the 315 once but I continued using the bands for a while to add more volume.


#14

Look into changing that if you want your bench to go up.


#15

I can keep my shoulder blades pinned back but my shoulders don’t like the tension the slingshot puts on them. It’s not the weight as I feel discomfort with 60kg.

My shoulders aren’t in the best condition mine you haha


#16

If I was a betting man I would say if you pushed your overhead work your bench will follow, ratio should be about 66 percent of your max bench should be around your standing strict press, when my max bench is around 300 my overhead press was around 200, a couple years later my max bench is around 410 and my overhead press is 275. I think shoulder work is under appreciated for raw benchers


#17

Change up 5/3/1 templates, as above boost your OHP -do a run of Beach body challenge below and then move on to ‘Hardgainers’ as your standard template…


#18

Upping body weight, reps from chest to half way up(not locking out) and pause reps all build your raw bench.

Slingshot I use but I’m still not 100% sure it helps other than breaking up going raw every session. If anything mentally it helps me with handling more weight and pushing harder off my chest. Unless you have an injury, I wouldn’t use it but once or twice a month.

Big shoulders, triceps and pecs are what you need.


#19

Sounds Like the overhead press is the ticket. Do you guys experience a sticking point with the press? When I go heavy, I get stuck just above my head.


#20

The problem here seems to be that you are looking for a particular exercise that will singlehandedly increase your bench, and it’s not that simple. OHP may or may not help, some people swear by it while other do none at all and bench big weights. It will help if your shoulders are holding you back, but otherwise the benefits will be marginal at best. And you are doing 5/3/1, aren’t you already doing ohp?

Another issue is that you don’t want to gain weight. Bench press strength is affected a lot by muscle mass. Without gaining weight, the things that will help most are perfecting your technique (which will require more than two work sets per week) and using special exercises to target weak points in the lift.