T Nation

Starting Bench At Chest


Hey, sometimes I start my bench from right above my chest and then press up. Does this work the muscles any differently or change anything else?


well your probably only missing out on an inch or so of ROM so it doesn't really matter. You'll see that some of the biggest guys in your gym don't go to their chest. I think it might be helpful in the fact that you take that bounce of your chest factor out.


i dont think the above response was responding to what you meant.

my understanding of what you meant is that you are starting the press from essentially the "bottom" of the movement. as opposed to pulling out of the hooks/rack, lowering, and then pressing up- youre starting from the bottom.

if this is what you meant...

yes, it will work the muscles differently. this will help you build strength in the "bottom"/"start" of the press movement, and is a good idea to cycle in every so often, even for a bodybuilder. certainly, the bodybuilder that can bench 315lbs for 10 should be bigger than the one that can do 225lbs for 10.

its a good idea to train specifically for strength for a few weeks every now and then, because if youre just bumping up reps here and there, or small increments in weight, eventually you will plateau. the way to help avoid this, or to overcome it when it happens, is to get stronger.

i have just recently decided to give a Westside/conjugated template a try again, (and i love it!) and wednesday of this week my ME upper lift was presses done in the way that i think you were describing. i set myself up in a rack so that the bar was just about an inch and a half to two inches off my chest. it was great.

the reason this works so well to build strength/increase efficiency in the bottom of the lift is that it takes that pre-stretch, that you get from lowering the bar, out of the movement, thus forcing you to immediately produce a huge amount of force, with no preload. the strength involved benching this way is very similar to that of a deadlift.


oh shit, my mistake, i misread.


wow Dez, never thought of doing that before, I think I'm gonna try it for a couple weeks and see how it feels. Thanks for the knowledge/advice!


Damn bro great reply and yes it takes away the stretch reflex and you have to use pure muscle strenght to get the load moving

Lower the bar and get a LONG pause 4 seconds or so or set some pins at chest or your weak point anmd begin it from there it will really build strenght in that area