T Nation

Sticking Point 2-3" Above Chest


#1

Hello

Today i tried to bench 440, Unfortunately I did not make it. 420 went very smooth, I think I had 430lbs in me but I jumped right for 440 and this weight just stop about 2-3" above my chest and after about 3sec struggling in this spot I missed the lift. Now I am planning further training and I will gladly listen to any advice and suggestions about planning my further training. Because to be honest I’m training in my garage, and I do not have anyone to consult my plan with :slight_smile:

Im natural lifter, 6’3 , 330lbs weight. From last 11weeks Im on typical “westside routine” and I do not want to change it because I have amazing results with it.

11 weeks ago my bench was 385lbs and i had sticky point in upper half portion of the lift, after 4weeks my bench was 407,5lbs and now 420lbs. I think adding 35lbs in 11weeks is not that bad result.

For the past 11 weeks I used these exercises for max effort upper and i had a new PR every workout.
Floor Press PR-400lbs
Incline close grip PR- 355lbs
Bench 2 boards - 440lbs
Dumbbells for rep after 3 or 4 max effort workouts instead of barbell lifts.

On dynamic days i did 2 cycles (6weeks) of speed bench with bands, and 2 cycles (5weeks) of rep bench illegal wides 6x6 or 8x8

Assistance exercises were focused on triceps (high volume after max effort, high intesity after dynamic effort) and lats+upper back, I completely threw out anterior and lateral delts exersise (11weeks ago my strict millitary press was 285lbs, overall i think my shoulders get enough work for all that bench presses), and i only focused on rear delts.

From hypertrophy standpoint, i have thick and very wide back, big shoulders (very big anterior, big lateral, small posterior delts), big triceps and very small chest(and non existence upper chest). I’m not interested in bodybuilding, I just want you to have “big picture” of my and my training

So my sticky point is 2-3" above my chest, my plan is:

  • Keep the same max effort lifts (But im curious, maybe I should pick other movements?)
  • on dynamic days replace speed bench with rep work for few cycles, illegal wides (index finger just outside rings) 6x6/8x8 (my normal bench grip is third finger on rings) for chest power and hyperthrophy

So have you got any advice and ideas for me?

Thank you for all the advice


#3

1 board press, spoto press, dead bench, isometrics. If your pecs are weak (you say “small chest”) then flys and more db bench and wide grip.

Josh Bryant has some useful advice, he also coaches several guys who bench over 600 and has done so himself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnB-90yGOZ0


#4

Nope…


#5

Yeah, dafuq?

Surely one should still train lats for the stability it could bring to the shoulders for the bench and thoracic and lumbar spine for squat and deadlift.


#6

But…my sticking point is two inches off my chest - on the way down!


#7

Im Brain dead at the moment… making a joke correct? :confused:


#8

In my opinion, since you added 35lbs in that short time the weight just wasnt there. At your size I would expect your bench to go up fast. Just go another round on the program. You weren’t strong enough on the day, keep training and it’ll move. Once you close in closer to 500 you’ll have to start messing more with sticking points to squeeze out every bit your body can press.


#9

Thanks for all answers :slight_smile:

For me lats are very important, overall i think strong back=strong person. I train lats 4x/week, 2 times horizontal (rows variatons) 2 times vertical (pulldowns variations)

Right now im thinking about changing speed bench for rep illegal wides 6x6/8x8 for 2-3cycles (6-9weeks) and maybe include one more max effort lift to my rotation - 1 board press.

Dead bench/Pin press this is one of the worst exercises - too much pec injury risk, From what I read .


#10

I would work on adding some mass here for long term progress. throw in regular incline as an ME lift and do high rep incline dumbell work at various low inclne angles for assitance.

Also with a big strength jump like that I would go an do another easier program for 6-8 weeks to stabilise things and not risk injuryand then do another run of westside


#11

Where do you get that from? That’s one of Josh Bryant’s staple exercises, just like Mike Tuchscherer with pin press, and I don’t hear anything about an epidemic of pec tears among their lifters.


#12

There’s nothing wrong with building up your lats, but they are definitely not a limiting factor in the bench unless you are lifting in a bench shirt.


#13

From Jim Wendler and Dave Tate.

To be honest im totally into “westside” right now and from what i know, westside is one of the best program to avoid injuries (when planned properly).


#14

[quote=“psychointruder, post:9, topic:232115”]
Dead bench/Pin press this is one of the worst exercises - too much pec injury risk, From what I read .[/quote]

Absurd

Whatever you read regarding “Dead Bench/Pin Press” Rack work being “the worst exercise” and pec tears is absurd.

Whoever wrote that has NO experience and NO knowledge.

“Show Me The Bodies”

IF “Dead Bench/Pin Press” truly produced catastrophic pec tears there would be a “Grave Yard” full of the bodies of lifters that you or the moron who wrote that crap could cite; that means names, dates, research data, etc.

However, neither you nor the moron who wrote that can provide that because it does there is not research or empirical data to support it.

“Sticking Point 2-3” Above Chest”

The Bench Press falls into the category of an “Ascending Strength Curve” movement. Research (Dr Tom McLaughlin and Gideon Ariel) have demonstrated that the the first 1/3 of the Bench Press (2 - 3 inches off the chest) is where the greatest overload occurs; it is the weakest part of the movement for EVERYONE.

chris_ottawa

Chris’ post provides excellent information to you to increase strength off the chest.

If you follow Chris’ recommendation your Bench Press strength off the chest will improve over time.

Kenny Croxdale


#15

The funny thing is that you do illegal wide grip bench and that is an exercise that Josh Bryant has specifically cautioned against using if you have a history of pec or shoulder injuries.


#16

-Louie says take the 5 pound Record! Take your time, stick to the plan! No 15 pound jumps!

  • Conjugate guys do warn about pin presses, but they also warn about the extreme way they used to push until something tore loose. If you do pin presses, work your way up. Don’t just jump under 455 and “see how it goes.”

-Josh Bryant loves dead benches. But he says keep it at 90%, and only do singles. Again, don’t do anything crazy. He also recommends big dudes set the pins a few inches off the chest.


#17

I get that info from Jim Wendler and Dave Tate, I think they have enough knowledge and experience

Dave Tate
Pin presses: Forget I wrote this. I hate pin presses. The pins can never be set exactly where they should be and they’ve been the root cause of many a pec tear.

Jim Wendler
These are ussually done with the bar already on the pins. The lifter presses from a dead stop. While this might sound good in theory, i have had more pec twinges from doing this than with any other bench exercise.


#18

I’ve found suspended presses to be way easier on the joints than pin presses. To rig it up, I set the pins up high and loop my feeder chains around them and put the bar inside the chains at the height I want.


#19

[quote=“psychointruder, post:17, topic:232115”]
Dave Tate
Pin presses: Forget I wrote this. I hate pin presses. The pins can never be set exactly where they should be and they’ve been the root cause of many a pec tear.

Jim Wendler
These are ussually done with the bar already on the pins. The lifter presses from a dead stop. While this might sound good in theory, i have had more pec twinges from doing this than with any other bench exercise.[/quote]

Resource

First of all, you need to cite the complete article when you obtain this information.

Dave Tate Information

Dave a very smart guy but the information you posted is vague and useless. More information is needed…

  1. Cause of many pec tear"…

a) Define “Many”. Exactly, how many the means give me a definitive number.

b) Under what circumstances

c) How was it determined the “Pin Presses” were solely the ONLY reason for said pec tear?

Here a clue, most injuries occur due to a multitude of factors. It’s rarely one thing.

Most individuals traditionally believe the last thing that occurred is the “Root” of the issue rather the accumulation of other training factors.

d) Name the lifter that suffered pec tears and details that lead up to it.

Jim Wendler

Jim’s another smart guy.

The same criteria for Dave applies to Jim’s statement.

Also, define what a “Pec Twinges” are; that means Jim’s definition, not you guessing what it means.

Secondly, any “Pec Twinges” (whatever that means) may have occurred from Overreaching; pushing the pecs beyond their training capacity with too many pec exercises, volume, intensity, all of the above, etc.

Kenny Croxdale


#20

But if we were talking about Power Cleans, YOU could mention Louie, Dave Tate and Westside without providing resources?


#21

Not even 90% to start, start with maybe 70% and do 4-8 singles and add weight each week. You can eventually work up to a max single, but that isn’t the whole objective of the exercise. He says you should be able to dead bench 90% of your max, if you can do that then continuing with the exercise is not going to help much. If you are determined to switch exercises each week “because Westside”, then just do a few singles after your ME exercise.