T Nation

Sticking Point at Bottom of My Bench


hi there,

When maxing on the bench press, I keep failing on the first few cm's near my chest.. I already arch my back so that's not an option :p. Are there any proper ways to train this? Like very wide bench presses to focus on the chest?

With a problem on lockouts, there are soooo many possible solutions, but are there for my problem? And why do more people fail at lockouts?

Thanks a lot!


lockouts is more of a failing of the secondary groups.

Your tris and such.

Failing near your chest simply means your chest is too weak for that weight.

Consider dumbells for a while.


Paused benching could help. You could also try a cambered bar.


DB's and paused benching seem like a good idea, thanks :slight_smile:

Any other methods?


I have the same problem failing towards the bottom of my lifts.

Stupid weak chest. lol

Well I'd say DB's and to be honest do alot of pushups.

Bodyweight pushups or add some weight on your back.

And don't fully pushup, do about midrange pushups, go all the way down than only go half way up in the pushup motion, than back down, so there is constant pressure and strain on your chest.

Try it.


paused benching, cambered bar benching, dumbbells are good, incline benching (increased ROM, helps bottom end), overhead pressing (works lats)

lats help at the very bottom--get them lots stronger, work on technique (pushing out on your arms and trying to spread the bar helps activate them).

pectorals work as well--as the last item in the checklist. Pecs can help in the midrange, can also sorta help in the bottom end too but they're far secondary to lats. I'll bet diamonds to dollars it's lats, back, technique, and shoulders first.

If you can find them and your shoulders/elbows don't hate you, definitely go for cambered bar benching.


If I can start the bar from my chest but fail about 6 inches up, should I be looking at Pec excercises then?

When I fail, that is where I fail.


Because they're wearing bench shirts. Pretty much every article you've ever read on EliteFTS or Westsidebarbell.com is geared to cater for this.

No one ever seems to reaslise tho.


Bottom strength - work your lats son


lats, lots of shoulder pressing, and chest work for the RAW lifter, lockouts shouldnt really be a problem as they will come along faster than anything else


everyone is just shoot'n in the dark without a video. it could be a form issue or a muscle weakness or a little of both. get a video and then the issue can be pin pointed more effectively.


If your form is corrrect probably shoulders. what do you do for shoulder work?


True. My first thought is that the weight is too heavy. You've surpassed your max. Honestly, all things being normal, where would one expect to fail? If you consistently get the bar moving and it stalls, it could be the lack of explosion/acceleration. Then it's speed work, pauses (as others have already mentioned), or your technique is not as good as you think.


depends on how long your ROM is. But I'd look at shoulders and triceps first, along with possible technique issues. It also depends on your style of benching. Since you're posting in this forum, I assume it's arched back PL style, but if not then yeah pecs could be weak. In all honesty, pecs are usually the last part of the equation for a PL style bench. But yes, pecs could be worked with some good results I think. I did so myself a few months back, with some good progress.


i dont know why but i fuckin loled at travel. deep pressups with added weight and chinups


Thanks for the input, I bench raw, with an arch and try to keep everything as tight as possible.

I am currently doing WSFSB so shoulder work is things like standing face pulls, bent over flys, overhead press.

Various rows for Lats. I also power clean and DL which tends to hit my lats