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What Is A Bench Press?

This topic got started in another thread but I was curious as to what your opinions on this are. The question is simple, think true or false.

In order for a bench press to count as a bench press, the lift must touch your chest. True or False.

I am NOT talking about a powerlifting competition in specific here, I think we all the know the rules for that. But imagine you were at a party and somebody said “I bench 315” or whatever weight you want to use. Is it implied in that statement that you did a full range of motion and touched the chest (along with other things like no spotter, kept butt down, etc) or is fine for somebody to say that if they stopped short and did not touch the chest?

Just for the record this is not a discussion of what might be more effective or why some people might modify exercises, it is simply a question of what is a bench press? Again refer back to the question, in order for the lift to count as a bench press must the bar touch your chest?

Thoughts/opinions welcome.

Yeaaaaaaaaaaahhhh. I think…if all other rules are out. The bar MUST at least touch your chest man lol. Like that’s just like someone unracking it, moving it like 3 inches down…presing back up and beig like…sick i just did 350! lol. If all other rules are out (powerlift comp etc.) Then YES the BAR MUST TOUCH YOUR CHEST to be a bench press.

[quote]nptitim wrote:
But imagine you were at a party and somebody said “I bench 315”…[/quote]

If you’re at a party, shouldn’t you be more worried about hooking up or getting drunk or something? Do you also discuss squatting or rowing numbers? I would think those would be more controversial.

I guess my take on is it is who cares what someone claims. There’s basically 2 types of people I have conversations with about lifting; people I know lift and people that don’t lift. If it’s someone I know that lifts, I already know a ballpark figure what they bench anyway. If it someone I don’t know, I take it with a grain and base my opinion on whether their figure matches their claimed poundage.

I don’t really talk about lifting numbers at social gatherings anyway, unless it’s with other lifters. In my experience, people that discuss their benching numbers are generally beginners or people with what I consider a low bench.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
In my experience, people that discuss their benching numbers are generally beginners or people with what I consider a low bench.[/quote]

Well said. I think anyone who would even bring up how much they bench out of the blue during casual conversation is a jackass. I get asked how much I bench often and my response is either “a lot” or “I don’t max out so I don’t know”.

This is a concern only among some powerlifters and newbies. It means nothing to most other people who are serious in the gym…because they are lifting more than most regardless.

The bar has got to touch the chest for sure. Touch, not bounce though.

For those in the iron game we can spot the bullshit “I bench 315 claim.” Size the guy up and you can tell whether they are looking for attention or are legit.

My most common response is, more than some, less than others…unless I am actually in the midst of those I know lift just as someone else said on here.

[quote]BSims wrote:
For those in the iron game we can spot the bullshit “I bench 315 claim.”[/quote]

My problem with this statement is that I hope that most “in the iron game” aren’t impressed by or bragging about a 315 bench.

How about this: the bench press is only an event in a powerlifting meet and that’s all. If you haven’t competed and pressed a weight in a competition, your claimed lift is bogus. If you have never competed, your bench press is ZERO as far as I’m concerned.

This thread is retarded. I guarantee once you are putting up much more significant weight you will agree with me.

Why no spotter? I would prefer a spotter if I max out.

"…But imagine you were at a party and somebody said “I bench…”

Why would you cock block yourself with this conversation? This type of talk is why a whole lot of weight trained athletes are labeled meatheads.

Good idea is to follow this with nutrient timing and partitioning discussions and rep speed, split or no split… Others talking like this helps me get laid. I can then focus on the hairy armed chicks.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
malonetd wrote:
In my experience, people that discuss their benching numbers are generally beginners or people with what I consider a low bench.

Well said. I think anyone who would even bring up how much they bench out of the blue during casual conversation is a jackass. I get asked how much I bench often and my response is either “a lot” or “I don’t max out so I don’t know”.

This is a concern only among some powerlifters and newbies. It means nothing to most other people who are serious in the gym…because they are lifting more than most regardless.[/quote]

Me too. The people who seem to ask the most are middle-aged guys who are astounded by anyone with any muscle at all or would seek to vicariously relive the glory of youth. I’ll give a legit answer if I like the guy. If not, I’ll usually say, “I don’t bench. [even though I do] I do weighted dips.” They’ll usually get a perplexed expression on their face and let the conversation drop.

Thanks for replies. The party thing was just an example, you can ignore that part if you want. So say you were in the gym and you were talking about training and somebody said “I hit a new max of 450” or they said “I can do reps with 365” or anything like that, would you still need to hit your chest in order for it to count, or is stopping short okay? That is what I am asking about, the social scene was just an example that is basically irrelevant to the question.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
How about this: the bench press is only an event in a powerlifting meet and that’s all. If you haven’t competed and pressed a weight in a competition, your claimed lift is bogus. If you have never competed, your bench press is ZERO as far as I’m concerned.
[/quote]

So unless your all wrapped up in a mummy suit barely able to move, it don’t count?

BTW if asked, I aways say “not nearly enough”

[quote]nptitim wrote:
Thanks for replies. The party thing was just an example, you can ignore that part if you want. So say you were in the gym and you were talking about training and somebody said “I hit a new max of 450” or they said “I can do reps with 365” or anything like that, would you still need to hit your chest in order for it to count, or is stopping short okay? That is what I am asking about, the social scene was just an example that is basically irrelevant to the question.[/quote]

I know what you are trying to get at here and I’m right there with you. Unfortunately, bodybuilders and powerlifters are never going to see eye to eye. This is a majority bodybuilding site. In my opinion, a lift doesn’t count unless it’s for a full range of motion.

Also, in my opinion, the best bodybuilders started out as powerlifters. There’s a thickness you get from powerlifting that is missing with guys that just rep out weight.

Do what I do… give your opinion, if someone doesn’t take it- it’s their loss. It happens at the gym all the time. There’s a reason that I’ve pretty much doubled my lifts and my size in two years… It’s because of powerlifting.

meat

The Bench Press is an exercise that can be performed many different ways. There are tons of variations.

It can be done with a pause, touch and go, without touching the chest, etc…

I hate this question. It is like asking someone if they are a good driver.
“Of course I am. It’s that idiot over there that doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing…”

[quote]mrcat wrote:
So unless your all wrapped up in a mummy suit barely able to move, it don’t count?

BTW if asked, I aways say “not nearly enough”

[/quote]

Damn straight.

Unless you’re benching against other people in competition conditions then numbers aren’t important.

Not to say your numbers don’t “count” just that it doesn’t matter.

[quote]nptitim wrote:
Thanks for replies. The party thing was just an example, you can ignore that part if you want. So say you were in the gym and you were talking about training and somebody said “I hit a new max of 450” or they said “I can do reps with 365” or anything like that, would you still need to hit your chest in order for it to count, or is stopping short okay? That is what I am asking about, the social scene was just an example that is basically irrelevant to the question.[/quote]

I think I know what you’re trying to get at, and I still say it doesn’t matter. There is a huge difference between gym lifts and the powerlifting events of squat, bench, and dead. You can’t really set some rules that you think should be there on some gym lifts. Rules are put in place for a set standard to compare different people competing against eachother. Gym lifts are just means to a end, a pathway to a goal. Whether that goal is a bigger chest or a bigger bench poundage is individual.

If you have a friend that claims a new max of X amount, you say, “Hey good for you,” and congratulate him for getting stronger in a variation of a lift that works for him and hopefully matches his goals, regardless of how he chooses to define the lift.

If you don’t like his way of defining the lift, too bad. Lot’s of movements have different names and many different variations. Scott curls and preacher curls are just one example. Also, if I asked how much you overhead press, how do I know if you mean a military press, push press, push jerk, or whatever? I don’t know because an overhead press can mean all the above.

The point is, it really doesn’t matter what numbers people claim to lift. The numbers that do matter come from competition. That includes competition against yourself and your previous numbers to ensure you are making gains.

Seriously, I know this a beginner thing because it is about the bench press when there are so many more controversial and harder to define lifts out there. Do you get bothered by your friends’ claimed bent-over row numbers? Probably not because they either don’t do rows or neither you or them has any concept of what makes a good, great, or ridiculous rowing poundage claim.

[quote]mrcat wrote:
So unless your all wrapped up in a mummy suit barely able to move, it don’t count?

BTW if asked, I aways say “not nearly enough”
[/quote]

Yes. Is this any different than saying that if the bar doesn’t touch your chest it doesn’t count?

Atleast you’ll never hear people bring up their squat, deadlift or cleans at a party…ever. I’m to busy hunting for the rum or whiskey at parties anyways.

[quote]nptitim wrote:
Thanks for replies. The party thing was just an example, you can ignore that part if you want. So say you were in the gym and you were talking about training and somebody said “I hit a new max of 450” or they said “I can do reps with 365” or anything like that, would you still need to hit your chest in order for it to count, or is stopping short okay?

That is what I am asking about, the social scene was just an example that is basically irrelevant to the question.[/quote]

Why do you care how much other people can bench? Is it so you can compare yourself to every schmuck on the street.

It sounds to me like you’re lifting low numbers. Otherwise, you wouldn’t agonize over whether the guy you meet at the party can really bench 315.

BTW, as others have noted; If you’re talking about benching at a party, you are a douchebag. You should become friends with the guy who started the “Skinny Guys With Hot Girls” thread.