T Nation

Why Board Press?

Don’t bother convincing me. I’m already sold.

Why do Board Presses instead of just cutting your stroke short and perform a partial, cheated rep? All I’ve got is:

(1) You can strengthen different sticking points by using boards.
Stuck Mid-Way? Use a Two-Board. Can’t Lock it out? Use a 4.
Since you’ll be using more weight with boards, you’ll be able
to build up more strength to power past that sticking point.

(2) You have a point of reference. With Rack Lockouts, Board
Presses, and Floor Presses you’re not using the Full ROM
of a Flat Barbell Bench Press but you have a solid object
that either you or the bar starts and stops each rep.
But if you just try to do Partial Bench Presses without
a board or pins, then you’ll likely continue to add weight
to the bar and cut your Range of Motion as the weight gets
heavier.

But I’ve got some ill-informed friends who are totally convinced that bending your arms past 90 degrees and letting your elbows drop lower than your nipples will absolutely murder your shoulders. I tell them that if they can’t handle the weight they’re using with a full range of motion, then they’re body isn’t strong enough to have that weight out of the hooks at all.

They’ll just continue to pile on the weight and cut their stroke until they’re doing partials with 275 but they only have shoulder capsules that can handle 155 at full range.

So how are board presses safer than cheating your reps? Or is their only advantage over partial reps that you have a point of reference?

I don’t know the exact science, but if all the strongest benchers in the world do it, why argue?

[quote]Luca76PSU wrote:
I don’t know the exact science, but if all the strongest benchers in the world do it, why argue?[/quote]

Game, set and fucking max.

And FS, if your friends are after muscle, point them towards a Ronnie or Branch Warren training vid to see heavy full range work.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
Luca76PSU wrote:
I don’t know the exact science, but if all the strongest benchers in the world do it, why argue?

Game, set and fucking max.

And FS, if your friends are after muscle, point them towards a Ronnie or Branch Warren training vid to see heavy full range work.[/quote]

Come to think of it, even if I did come up with another reason to use full range, it still wouldn’t be enough. If it’s not enough proof to them that

(1) Everyone stronger than them does it
(2) Their own shoulders are fucked up

Then I probably will never convince them.

Plus wood smells good.

Goddamn it, I just spent 20 minutes writing something and then something happened and I lost it. Read Dave Tate. If you still have no good reasons, I’ll post something.

[quote]srb68 wrote:
Goddamn it, I just spent 20 minutes writing something and then something happened and I lost it. Read Dave Tate. If you still have no good reasons, I’ll post something.[/quote]

I have plenty of good reasons. I just was wondering if there was a more specific safety reason why board presses rock but cheating bench presses suck other than the lifter using weights too heavy to handle.

Good lifters use the board press in conjunction with full ROM benches, shitty lifters just do partials and think it is a bench press.

Another big benefit of a board press is the weight sinks into you and you must stay tight, but you can still practice a pause rep like in a meet. With a partial you are holding the weight but exerting too much force, it is nothing like a pause rep in the gym. This is also why board presses are a lot better than rack lockouts IMO.

Finally don’t let people think a natural range of motion is bad for you. Put your thumb on your chest (same side) and press out. That is a natural, full range of motion. What would a football player do if somebody got too close to them, give up because now their arm was back beyond 90 degrees? Stopping short is actually worse for your shoulders because now you have a huge weak point, and asking strong muscles to work in an unfamiliar zone is how you get hurt. Plus doing partials allows you to constantly flare your elbows which is where the real problem is. Tuck your elbows and come all the way down and virtually everybody will be fine.

One difference is how the shock at the reversal point is dispersed. When you board press that shock goes through your whole body, when you reverse the half-range press it is all on the shoulder capsule. This is the same reason why some people actually bench less off a board when they first start doing it, because they are not used to the movement and don’t stay tight.

I have a T-shirt I got from Elitefts. its of a guy doing a three board press the shirt says if you have to ask you wouldn’t understand

http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=214&pid=1877

If their shoulders are already fucked up then call them idiots and point at the partial presses as the reason.

Tell them how your shoulders are fine (presumably) and you do full range and board pressing.

When it comes down to it tho, some people just don’t want to be conviced. They want to be the bad ass throwing around plates, but only half the way :wink:

[quote]FightingScott wrote:

But I’ve got some ill-informed friends who are totally convinced that bending your arms past 90 degrees and letting your elbows drop lower than your nipples will absolutely murder your shoulders. I tell them that if they can’t handle the weight they’re using with a full range of motion, then they’re body isn’t strong enough to have that weight out of the hooks at all.

They’ll just continue to pile on the weight and cut their stroke until they’re doing partials with 275 but they only have shoulder capsules that can handle 155 at full range.

[/quote]

Your friends are quite honsetly fools. Just stand and laugh when they pretend to bench. Also ask them whether they plan to actually do any reps etc etc.

Board presses feel great, unlike rack lockouts with the same ROM.

[quote]IainK wrote:
FightingScott wrote:

But I’ve got some ill-informed friends who are totally convinced that bending your arms past 90 degrees and letting your elbows drop lower than your nipples will absolutely murder your shoulders. I tell them that if they can’t handle the weight they’re using with a full range of motion, then they’re body isn’t strong enough to have that weight out of the hooks at all.

They’ll just continue to pile on the weight and cut their stroke until they’re doing partials with 275 but they only have shoulder capsules that can handle 155 at full range.

Your friends are quite honsetly fools. Just stand and laugh when they pretend to bench. Also ask them whether they plan to actually do any reps etc etc.
[/quote]

That’s what I’ve been doing, but secretly I worry.

Starting this thread just made me realize how even more totally ridiculous it is that I should even have to convince them. You get one kid saying “My Dad’s a Doctor, I think I would know” and all of a sudden everyone’s a fucking expert in kinesthiology.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
If their shoulders are already fucked up then call them idiots and point at the partial presses as the reason.

Tell them how your shoulders are fine (presumably) and you do full range and board pressing.

When it comes down to it tho, some people just don’t want to be conviced. They want to be the bad ass throwing around plates, but only half the way ;)[/quote]

I probably should have titled this thread “I have dumb friends.”

They don’t ever tell me that I shouldn’t be using full ROM. They think I’m a lost cause because I do “Crazy Shit No One Else Does” like Squats, Deadlifts, and “That thing where you throw the Barbell Over your head” (Snatches).

Tell them to lie on the ground with their chest on the ground…now get up. How’s that not natural?

You have to scare them. They get stronger at the top… what happens if they accidentally move the weight a little lower than they’re used to? BAM! They can’t handle it because they never got stronger at the bottom, and they crush their chest. The board prevents that from happening.

Alternatively, you could “negotiate.” I remember an article wherein below 90 degree bench presses with elbows flared out were indeed harmful on the shoulders. It recommended elbows tucked in. Tell them that the “elbows flared out” is indeed dangerous, but the “elbows tucked in” is not. That way, they’ll do the full ROM with elbows tucked in.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:

But I’ve got some ill-informed friends who are totally convinced that bending your arms past 90 degrees and letting your elbows drop lower than your nipples will absolutely murder your shoulders.
[/quote]

I love it when people tell me this. I used to bench like that and ended up with all sorts of shoulder problems.

Now i’m all fixed and I bench full ROM, when I don’t bench full ROM I use boards.

It’s still useless trying to explain, even though I technically fell victim of what they are (allegedly) trying to avoid. They still don’t want to hear it.

Just say, “yeah, and if you put your feet up on the bench, you’ll also save your lower back… WOW! Back and shoulder friendly benching, go get 'em slugger” :wink:

KPj

movements like lock outs and board presses slowly downgrade the inhibitory responses that prevent a high level of force production and allowing you to use a greater percentage of your strength

I use the boards to practice for when my chest is that big;)