Bench Press

Exercise Overview

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Introduction

The Bench Press is undoubtedly the most well known barbell exercise, and has become the standard test in upper body strength. This compound movement allows the lifter to move heavy weights through a range of motion, and is arguably the best upper body strength and size building exercise one can do. The Bench Press is used in competition at Powerlifting meets along with the Squat and Deadlift.

How to Bench Press

After approaching the bench, here is the step by step process that will take you through a proper Bench Press. When performed correctly, strength is increased, and risk of injury is decreased. Practice these steps deliberately, even on warm ups.

The Setup:

  1. Lay on the bench with the barbell around eye level and feet resting on the bench
  2. Grip the bar wider than shoulder width apart, inside of the barbell’s marked rings
  3. Puff the chest up allowing the back to create an arch
  4. Pinch the shoulder blades together into a strong static contraction
  5. Place the feet flat on the floor in a stable position, pulling them back toward the head slightly to increase tightness.

The Repetition:garrett-bench

  1. Take a deep breath (and hold)
  2. Lift the bar out of the rack, being mindful as to not untuck the pinched shoulder blades or lose the tight solid foundation created in the setup.
  3. Once settled, slowly bring the bar all the way down to the lower chest, letting the elbows have a slight natural tuck inward towards the body.
  4. Reverse the weight once it has lightly touched your chest in an explosive manner to lockout, but without untucking the pinched shoulder blades or losing tightness.
  5. Release breath, or hold it for consecutive repetitions using own discretion.

This setup is essential to creating a strong foundation for safe Bench Pressing. The overall body tightness created during the setup phase is strenuous and difficult in the beginning, but necessary to reduce risk of injury, and improve performance.

The deep breath during the repetition phase is also necessary to maintain this tightness so it does not become undone at any point during the set. The grip width and elbow motion on the descent can be explained as if trying to shove a person away.

Lastly, the lockout stops once elbow joint is extended. Be careful not to “over press” the lockout allowing your shoulders to push forward, and tightness to be lost. Remember, we want the shoulders back and pinched together throughout the movement.

Common Bench Press Form Problems

  • Lack of tightness: Arch the back, apply constant pressure with the legs, and pinch the shoulder blades together tightly. Holding a deep breath also helps.
  • Extreme elbow flaring or tucking: In most cases, using what feels natural is best. “Shoving” is a good mental queue to understand natural elbow positioning.
  • “Over pressing” with shoulders: Stop pressing once elbows lock out. Do not allow the shoulders to roll forward, keep the chest high and shoulders pinned back.
  • Wrists bent too far backwards: Grab the bar toward the bottom of the hand instead of in the fingers. Wrist wraps my also help. Slight bend in the wrists is normal, but should not cause discomfort.
  • Partial range of motion: Pull the bar all the way down to touch the chest, and press until the elbows lock out.
  • Butt lifting off the bench: Try tucking the feet back towards the head more, and remember to push away with the legs, not pushing the butt up. Taller benches may also help.
  • Bouncing off the chest: Practice touching the chest lightly as possible, then reversing the weight quickly. Lighter weights may be required in the beginning. Paused Benching (described below) also helps to eliminate the bounce.

Specialization and Styles

Two main specializations exist for the Bench Press. One is to maximize strength, and the other is to maximize chest stimulation.

Powerlifting Style Bench Press (Maximal Strength)

Lilliebridge's setup for Powerlifting

Lilliebridge’s setup for Powerlifting

The technique tweaks typically used for this style of Bench Pressing include:

  • Larger Back Arch. Butt stays on the bench, but the chest is raised to decrease the distance the barbell must travel from lockout to the chest.
  • Leg Drive. While the legs should remain tense throughout the movement, leg drive is also applied to help press the bar off the chest. The motion is subtle in appearance, and should feel as if you are trying to force your body up the bench by pressing strongly with the legs. Successful leg drive is dependent on a very tight setup and timing. Some powerlifters use a belt to better transmit the leg drive force to the chest and barbell.
  • Wider Grip. Not always the case, but usually powerlifters use a wider grip to shorten the range of motion.

Bodybuilding Style Bench Press (Maximal Chest Stimulation)

While this method can be used for more chest stimulation, it can carry a higher risk of injury. Heavy weights are not recommended with this style. Here’s some common tweaks:

  • More Elbow Flare. Instead of the elbows tucked inward toward the torso, they are flared out to the sides.
  • Partial Reps. Stopping before lockout, and above the chest allows the tension to remain mostly on the chest instead of other muscles.

Variations of the Bench Press

There are several Bench Press variations that affect the muscles differently, shifting emphasis from some, and away from others. Unless otherwise mentioned, the same setup and form is used from the standard Bench Press.

Close Grip Bench Press

Hoornstra demonstrates the Close Grip

Hoornstra demonstrates the Close Grip

The close grip, or narrow grip, typically refers to a grip on the barbell that is only about shoulder width apart. This closer grip moves much more emphasis onto the triceps, and away from the chest, making it a good exercise for improving the lockout strength on the Bench Press.

Paused Bench Press

The Paused Bench Press is when the lifter lets the barbell stop and rest motionless on the chest before pressing it back up to lockout. The length of the pauses can range, but are typically around 1-3 full seconds. This exercise is great for building strength off the chest, and is sometimes recommended for new lifters that have trouble making each repetitions bar path the same. Some lifters use the paused Bench Press full time.

Wide Grip Bench Press

This variation has the user grip the bar with an abnormally wide grip, usually wider than pinky fingers on the rings. This puts more emphasis onto the chest muscles, and moves emphasis away from the triceps. While this exercise can be useful for chest development, it carries a significantly higher risk of shoulder injury, so only light weight and high repetitions are suggested.

Reverse Grip Bench Press

The reverse grip bench press refers to the lifter using an underhand grip to hold the bar. It is similar to the close grip in that it shifts emphasis onto the triceps and can help improve lockout pressing strength.

Band / Chain Bench Press

Chains and a "2-board" Bench Press

Chains and Boards

These two methods are used to create more resistance at the top of the movement to create a different training effect. Since both methods (bands or chains) make the weights feel heavier toward lockout, they are typically recommended for strengthening the lockout and triceps. Others say bands increase the lifters ability to accelerate the barbell quickly to lockout, or help the lifter get a feel for heavier weights.

Board / Pin Press

These variations are known as partial ROM (range of motion) movements. They limit the ROM by stopping the bar before it makes contact with the chest. A board press is performed with wooden boards of any height placed on the chest between the barbell and the lifter. Pin Presses are performed in a Power Rack with the safety pins set in a position that stops the bar before making contact with the chest. These can be performed from varying heights, and the height is usually chosen at or right below where the lifter fails a typical repetition on the Bench Press. The Board Press is usually recommended over the Pin Press.

Floor Pressdamien pezzuti floor press

The floor press is the only exercise that does not require a bench at all. The lifter performs the floor press while laying on the floor with the Barbell being held in a rack. The legs are usually kept straight out, with each repetition paused in the bottom position. This exercise is a partial range of motion and works well for moving emphasis onto the triceps and improving lockout.

Bench Press Tips & Mental Notes

  • Grip the bar evenly, every time! This one might sound silly, but you would be surprised how off center some lifters end up. Double check!
  • Keep control. Each rep should mirror the others and all should be smooth as if a machine.
  • Explode to lockout! Speed is very important in building strength and continuing progress. Be controlled, but be fast!
  • Death grip the bar. Squeeze the bar as tightly as possible to improve control over the weight.
  • Pause reps for more control. For lifters having a hard time touching the same spot on the chest each and every rep, pausing can help.
  • Be consistent. Different types of equipment including the bench and the barbell can be enough to affect your workouts.
  • Get a spotter. The fact is, you are going to have a very, very difficult time making any progress if you are afraid to attempt a set that may end up a failure. Just ask, most people don’t mind. If you have to, Bench Press in an empty power rack with the safety pins set in place.
  • Position for a strong un-rack. If you are lifting in a rack without a spotter, setup higher towards the head of the bench to lessen the distance you have to pull the bar out.
  • Setup with weight through the traps. Positioning yourself so most of the weight from the barbell is transferred through the upper back and trapezius, pressing down into the bench.
  • Keep the elbows under the bar. If you let the bar travel too far forward or backward in relation to the elbows, you may find yourself in a weak position locking out the bench press.

Bench Press Assistance Exercises

Eric Spoto's 210 Lb Dumbbells

Eric Spoto’s 210 Lb Dumbbells

Beyond the above Bench Press variations, there are other exercises lifters use to help build up the Bench Press. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Overhead Press (all variations)
  • Triceps Extensions
  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Incline/Decline Bench Press
  • JM Press
  • Front Raises
  • Push Ups
  • Rows (Barbell Rows, Dumbbell Rows)
  • Pull-ups / Lat Pulldowns

Injury Risk and Prevention

The most common injuries are to the shoulders and pectorals. Referred to as “weight lifter’s shoulder”, the Bench Press may be one of the main culprits when performed with unsafe form.

The first and most important method of preventing shoulder and pectoral injury is to tuck the shoulder blades, and arch the back. When performed correctly, this creates far less stress on the joints in the bottom of the movement by decreasing the range of motion in the bottom portion of the lift. Narrowing the grip width can also decrease pectoral and shoulder strain. Lifters who practice these techniques have a drastically lower risk of shoulder and pectoral injury.

Another recommendation is, at minimum, balance the amount of pressing exercises performed with an equal or greater amount of pulling exercises. Rowing movements (Barbell Rows, Dumbbell Rows) especially. These exercises help balance out the shoulder joint and improve posture, both essential to long term shoulder health.

Video Demonstration: Proper Bench Press Form

The video below covers upper back tightness, foot positioning, elbow tucking, and more.

138 Comments

  1. Ryan Gosling

    Since you’re all boring and lame, I’ll try and get this started. :D
     
    Anyone ever fucked up their spine with a crazy arch? Also, if someone benched 405 (just for example) flat backed, would they be stronger in “real life” than someone who benched it with a super arch? But is there a higher injury risk to the shoulders and pecs benching with a flat back?
     
    And is leg drive cheating? :D

    Reply
  2. Brian

    Why would leg drive be cheating? I’m not so much thinking in terms of form but rather leverage. To me, its the same, or at least simmilar,  difference between doing supported or unsupported rows. Although in terms of actual form & effect – I feel push press is more in line with actual “cheating”.
     
    My question would be – whats the difference between a guillatine press and someone with bad form benching too high?

    Reply
  3. Ryan Gosling

    Why would leg drive be cheating? I’m not so much thinking in terms of form but rather leverage. To me, its the same, or at least simmilar,  difference between doing supported or unsupported rows. Although in terms of actual form & effect – I feel push press is more in line with actual “cheating”.

     
    I was trying to phrase it in an amusing and maybe not very clear way. (You really like thinking of things in terms of established exercises and their form, don’t you.)
     
    Bench is something I do to give me more horizontal pushing (for lack of a better term) power and strength, not to win powerlifting meets. So is leg drive nothing more than another trick to put up bigger lifts in powerlifting and should a non-powerlifter like me use it?

    Reply
  4. Brian

    Oh I knew exactly what ya meant amigo – I’m not obtuse – and I think my answer was fitting, as this is meant to be a discussion to cover a variety of questions and concerns.
     
    While I understand and agree there are certain methods & techniques that are more fitting for powerlifting, bodybuilding or just general strength & fitness, I was just sort of upping the ante of the point you raised, and in essence taking your line of reasoning a step or two further.
     
    I’d say it boils down to goals & results  – like pretty much everything else involved in lifting.
     
    One of my long-time friends at the gym I used to attend has a massive chest and hasnt used leg drive in over  15 years; hes 35 and said last time he used leg drive was in HS. He always benches with his legs either in the air or feet on the bench.
     
    I will say I have noticed a huge difference in my abilty to bench since I started using leg drive ( Though I never really thought of it as much a matter of actual drive as just stability/leverage)
     
    What works best for you? And just FYI – I never speak in terms of meets/competition – just results & goals.

    Reply
  5. Brian

    Ugh I want to contribute to the discussion but my bench sucks.

     
     
    Why does it suck? Are you putting forth your best effort? Are you making progress? If so, then it doesnt suck.
     
    See, I hate it when people play the #’s game – because its all relative. (unless your strictly speaking in terms of competition, then I guess you might be SOL, lol)

    Reply
  6. Ryan Gosling

    Oh I knew exactly what ya meant amigo – I’m not obtuse – and I think my answer was fitting, as this is meant to be a discussion to cover a variety of questions and concerns.
     
    While I understand and agree there are certain methods & techniques that are more fitting for powerlifting, bodybuilding or just general strength & fitness, I was just sort of upping the ante of the point you raised, and in essence taking your line of reasoning a step or two further.
     
    I’d say it boils down to goals & results  – like pretty much everything else involved in lifting.
     
    One of my long-time friends at the gym I used to attend has a massive chest and hasnt used leg drive in over  15 years; hes 35 and said last time he used leg drive was in HS. He always benches with his legs either in the air or feet on the bench.
     
    I will say I have noticed a huge difference in my abilty to bench since I started using leg drive ( Though I never really thought of it as much a matter of actual drive as just stability/leverage)
     
    What works best for you? And just FYI – I never speak in terms of meets/competition – just results & goals.

     
    What works best for me? As of yet, nothing. :D Maybe flat backed, purely upper body is what I need.

    Reply
  7. Ryan Gosling

    Why does it suck? Are you putting forth your best effort? Are you making progress? If so, then it doesnt suck.
     
    See, I hate it when people play the #’s game – because its all relative. (unless your strictly speaking in terms of competition, then I guess you might be SOL, lol)

     
    I disagree completely with this. The awesome thing about lifting weights is how completely objective it is.
     
    Will use myself as an example so that no one gets their little feelings hurt. I bench just about 225 at 170-175 lb BW. That is a shitty, weak, and pathetic level of strength. I’m not happy about this at all and I am currently training hard to get stronger. But my mindset and effort doesn’t change the shitty weakness of 225, the weight that I actually bench. 225 sucks.
     
    The goal of everyone reading this is to get stronger in one way or another, I would think. Stronger Is Better. And weak is disgusting, no matter how hard you are training. No participation prizes – until you achieve your goal, you are nothing.

    Reply
  8. Brian

    I disagree completely with this. The awesome thing about lifting weights is how completely objective it is.
     
    Will use myself as an example so that no one gets their little feelings hurt. I bench just about 225 at 170-175 lb BW. That is a shitty, weak, and pathetic level of strength. I’m not happy about this at all and I am currently training hard to get stronger. But my mindset and effort doesn’t change the shitty weakness of 225, the weight that I actually bench. 225 sucks.
     
    The goal of everyone reading this is to get stronger in one way or another, I would think. Stronger Is Better. And weak is disgusting, no matter how hard you are training. No participation prizes – until you achieve your goal, you are nothing.

     
     
    Whats your background? Whats your diet & lifestyle? Whats your overall training experience? How focused and well-programmed is your routine?
     
    These are but a few of the variables that go into progress and ability. To compare yourself to anyone else beyond the sole purpose of a lifting meet is silly, IMHO.
     
    We all have different variables that contribute to our progress, or lack of it. All we can do is identify these variables as best as we can and take the most logical & informed path to improve.
     
    Sure, your allowed to compare yourself to others – we all do it in different ways all the time – myself included. I’m just saying you have to consider whats going on for you, because you have no idea whats going on with the next guy.
     
     
    To the bold: yes weight is “objective”, or at least constant. However, we are indeed an ever changing variable – and thats what I was speaking to. Just wanted to adress & clarify.

    Reply
  9. Ryan Gosling

    Whats your background? Whats your diet & lifestyle? Whats your overall training experience? How focused and well-programmed is your routine?
     
    These are but a few of the variables that go into progress and ability. To compare yourself to anyone else beyond the sole purpose of a lifting meet is silly, IMHO.
     
    We all have different variables that contribute to our progress, or lack of it. All we can do is identify these variables as best as we can and take the most logical & informed path to improve.
     
    Sure, your allowed to compare yourself to others – we all do it in different ways all the time – myself included. I’m just saying you have to consider whats going on for you, because you have no idea whats going on with the next guy.

     
    Subjective excuses. 225 is objectively weak. Nothing changes that.

    Reply
  10. Brian

    Subjective excuses. 225 is objectively weak. Nothing changes that.

     
     
    Really? So if a 15yr old girl put 225 up in the air that would be weak to you?  Wow, such high standards you have!

    Reply
  11. Ryan Gosling

    Really? So if a 15yr old girl put 225 up in the air that would be weak to you?  Wow, such high standards you have!

     
    Weight classes and such things were implied in my original post where I mentioned 225 at 170 as an example.
     
    Those are objective things.

    Reply
  12. Brian

    Weight classes and such things were implied in my original post where I mentioned 225 at 170 as an example.
     
    Those are objective things.

     
     
    Fair enough – but you still dodged some very important questions/considerations….those all play a role into your #’s. To deny this is to ignore reality.
     
     
    If you can honestly say youve been training with sufficient time, effort, understanding and diet to accomplish your goals, and you are still failing to measure up – then I will believe you “suck”.

    Reply
  13. Brian

    Just wanted to say that I think a better way to think of it is in terms of how various different companies and research folks test products to determine their performance & quality. They ensure certain aspects of a product are all equal and thus eliminating as much variation as possible in order to determine the best quality for the key factor they are testing for. While in competition or for comparrisons sake you can offer weight class as the constant, there are all other manner of variables that go into each persons performance that arent equal by any measure.
     
    Oddly  – and fitting – enough, this type of testing is called BENCH TESTING.:)

    Reply
  14. Ryan Gosling

    Fair enough – but you still dodged some very important questions/considerations….those all play a role into your #’s. To deny this is to ignore reality.

     
    All that matters is the number you’re lifting, weight and gender, and things like paralyzed, missing an arm, etc. Age classes, maayyyybee…..
     
    Things that can be objectively judged.
     
    Shitty genetics, lack of time training, time spent training like an idiot, natural vs drugs, and all other things like that do not count. They’re just excuses for not getting your goals. You suck until you actually achieve. No one cares about your story and all the terrible painful difficulties you had to overcome to get where you got. All that matters is whether you got there or not.
     
    Any other viewpoint is just the estrogen speaking. The hastalles hath spoken.

    Reply
  15. Brandon

    My question would be – whats the difference between a guillatine press and someone with bad form benching too high?

    Similar, the guillotine press is done intentionally though :D. I’ve heard good things about it, as long as it’s partial reps. Still seems sketchy to me though, I’ll take what chest mass I can build safely rather than risking a rogue rep that tears my pec off the bone.

    Reply
  16. Brandon

    Weight classes and such things were implied in my original post where I mentioned 225 at 170 as an example.
     
    Those are objective things.

    At what weight do you draw the line between suckage, ok, and awesome? 225 benched full ROM at 170 isn’t all that common where I lift :D

    Reply
  17. Brian

    All that matters is the number you’re lifting, weight and gender, and things like paralyzed, missing an arm, etc. Age classes, maayyyybee…..
     
    Things that can be objectively judged.
     
    Shitty genetics, lack of time training, time spent training like an idiot, natural vs drugs, and all other things like that do not count. They’re just excuses for not getting your goals. You suck until you actually achieve. No one cares about your story and all the terrible painful difficulties you had to overcome to get where you got. All that matters is whether you got there or not.
     
    Any other viewpoint is just the estrogen speaking. The hastalles hath spoken.

     
     
    Seems your hell bent on sucking. Far be it from me to stand in the way if thats your goal….
     

    Similar, the guillotine press is done intentionally though :D. I’ve heard good things about it, as long as it’s partial reps. Still seems sketchy to me though, I’ll take what chest mass I can build safely rather than risking a rogue rep that tears my pec off the bone.

     
    Hmm…Im sure theres SOMETHING to it …I’d just really like to know what
     
     

    And absolute strength is about 100x more awesome than relative strength.

     
     
    weak & strong are both adjectives – meaning they are terms of subjective value. Do you understand what that means? I dont think you do.

    Reply
  18. Brandon

    Ugh I want to contribute to the discussion but my bench sucks.

     
     

    Why does it suck?

     
    Also curious. Injuries? I notice at meets people seem to struggle with the bench most overall, wonder why that is, never understood that bit. You’ll see typical guys squatting 450+, deadlifting 550+, then benching in the mid 200′s. ??????

    Reply
  19. Brian

    At what weight do you draw the line between suckage, ok, and awesome? 225 benched full ROM at 170 isn’t all that common where I lift :D

     
     
     
    sheeeeeeiiiitt…..225 for someone at that weight doing full reps with solid form is even more rare!!
     
     
     
    yes…I did indeed throw the form wrench into this cluster

    Reply
  20. Ryan Gosling

    weak & strong are both adjectives – meaning they are terms of subjective value. Do you understand what that means? I dont think you do.

     
    You are wrong. I was going to rationally answer you until I read those last two sentences. But that’s not gonna happen because you decided to be a condescending asswipe. Which is quite rich, coming from one of the dullest minds on this forum. Get the fuck off.

    Reply
  21. Shane

    Seems your hell bent on sucking. Far be it from me to stand in the way if thats your goal….
     

    He’s speaking from the viewpoint of that excuses don’t matter. All that matters is if you are there or not. Doesn’t matter how you achieved as long as you achieved. He’s not focusing on the lack.

    Reply
  22. Ryan Gosling

    At what weight do you draw the line between suckage, ok, and awesome? 225 benched full ROM at 170 isn’t all that common where I lift :D

     
    Common has nothing to do with it.
     
    Liking this gentleman is common:
    Justin-Bieber-SNL-Weed-Feature.jpg
     
    Does that mean anyone who doesn’t like him is automatically awesome?
     
    Powerlifitng has the question of what’s strong and what isn’t on specific lifts answered pretty well by now :D

    Reply
  23. Brandon

    Common has nothing to do with it.
     
     
    Powerlifitng has the question of what’s strong and what isn’t on specific lifts answered pretty well by now :D

    You mean elite? So you are saying if you are not elite, you suck? What if you’re not a powerlifter, would you still have to be elite not to suck? :D
     
    Not judging… just wondering. 

    Reply
  24. Ryan Gosling

    You mean elite? So you are saying if you are not elite, you suck? What if you’re not a powerlifter, would you still have to be elite not to suck? :D
     
    Not judging… just wondering. 

     
    Exactly. If you’re not a powerlifter, then you should judge yourself on some other standard that has nothing to do with powerlifting. :D

    Reply
  25. Brian

    You are wrong. I was going to rationally answer you until I read those last two sentences. But that’s not gonna happen because you decided to be a condescending asswipe. Which is quite rich, coming from one of the dullest minds on this forum. Get the fuck off.

     
     
    So your weak in the gym but tough on the internet – how typical!
     
    (try staying off the internet and putting in more time with the weights – might do ya some good!)

    Reply
  26. Ryan Gosling

    So your weak in the gym but tough on the internet – how typical!
     
    (try staying off the internet and putting in more time with the weights – might do ya some good!)

     
    And you’re weak in the gym and weak on the internet. Congratulations.
     
    How’s your 1RM BW pullup going for you after all that time in the gym?

    Reply
  27. Brian

    He’s speaking from the viewpoint of that excuses don’t matter. All that matters is if you are there or not. Doesn’t matter how you achieved as long as you achieved. He’s not focusing on the lack.

     
     
    The questions I raised arent excuses – they are legit factors that determine progress. Say you just started lifting 6 months ago and went from 135 on bench to 225 and your in the 170 weight class. According to viking god your weak. But, anyone with reason & common sense would say you are fucking crushing it!

    Reply
  28. Brian

    And you’re weak in the gym and weak on the internet. Congratulations.
     
    How’s your 1RM BW pullup going for you after all that time in the gym?

     
     
    Fantasic! Thanks for noticing!  I’m rather proud of my progress, probably because i’m not so damn ignorant and fixated on false logic :)

    Reply
  29. Ryan Gosling

    The questions I raised arent excuses – they are legit factors that determine progress. Say you just started lifting 6 months ago and went from 135 on bench to 225 and your in the 170 weight class. According to viking god your weak. But, anyone with reason & common sense would say you are fucking crushing it!

     
    Can you not see what I’m trying to get across. :|
     
    135 is massively weak. 225 is very weak. Some day he’ll press 315, which is mediocre. Etc, etc, etc. The speed at which you make progress, whether fast or slow, does not change the actual numbers you’re lifting at a certain point in time. I don’t see how you’re missing this.

    Reply
  30. Brandon

    As much as I don’t want to get into the e-fight (in a bench thread – shocked! :o), I do think it is important to focus on the journey and not just the end goal. Bench gains can take a long time. If you are beating yourself up every session because you only suck a tiny bit less than last week, you might not last long in this game.

    Reply
  31. Ryan Gosling

    You are focusing on rate of progress and judging yourself or others on that. I am focusing on the actual weight lifted, and judging myself or others on that.
     
    If you were to open your mind and not make emotional snap decisions, you would see that there’s another side to this than your close-minded already formed opinion.

    Reply
  32. Ryan Gosling

    As much as I don’t want to get into the e-fight (in a bench thread – shocked! :o), I do think it is important to focus on the journey and not just the end goal. Bench gains can take a long time. If you are beating yourself up every session because you only suck a tiny bit less than last week, you might not last long in this game.

     
    I don’t disagree with this. Just don’t lie to yourself that your bench is strong when it isn’t.

    Reply
  33. Ryan Gosling

    Brian, you’re clearly massively opinionated and already have your mind well made up.
     
    I’ve stated my case in as many ways as I can by this point. Anyone who cares to read it can do so.
     
    Any more discussion of this point with you would just make me blow my fucking brains out since I can’t get what I’m trying to say through your thick one-sided skull.
     
    Don’t expect a response from me to your posts from this point onward. From this thread and others it’s quite clear that you’re NOT here to discuss anything intelligently and logically.
     
    Guess I’m gonna be seeing if the ignore function actually works! :D

    Reply
  34. Brian

    Hey viking god – try using a more cordial tone, not being so dismissive of what others say (even if you strongly disagree), and put more effort into responding to what others have said as opposed to repeating yourself – you just might get better feedback!

    I am sorry for the comment about not wanting to get in the way of you sucking, as i admit i had grown wearly of your (seemingly) endless complaining. That was meant in jest and not disrespect.

    However, the comment you DID take offense to (questioning your understanding of what subjective means) was indeed both serious but also rhetorical – as i was hinting that you seemed unable to consider what i was saying – it was not meant as a jab in any way, though it was said in frustration. Just keep in mind you have a rather brash and blunt manner yourself, something not exactly conductive to keeping a pleasant convo.

    Again, i apologize for any insensitivity on my part and hope youll take my word on what i have said and my intentions, as ive already told someone else – i am indeed opinionated, but not looking for a pissing contest.

    Brandon – i completely agree.

    Reply
  35. Clutz15

    So this thread = overhead press makes you stronger. ;)

     
    In an effort to get this thing back on track. Wether its related to the intent of your post or not… Overhead press has shown next to no if any carry over to my bench. In fact its inhibited the volume I can bench weekly which I could argue actually makes my bench worse. 

    Reply
  36. Ryan Gosling

    In an effort to get this thing back on track. Wether its related to the intent of your post or not… Overhead press has shown next to no if any carry over to my bench. In fact its inhibited the volume I can bench weekly which I could argue actually makes my bench worse. 

     
    Now this is interesting, thanks very much for sharing. :)

    Reply
  37. Shane

    In an effort to get this thing back on track. Wether its related to the intent of your post or not… Overhead press has shown next to no if any carry over to my bench. In fact its inhibited the volume I can bench weekly which I could argue actually makes my bench worse. 

    Really? Shit, I was going to start seriously working on my overhead in hopes that it would seriously help.

    Reply
  38. Potato

    I don’t have anything to say on the topic of benching since I don’t bench..

    But what I do want to know is, how the fuck did Justin Bieber end up in this thread??

    Reply
  39. Ryan Gosling

    I don’t have anything to say on the topic of benching since I don’t bench..

    But what I do want to know is, how the fuck did Justin Bieber end up in this thread??

     
    I dunno why Brian posted that, man. Weird.

    Reply
  40. Brandon

    Overhead press has shown next to no if any carry over to my bench. In fact its inhibited the volume I can bench weekly which I could argue actually makes my bench worse. 

    Interesting you mention that, I’ve come up with a similar conclusion. What’s your go-to for bench?
     
    What about dips for bench assistance???

    Reply
  41. Brian

    In an effort to get this thing back on track. Wether its related to the intent of your post or not… Overhead press has shown next to no if any carry over to my bench. In fact its inhibited the volume I can bench weekly which I could argue actually makes my bench worse.

    Do you bench on the same day you OHP? I found doing them on seperate days improved both immensly.

    (I used to do the push/pull/leg split….thought it was good even. But found limiting one heavy pres & pull per day was highly beneficial)

    Reply
  42. Clutz15

    Do you bench on the same day you OHP? I found doing them on seperate days improved both immensly.

    (I used to do the push/pull/leg split….thought it was good even. But found limiting one heavy pres & pull per day was highly beneficial)

     I Bench 5 times a week so regardless my answer to this question isn’t going to provide you any kind of answer haha

    Reply
  43. Clutz15

    Really? Shit, I was going to start seriously working on my overhead in hopes that it would seriously help.

    Given I’ve never dedicated serious cycles to overhead pressing but my bench keeps improving while my overhead not so much.

    Reply
  44. Shane

    Given I’ve never dedicated serious cycles to overhead pressing but my bench keeps improving while my overhead not so much.

    Well, I had thought it might help, because you use your shoulders in the bench press, so I figured the angle that most people do their overhead press, which is kind of arched back and uses a lot of front delts would help the bench press.

    Reply
  45. Clutz15

    Interesting you mention that, I’ve come up with a similar conclusion. What’s your go-to for bench?
     
    What about dips for bench assistance???

     
    Well, as I already mentioned. Umm bench haha. But any kind of bench “assistance” I do would be close grip, slingshot work, floorpress, some light dumbbell work, and the odd dips.
     

    Clutz, do you do any shoulder work? Lateral raises, etc?

     
    Pretty much zero.
     

    Not sure if srs.

     
    Serious haha

    Reply
  46. Clutz15

    Well, I had thought it might help, because you use your shoulders in the bench press, so I figured the angle that most people do their overhead press, which is kind of arched back and uses a lot of front delts would help the bench press.

     
    You’ll never know until you try. Maybe for you itll help!

    Reply
  47. Shane

    You’ll never know until you try. Maybe for you itll help!

    Yeah, this is true. Since everyone gets different results from all kinds of shit. haha

    Reply
  48. Brandon

     I Bench 5 times a week so regardless my answer to this question isn’t going to provide you any kind of answer haha

    Have you tried such insane frequency/volume before in the past, or is this the first time? Must be brutal :o

    Reply
  49. Clutz15

    Have you tried such insane frequency/volume before in the past, or is this the first time? Must be brutal :o

    The minimum I would say I have benched is probably 3 times a week since I started getting competitive. Maybe if I looked back there was a few times I’ve benched 2 times a week but that’s probably rare.

    Reply
  50. MindofShadow

    In an effort to get this thing back on track. Wether its related to the intent of your post or not… Overhead press has shown next to no if any carry over to my bench. In fact its inhibited the volume I can bench weekly which I could argue actually makes my bench worse. 

     
     
    Ditto for this.
     
    Back when I benched 370, in an effort to break past that point, I decided to attack seated OH press (full rom). Went from a shaky 185×5 to a solid 225×4.
     
    Not a single pound was added to my bench. It was a complete and utter waste of time. 
     
    I have found higher rep OH pressing seems to help more (multiple sets of 10 or more) but only as an assistant thing never as something I focus on because focusing on it was a waste of time. 

    Reply
  51. MindofShadow

    Also curious. Injuries? I notice at meets people seem to struggle with the bench most overall, wonder why that is, never understood that bit. You’ll see typical guys squatting 450+, deadlifting 550+, then benching in the mid 200′s. ??????

     
     
    This is really apparent in the lower weight classes. My bench is the only reason I have even been “competitive” at my two meets because everyone else sucks so bad at it. It never made any sense to me. 

    Reply
  52. RJorg

    Also curious. Injuries? I notice at meets people seem to struggle with the bench most overall, wonder why that is, never understood that bit. You’ll see typical guys squatting 450+, deadlifting 550+, then benching in the mid 200′s. ??????

    Chronic shoulder problems that finally went away like 6 months ago. So while my SQ/DL have been progressing for the past several years, BP has been held back by AC joint problems. So it is a ways behind in development time.
     
    Dunno why it’s so common to have big SQ/DL and small BP. The mysteries of powerlifting.

    Reply
  53. RJorg

    Ditto for this.
     
    Back when I benched 370, in an effort to break past that point, I decided to attack seated OH press (full rom). Went from a shaky 185×5 to a solid 225×4.
     
    Not a single pound was added to my bench. It was a complete and utter waste of time. 
     
    I have found higher rep OH pressing seems to help more (multiple sets of 10 or more) but only as an assistant thing never as something I focus on because focusing on it was a waste of time. 

    I think the OHP craze that started up a while ago (probably due to Jim Wendler) was a distraction for new powerlifters. Maybe good for overall strength, development, and balance, but not specifically good for increasing the bench press.

    Reply
  54. Brian

    I wonder how many of those who are struggling with bench progression change their routine up in any way at all? Like sets/reps, order, etc..works for some folks, like me.

    Reply
  55. maraudermeat

    Ditto for this.
     
    Back when I benched 370, in an effort to break past that point, I decided to attack seated OH press (full rom). Went from a shaky 185×5 to a solid 225×4.
     
    Not a single pound was added to my bench. It was a complete and utter waste of time. 
     
    I have found higher rep OH pressing seems to help more (multiple sets of 10 or more) but only as an assistant thing never as something I focus on because focusing on it was a waste of time. 

    this….
     
     
    I’ve always been a big fan of heavy overhead pressing but have found little to no carryover to bench.  IMO, overhead pressing should be purely supplemental.  I stopped worrying about my 1 RM on overhead pressing and made it a high rep, light to moderate weight day to build mass. this has worked well at building more size and actually has helped me recover from heavy lifting days by getting a good pump. 

    Reply
  56. maraudermeat

    I think a good discussion would be about what movements have gotten people’s bench to move.  I am always paying close attention to what lifts get my big 3 moving.  Also, I have certain variations that i know have good correlation to my competition lifts.  For example, I know that my long paused, legs straight floor press is always about 10lbs behind my competition bench with a pause. 

    Reply
  57. Clutz15

    I think the OHP craze that started up a while ago (probably due to Jim Wendler) was a distraction for new powerlifters. Maybe good for overall strength, development, and balance, but not specifically good for increasing the bench press.

    I totally agree with this.

    Reply
  58. RJorg

    I think a good discussion would be about what movements have gotten people’s bench to move.  I am always paying close attention to what lifts get my big 3 moving.  Also, I have certain variations that i know have good correlation to my competition lifts.  For example, I know that my long paused, legs straight floor press is always about 10lbs behind my competition bench with a pause. 

     
    I took Clutz’s approach and started pausing everything, even slingshot overload work. This seems to be working. Pressing is feeling much more solid and the weights are inching up instead of going nowhere.
     
    Also got a Reactive Slingshot with the idea that mild overload through full RoM would be useful. Using it frequently, but not every session. Promising, but the jury is still out.

    Reply
  59. MindofShadow

    I think a good discussion would be about what movements have gotten people’s bench to move.  I am always paying close attention to what lifts get my big 3 moving.  Also, I have certain variations that i know have good correlation to my competition lifts.  For example, I know that my long paused, legs straight floor press is always about 10lbs behind my competition bench with a pause. 

     
    In the past (right now the jury is still out on my bench press progress)
     
    - floor press (usually paused)
    - DB pressing both tng and paused
    - 2 board pressing
    - close grip 
     
     
    Adding to exercises that seem to be a giant waste of effort (when it comes up increasing my bench press)
     
    - Decline benching
    - Dips
     
     
    Also now and in the past… I need to bench often. I can’t do conjugate style stuff and expect my bench to increase. And maxing out on bench style movements is a death sentence for my progress and my shoulder

    Reply
  60. Brian

    Just curious, how do each of you determine what is working and whats not? How do you differenciate between correlation vs causation? Are you all keeping close track of everything you do (routine,diet, rest, etc..)?

    Reply
  61. Brandon

    I think a good discussion would be about what movements have gotten people’s bench to move.

    I like that idea. I always fail miserably if I’m not getting in enough heavy horizontal pressing weekly. Like already mentioned, there are so many exercises that are hit and miss in helping the bench, it took me awhile to realize I just needed to flat bench heavy, more than once weekly, and forget about the other stuff. Overloading it with boards or bands (singles) always works well for me too as long as I don’t cycle them in too long. Also close grips, and pauses.
     

    Just curious, how do each of you determine what is working and whats not? How do you differenciate between correlation vs causation? Are you all keeping close track of everything you do (routine,diet, rest, etc..)?

    Yeah, I’ll do everything in cycles and log the progress between each approx 4-week cycle. I always test straight weight flat bench competition grip after each cycle, especially if my cycle was focused around bands/boards.

    Reply
  62. maraudermeat

    Just curious, how do each of you determine what is working and whats not? How do you differenciate between correlation vs causation? Are you all keeping close track of everything you do (routine,diet, rest, etc..)?

    i would assume that most of the people in this thread do what i do and test their maxes after each cycle or every other cycle. 

    Reply
  63. maraudermeat

    In the past (right now the jury is still out on my bench press progress)
     
    - floor press (usually paused)
    - DB pressing both tng and paused
    - 2 board pressing
    - close grip 
     
     
    Adding to exercises that seem to be a giant waste of effort (when it comes up increasing my bench press)
     
    - Decline benching
    - Dips
     
     
    Also now and in the past… I need to bench often. I can’t do conjugate style stuff and expect my bench to increase. And maxing out on bench style movements is a death sentence for my progress and my shoulder

    you make a good point about adding in exercises that don’t increase your 1RM.  I have quite a few of those and unfortunately i really like some of them and can get pretty strong at them but they don’t transfer at all. 
     
    For me, lift that increase my bench are
    -floor press in many different variaitions.
    -chain and band benching, with the exception of reverse band work.  they actually make my bench go down but i can get really strong at them.
    -titan/slingshot benching in many different variaitions.
    -high board pressing, especially long pause
    -paused bench work of all kinds.
    -lots of tricep work, especially those exercises that hit the inner head near the elbow.  these include, elbows out, close grip pressing, rolling dumbell extensions and dips.
     
    things that don’t-
    -reverse band presses
    -full ROM benching with submaximal weight
    -incline and decline presses
    -dumbell pressing

    Reply
  64. Brandon

    For me, lift that increase my bench are
    exception of reverse band work.  they actually make my bench go down but i can get really strong at them.
    -titan/slingshot benching in many different variaitions.
     

    ^That bit is interesting. You think its because you are actually holding the full amount of weight in the slingshot versus the bands lightening the load on the body?
     
    And when you are benching against bands, how much tension do you normally find works for people?

    Reply
  65. Brandon

    Anyone ever fucked up their spine with a crazy arch? Also, if someone benched 405 (just for example) flat backed, would they be stronger in “real life” than someone who benched it with a super arch? But is there a higher injury risk to the shoulders and pecs benching with a flat back?

    Missed this. I don’t have a crazy arch by any means, but sometimes the back can get sore if I lift my ass up on a crazy grinder. It’s usually only when I haven’t benched for a while and isn’t common or a big deal. Some guys wear belts for that, I guess.
     
    It definitely saves the shoulders when your elbows are not shooting a foot below the bench pad and tearing everything apart. If you are 4′ thick like Al Davis maybe an arch is less of a safety issue. Night and day difference for me though. I’m more worried about my elbows than shoulders, they are never a concern.

    Reply
  66. MindofShadow

    Arching on bench tears me up. Really, it is arching + getting crazy tight but either way it really F’s with my back at times. That is the reason on my second day of benching in the week, I do “loose” form benching… aka I am not arching all the way and I am not getting super tight WITH MY LEGS. My upper back is still tight (to protect my shoulders) but not the lower half. 
     
    When I used to bench with my feet tucked under with an even bigger arch, it used to crank on my back some more. 
     
    But, like Brandon said, completely flat benching TEARS my shoulders up. I can even tell the difference with the bar and the amount of stress that is on my shoulders with a mild arch vs flat backed. Even when I bench with my feet up (which I think may increase my bench but I want to do another cycle before I confirm/deny that theory), I make sure I have a very mild arch and pull my shoulders back to protect my shoulders some. But even then I can tell a difference which I why I never bench low reps with my feet up. 

    Reply
  67. MindofShadow

    Just curious, how do each of you determine what is working and whats not? How do you differenciate between correlation vs causation? Are you all keeping close track of everything you do (routine,diet, rest, etc..)?

     
    Add something in/take something out, progress on said lift, max out on the lift I care about later on. I will do this more than once before I decide if an exercise is crap or not. 

    Reply
  68. RJorg

    Missed this. I don’t have a crazy arch by any means, but sometimes the back can get sore if I lift my ass up on a crazy grinder. It’s usually only when I haven’t benched for a while and isn’t common or a big deal. Some guys wear belts for that, I guess.
     
    It definitely saves the shoulders when your elbows are not shooting a foot below the bench pad and tearing everything apart. If you are 4′ thick like Al Davis maybe an arch is less of a safety issue. Night and day difference for me though. I’m more worried about my elbows than shoulders, they are never a concern.

    I wear a belt when my setup gets tight. Without a belt it feels like spine pain. Usually work from flat, to moderate, to hard arch throughout the warmup.

    Reply
  69. MindofShadow

    I wear a belt when my setup gets tight. Without a belt it feels like spine pain. Usually work from flat, to moderate, to hard arch throughout the warmup.

     
    I wear a belt as well when I do >90%

    Reply
  70. Brandon

    Question… shoulders shrugged “up” vs down” on the setup???
     
    I always notice I shrug up a bit, and when I try to pack my shoulders down, I lose strength. Could just be because I’m not used to it. What do you do?

    Reply
  71. Brian

    Question… shoulders shrugged “up” vs down” on the setup???
     
    I always notice I shrug up a bit, and when I try to pack my shoulders down, I lose strength. Could just be because I’m not used to it. What do you do?

     
     
    If I’m understanding you correctly  -I do it down – though I really never thought of it that way.

    Reply
  72. Ryan Gosling

    Question… shoulders shrugged “up” vs down” on the setup???
     
    I always notice I shrug up a bit, and when I try to pack my shoulders down, I lose strength. Could just be because I’m not used to it. What do you do?

     
    This is interesting, you’re possibly the only person I’ve heard of to do this outside a select group of people on t-nation in 2010 :D Back then Christian Thibaudeau (t-nation’s bald french canadian wacky muscle building expert :D ) was pushing the shoudlers shrugged slightly up and back thing. He said it was a safer and stronger position for raw lifters. I believe he said he got the idea to try it from some old school lifter or another. Said that the shoulders back and down style came from geared benching.
     
    Anyway, it’s interesting to see that you’ve found this to possibly be true independently :D

    Reply
  73. RJorg

    Back and down wrecked my shoulders. Absolutely wrecked. That and tucking the elbows. Now the shoulder blades go out and down and the elbows are maybe 45-60 degrees from the torso centerline.

    Reply
  74. Clutz15

    Back and down wrecked my shoulders. Absolutely wrecked. That and tucking the elbows. Now the shoulder blades go out and down and the elbows are maybe 45-60 degrees from the torso centerline.

    What people miss regularly is that you only have to tuck enough to keep a vertical fore arm. Tucking too much puts the elbow in front of the line of force and the bar rolls back over the face. Tucking too little or pressing straight up turns it into a giant frontal raise. The bar has to come up and then back towards the chin as the elbows flare to finish the lift. Again if you don’t, the force of the press isn’t going directly through the bar.

    Reply
  75. maraudermeat

    What people miss regularly is that you only have to tuck enough to keep a vertical fore arm. Tucking too much puts the elbow in front of the line of force and the bar rolls back over the face. Tucking too little or pressing straight up turns it into a giant frontal raise. The bar has to come up and then back towards the chin as the elbows flare to finish the lift. Again if you don’t, the force of the press isn’t going directly through the bar.

    i don’t even give the cue to tuck to my guys anymore.  In my experience, if the lifter is actively flexing the lats on the decent (bending the bar) the elbows have a natural tuck without actively doing it.  this way there’s no guess work to too much or too little.

    Reply
  76. maraudermeat

    ^That bit is interesting. You think its because you are actually holding the full amount of weight in the slingshot versus the bands lightening the load on the body?
     
    And when you are benching against bands, how much tension do you normally find works for people?

    i really don’t know what it is with the reverse bands.  i can get really strong at the variation but when i attempt a near max after a cycle of them the weight just feels so damn heavy. 
     
    when i bench with bands i don’t use much band tension.  maybe 100lbs total.  i find that too much band tension throws me out of my normal bar path and makes the lift more like a machine lift.  that goes for squatting and deads too.  i remember once i was preparing for a meet and i did a long cycle of squats against bands. i progressed really well with the bands and then i took them off and my bar path was all over the place.  the bands had kept me locked into a bar path and all those little stabilizing muscles weren’t getting worked.  as a result i was all over the place.  now if i use them i keep them light and for a very short cycle and still do straight weight movements right afterwards. 

    Reply
  77. Matt Phelps

    goddamn this was too entertaining.  The best part is i was listening to that Goggins vs. Hoff radio fight over the squat that Hoff won a million dollars for, oh wait, this is powerlifting…,anyway, i was listening to that and reading this forum at the same time and the sharknado of shit talking going into both my eyeballs and ears at the same time nearly made me brogasm in a fit of laughter and appreciation.  Hastalles, i’m sure you’ve talked to plenty of guys that are good at benching and have researched it thoroughly on the internets, but if you need another opinion, want another set of eyes to look at your bench training program or need a form check, i’m more than happy to help you.  After all, everyone knows bench is all that matters. 

    Reply
  78. Shane

    goddamn this was too entertaining.  The best part is i was listening to that Goggins vs. Hoff radio fight over the squat that Hoff won a million dollars for, oh wait, this is powerlifting…,anyway, i was listening to that and reading this forum at the same time and the sharknado of shit talking going into both my eyeballs and ears at the same time nearly made me brogasm in a fit of laughter and appreciation.  Hastalles, i’m sure you’ve talked to plenty of guys that are good at benching and have researched it thoroughly on the internets, but if you need another opinion, want another set of eyes to look at your bench training program or need a form check, i’m more than happy to help you.  After all, everyone knows bench is all that matters. 

    I thought curls were all that mattered? Isn’t this America?

    Reply
  79. Matt Phelps

    I thought curls were all that mattered? Isn’t this America?

    Everyone knows curls for the ladies, bench for the bros, brah.  I think what we all love to see could best be described as “bulky vascularity”.  Nothing wrong with some sweet glamour muscles though.  *flexes in mirror*

    Reply
  80. Ryan Gosling

    goddamn this was too entertaining.  The best part is i was listening to that Goggins vs. Hoff radio fight over the squat that Hoff won a million dollars for, oh wait, this is powerlifting…,anyway, i was listening to that and reading this forum at the same time and the sharknado of shit talking going into both my eyeballs and ears at the same time nearly made me brogasm in a fit of laughter and appreciation.  Hastalles, i’m sure you’ve talked to plenty of guys that are good at benching and have researched it thoroughly on the internets, but if you need another opinion, want another set of eyes to look at your bench training program or need a form check, i’m more than happy to help you.  After all, everyone knows bench is all that matters. 

     
    Glad I could provide some entertainment, haha!
     
    I’d love to get your input, thanks a ton for offering!
     
    Here’s a link to today’s bench session so I don’t clutter up this awesome thread with any more junk :D
     
    http://www.lift.net/community/blog/10/entry-2067-a-bench-session-that-felt-right/
     
    My bench program is basically ramping up the weight from light to heavy with a bunch of low rep sets. 10 or 20 lb jumps in weight at the most. I’ve been messing with variations of that method to try to get it to work as well for my goddamn bench as it works for my other lifts… :D I bench 3 times a week.

    Reply
  81. Brian

    I will say this as dimplomaticly as possible: it strikes me as curious that someone would complain about their bench, have the gall to accuse a fellow member as being dull and then post a video of them kicking their legs around like theyre playing soccer during bench. Not saying you have to bench like everyone else (as I mentioned previously, I have a friend who does NOT use leg drive), but something so obvious should be reconsidered before making such inflammatory comments.
     
    I’m sure I still offended someones sensibilties, but I tried.

    Reply
  82. Clutz15

    i’ll open up a can of worms….
     
    who uses that suicide grip on benchpress??  I know.. i know.. only idiots would do that. 

     
    I know you use suicide grip, but I wouldn’t advocate it for anyone. For one its banned in the IPF, but apart from that you can’t engage nearly as much, if any tightness in the forearm or wrist. And for most people the bar instantly rolls back in the wrist to keep from falling out so you end up pressing with a cocked wrist with takes force away from the barbell.

    Reply
  83. Matt Phelps

    Glad I could provide some entertainment, haha!
     
    I’d love to get your input, thanks a ton for offering!
     
    Here’s a link to today’s bench session so I don’t clutter up this awesome thread with any more junk :D
     
    http://www.lift.net/community/blog/10/entry-2067-a-bench-session-that-felt-right/
     
    My bench program is basically ramping up the weight from light to heavy with a bunch of low rep sets. 10 or 20 lb jumps in weight at the most. I’ve been messing with variations of that method to try to get it to work as well for my goddamn bench as it works for my other lifts… :D I bench 3 times a week.

    Ok, few things, first, that bench and rack make me nervous as hell.  Better equipment, not to mention safer equipment would go a long way.  But i do respect the whole swiss family robinson, benching coconuts in the jungle manly vibe you have going there.  On to the real advice, I could be wrong, as i wasn’t there and am watching a video, but it seems as though your shoulder blades and lats aren’t squeezed together, at least not as tight as they should be.  I realize you were going for a no leg drive bench, which i appreciate, but these techniques not only allow you to apply more power to the lift, but they place your shoulders in a more advantageous and safer position.  Another technique tip, turn your thumbs into the bar as much as possible.  So if your looking up at your hand grabbing the bar, you’ll turn your hand clockwise as much as you can.  This will automatically set up your elbows to be in a better position.  Your elbow tuck and most of your techniques seems to be in pretty damn good shape.  I like the not benching with leg drive, but i would suggest not cutting it out completely.  After all, you want that bigger bench right.  
     
    A word on volume.  I’ll probably catch hell for this, and thats okay since frankly a fuck i don’t give, but it is my opinion that benching 3 times a week is unnecessary, unsafe and detrimental to progressing your bench press.  I personally only bench once a week, maybe twice a week occasionally.  I am usually so destroyed from  the first day of benching i couldn’t do another session for at least 4 days, and by that time, it would make me too sore for my day one bench the following week.  I like to do a high volume of low rep sets and finish off with 2 sets of high rep sets.  A typical bench day looks like this for me:
    Warm up until i feel its good enough.  This usually consists of doing 135 for 20, 225 for 8, 315 for 3, 405 for 1
     
    Then the working sets:
    I like to push myself on the very first set every week or two and go for a little heavier weight for 3 reps.  If i only get it for 2, who gives a shit.  Lately ive been trying to get 500 for 3.
     
    I will then begin to peel off weight as necessary to stay in the 3-5 rep range for 10 sets if i’m in a hurry, 12 sets if i have all the time i want.  
     
    finish with 2 sets of something you can do for 12 to 15 reps.
     
    Thats it.  I rarely ever do another day per week.  I believe you’ll have better intensity and induce better myofibrillar hypertrophy with one day per week.  In the end, its up to you how you want to train, and i’m not attempting to tell you my way is the only way.  There is many variables at play and what works for you may not work for me.  However, i do know i’m decent at this, and one thing i’ve learned in the many years i’ve been lifitng is that for me at least, simplicity is king.  Anytime i tried to implement the newest 5 3 1 or speed bench or whatever ive had nothing but trouble.  I’ve progressed to a large amount of weight over a long period of time by just laying on a bench and bench pressing for a lot of sets once per week. There is a ton of information out there and it’s easy to get confused.  You’ll just have to pay attention to what your body is responding to, and then stick with that.  I can tell by looking at your build and technique in your video that 225 is not the extent of your potential, and its also important to remember that typically the higher up your max goes, the slower your progression becomes, so you just have to keep working through it until you break through the plateau.  Anyway, if you have anymore questions, if i didn’t bore you into committing suicide with this long ass reply, you can email me or get ahold of me on here anytime you want and i’ll help you to the best of my limited abilities.  Matt

    Reply
  84. Ryan Gosling
     

     
    Holy shit! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this. Solid gold here.
     
    I love that bench program, simple and brutal.
     
    I’m gonna get on all of this, thanks again for all the help. Really appreciate it!

    Reply
  85. Matt Phelps

    Holy shit! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this. Solid gold here.
     
    I love that bench program, simple and brutal.
     
    I’m gonna get on all of this, thanks again for all the help. Really appreciate it!

    always glad to help in any way i may be able to.  Don’t hesitate to ask if you have anymore questions. 

    Reply
  86. Brandon

    i’ll open up a can of worms….
     
    who uses that suicide grip on benchpress??  I know.. i know.. only idiots would do that. 

    Never tried it. Do you use it full time? I have heard good things about it helping with shoulder issues…

    Reply
  87. Shane

    I’ve got another question. For lockout strength: heavy partial reps VS isolation tricep death (skull crushers, etc)

    x2 because i usually stall on the lockout

    Reply
  88. Matt Phelps

    I like a mixture of both really, but i primarily focus on extensions.  I don’t do many skull crushers, more tricep rope and single handed cable pushdowns.  I do like to use that slingshot thing mark bell sells every now and then to do some overload training on bench press.  Heres my arm day, which follows bench day:
    5 sets of hammer curls x 8 reps
    5 sets of barbell curls x 8 reps.
    10 sets of single hand cable pushdowns x 5 reps.
    4 sets of tricep rope extensions x 8 reps
    4 sets of concentration curls x 8 reps
    4 sets of forearm curls to failure. (trying to acheive failure around 15 reps.)
     
    I used to utilize board presses once every two weeks, but i felt like i wasn’t getting out of them what i wanted to so i fell back to what works for me.  If youre having trouble locking out i would recommend utilizing a narrower grip on bench day and doing tons of extension work with some kind of overload day on bench with a slingshot or slingshot like device every two or three weeks.  As far as the suicide grip goes, i’ve seen too many terrible, terrible things happen with it and theres been a couple of times where i would’ve dropped 500lbs on my chest if i was using it when my wrists folded over.

    Reply
  89. maraudermeat

    Never tried it. Do you use it full time? I have heard good things about it helping with shoulder issues…

    i use it on all my pressing, even overhead.   It feels very comfortable to me.  it gives me more surface area to hold the bar on.  IMO, if you cast your wrists correctly then there shouldn’t be any issues.  Maybe when i get stronger it might become dangerous:)

    Reply
  90. maraudermeat

    I’ve got another question. For lockout strength: heavy partial reps VS isolation tricep death (skull crushers, etc)

    For a nice strong, almost hydraulic, feel to my lockout nothing beats floor pressing. i like to make the lift as tough as possible.  completely flat back, legs straight out, very very long pause to remove any stretch reflex and not holding my breath.  i want it to be a totally muscled up lift.  when i get strong at these my entire ROM on bench is consistent.  If i start noticing the bar speed slowing down i always throw these back into the cycle.   

    Reply
  91. Matt Phelps

    i use it on all my pressing, even overhead.   It feels very comfortable to me.  it gives me more surface area to hold the bar on.  IMO, if you cast your wrists correctly then there shouldn’t be any issues.  Maybe when i get stronger it might become dangerous:)

    That may very well be the case.  No one has ever shown me exactly how youre supposed to wrap your wrists, so i’ve always just wrapped em up as tight as i can and called it good.  Theyve only folded over on me two or three times, but its frighteningly sudden when they do.  

    Reply
  92. maraudermeat

    That may very well be the case.  No one has ever shown me exactly how youre supposed to wrap your wrists, so i’ve always just wrapped em up as tight as i can and called it good.  Theyve only folded over on me two or three times, but its frighteningly sudden when they do.  

    yep…. most people have no idea how to cast the wrists properly.  they usually wrap the actual wrist.  that would be like just wrapping the knee when you wrap to  squat.  It’s all about immobilizing the wrist.  most of my wrap is acutally above the wrist.  i use the wrap to fill in the space from just below the knuckles to the wrist so there’s no way they can move. 

    Reply
  93. maraudermeat

    I’ll try to keep this thing going….
     
    Let’s talk leg drive and foot placement.  I have my opinions on the topic but would love to hear others opinions.  I find often times that many people have no idea how to create leg drive properly.  If done correctly the ass should NEVER come off the bench.  Actually the ass should actively be going further into the bench. 

    Reply
  94. Matt Phelps

    I’ll try to keep this thing going….
     
    Let’s talk leg drive and foot placement.  I have my opinions on the topic but would love to hear others opinions.  I find often times that many people have no idea how to create leg drive properly.  If done correctly the ass should NEVER come off the bench.  Actually the ass should actively be going further into the bench. 

    I think foot placement depends on alot of variables.  The size and heighth of the lifter, body mechanics, what theyre used to, how comfortable they are pressing off their toes vs their heels, etc.  I personally don’t like my feet up underneath me.  I like to have them out a bit and a little wide, keeping the knees below the hips.  This allows me to drive back towards the rack with alot of power, relying on heavy weight (and a good bench) to keep me from sliding.  I think everyone just has to experiment and learn what works best for them to utilize their entire body in the lift.

    Reply
  95. Brandon

    I’ll try to keep this thing going….
     
    Let’s talk leg drive and foot placement.  I have my opinions on the topic but would love to hear others opinions.  I find often times that many people have no idea how to create leg drive properly.  If done correctly the ass should NEVER come off the bench.  Actually the ass should actively be going further into the bench. 

     
    That would be an awesome discussion, something I’ve never really got quite right. On long grinders my ass tends to come up if I’m pushing hard with legs, and some reps get more leg drive off the bottom than others – not entirely consistent.
     
    My foot placement (always uneven…) is feet far back as possible with heels still remaining on the ground. About 70% “push” while unracking and then 100% push like a leg extension just as I start pressing and all the way to lockout. About midway is where ass might come up as I’m trying to turn the bench into a decline and praying I can make it back into the j hooks.

    Reply
  96. Clutz15

    I’ve got another question. For lockout strength: heavy partial reps VS isolation tricep death (skull crushers, etc)

     
    In my experience, anyone who misses AT lockout raw, probably has poor bar path. If you miss mid range then thats different. As far as tricep movements I’m a huge advocate of compound movements. Closegrip and Slingshot work is my favorite. Based on my leverage I use floorpressing to build speed off the chest.

    Reply
  97. Clutz15

    That would be an awesome discussion, something I’ve never really got quite right. On long grinders my ass tends to come up if I’m pushing hard with legs, and some reps get more leg drive off the bottom than others – not entirely consistent.
     
    My foot placement (always uneven…) is feet far back as possible with heels still remaining on the ground. About 70% “push” while unracking and then 100% push like a leg extension just as I start pressing and all the way to lockout. About midway is where ass might come up as I’m trying to turn the bench into a decline and praying I can make it back into the j hooks.

     
    Try forcing your heels outward (your feet don’t have to be parallel to the bench but force them that direction). The internal rotation at your hip should keep your but more locked down.

    Reply
  98. Brandon

    Best thread ever here.
     
    So what does it mean if you miss midrange? (slightly near the top of midrange before lockout)

    For me it’s just what Clutz was mentioning, poor bar path. The bar ends up too close to my neck and usually I can’t flare out in time to keep my elbows under the bar. I end up in a bad tricep extension position.
     
    Is that what happens with you?

    Reply
  99. Ryan Gosling

    For me it’s just what Clutz was mentioning, poor bar path. The bar ends up too close to my neck and usually I can’t flare out in time to keep my elbows under the bar. I end up in a bad tricep extension position.
     
    Is that what happens with you?

    Something like that :D I think maybe other times it stays too low for me though? Like it sticks mid range but when I bring it up closer to my neck and flare my elbows I lock it out super easy.

    Reply
  100. maraudermeat

    Here’s one: why would a lifter’s floor press be dramatically stronger than their bench press?  Body type, technique, weaknesses?

    i guess it depends on how you are doing it.  IMO, the floor press should be done with a long pause and legs straight.  if you are doing it that way and you are still stronger then i would say there is definitely some technique issues. 

    Reply
  101. jj7642

    i guess it depends on how you are doing it.  IMO, the floor press should be done with a long pause and legs straight.  if you are doing it that way and you are still stronger then i would say there is definitely some technique issues. 

     
    Even with my back flat, shoulders rounded, legs straight, and a 5+ second pause I’m noticeably stronger (10%+) on the floor press.  I think some of it may be my bench, which is tall and not very well built.  I’m going to try and bench on a better quality one  to see if it makes a difference.
     
    Also, here is another interesting thing:  on the floor press, the wider I grip, the more weight I can use.  But on the bench press, it doesn’t seem to matter at all where I grip the bar, my strength is always the same.

    Reply
  102. maraudermeat

    Even with my back flat, shoulders rounded, legs straight, and a 5+ second pause I’m noticeably stronger (10%+) on the floor press.  I think some of it may be my bench, which is tall and not very well built.  I’m going to try and bench on a better quality one  to see if it makes a difference.
     
    Also, here is another interesting thing:  on the floor press, the wider I grip, the more weight I can use.  But on the bench press, it doesn’t seem to matter at all where I grip the bar, my strength is always the same.

    i would have to see a video of your regular bench to see what’s going on.

    Reply
  103. MindofShadow

    Try forcing your heels outward (your feet don’t have to be parallel to the bench but force them that direction). The internal rotation at your hip should keep your but more locked down.

     
    This! 
     
    I got my bench set up basically from Hooper. 
     
     
    And on skulls… I don’t think they do shit for lockout but when I push skulls my bench seems to go up. When my skulls were the highest, my bench was the highest but I don’t think it was because they made my lockout stronger. They just made my triceps and elbows stronger. I typically do them lower rep than most (8′s. triceps are generally fast twitch) and my form is far from strict. They are like half presses for me personally. 

    Reply
  104. maraudermeat

    Any help would be great, thanks in advance.
     

    i see why now… you have long ass …. i mean really long ass arms.   your ROM is a mile and a half.  I bet whe you do floor presses the bar stops about half way to your chest.  floor presses for you are probably a 4 board press for me. 
     
    I’m impressed with your upper body on the bench.  your bar path is good and consistent.  I would definitely work on getting more leg drive and a tighter setup though.  This is just my preference but if i were you i would get my feet back more.  i tell my lifters that you are always striving to get your feet closer to your head.  i’m a big fan of benching on your toes as well.  i pull myself past the bar, set my feet and then push myself down over my feet and spike my traps in the bench while pulling my scapulas together.  to get good leg drive i then actively push down with my heels througout the lift.  this will keep me arched, give good leg drive and keep my ass planted on the bench during heavy sets. 

    Reply
  105. Hutch_51

    Tried something new last night. Usuakly wo with 295-305depending on the day. I loaded 115 and did a decreasing ladder beginnig at 25 reps. I super setted with bench dips after each press. Same reps/ladder routine. I got to 14. I had to stop for. a couple of reasons. I could not feel my arms and the line at the bench was backing up.

    Reply
  106. Brandon

    Tried something new last night. Usuakly wo with 295-305depending on the day. I loaded 115 and did a decreasing ladder beginnig at 25 reps. I super setted with bench dips after each press. Same reps/ladder routine. I got to 14. I had to stop for. a couple of reasons. I could not feel my arms and the line at the bench was backing up.

    Sick pump? :D
     
    Glad this thread was bumped, I’ve had two questions on my mind.
     
    1: How close is your close grip to be to your competition grip bench? Are they normally similar?
    2: How do you fix a very, very, very top end lockout issue? I’m talking smooth up until the last 1.5-2″… :D

    Reply
  107. zaustin

    Best advice I have ever received on increasing bench max:
     
    1) Feel like you are bending the bar, almost as if you are trying to snap it in half (it recruits the triceps more)
     
    2) Squeeze that ass. Thats right. I didn’t believe it at first but then I tried it… Im assuming it is tied to better leg drive but hey, what do I know? Im just a kid.  0.o

    Reply
  108. anonymous_burn

    Sick pump? :D
     
    Glad this thread was bumped, I’ve had two questions on my mind.
     
    1: How close is your close grip to be to your competition grip bench? Are they normally similar?
    2: How do you fix a very, very, very top end lockout issue? I’m talking smooth up until the last 1.5-2″… :D

     
    I’m a shit bencher but for what it’s worth I bench with my ring fingers on the rings and my close bench has one finger on the smooth, so they’re quite a bit different. 
     
    Very top sounds like triceps? Close grips and dips?

    Reply
  109. MindofShadow

    always heard the top top top being hard was a form issue. Not sure if true, never had that sticking point. 
     
    Best all time bench is 370. best all time close grip is 365. Yeah….
     
    My “normal” grip is pretty damn narrow though so…

    Reply
  110. maraudermeat

    It could be a form issue.   Are you keeping your scapulas together when you bench?  If you allow your upper back to flatten out your chest drops and then you only have the shoulders to attempt to finish the lift. This is obvious because you can see the shoulders round forward. This could cause that sticking point at lockout.   If your scaps stay together the chest stays high you will have more muscle to finish the lift and better leverage.

    Reply
  111. Clutz15

    Sick pump? :D
     
    Glad this thread was bumped, I’ve had two questions on my mind.
     
    1: How close is your close grip to be to your competition grip bench? Are they normally similar?
    2: How do you fix a very, very, very top end lockout issue? I’m talking smooth up until the last 1.5-2″… :D

    99% of Raw benchers who miss here is likely due to bar path. If you press straight up you lose leverage and the bar will die at lockout. Mitch had the same problem and it wasn’t due to his triceps strength.

    Reply
  112. Fletch1986

    What do ya’ll do for RC and scapulae health?  
     
    So far I’ve been doing power snatches before squats and deads, push ups then moving into a downward dog (the yoga position where you stick your ass up into the air), rear delt raises, strict chins, and cuban presses and sometimes some RC stuff you see physical therapists have there clients do occasionally when I’m at home.  
     
    Everyone seems to say row, row, row, for shoulder health… but for me all that did is keep my scapulae pinned or roll my shoulders forward without doing anything to ‘unglue’ my scapulae if that makes any since.  The exception being unilateral rows which seem to help a ton.  
     
     
    Another bench problem I’ve encountered is poor internal rotation.  I’ve found snatches and cuban presses help a bit.  Stretches specifically made for internal rotation don’t seem to help much.  Are there any other exercises or activation drills or something like that that helps improve internal rotation mobility (as opposed to just ROM).

    Reply
  113. Ryan Gosling

    What do ya’ll do for RC and scapulae health?  
     
    So far I’ve been doing power snatches before squats and deads, push ups then moving into a downward dog (the yoga position where you stick your ass up into the air), rear delt raises, strict chins, and cuban presses and sometimes some RC stuff you see physical therapists have there clients do occasionally when I’m at home.  
     
    Everyone seems to say row, row, row, for shoulder health… but for me all that did is keep my scapulae pinned or roll my shoulders forward without doing anything to ‘unglue’ my scapulae if that makes any since.  The exception being unilateral rows which seem to help a ton.  
     
     
    Another bench problem I’ve encountered is poor internal rotation.  I’ve found snatches and cuban presses help a bit.  Stretches specifically made for internal rotation don’t seem to help much.  Are there any other exercises or activation drills or something like that that helps improve internal rotation mobility (as opposed to just ROM).

     
    My favorite subject! :D
     
    I like how you’re not thinking about “gotta pull to ‘balance’ the pressing out” or something dumb like that. :D (I wrote a post about it a while ago here, there might be something useful in there I hope: http://www.lift.net/community/topic/3052-pull-to-push-ratio/?p )
     
    I’m a big fan of face pulls – you get external rotation, some rear delts, scapula retraction, and depression all at once!
     
    I picked this up elsewhere and have had some sucess with it – before I press, I do some light, explosive dumbbell snatch with almost all upper body. So, like a fast cuban press or something. The external rotators are apparently fast twitch muscles, so doing this seems to really help activate them and get your shoulders stable and strong before pressing. I like to really get the weight up into a really tight overhead position too – which gets my scapulae muscles and serratus anterior all firing nicely.
     
    Benefits of overhead lifting (I suspect you may have already read this, but maybe someone else reading will get something out of it): External
     
    Kelly Starret’s catching some flak recently, but he’s still my mobility god :D

     
    (Disclaimer for that video – I haven’t done that stuff myself. Yet. You can be the guinea pig and tell us how it works :D)

    Reply
  114. SnatchRex

    Sup dudes and dudettes?
     
    A little late to the party, but I gotz a question:
     
    Context ‘raw’ benching.
     
    Do you “spread the bar”?  Is it best (good, bad, better, best, otherwise) to spread the bar ‘pinkies away’ (think rear delt flye direction) or better to “spread the bar in” (think pushing thumbs toward each other) or better to “bend the bar” (rotate right hand clockwise, left hand anti-clockwise)?  I don’t mean actually rotate, but put pressure in that direction.
     
    Does it even matter so long as the lats are engaged?

    Reply
  115. Shane

    Sup dudes and dudettes?
     
    A little late to the party, but I gotz a question:
     
    Context ‘raw’ benching.
     
    Do you “spread the bar”?  Is it best (good, bad, better, best, otherwise) to spread the bar ‘pinkies away’ (think rear delt flye direction) or better to “spread the bar in” (think pushing thumbs toward each other) or better to “bend the bar” (rotate right hand clockwise, left hand anti-clockwise)?  I don’t mean actually rotate, but put pressure in that direction.
     
    Does it even matter so long as the lats are engaged?

    I don’t do any of that. Never have. lol

    Reply
  116. Brandon

    Sup dudes and dudettes?
     
    A little late to the party, but I gotz a question:
     
    Context ‘raw’ benching.
     
    Do you “spread the bar”?  Is it best (good, bad, better, best, otherwise) to spread the bar ‘pinkies away’ (think rear delt flye direction) or better to “spread the bar in” (think pushing thumbs toward each other) or better to “bend the bar” (rotate right hand clockwise, left hand anti-clockwise)?  I don’t mean actually rotate, but put pressure in that direction.
     
    Does it even matter so long as the lats are engaged?

     
    I’m not an amazing bencher, my best so far is 350 at 160, but my buddy Jason Manenkoff whom is a much better bencher than myself told me to bend the bar (force in a neutral grip position). His reasoning was for the lat tightness, and it does seem to help my unrack and stability.
     
    Curious what others have to say about this actually.

    Reply
  117. Clutz15

    I don’t do any of that. Never have. lol

     
     

    I’m not an amazing bencher, my best so far is 350 at 160, but my buddy Jason Manenkoff whom is a much better bencher than myself told me to bend the bar (force in a neutral grip position). His reasoning was for the lat tightness, and it does seem to help my unrack and stability.
     
    Curious what others have to say about this actually.

    Bend it 100%. The thing to remember though is even though you are “bending it” your elbows shouldn’t over tuck which is the mistake alot of people make when I give this cue.

    Reply
  118. RJorg

    Bend it 100%. The thing to remember though is even though you are “bending it” your elbows shouldn’t over tuck which is the mistake alot of people make when I give this cue.

     
    Can you comment on over-tucking?

    Reply
  119. maraudermeat

    i don’t ever give the cue to tuck the elbows because when i do people automatically tuck too much.  IMO, if you are retracting the scaps, the arms will naturally tuck the appropriate amount.  if you start thinking about tucking then you do it too much. 
     
    IMO, if you really think about one cue- keeping the scapulas retracted the entire time, then everything else will naturally follow. 

    Reply
  120. DoubleDuce

    Great discussion!
     
    Here are some of my random thoughts on the discussion without going back and quoting each topic.
     
    Bench is the only thing I’ve ever pulled my upper back on and my upper back is the only think I’ve ever hurt from benching. There might be something said in that.
     
    I do a lot of overhead press, first, because it’s awesome, and second because it keeps my shoulders from aching from benching. Healthy shoulders = more bench work = a bigger bench.
     
    I also don’t so much pull the bar apart as try to squeeze the bar to death.
     
    I think one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made is to try to lift like the experts say I’m supposed to, instead of really finding out what works for  me. People tend to acknowledge that not everyone squats or dead lifts the same, but then see benching as right or wrong. Don’t be afraid to not bench just like Dave Tate says. For me, a setup with slightly worse leverages and happy shoulders has given me a bigger bench in the long run.

    Reply
  121. Never Give In

    Ive been following stronglifts 5×5 for about 3 months now. Felt like I have been plateuoing (I am tired, spelt wrong and dont care)..I tried Bill Star tonight. Finally feel good again. Havent inclined benched in a while. Did well but shoulders a bit sore. Going to use this for a bit. Little upgrade.

    Reply
  122. MindofShadow

    I am currently doing a variation of bench press 4x a week, and my bench has never felt more consistent. 
     
    I went from 1x a week to 2x a week and noticed my bench felt a lot better. Just recently (last 8 weeks) and it has felt even better. 
     
    And none of the days are “light.” 
     
    But I have cut out virtually all assistance work. I do comp bp, bp, 3ct pause bp, incline bp, floor press, and ohp and thats pretty much it. 

    Reply
  123. Brandon

    I am currently doing a variation of bench press 4x a week, and my bench has never felt more consistent. 

    How do you have this setup? I’m curious…

    Reply
  124. MindofShadow

    How do you have this setup? I’m curious…

     
    The typical set up is…
     
    Day 1- competition bench press, standing ohp
     
    Day 2- incline bench press
     
    Day 3- floor press
     
    Day 4- bench press, 3ct pause bench press
     
     
    comp bp, bp, 3ct pause, and fp are typically done in the 1-5 range (mostly 3-5).
     
    Incline and OHP are typically in the 5-7 range unless they are the ME exercise that week and then they are 3′s. sometimes I do floor press inthe 5-7 range too.
     
    In a perfect world  I would switch day 3 and 4 so I don’t do flat bench back to back but it hasn’t seemed to affected anything and it just works better this way schedule wise.
     
    But also, I am doing hardly any assistance and if I do it is just light pump stuff or awesome hammer strength 10-20 reppers. And on average, I do 2-5 work sets for the exercise. Up to a top set and 1-3 back off sets depending on a bunch of stuff. 

    Reply

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