View Full Version : Why do I suck at board/top end work

04-01-2009, 08:48 PM
My top end work sucks dick.

My best bench is 285, my best 2 board is 300, and my best 3 brd is like, 310 or something. I don't yet do shirted work. My floor press is very close to my bench, maybe a little bit less. I feel like some people can lockout or board press waay more weight than their full ROM numbers, but for some reason I've never been one of those guys, even with my deadlift - best deadlift is 530, best rack pull from the knees is 600. (before that it was 515, 585).

once my raw bench gets where it needs to be I might give shirted benching a try, but until then I'm sticking with raw. Are my crappy board numbers holding me back or does it really matter for raw benching?

Brian Hopper
04-01-2009, 09:11 PM
Sounds like some weak triceps and maybe some weak shoulders as well. Might want to try hitting those pretty hard!

04-01-2009, 10:30 PM
I would say weak triceps. You are either not doing enough or over training them.

04-01-2009, 10:41 PM
As you probably suspect, we all think it's weak triceps. But it could also be mental. Holding and pushing heavy weights is tough! Sometimes it may take a few seconds to get a ton of weight moving, but if you press through, you may surprise yourself. This is more applicable to rackpulls and rack squats, but the mental part definitely applies to boards. Anyways - most people can push board presses up pretty quickly. Hell, try some fairly high boards - depending on your arm length, try 4 or 5 boards.

04-01-2009, 10:57 PM
I agree with weak triceps. One thing I got from the Louie seminar is LOTS of tricep work. Do 10+ sets of it per bench workout. Strong arms are the key to a big bench. Now I wouldn't just jump to 10+ sets. I'd try to add 1-2 sets and stay at that volume for a few weeks. Then add 1-2 more sets, etc.

Travis Bell
04-01-2009, 11:40 PM
Just make sure your form isn't breaking down when you use the boards. Mimmick the same spot you'd touch full range if that makes sense. Most people touch too high on the boards. I used to until Vincent noticed it. Makes a huge difference.

Keep your elbows tucked as well. Most people have a nice gentle tuck full range raw, but when they hit the boards, their elbows flare out big time putting all the weight on their shoulders. Bench the same way you would full range.

The real question is though, is your full range bench going up? If so, then it doesn't matter too much what the ratio is

Brian Hopper
04-01-2009, 11:42 PM
Just don't give up, keep busting ass in the gym to get stronger. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day!!! Start hitting those triceps hard.

04-02-2009, 12:52 AM
More triceps and then when those are monsters, more triceps. Try adding pin press and close grip flat bench to inprove your lock out. bands and chains may ot be a bad idea either. Also make sure you keep your wrists strait, I recommend 36in wraps also - Good luck

brad cikana
04-02-2009, 12:54 AM

Brian C
04-02-2009, 07:09 AM
One thing a friend of mine did who was in the same position as you was that he added static holds to his routine. Getting used to holding heavier weight helped overcome the mental aspect of pressing heavier weight.

04-02-2009, 08:55 AM
I agree that it may be triceps weakness, mental issues, or technique problems(like travis said), but there is also the chance that you just arent that strong on brds. A lifter you may have heard of, Clay Brandenburg, is the same way. His 4 brd press max is less than his 2 brd press max. He has trained his lockout viciously for years and it is still the same. Now that doesnt mean that you should just say "my board press sucks so Im not gonna train it" it just means that you have to train it harder. The only way to get stronger is to train your weaknesses..

04-02-2009, 08:56 AM
I wonder about your form during bench press. Are you keeping your elbows in and using those triceps? If not then they may be weaker which would cause the problem.

04-02-2009, 09:17 AM
The real reason that no one has hit yet:

Its becuase you aren't working out with 1-0-7. :evillaugh:

scott rowe
04-02-2009, 09:26 AM
throw up a quick video and that could take the technique issues out of it. hit the boards low.

04-02-2009, 02:30 PM
As far as videos I don't have anything recent, but here is me benching 260 ~9 months ago...


I flare my elbows a little early. I have a meet april 18th so i'll probably get some vids up right after that.

For supplemental tricep work, what rep range would you guys reccomend? Currently my bench day looks something like....

Bench rep work, either flat bench or, recently, board work... (1-5 rep range depending on what week I'm in...)
Some sort of OH pressing, ~6 rep range, 2-4 sets
Tricep assitance exercise (3 sets of 8-12), I do either tate presses, tricep pushdowns, or more recently reverse bench. In the past I've done a lot of skull crushers and dips.

I have various horizontal/vertical pulling excercises on bench day too. I remember vincent saying that on his speed days he does lower rep work on stuff like JM presses or skull crushers (3-5), which I was very surprised at. I was under the impression that most assitance stuff, especially for bench, was a little higher.
As far as carryover from board work to raw bench, I have no idea what my correlation is. Currently my bench is going up something like ~5 lbs a month, though in the past two months or so I've put on 10 lbs and I've added something like 15 or 20 lbs to my bench. I've done very little board work in that time period.

Brian C
04-06-2009, 07:03 PM
really concentrate on keeping those elbows in so you will trigger your triceps in the top half. flaring them out puts the load on your shoulders and will not utilize your tricep strength. I keep most of my tri work in the 6-10 range. I do a lot of heavy weighted dips in the 4-6 range.