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BFGUITAR
06-07-2009, 11:15 AM
The first approach I have seen is one where the bencher lowers the bar to just below the chest and then straight up again. The second starts the same way put sort of does a J and ends up higher up on the chest. I am sure strong people bench either of the two ways but what are the pros/cons of each exactly?

Brian C
06-07-2009, 11:52 AM
for me personally whenever the bar ends up lower i end up doing a westide style bencfh where i push the bar backwards towards the head and that makes me a lot weaker. i find when i press the bar to my upper cherst and press in a straight line i have the strongest reps. for instance i had a set of 3 reps where my first rep was awkward and it was the westside style however the second hit the top of my chest and it was much easier. i bench that way now. however my opinion isnt worth much since ibench bodybuilding style just thought id throw my woes out there.

Top of your chest? You flare your elbows out touching that high? Seems more of a JM press if not. Or I might be misunderstanding you

Travis Bell
06-07-2009, 12:09 PM
for me personally whenever the bar ends up lower i end up doing a westide style bencfh where i push the bar backwards towards the head and that makes me a lot weaker.

Not sure where you got the idea that that form is a Westside style but it's not. Metal Militia is the one that came up with that idea initially.

I'm actually not even sure how your post had anything to offer to the OP. You don't have good form, rather you have terrible form, but you say it works for you. Good story, but where does this have anything to do with BF's question?

BF - best bet is to try both and see which one works best. It may depend to some degree if you're benching in a shirt or not because to get the "J" path of travel that you are talking about, you kinda have to belly bench which isn't going to work raw.

Some guys will bring it back over their face to use their shoulders and upper back more for lockout. Others keep it more of a straight line to use their triceps. Both work for different types of benchers and neither is pure, meaning the guys who say they only do a straight line actually just have a very minimalized push back towards their face, and the guys who say they use the "J" travel often times start going up straight off their chest/belly and then slowly back towards their face.

Travis Bell
06-07-2009, 12:24 PM
No I don't always have something negative to say, I try and offer helpful information where asked, not just sit and talk about myself

Hazerboy
06-07-2009, 01:04 PM
Have you seen Dave Tate's benching video on t-nation? He pushes a bit towards the face like you're talking about, though I think someone mentioned that he used to teach straight line benching (just to offer some perspective).

Hazerboy
06-07-2009, 01:35 PM
my form isd not horrible. just because idont arch or tuck my elbows. and it was referring to what helps me lift more weight touching higher or lower youve always got something negative to say dont you lol its so great.

Have some respect man, you're talking to a 530 raw bencher here bro, and more importantly than that, he's done more to help people on this board than you ever will. He's also giving you better treatment than a lot of other guys would - if Rhodes or Vinczent were here they'd tear you a new ass hole for saying stuff like that. Travis is at least civil about these things.

Honestly, your seriously starting to piss me off. Why do you think your perspective would be so valued here? We'll value your perspective when you're pushing big weights, or you've proved to everyone here that you're pretty knowledgeable. Or both. No offense, but your bench blows man, in terms of the numbers your pushing, and you're form. Just watch any of your videos -- do you see how your forearms point inward on your chest? This puts you at leverage disadvantage-- they should be underneath your hands, or at least a bit tucked. Mike G commented about this on your journal and you didn't listen to him. Your response is your same as always "that works for me." You can say that works for you when its actually working, when you're pressing big weights. Kanstantinov can say that works for him because he has a 948 lb deadlift. Steve goggins could say that squatting out of the hole with his chest on his thighs works for him cause he had a 1200 lb squat. When you're at that level, you can say "that works for me" and we'll listen, but until then it DOESN'T work for you, because you're numbers suck.

You say your opinion "isn't worth much" because you lift "bodybuilding style." Then do us all a favor and don't hit reply next time.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that my bench sucks just as hard, especially considering how big I am and how long I've been lifting. In fact, I will say it: I'm not an amazing lifter. My numbers are okay but not great. The difference between us is I don't walk around puffing out my chest, touting advice, then rag on respected members for correcting me. In fact, I will rarely give straight up advice on how things work for me unless I'm talking to a complete newb on the bodybuilding forums, because I've put on 70 lbs since I've started lifting, so I figure I'm in a position to do that. Otherwise I don't feel comfortable telling someone who is stronger than me how to lift, even if I am right.

But here's some advice I WILL give: sit back and listen for awhile Fresh. while you may not be new to lifting, you're new to this board. You don't seem to understand the dynamic of things. In fact, I'm a little confused on why you're hear at all. You give all sorts of advice but don't listen to anyone. Go reread your journal and look and the people that have tried to help you. Even on the threads you start, whenever you ask for advice, you're not REALLY asking for advice, you're just trying to validate the crap you're already doing. On you're deadlift thread all you asked was "will this pass in competition??," and you didn't really give a damn about what everyone was trying to do to help you. I know this because you're form is still EXACTLY THE SAME, and you still lift EXACTLY THE SAME as you did before. Do you understand what sort of a resource you have at your disposal? Despite all the crap I've given you, your actually a pretty strong guy, especially for your size and how ****ty your form is. Its actually very surprising. You could do a lot more if you took advantage of your resources. Think about it - this is the only sport where you can go online and get one on one helpful advice, from PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES, for FREE.

Just why the hell are you here, anyways? I came here to LEARN, and once I did learn a little, help out a few other that are weaker than I am. That and procrastinate from homework. I cannot understand why you're here, cause you certainly aren't learning anything and you can be for damned sure you aren't helping anyone.

A lot of people think you're here just to troll. If you are, you're a very crafty one, and I commend you for that--most trolls will not post videos of themselves lifting, or post a few hundred posts on their journal. You've definetely wasted a lot of my time, so congrats, troll. Personally though, I would like to think that you're not a troll. There's something about all of your posts that makes me think you're just a very, very confused person. Just think about what that says about our perception of you, though, when people do call you a troll. Mull over for a bit.

And thats the last time I have anything to say about this.

Sorry this has gotten so off topic, but I feel like I had to get some of these things off my chest.

CrazyK
06-07-2009, 01:45 PM
The first approach I have seen is one where the bencher lowers the bar to just below the chest and then straight up again. The second starts the same way put sort of does a J and ends up higher up on the chest. I am sure strong people bench either of the two ways but what are the pros/cons of each exactly?On less then heavy sets it's easier to touch and go straight up from right below the chest. However on the heaviest sets it might help to engage more delt on the top half of the lift if your tri's don't have the lockout power, which requires the push back.

Cards
06-07-2009, 02:31 PM
Not sure where you got the idea that that form is a Westside style but it's not. Metal Militia is the one that came up with that idea initially.

I'm actually not even sure how your post had anything to offer to the OP. You don't have good form, rather you have terrible form, but you say it works for you. Good story, but where does this have anything to do with BF's question?

BF - best bet is to try both and see which one works best. It may depend to some degree if you're benching in a shirt or not because to get the "J" path of travel that you are talking about, you kinda have to belly bench which isn't going to work raw.

Some guys will bring it back over their face to use their shoulders and upper back more for lockout. Others keep it more of a straight line to use their triceps. Both work for different types of benchers and neither is pure, meaning the guys who say they only do a straight line actually just have a very minimalized push back towards their face, and the guys who say they use the "J" travel often times start going up straight off their chest/belly and then slowly back towards their face.

would you recommend trying to train both or stick to one? Would you personally recommend one over the other?

MarcusWild
06-07-2009, 02:31 PM
Travis nailed it. It is a shoulders vs triceps thing. I've been doing a ton of tricep work the last 2-3 months. I naturally started to drift less over my face at lockout. The way you have to tuck in modern shirts you will drift back some. It's just a matter of how much and if you're shoulder or tri dominant.

Reko
06-07-2009, 02:48 PM
On less then heavy sets it's easier to touch and go straight up from right below the chest. However on the heaviest sets it might help to engage more delt on the top half of the lift if your tri's don't have the lockout power, which requires the push back.

I'll add to this just a bit.

When I do rep out sets (10-20 or so) I tend to go straight up and down. On heavier shirts, with our without a shirt, I do drift back some.

BFGUITAR
06-07-2009, 03:06 PM
I lift raw at the moment.

I don't know what is comfortable for me at the moment but I have been told to try and go straight up and down. When I go heavy I tend to bring it over my chest more on the way up. I will keep practicing and see what I personally like. Thanks!

Hazer I did see that vid which is why I'm asking :)

barbell01
06-07-2009, 03:36 PM
those are some BRUTAL youtube vids rctripnstuff5

joey54
06-07-2009, 04:38 PM
those are some BRUTAL youtube vids rctripnstuff5

If you mean brutally horrific, I agree.

barbell01
06-07-2009, 04:45 PM
If you mean brutally horrific, I agree.

i guess what i am trying to say is, i wanted to gouge my eyes out knowing that i wasted 5 minutes of my life on those videos. I can't believe that this kid has the balls to talk back to some of the pros on this site!

Sean S
06-07-2009, 05:23 PM
I lift raw at the moment.

I don't know what is comfortable for me at the moment but I have been told to try and go straight up and down. When I go heavy I tend to bring it over my chest more on the way up. I will keep practicing and see what I personally like. Thanks!

Hazer I did see that vid which is why I'm asking :)

I'm the same way. With a submax weight I can press it straight up, but when it gets heavy it drifts back just a little bit. This feels natural to me and I'm the strongest this way. It's not like I'm throwing it way back over my face or into the rack, so I don't worry about it too much.

Travis Bell
06-07-2009, 06:44 PM
would you recommend trying to train both or stick to one? Would you personally recommend one over the other?

Well I would give both a shot and see which works better. Regardless, keep your elbows at a slight tuck and your shoulders and upper back pinched in tight.

I tend to be closer to the straight line bench, although it obviously has some drift to it when I'm in my shirt because benching straight up from my belly would be rather difficult. Raw though, I'm definitely a straight line bencher. I tuck my elbows and plant that weight right in my triceps to let them lock it out.

As far as recommending one or the other though, it's just tough without seeing you actually try both so I'd hate to give poor advice and have it not work out well for you.


Travis nailed it. It is a shoulders vs triceps thing. I've been doing a ton of tricep work the last 2-3 months. I naturally started to drift less over my face at lockout. The way you have to tuck in modern shirts you will drift back some. It's just a matter of how much and if you're shoulder or tri dominant.

Bingo. Whether you are raw or shirted, I'll just add that you want to keep your triceps with a little tuck (more if equipped) otherwise if your elbows become flared and go behind the bar, you won't be able to use them to lock out the weight because they will be out of position.

vdizenzo
06-07-2009, 06:48 PM
I am closer to a straight line. However, my raw is now coming down pretty low. I think for the first time my shirt technique and raw are very similar. I think it a result of lifting my head on the descent.

Jorge Sanchez
06-08-2009, 08:26 AM
I am closer to a straight line. However, my raw is now coming down pretty low. I think for the first time my shirt technique and raw are very similar. I think it a result of lifting my head on the descent.

What are the benefits of lifting your head on the descent? I see a lot of pros doing that.

Kenny Croxdale
06-08-2009, 08:37 AM
BF - best bet is to try both and see which one works best. It may depend to some degree if you're benching in a shirt or not because to get the "J" path of travel that you are talking about, you kinda have to belly bench which isn't going to work raw.

Travis,

There is a "J" path with a raw bench press. That is documented in the bookBench Press More Now. I believe the book is still available at CrainsMuscleWorld.com from Ricky Dale Crain.

McLaughlin's (PhD in biomechanics and former powerlifter) researched the bar path in the bench for novice/intermediate and elite lifters. McLaughlin's studies were performed before bench press shirts. So the research is raw bencher.

One of McLaughlin's research article, "Bench Press Techniques of Heavyweight Powerlifters", provide information and graphs out the bar trajectory, bar path So, not only is it explained but you get a visual of the bar path. The "J" bar path is basically the same for lighter weight lifters.

Anyone interested in McLaughlin's "Bench Press Techniques of Heavyweight Powerlifers", please email me for a copy. In the subject line, put "McLaughlin Article" so I don't think it junk mail. KennyCrox@aol.com


Some guys will bring it back over their face to use their shoulders and upper back more for lockout. Others keep it more of a straight line to use their triceps. Both work for different types of benchers and neither is pure, meaning the guys who say they only do a straight line actually just have a very minimalized push back towards their face, and the guys who say they use the "J" travel often times start going up straight off their chest/belly and then slowly back towards their face.

"...neither is pure...Good point. I suspect the degree of "J" in the movement is somewhat dependent on the bar placement on the chest.

As an example, I perform more of a belly type bench press (raw and in a shirt). My bar path (raw and shirted) tend to be more of a "J" because of that. That because have a great distance to travel when driving the bar back toward my head.

A friend of mine's bar placement on the chest is fairly high. His bar path is a bit straigther because of the chest placement. That because the distance dto tavel back towrd his head is fairly short.

Kenny Croxdale

Rob Luyando
06-08-2009, 08:37 AM
What are the benefits of lifting your head on the descent? I see a lot of pros doing that.

This topic was covered on a previous thread.

Rob Luyando
06-08-2009, 08:41 AM
OK here's my two cents for the day........

If your talking Militia style I think your adressing me. Bringing the bar lower when you touch tucking your elbows hard. As you press you want to bring the bar back to your head getting both your tri-ceps and chest involved. Probably the best video of this being done is my 832 bench at the Arnold. Paul Key was my lift off man and you can actually watch the bar go up every time Paul tells me to bring it back.

Pressing the bar straight up is prettyy much a tri-cep press in the shirt you ned to get the bar up over the top of your chest to actually incorperate your chest muscles into the lift.

barbell01
06-08-2009, 01:07 PM
by chest muscles, you mean shirt chestplate muscles right? LOL

PWR
06-08-2009, 01:36 PM
Switching over to a powerlifting style bench press have definately helped my bench and shoulders! I use to bench more like a bodybuilder as I would lower the bar mid chest and keep my back flat and feet planted but not tucked. Now I lower to just below chest line and have a decent but not severe arch and tuck in tight and my bench has improved and my shoulders are not taking the brunt of the load. My chest seems to feel much more pumped as well after a session. Mine does travel slightly towards my head when going up.

Try it both ways but for me it has helped alot of things by switching. My bench is still getting stronger as to before it seemed to have leveled off.

Clifford Gillmore
06-08-2009, 02:28 PM
This topic was covered on a previous thread.

I just tried to search for it Rob and I couldn't find it, would you mind linking it Rob? I also attempted to google it, and no avail.

Travis Bell
06-08-2009, 03:27 PM
http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/showthread.php?t=124617

mastermonster
06-08-2009, 04:05 PM
"BF - best bet is to try both and see which one works best. It may depend to some degree if you're benching in a shirt or not because to get the "J" path of travel that you are talking about, you kinda have to belly bench which isn't going to work raw.

Some guys will bring it back over their face to use their shoulders and upper back more for lockout. Others keep it more of a straight line to use their triceps. Both work for different types of benchers and neither is pure, meaning the guys who say they only do a straight line actually just have a very minimalized push back towards their face, and the guys who say they use the "J" travel often times start going up straight off their chest/belly and then slowly back towards their face." (Quote)

I agree with Travis on this.

BFGUITAR
06-08-2009, 07:13 PM
Great info guys, thanks!