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smitsky
07-04-2009, 09:21 AM
I'm doing a peaking cycle after running 7 weeks of Sheiko prep cycles, trying to bust through a bench plateau.

Lift at 100%:

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250 lbs @ 184 lbs Bodyweight.

Thanks.

FFHill
07-04-2009, 09:33 AM
That looked easy smitsky!

Throw in some more leg drive and put 275 on there.

dynamo
07-04-2009, 09:40 AM
I bet if you could do 280 no problem if you got the adrenaline flowing. Nice job :thumbup:

vdizenzo
07-04-2009, 09:42 AM
Nice work. Yeah, getting some leg drive, tucking your shoulders, and arching a little would help put you up some more.

Brian C
07-04-2009, 09:50 AM
Nice work. Yeah, getting some leg drive, tucking your shoulders, and arching a little would help put you up some more.

Yeah definately get your legs more involved and more arch. Tucking your shoulders will help decrease that ROM too. Have you tried benching with your legs underneath you instead o in front?

smitsky
07-04-2009, 10:57 AM
That looked easy smitsky!

Throw in some more leg drive and put 275 on there.

Thanks Bro!

Yeah, I have a tendency to be conservative. I'm going to try to hit 260 this coming Friday or Saturday, after preping for it all week.

smitsky
07-04-2009, 10:59 AM
I bet if you could do 280 no problem if you got the adrenaline flowing. Nice job :thumbup:

Thanks Dynamo!

I'm trying to lift my raw numbers up. I'll be competing in the USAPL Maryland States this winter, and I hope to get 300+ in my new size 42 Fury :idea:

smitsky
07-04-2009, 11:02 AM
Nice work. Yeah, getting some leg drive, tucking your shoulders, and arching a little would help put you up some more.

Thanks Vinny!

I should come up and train with you guys! I bet you'd really get me going :)

I really have to get my form better. It's been coming along slowly. My body only seems to want to move so fast when it comes to these improvements.

smitsky
07-04-2009, 11:05 AM
Yeah definately get your legs more involved and more arch. Tucking your shoulders will help decrease that ROM too. Have you tried benching with your legs underneath you instead o in front?

Thanks Man!

I try to use leg drive, but my coordination isn't down just quite yet.

I have to learn to tuck my shoulders. I'm not sure how to do that.

I compete in the USAPL and have to keep my feet flat. So I try to do what Jim Wendler says and push my feet towards the front of my chucks to get some leg drive while not moving the feet.

smitsky
07-04-2009, 11:08 AM
Vid of raw paused PR (from the same workout). My last raw meet was 11/07 where I paused 243 at the WNPF Worlds. This beats it by 2 lbs :)

CDIKPvOvK1k

DrDudley-Robey
07-04-2009, 06:35 PM
Nice work. Yeah, getting some leg drive, tucking your shoulders, and arching a little would help put you up some more.

I agree, also when you arch lose the belt- it is not need for raw lifts only shirted ones to hold the bench shirt in place. Good work, Keep training hard!

Xellarz
07-05-2009, 01:24 AM
Good lifting. But definitely try to take some of these technique pointers. The one I was gonna reiterate was squeeze your shoulder-blades together. God...it makes benching feel so much better, too...feels better on shoulders and everything! Plus, you'll bench more cuz a shorter ROM + you can use some other muscles a little more effectively.

EDIT: oh and you said you didn't really know how to do this. If squeeze your shoulder blades together doesn't let you know what to do, have someone (or imagine someone) holding their fingers along your spine inbetween your shoulder blades...now try to smash their fingers with your shoulder blades.

Brian C
07-05-2009, 12:41 PM
EDIT: oh and you said you didn't really know how to do this. If squeeze your shoulder blades together doesn't let you know what to do, have someone (or imagine someone) holding their fingers along your spine inbetween your shoulder blades...now try to smash their fingers with your shoulder blades.

Good analogy. Also upper back strength pays a huge roll in benching. Really hit the DB/BB rows, lat pulldowns, cable rows and such. When I descend the weight, I really focus on squeezing my shoulders together and flexing my upper back. That paused rep looked strong too!

smitsky
07-05-2009, 09:28 PM
I agree, also when you arch lose the belt- it is not need for raw lifts only shirted ones to hold the bench shirt in place. Good work, Keep training hard!

Thanks for the advice. I'll try it.

smitsky
07-05-2009, 09:33 PM
Good lifting. But definitely try to take some of these technique pointers. The one I was gonna reiterate was squeeze your shoulder-blades together. God...it makes benching feel so much better, too...feels better on shoulders and everything! Plus, you'll bench more cuz a shorter ROM + you can use some other muscles a little more effectively.

EDIT: oh and you said you didn't really know how to do this. If squeeze your shoulder blades together doesn't let you know what to do, have someone (or imagine someone) holding their fingers along your spine inbetween your shoulder blades...now try to smash their fingers with your shoulder blades.

I'm trying to squeeze my shoulder blades together. I've gotten this advice for years, and I'm doing my best to implement it. I guess my body is slow at doing what my mind is telling it to do.

I'm trying to arch by bringing my shoulders down close to my backside on the bench after I finish my setup. At the last minute I squeeze my shoulder blades together and tighten up my traps in the mid-back region. I try to keep this flex as I get the handoff, and keep it thoughout the full ROM.

I didn't understand how to "tuck my shoulders," which is what Vinny and Brian both suggested. Is this the same as squeezing the shoulder blades together?

Thanks.

smitsky
07-05-2009, 09:37 PM
Good analogy. Also upper back strength pays a huge roll in benching. Really hit the DB/BB rows, lat pulldowns, cable rows and such. When I descend the weight, I really focus on squeezing my shoulders together and flexing my upper back. That paused rep looked strong too!

Thanks again Brian.

Yes, I do a lot of back work. I followed Westside for a year or so and had a conversation with Louie. He gave me a bunch of exercises for my upper back that I did religiously, such as seated Dumbbell Cleans, Facepulls, etc., in addition to lots of various types of rowing.

Kenny Powers
07-05-2009, 09:46 PM
i would estimate exactly what everyone else does, id bet you get at least 25 lbs out of a good arch, and you could probably get that in one workout if you figured out the arch

basically

pull yourself up by holding the bar, and pull your feet as far beneath you and towards yoru head as you can. then lower your upper back to where it touches the bench, and move your feet progressively out wide until your feet are flat (it may be easier to bench with a heeled shoe, it is for me). then lower your ass onto the bench, stay tight, and get a good handoff and you are good to go. you should have a very tight arch and feel rock solid on the bench.

heres a vid of my setup on a few different lifts. hopefully it will help cue you in a bit.

rYND02lbxUA

smitsky
07-06-2009, 06:36 AM
i would estimate exactly what everyone else does, id bet you get at least 25 lbs out of a good arch, and you could probably get that in one workout if you figured out the arch

basically

pull yourself up by holding the bar, and pull your feet as far beneath you and towards yoru head as you can. then lower your upper back to where it touches the bench, and move your feet progressively out wide until your feet are flat (it may be easier to bench with a heeled shoe, it is for me). then lower your ass onto the bench, stay tight, and get a good handoff and you are good to go. you should have a very tight arch and feel rock solid on the bench.

heres a vid of my setup on a few different lifts. hopefully it will help cue you in a bit.


Thanks a lot Kenny. I'm sure you're right. I'll take a look at the video, and let you know what I think.

I've been getting great advice from a 198 lb WADBL champion in Oregon and his crew. 585 in his last competition (640 miss). Ben in video:

jqOP5CmEsgo

Thanks!

smitsky
07-06-2009, 09:24 PM
Yeah, that's a nice setup Kenny. If my back could arch like yours does, I'd be able to set up as you do. It doesn't, so I can't. Thanks though.

Kenny Powers
07-06-2009, 10:06 PM
just takes time my man, i couldnt do it at first either. keep working at it and you can get there. stretching your hips and low back often helps a ton

Eric Downey
07-06-2009, 10:17 PM
i would estimate exactly what everyone else does, id bet you get at least 25 lbs out of a good arch, and you could probably get that in one workout if you figured out the arch

basically

pull yourself up by holding the bar, and pull your feet as far beneath you and towards yoru head as you can. then lower your upper back to where it touches the bench, and move your feet progressively out wide until your feet are flat (it may be easier to bench with a heeled shoe, it is for me). then lower your ass onto the bench, stay tight, and get a good handoff and you are good to go. you should have a very tight arch and feel rock solid on the bench.

heres a vid of my setup on a few different lifts. hopefully it will help cue you in a bit.

rYND02lbxUA


the river!! great meet

smitsky
07-07-2009, 04:39 AM
just takes time my man, i couldnt do it at first either. keep working at it and you can get there. stretching your hips and low back often helps a ton

Thanks. I'll keep trying.

I have lifelong chronic back problems. Most people would have quit trying to Squat if they had been through what I had been through. My back has never arched. I have super tight hip flexors. My hips are locked like they're in prison. The bottom line is that I have to work with what I've got. I've come a long long way. Follow my log and you'll see me keep going.

smitsky
07-07-2009, 06:41 AM
On a more positive note, I can tell you that a big arch is definitely not necessary for a spectacular Bench Press. I met and watched Dennis Cieri bench 500 lbs raw at 198, and he's a flat-backed bencher. I created a Thread about it here (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=4650773). A number of those who posted met him and saw him bench, and noted that he benched flat-backed.

smitsky
07-07-2009, 08:35 PM
On my last workout before my max test, I did speed Doubles with 80%:

:hide:

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smitsky
07-07-2009, 09:35 PM
Here's Konstantinovs 550 lb raw bench. Looks like he's flat-backed, and I try to set up like he does:



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barbell01
07-07-2009, 09:38 PM
konstantinov is a monster and has about 8 inches less travel just from his massiveness.

smitsky
07-08-2009, 06:36 AM
konstantinov is a monster and has about 8 inches less travel just from his massiveness.

Lol

That's one way of looking at it :)

Back on the subject of flat backed benchers though...

Dennis Cieri is a raw Bench Press champion. He's not massive. He doesn't look like he can bench 525 raw.

I have read where Louie Simmons also discounts an arch.

Kenny Powers
07-08-2009, 09:14 AM
you can find anomalies to support almost any argument in life. for example, im sure we know someone who drinks alcohol constantly and doesnt have liver problems. this doesn't mean that consuming less alcohol isnt better for your liver. same concept here.

if you tried it, you would understand why all of us say it is much easier. i can say that, because ive done both. benching with an arch is much easier and stronger. not to mention, at the minimum, setting up on your traps with a strong base

barbell01
07-08-2009, 02:04 PM
right on kenny.

Cards
07-08-2009, 02:26 PM
When you watch konstantinov bench, watch the path his elbows follow. Next watch your video.

smitsky
07-08-2009, 06:16 PM
you can find anomalies to support almost any argument in life. for example, im sure we know someone who drinks alcohol constantly and doesnt have liver problems. this doesn't mean that consuming less alcohol isnt better for your liver. same concept here.

if you tried it, you would understand why all of us say it is much easier. i can say that, because ive done both. benching with an arch is much easier and stronger. not to mention, at the minimum, setting up on your traps with a strong base

Sure, you're probably right. But, as I said, my body doesn't have the capacity to attain that position. That doesn't mean I should stop trying. I'm not. Dennis Cieri advocates practicing Wrestling Bridges to facilitate an arch.

Through trying to arch and use leg drive the way Jim Wendler advocates, I can feel my body gradually changing to adapt to this.

As you can see in my setup, I place a huge emphasis on my Traps being a strong base.

I don't think that not being able to arch as much as some, will hold me back from attaining the raw and equipped goals I strive for.

Thanks.

smitsky
07-08-2009, 06:17 PM
When you watch konstantinov bench, watch the path his elbows follow. Next watch your video.

I'll study this and let you know what I think. Thanks.

smitsky
07-08-2009, 07:35 PM
When you watch konstantinov bench, watch the path his elbows follow. Next watch your video.

I watched both my 250 lbs lift and konstantinov's lift.

Other than his lift being a close-grip bench, I see our elbows traveling pretty much the same path.

Please elaborate.

Thanks.

smitsky
07-09-2009, 07:59 PM
Getting psyched and prepared to bust through my Bench Press 250 lb. max tomorrow :evillaugh:

I did a 1 week peaking cycle after running 7 weeks of Sheiko prep cycles, and the strength really began to come on late in the week.

I'll open at 260 and take it from there.

Here I come!

rabiddog
07-09-2009, 09:09 PM
i dont like to really critique others style if i dont really know their style. but i think you could improve on your max poundage if you spent less time under the bar. in the first video it took you 49 seconds from the time you layed down under the bar to start your lift. in your second video it took around 33 seconds. when i go for a max or even if im repping, i dont think i spend more than 5 seconds, 10 at the most, setting up under the bar and starting my lift. please dont take this the wrong way, its just an observation. my brother used to spend a lot of time setting up for his bench, took me a bit to break him of it, but when i didn his bench increased.

smitsky
07-10-2009, 06:13 AM
i dont like to really critique others style if i dont really know their style. but i think you could improve on your max poundage if you spent less time under the bar. in the first video it took you 49 seconds from the time you layed down under the bar to start your lift. in your second video it took around 33 seconds. when i go for a max or even if im repping, i dont think i spend more than 5 seconds, 10 at the most, setting up under the bar and starting my lift. please dont take this the wrong way, its just an observation. my brother used to spend a lot of time setting up for his bench, took me a bit to break him of it, but when i didn his bench increased.

Thanks Bro. I appreciate the advice.

Yeah, it's part ritual to me. I run a number of things through my head during that time, sort of like a checklist.

I've always been a bit faster in competition though, and never had a problem being close to a minute time out. The USAPL is strict, as most know :clown:

Thanks again.

smitsky
07-11-2009, 10:19 AM
Here's the vid of the 20 lb PR I hit on Max Test Day:

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270 X 1 @ 183 1/4 lbs Bodyweight

Xellarz
07-11-2009, 11:24 AM
Nice work on the PR.