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View Full Version : Weak off the chest questions on bench



Donnajo
12-30-2010, 07:15 AM
I am 10 weeks out from my meet and my weak point is off the chest....any suggestions on how I should write up my cycle for the ME bench days? What max exercises to use and what accessories?

Pete22
12-30-2010, 07:54 AM
Accessories I would focus on are DB bench, some type of shoulder pressing, and lots of upper back and lat work (I like DB rows). As far as ME movements, maybe throw some paused benches and inclines. You'll want to do more full range movements if you're weak off the chest. I'm assuming you're doing speed work, so I would continue to focus on that as well.

JK1
12-30-2010, 08:39 AM
Donna,

First off, how tight are you staying on the bench? You need to stay tight. Second, work your lats/upper back!! 3rd (this is something Rob Wilkerson suggested for Amy and it really seems to be working) start incorporating paused presses on your DE days---I know that sounds kind of counter intuitive, but it really seems to be working for her. Bring the bar down fairly quickly, pause on the chest for a 2 count (or in Amy's case since we bench with the safety catches, actually set the bar on the safety catches/the pins in a rack and relax the triceps/shoudlers---keep your arch and keep your back TIGHT---once the bar is paused, EXPLODE up with hard leg drive. Basically this is like a box squat for the upper body.

Using the lighter weights of a DE day keeps you from having to worry about paused work being hard on the pectoral tendons, you work staying tight, and you learn to focus the muscles you need to use coming off the chest.

You think you can get down to Alabama and train with us sometime before the meet?

Dan Fanelli
12-30-2010, 08:40 AM
Accessories I would focus on are DB bench, some type of shoulder pressing, and lots of upper back and lat work (I like DB rows). As far as ME movements, maybe throw some paused benches and inclines. You'll want to do more full range movements if you're weak off the chest. I'm assuming you're doing speed work, so I would continue to focus on that as well.

x2 Ive been doing all of these and they are working like a charm..... Incline DB bench is probably my favorite.

Another thing that helped was something I read in a Wendler article. I cant find it, but I think he was talking about incline bench. Basically he was saying dont just lower the weight and raise it. Lower it powerfully, and then SHOVE it away from you. Sorta like what you'd do if you were trying to push someone over. My power off my chest immediately improved.

smallwoodjt
12-30-2010, 09:54 AM
I also have this weakness and have recently started dialing in on how I respond to different exercises. I tried ultra wide grip, lots of incline, close grip work, among others. Recently, I have really focused on form and full body tightness. Flexing the s*** out of my legs and glutes, keeping my shoulders pulled hard back and down, and really gripping the bar seems to give me a ton of pop out of the hole. My bench has gone up like crazy since I've made that change. The Dave Tate video series on YouTube "So You Think You Can Bench" is really helpful. Accessory wise, I've done a lot of chain work with pauses at the chest for my DE day. I know my numbers arent anything to brag about, but this was a huge problem for me. Best gear bench is 435 in single ply. Once the gear came off, my raw went way down due to no bottom work. Good luck!

AdamBAG
12-30-2010, 10:03 AM
First, buy a tighter bench shirt. :)

I assume you are benching raw right? I think paused presses, lat, shoulder work would help the most.

smallwoodjt
12-30-2010, 10:23 AM
First, buy a tighter bench shirt. :)

I assume you are benching raw right? I think paused presses, lat, shoulder work would help the most.

Haha! That's a running joke at my gym - UP THE DOSE and GET A TIGHTER SHIRT! Neither of which I participate in, but funny nonetheless. Sorry for hijacking.

Definitely agree with all the strategies suggested. I think experience trumps everything though. Try some of these and see how you respond. As Wendler says, "Find your Kroc row..."

Brian Hopper
12-30-2010, 10:51 AM
I would try DB presses, paused bench press, and some more shoulder and lat work.

ScottYard
12-30-2010, 10:53 AM
Good Old flat presses work well with moderate reps ranges 5-8. Floor Presses, Illigal Wides and Lots of Lat work.

Donnajo
12-30-2010, 11:14 AM
Accessories I would focus on are DB bench, some type of shoulder pressing, and lots of upper back and lat work (I like DB rows). As far as ME movements, maybe throw some paused benches and inclines. You'll want to do more full range movements if you're weak off the chest. I'm assuming you're doing speed work, so I would continue to focus on that as well.

Got ya...got db bench, OH Barbell Press, and rows and pull ups in already....thought about 1 arm db press on bench or ball to force me to stay tight too.

I am doing a close grip pause press for accessory...Did not think to put that in as ME....Incline pause benches would be good as an ME?

I am doing speed work followed by decline push ups or pause presses. sound good?




Donna,

First off, how tight are you staying on the bench? You need to stay tight. Second, work your lats/upper back!! 3rd (this is something Rob Wilkerson suggested for Amy and it really seems to be working) start incorporating paused presses on your DE days---I know that sounds kind of counter intuitive, but it really seems to be working for her. Bring the bar down fairly quickly, pause on the chest for a 2 count (or in Amy's case since we bench with the safety catches, actually set the bar on the safety catches/the pins in a rack and relax the triceps/shoudlers---keep your arch and keep your back TIGHT---once the bar is paused, EXPLODE up with hard leg drive. Basically this is like a box squat for the upper body.

Using the lighter weights of a DE day keeps you from having to worry about paused work being hard on the pectoral tendons, you work staying tight, and you learn to focus the muscles you need to use coming off the chest.

You think you can get down to Alabama and train with us sometime before the meet?

Hey Jack! Yup! Stay tight...tight ...tight....got it. Definitely working back...even put a back movement on lower body days. Are the pause presses done in place of speed or in addition?

I would like to get down but with a 6 year old in school travel is hard....I will look into maybe one weekend coming down Jack.


x2 Ive been doing all of these and they are working like a charm..... Incline DB bench is probably my favorite.

Another thing that helped was something I read in a Wendler article. I cant find it, but I think he was talking about incline bench. Basically he was saying dont just lower the weight and raise it. Lower it powerfully, and then SHOVE it away from you. Sorta like what you'd do if you were trying to push someone over. My power off my chest immediately improved.

Good point.....need to db press like I want to bench...that makes sense. I will use this....why do you like incline better for this?


I also have this weakness and have recently started dialing in on how I respond to different exercises. I tried ultra wide grip, lots of incline, close grip work, among others. Recently, I have really focused on form and full body tightness. Flexing the s*** out of my legs and glutes, keeping my shoulders pulled hard back and down, and really gripping the bar seems to give me a ton of pop out of the hole. My bench has gone up like crazy since I've made that change. The Dave Tate video series on YouTube "So You Think You Can Bench" is really helpful. Accessory wise, I've done a lot of chain work with pauses at the chest for my DE day. I know my numbers arent anything to brag about, but this was a huge problem for me. Best gear bench is 435 in single ply. Once the gear came off, my raw went way down due to no bottom work. Good luck!

I was thinking of doing an extra wide grip on one of my ME days? did that help?

Form and tightness.....Ugh! ....One thing that Lones does that helps me is when I set up he walks up and tries to push my body.....if I move I am not tight enough....gonna have to have him do that again to drum it in...sometimes when I think I am tight enough I am not......know this is a huge problem....


First, buy a tighter bench shirt. :)

I assume you are benching raw right? I think paused presses, lat, shoulder work would help the most.


LOL....yeah, I am raw....but maybe tighter sports bras would help.....:clown: thanks....hearing the paused presses a lot....got them in.


Too add.....I was reading on other threads about this here and someone mentioned a 1 board because it would be right about where you fail off the chest.......Does that sound right?

Also, I am going to start posting my workouts again in my journal since I am 10 weeks out...donnajo's powerlifting journey ...so feel free to critique everyone and let me know what you think....I keep a notebook at the gym and have gotten lazy about posting on here but need to because I could use all the help I can get...LOL.

JK1
12-30-2010, 01:14 PM
You would do the paused presses instead of regular DE work---again, you are still working the explosion off the chest, but you are also breaking up the eccentric and concentric portion of the lift and you are working on staying tight.... to me this is really like a "box squat" for the upper body. If at all possible setup in a rack where you can let the bar sink into your chest, but slightly relax the triceps and delts too. Keeping the lighter weights doesn't over stress the pectoral tendons like ME paused presses can too....

So what she is doing is something like this on DE days:

warmup: stretching groin/hips, shoulder rotations, foam rolling, etc
bench:
bar x 10 x 2-3 sets
65 x 5
70 x 3
add chain-- 1-2 1/2 chain/side
75 + chain x 3 x 8-9 sets.

4 or 5 board presses (heavy, with high intensity)
3-4 sets of 5 the goal is to work up to at least 85% of full range bench in shirt for 5 reps. If you were going raw, i'd go to at least 110-125% of your 1RM.

face pulls
4 sets of 10-12

1 arm dumbell rows
4-5 sets of 10-12.

finish with more stretching, working arch, rotator cuff work, etc.

ironwill727
12-30-2010, 03:29 PM
Everyone has their own special exercises. But for me db bench (palms in) 6-10 range works nice. Everytime I get weak off the chest I throw them in and they help nicely. Rows and Pullups help with the back too.

pricedtosell
12-30-2010, 06:47 PM
You would do the paused presses instead of regular DE work---again, you are still working the explosion off the chest, but you are also breaking up the eccentric and concentric portion of the lift and you are working on staying tight.... to me this is really like a "box squat" for the upper body. If at all possible setup in a rack where you can let the bar sink into your chest, but slightly relax the triceps and delts too. Keeping the lighter weights doesn't over stress the pectoral tendons like ME paused presses can too....


I might have to try this. I've always wondered why you're supposed to pause on a box for DE squats but don't pause on pins or anything for DE bench, especially considering you have to pause off the chest for the bench in competition but there's no pause at the bottom of squats.

RhodeHouse
12-31-2010, 06:22 AM
Just bench. There is no accessory exercise out there better than benching. If I want to get really good a football, should I play rugby? No. I should play football. So, to get really good at benching, bench. Simple and effective. If you need to do some paused work, that's cool. Maybe some speed work. But, whatever you do, just bench.

The military presses and lat work is huge, but pressing is the best. Period.