View Full Version : Loser Question

11-22-2003, 08:51 PM
Guys I need your help. I have done some research on proper form for bench, but feel that I am still doing it incorrectly. I think that just as I got great gains from proper form (thanks LATMAN) with deadlfit, that the same will happen with bench. What are some tips for someone who cannot get passed 200?

11-23-2003, 08:01 AM
You probably just have to really focus on your triceps. Learning proper form on bench for me didn't pay off immediately. I simply didn't have strong enough triceps to take advantage of it. Give it some time, but you should see that your gains start going up faster now that you know how to bench.

Read this article if you haven't:

..and the stuff by Louie and Dave, which I'm assuming you already have.

11-23-2003, 08:56 AM
Would that article also apply to raw benchers?

11-23-2003, 12:16 PM
I do train legs, whatchu talking about Willis?

Squats, Hack Squats, SL Deadlifts, Lying Leg Curls, Standing and Sitting Calf Raise are all my friends.

I know there are some crazy curl jockeys, but give me some credit.

11-23-2003, 04:30 PM
I know you're asking about form, but. One thing that was suggested to me was to do doubles or triples. I did that last bench session and it went great. I did 2 warm up sets and then did two sets that were 20 pounds heavier than what I normally do for sets and did 3 reps. Then on my final set I dropped the 20 pounds back to my normal wieght and rep range and pushed out 2 extra reps with ease. I think doing this or some sort of drop sets will personally help me get past my sticking points. You might give it a try.

11-23-2003, 08:02 PM
Close grip bench, Medium grip bench, and JM press. Chalk, no gloves. Thumbless grip. Pow.

11-23-2003, 09:43 PM
A little speed work has helped me have better form during my sets. Try it for a few weeks, and when your doing a set you can actually feel where your spot is for correct form, it's really weird.

Chris Rodgers
11-24-2003, 06:34 PM
Along with following a solid routine you need to make sure you are setting up well. The doubles and triples do sound good though. A few pointers:

Lay back on the bench and pull the shoulders back and tight!! Dig the traps into the bench and keep them there through the whole movement. Setting up your shoulders/upper back like this will decrease the ROM by a few inches and makes sure you keep tight.

Experiment with hand spacing and bar placement. When I go raw to the chest I go as wide as ring finger on the rings. I arch and bring the bar to high up on the abs. Everyone will be different here, but basically bring the bar down above your nipples is not where it's at for strength or healthy shoulders. If you want to focus on your pecs you would bench a lot different than trying to move the most weight. Bringing the bar low will allow you to utilize the lats and if you arch it will allow you to touch at the highest point.

Make sure you keep your feet tight wherever you put them. Alos make sure they are in a spot where you won't pick your ass up off the bench. My feet go behind me when I arch. I actually saw video of myself from the side and they are damn close to my head. I push off the balls of my feet so my feet are not flat. If you go flat foot that is fine too, just make sure your feet stay planted.

Also, as you bring the bar down you should be tucking your elbows in towards your side making sure to keep the bar over the elbow/forearm. Make sure the bar doesn't get out in front of you or behind you. Bring it down nice and tight and explode out of the bottom. As the weight comes up it should shift closer towards your head and your elbows should flare out to lock the weight out. If you are slow at moving the weights you may want to try some speed work. Also, if you have any partners or spotters you may want to experiment with board presses to overload the triceps and get through sticking points. Lockouts are good for this too.

Also remember that in most cases losing bodyweight will not help your bench. I've recently gained 13 or so lbs and my bench and squat have moved up a lot. This is usually the case with those 2 lifts.

Good luck.

11-24-2003, 07:04 PM
"As the weight comes up it should shift closer towards your head"

I'm not arguing with you, because you know a million times more than me, but I thought I recalled an article with Dave Tate saying to make the bar follow in a straight path and that going towards the head was from having too weak triceps compared to delts.

Chris Rodgers
11-24-2003, 09:47 PM
I used to think this way too from reading the articles from WSB. There seems to be a newer breed of lifters these days dominating the bench press and they are the Metal Militia. They basically teach to bring the bar low and then shoot it back towards your head and "catch" it by flaring the elbows and locking it out.

I'm not saying one is better than the other because both methods have helped create world class benches, I just prefer the latter.

11-24-2003, 10:20 PM
Oh my god LATMAN, you are freakin awesome. I tried your tips today and was able to bench 245. That is 45 pounds more then I have been able to in the last two months. When I placed my legs I pretended that I was trying to get them though the floor. I took a huge breath, lowered, and lifted the weight twice. After that, I also had an awesome cardio workout, which ended up being 1 hour and 15 minutes. I cannot believe that I have been doing the bench press incorrectly all this time. I even felt like I could lift more, but decided not to since I did not have a spotter. Man, thanks again for your advice. Thanks to you, I have increased my deadlift and bench. For the first time ever I felt like I was not a weakling.

You rock man!

Chris Rodgers
11-25-2003, 03:37 PM
Wow!! That is a freakin awesome PR! You must have been doing things real wrong, lol. Congrats man and I am happy to help anyway I can. Powerlifting is something I take very seriously and I try and learn as much as possible on the subject and experiment with tons of stuff.

11-25-2003, 03:45 PM
Thanks man. I stopped doing free weights bench for about 3 weeks because I did not have a spotter. Not sure if laying off it also helped. I know for sure my form was horrible. Just like with my deadlift because one day I was able to do about 235. After that, I was not able to it again at remained at 200 until I surpassed it yesterday with your tips. I am sure that one time I did that much it was because unknowingly I used proper technique.

Thanks to you, I think I may be on my way to good numbers.