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Alaric
04-19-2004, 04:14 PM
I've tried running a couple searches on bench grip for powerlifting training, but I am still confused on how wide your grip should be. Below is an image (not the best, but you are just able to see the smooth rings)

http://www.homesportscenter.com/cap%20barbell/weightsets/images/os-300_gif.jpg

Currently, my index finger is on the smooth ring for wide bench, is this too wide (for maxing and doing low reps)?

I've gone from having my pinky on the smooth ring, to my middle finger on the smooth ring, to finally my current position which is index finger on smooth ring.

Anthony
04-19-2004, 04:19 PM
I'm pretty sure the widest you're allowed is 81cm, but it's good to vary your grip during training sessions (close, med, wide).

Saturday Fever
04-19-2004, 04:34 PM
The wider your grip, the more you have to focus on the bar staying directly over your wrists and elbows. This will force you to keep your elbows tucked. This being just a safety heads up.

ryuage
04-19-2004, 05:02 PM
for more pec stimulation is it better to flare the elbows out or keep them closer to your sides?

Alaric
04-19-2004, 05:03 PM
By elbows being tuck, do you mean so that they never go past your wrists and palms?

Saturday Fever
04-19-2004, 05:17 PM
By tucked I mean not flaring outwards. When you lift big (I unfortunately bench very small) flared elbows will lead to shoulder injury and torn pecs.

Lay on the floor with your arms out wide as if you were benching. Now bring the imaginary bar straight down. As you do so, keep the bar, your wrists, and your elbows all in a straight line. Your elbows will naturally tuck. This is all assuming you're using a solid arch and bringing the bar to your sternum, true to PL form.

Alaric
04-19-2004, 05:30 PM
I did that little experiment of yours Saturday Fever with an actual bar (no weights), I use a fairly wide grip I believe, and when I brought the bar down its as if my arm made an 80-85 degree angle with my forearm, is tihs correct tucking form, or is this still considered flaring?

Thanks again.

Saturday Fever
04-19-2004, 05:35 PM
http://66.235.16.23/training/2004_west_coast_open/040411-bench-555-3.wmv

Watch that video. The camera angle makes it look like the bar is moving down his body as it descends, but try to focus on how his elbows stayed tucked. Hope that helps.

Anthony
04-19-2004, 05:54 PM
Is that Tommy Fannon?

dxiw
04-19-2004, 06:03 PM
your grip needs to be wide enough so that you make a perfect recatangle with bar and forearms.. easy way: lower it to your chest - now grip it so that your forearms are perpendicular to the ground...problem solved and on the elbows.. never flare them outward if you do proper form which is a straight line over the nipples your elbows willl never flare out anyways..

Max-Mex
04-19-2004, 07:26 PM
http://66.235.16.23/training/2004_west_coast_open/040411-bench-555-3.wmv

Watch that video. The camera angle makes it look like the bar is moving down his body as it descends, but try to focus on how his elbows stayed tucked. Hope that helps.


It is moving down his body. Hits his belly. I've never really understood that style of lifting. To me it seems the path is much longer that just going up and down.

Anyhoo, elbows tucked will prevent stress on the shoulders as SF mentioned.

supirman
04-19-2004, 10:37 PM
While in that movie clip the movement of the bar to the abdomen is certainly exaggerated, a slight arc (convex to your head) follows the natural kinematics of the body. If you were to "just go up and down" as stated, your elbows will flair, thus reducing power and providing undue stress on the shoulder joints. After I learned the "proper" way to bench for weight from a friend, my bench skyrocketed.

just my two cents

Alaric
04-26-2004, 05:20 PM
This is a quote from an article written by Dave Tate which contradicts what you just said supirman:



4 Push the bar in a straight line.

Try to push the bar toward your feet. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, right? Then why in the world would some coaches advocate pressing in a "J" line toward the rack? If I were to bench the way most trainers are advocating (with my elbows out, bringing the bar down to the chest and pressing toward the rack) my barbell travel distance would be 16 inches. Now, if I pull my shoulder blades together, tuck my chin and elbows, and bring the bar to my upper abdominals or lower chest, then my pressing distance is only 6.5 inches. Now which would you prefer? If you want to push up a bar-bending load of plates, you'd choose the shorter distance.

Here's another important aspect of pressing in this style. By keeping your shoulder blades together and your chin and elbows tucked, you'll have less shoulder rotation when compared to the J-line method of pressing. This is easy to see by watching how low the elbows drop in the bottom part of the press when the barbell is on the chest. With the elbows out, most everyone's elbows are far lower than the bench. This creates a tremendous amount of shoulder rotation and strain.

Now try the same thing with the elbows tucked and shoulder blades together while bringing the barbell to your upper abdominals. For most people, the elbows are usually no lower than the bench. Less shoulder rotation equals less strain on the shoulder joint. This means pressing bigger weights for many more years. I've always been amazed at trainers that suggest only doing the top half of the bench press, i.e. stopping when the upper arms are parallel to the floor. This is done to avoid the excess shoulder rotation. All they have to do is teach their clients the proper way to bench in the first place!


I find this highly confusing because I've read in some places to do the "J Lift" but others saying push in a straight line. I've also read that you should use the "J Lift" when you are struggling with your weight only, but timing is critical. Maybe I should just experiment and see which I can use to push more weight with?

supirman
04-26-2004, 07:21 PM
This is a quote from an article written by Dave Tate which contradicts what you just said supirman:



I find this highly confusing because I've read in some places to do the "J Lift" but others saying push in a straight line. I've also read that you should use the "J Lift" when you are struggling with your weight only, but timing is critical. Maybe I should just experiment and see which I can use to push more weight with?

With the excessive arches they use to bench, pro lifters certainly won't 'do the j', but I dunno, I think I use a very slight j and I bench a decent amount... I say do what works and doesn't hurt ya!

ItalianGalleon
04-26-2004, 08:38 PM
decent? I'd say 440 qualifies more as "pretty decent."

Anthony
04-27-2004, 04:24 AM
Alaric, there's a difference in bench styles between Westside and Metal Militia. I think the video shows the MM style, while a straight line would be Westside style.

Isaac Wilkins
04-27-2004, 09:46 AM
A lot of this is shirt-dependant as well. With a shirt it's easier (well, nothing is easier in a shirt) to keep everything in and tight, as the pecs are largely taken out of it. Raw benchers tend to bring the bar a bit higher on their body and flair more.

I'm really focusing on bringing my elbows in, flairing is one of my (many) benching flaws. When they do stay in nice and tight, everything feels so much more comfortable.

jazer80
04-27-2004, 09:54 AM
i've read that to determine your grip for benching you should place your hands apart the same distance they are when you go to the ground to do a push up. i guess whatever that grip is is what your natural strength is

Alaric
04-27-2004, 01:39 PM
Ah ok thank you for clarifying that Anthony.

Borris - I've never tried putting on a shirt, nor do I own one because I do not lift competively. I believe I flair out my elbows just a bit too, but I'm going to get someone to double check this tomorrow when I do my negatives.

Jazer80 - I read that too, the muscle media bench program outlines this.

jazer80
04-27-2004, 03:25 PM
ha that's where i read it (wait that's the one 'increase bench by 50 lbs' right?)

Alaric
04-27-2004, 09:21 PM
yeah the 50 lb bench program in 7 weeks.

supirman
04-27-2004, 09:44 PM
You guys should realize that nearly everything in the magazines is crap and most likely won't work. The magazines are owned by supplement companies and they just want you to buy their stuff... plain and simple.

Speaking of muscle media though, a friend of mine graced the cover a few times as well as some other magazines in the past. His cousin is JM Blakely of westside barbell (700+ lb bencher). JM taught him how to bench, and Dan in turn taught me. When I employed that form he taught me, my bench skyrocketed.

IMO, form will help your lifts much more than "a super special training method."

jazer80
04-28-2004, 07:38 PM
i never said i actually did it, i do wbb and think it works fine. i just saw a link somewhere and gave it a peek (not with the intent of trying it). but ya the supplement companies are the fuking devil (though at large nutrition seems to have lots of cred around here). they hype up the most useless products, let us not forget 80$ for 20 days of arginine, or 60$ for creatine and sugar, etc. etc. i see this **** first hand every day cuz i work at gnc. i laugh when people come in and spend like over 100$ on a month's worth of muscle tech protein/creatine

Canadian Crippler
04-28-2004, 07:48 PM
I usually put my ring fingers (aka the fingers beside my pinkys) onto the ring. I think as long as your arms make around 90 degrees when bent, than its all good. Dont take my work for it though..

jazer80
04-28-2004, 07:59 PM
well position on the bar doesn't matter because that is only a position relative to your shoulder width / arm length. by the way, after shock - are you're shnoop right?

Canadian Crippler
04-28-2004, 08:06 PM
yes

Alaric
06-10-2004, 05:51 PM
Sorry to bring up such an old topic, but i was doing a search and I think i know what you guys mean by tucking in your elbows. When bringing down the bar, your elbows should tuck, so that it is sort of going down towards your stomach, but also a bit out?

Saturday Fever
06-10-2004, 05:54 PM
I posted a video somewhere of Tommy Fannon benching. Watch the way he does it. Sorry I'm in superlazy mode or I'd grab the link for you. :(

Anthony
06-10-2004, 06:00 PM
SF, the link is in this thread. lmao.

http://66.235.16.23/training/2004_west_coast_open/040411-bench-555-3.wmv

Saturday Fever
06-10-2004, 06:01 PM
Haha, thanks Anthony.

<-- dork

Alaric
06-10-2004, 06:11 PM
Saturday Fever, yup I was just watching that video earlier today. And I was trying to focus in on his elbows, and it seems to me that he was bringing them towards his belly, and out just a bit. Is that what tucking is?

Saturday Fever
06-10-2004, 06:17 PM
Well, to keep your elbows tucked, you have to keep your hands, wrists and elbows all in a straight line that's perpendicular to the bar.

To do that, the bar has to descend to your sternum the way it does in that video. Some benchers will bring the bar more straight down and lose that "straight line" between the hands and elbows. I can't bench that way because it makes my shoulders burn up in a bad way.

Alaric
06-10-2004, 06:41 PM
I hear what you're saying, but I'm still not 100% certain of what the direction of the elbows. I know what elbows flared is, but I'm still trying to figure out the tuck lol.

Below, I've attached a picture, would this be considered elbows tucked?
http://web.mit.edu/kevtrice/www/pictures/lifting/410.jpg

OR

http://web.mit.edu/kevtrice/www/pictures/lifting/Whitney220.jpeg

Saturday Fever
06-10-2004, 07:25 PM
Can't see much from these angles.

Plus they're both at the top of the ROM. It'd be easier to spot things if they were halfway down and shot from the side.

Alaric
06-11-2004, 03:19 PM
Hmm, ok I've found a couple other video clips, maybe if it isn't too much of a hassle you can see it and tell me if he tucks or not.

http://web.mit.edu/kevtrice/www/CSUFootage.mov
Its about 19 megs....

or
http://web.mit.edu/kevtrice/www/SheraldMax.mov
Which is about 2.5 megs....

Thanks again!

Saturday Fever
06-11-2004, 03:31 PM
In the bigger video, the second set you can see him keeping his elbows in better than anywhere else in the clips.

Alaric
06-11-2004, 06:16 PM
Thanks Saturday Fever, just to clarify, when he was benching 410, so that's tuckin in the eblows?

And just to test myself, I believe this man is tucking in his elbows ,correct?

http://web.mit.edu/kevtrice/www/340max.MOV
File is about 4.5megs

Thanks again Saturday Fever!

emjlr3
06-13-2004, 08:16 AM
i noticed on the last video posted that the man goes down with his elbows tucked but as he starts to go up and begisn to struggle he flares his elbows out.....whats the deal and is that supposed to happen?

dsuh
06-16-2004, 01:39 AM
kind of off topic, but... all the lifters in the movies of the thread curve their back when they bench. I've heard thats not the proper way?

phreak
06-16-2004, 01:54 AM
kind of off topic, but... all the lifters in the movies of the thread curve their back when they bench. I've heard thats not the proper way?
you heard wrong. :)

emjlr3
06-16-2004, 05:57 AM
I'd like to discuss that a bit...when i was taught to bench i was always todl to keep my feet flat on the floor, and my back flat on the bench...but when I watch these guys bench...most of them arch there bcak to the extent of where there ass and shoulders are barely touching the bench...and others go even farthere to where their butt isnt even on the bench anymore...ive experimented with this and found that arhing the back is helpful while benching....and when watching the big guys at my gym they arch their back as well.....could anyone please explain the proper way to bench...not from say a doctors point of view and quoting their thoughts...but from your own experiences and those of others you know....!! ty

Max-Mex
06-16-2004, 07:01 AM
I'd like to discuss that a bit...when i was taught to bench i was always todl to keep my feet flat on the floor, and my back flat on the bench...but when I watch these guys bench...most of them arch there bcak to the extent of where there ass and shoulders are barely touching the bench...and others go even farthere to where their butt isnt even on the bench anymore...ive experimented with this and found that arhing the back is helpful while benching....and when watching the big guys at my gym they arch their back as well.....could anyone please explain the proper way to bench...not from say a doctors point of view and quoting their thoughts...but from your own experiences and those of others you know....!! ty

PL'ers arch their back to shorten the distance the bar has to travel. The higher the chest is, the shorter the ROM. Do that, and use the widest grip allowed, and you have a very short bench ROM.

Now I'm not sure about this, but I think as long as you keep your butt on the bench, arching your back isn't all that bad. I've done this when trying 1 rms and have never had a problem. Squeezing your shoulders back and keeping your butt on the bench I think really helps.

ElPietro
06-16-2004, 09:04 AM
Yeah, arch shortens the ROM, and puts the movement into more of a decline motion, so less shoulder involvement. This will aid in putting up more weight. If you are a powerlifter than this is the method primarily used. If you are simply bodybuilding it isn't necessarily the method you need to use. Powerlifters are concerned with the pounds they put up, not how much muscle stimulation they achieve.

dsuh
06-17-2004, 02:09 AM
so I'm guessing the bouncing off the chest is normal too?

emjlr3
06-17-2004, 06:03 AM
hmmm yea ive been arching my back a little my last workout while keeping my ass and shoulders firmly on the bench...lowering the bar to about the stpot where my rib cage meets at the lower part of my sternum....i does feel better on my shoulders....but ur saying that this lowers the effectiveness of the lift on the muscles..and just makes you do more weight? or what??
o yea and boucing off the chest is a bad thing..watch any of the videos...they go down slow..pause on their chest and then push the bar up

dsuh
06-17-2004, 04:55 PM
http://web.mit.edu/kevtrice/www/340max.MOV

?

KrAzY
06-26-2004, 01:42 AM
so I'm guessing the bouncing off the chest is normal too?

Yah just bring some glue for your sternum cause you might just doing some damage 2 it.

Max-Mex
06-26-2004, 11:07 AM
Boucning off the chest is just plain bad. Don't do it, unless you want a trip to the emergency room. Control the bar going down.

chris6969
06-30-2004, 09:17 AM
So what do you think of this form?
http://www.crowdcontrolusa.com/workout/parsons330.wmv

This is my work out partner doing 330lbs flat bench, no benchshirt, no BS, just raw.

I'm spotting in this video, but I use the same basic motion as him. Current max is 315, tried 325 yesterday & didnt get it :(

I tried that MM Bench program many years ago. I made like a 20lb increase in my bench max. I think it has some merit but for most advanced people it wont help much. It designed for a noobie more than anything.

Paul Stagg
06-30-2004, 09:35 AM
It's ok, but not quite optimal from a PLing perspective. I'd try to tuck a bit more.

Everyone is different though - the best benching form from a PLing perspective is the legal one that allows you to bench the most without getting hurt.

The bench in the above vid would not get a white light from me.

ElPietro
06-30-2004, 09:58 AM
Well he did bounce the weight off his chest there in that last video posted. Also, if it were powerlifting he didn't pause either so would never have passed, but obviously it's not a competition.

Spotter, you should have helped him up when he stalled on the second rep attempt. You let him bounce it a few times off his chest before you jumped in. Luckily, nothing happened from it, but once the bar stops moving up, there's not much more to be done about it.

KingJustin
06-30-2004, 10:07 AM
Hardly any of those videos show guys that really understand how to bench press the way the vast majority of powerlifters do, aside from the one where the guy tripled 555. Even the guy in the 19 meg video didn't tuck his elbows at all, though he at least had a nice arch.

Look at the dude benching on the top right of the screen here (usually) for the Monster Muscle magazine. He tucks his elbows and he's putting up a ton of weight with a pause thanks to it!

Elbows tucked doesn't have really anything to do with how wide your grip is, how arched your back is or what path the bar goes in (though generally when you tuck it will feel more comfortable to go lower). When you tuck your elbows your arms are pretty much parrallel to your chest/abs.

Anthony
06-30-2004, 10:07 AM
Bounce, no pause, and his feet appeared to move. It definitely wouldn't pass at a meet. 330 is still some decent weight to push around, though.

chris6969
06-30-2004, 10:48 AM
Well he did bounce the weight off his chest there in that last video posted. Also, if it were powerlifting he didn't pause either so would never have passed, but obviously it's not a competition.

Spotter, you should have helped him up when he stalled on the second rep attempt. You let him bounce it a few times off his chest before you jumped in. Luckily, nothing happened from it, but once the bar stops moving up, there's not much more to be done about it.

He has some great stamina and has pulled some reps out of his a5s like he almost got that second one there. He doesnt want me to help until he calls for it. So I waited.


Bounce, no pause, and his feet appeared to move. It definitely wouldn't pass at a meet. 330 is still some decent weight to push around, though.
It wasnt a competition bench obviously. If we were in competitions, we'd go buy benchshirts and he might be doing 380lb+ with a good bench shirt.

ElPietro
06-30-2004, 12:17 PM
He has some great stamina and has pulled some reps out of his a5s like he almost got that second one there. He doesnt want me to help until he calls for it. So I waited.

Lol, not to knitpick, but "almost" got that second one? Not even close. The only reason the bar moved the 3 or 4" was from the bounce off the chest. Still really great strength though. I'd be interested to see what he could do without bouncing the bar.

Fair enough on the spot, however, probably not the safest way to do it.

Relentless
06-30-2004, 02:08 PM
Lol, not to knitpick, but "almost" got that second one? Not even close. The only reason the bar moved the 3 or 4" was from the bounce off the chest. Still really great strength though. I'd be interested to see what he could do without bouncing the bar.

Fair enough on the spot, however, probably not the safest way to do it.

Was there chanting or something in the sound on that video? I heard this repetitive noise but my sound card is crap.

Saturday Fever
06-30-2004, 02:15 PM
He's going to tear his pec benching like that. He needs to get his elbows under the bar more, his arch was really poor, his shoulders rotated too much and it looks as if he isn't pulling his shoulderblades back properly or tightly.

And bouncing is bad.

chris6969
07-01-2004, 01:46 PM
Was there chanting or something in the sound on that video? I heard this repetitive noise but my sound card is crap.

Yeah I was yelling
"Come on, do it..."
"330.... 2 times... " etc...