Could somebody give a noob a little advice about Bench Presses?
Hey, thanks for reading this. I'm a 16 year old male, and I've been working out for about 2 years or so. I can Clean & Jerk my own weight (~132 pounds), Snatch 110 pounds, do 49 push-ups in a minute, and do 60 push-ups in one set (with 2 or 3 lapses in form). Even though I've been working out for about 2 years, I did my first Bench Press today. I'm too cheap to buy a bench, so I've been doing Floor Presses for the past 2 years or so. I've worked up to the point where I can do 10 132.5 pound Floor Presses in a single set (with difficulty). Today I finally figured out how to do Bench Presses without coughing up ~$100 for a bench...think sturdy wooden furniture. Even though I can do 132.5 pounds in a Floor Press as I've stated above, I only managed 115 pounds on the Bench Press today.
My question is this: does anyone have any insight into why I find the Bench Press so much harder than the Floor Press? Will I make more neural connections in the next month or so and start to get a Bench Press on par with my Floor Press? Do I need to learn the intracacies of the motion before I can bench heavy weights? Or will I just have to get stronger? One more thing that might change things a little: I recently sustained a mild injury to a muscle in my left upper back (I think it was my left lats). It wasn't too bad, but it was bad enough so that at one point I couldn't bend my back or perform deadlift-like motions without serious pain. I've read that lats have a lot to do with getting the bar off of the chest, and getting the bar of my chest is my sticking point. After I get the weight ~1-2 inches off of my chest, the rest of the motion is very easy. Should I wait until my back is fully healed before trying Bench Presses?
Thanks a lot! Sorry if I seemed like a total noob or an idiot.
Thanks; details of my injury
Thanks a lot! I'll keep bench pressing and hope it starts to get better. In a lot of forums like these, I've seen people get flamed for asking noob questions, and I was kind of worried that might happen here. But it didn't, so thanks.
The "bench" I use is sturdy and low to the ground (maybe about a foot or 1.5 feet off the ground). I know it's not the smartest idea, but it's not going to collapse on me.
My injury: Remember that I said I could Clean & Jerk 132.5 pounds? I only just managed that a few days ago. About one and a half weeks ago, I tried it and failed. I couldn't get my arms fully extended and locked, which I believe is a requirement for the lift to be legal. Since I can't drop the bar on my floor, I have to lower it down myself, using my upper back to rapidly slow its decent just before it hits the floor. I normally don't Clean & Jerk that much, so I don't think my body was prepared to have 132.5 pounds pulling against my upper back, and I think that was when I got hurt. The injury was in my left lats, I think. I couldn't work out or attempt the Clean & Jerk for a week, and it hurt to bend my back for a couple of days. The bottom part Floor Presses hurt if I did them with enough weight. I know that lats have a lot to do with getting the bar off of your chest, and I noticed that my left arm was having more trouble than my right arm with the Bench Presses. By the time I did the Bench Presses, my lats no longer hurt, but I might still have been experiencing the residual effects of injury.
Anybody have recommendations for free weight exercises for strengthening the bottom part of the Bench Press? Thanks for all the good advice.