The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Its no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    PL Benching -> BB Benching, form?

    So.. I started lifting weights back in 2002ish after on and off stints throughout high school then a year off. I just benched, nothing special, didn't think about contractions or anything like as I was a n00b. Around 2004 I started bodybuilding and my lifting/form accented that. In setpemberish 2005 I started powerlifting, which changes a few things in regards to benching.

    I have converted back to bodybuilding, since powerlifting is too much on my joints and prior injuries. I find myself unable to convert back to a bodybuilding bench form though. Odd.. Whenever I try to swap back to a regular bench with a little closer grip, not worrying about arch or any of the like that you would with PL, I find that it is ridiculously uncomfortable. I have "grown" into my PL form on my bench. I just find this odd. Any ex PLers gone BB and have advise on how to change form back to BBing?

    Was curious to know if anyone else has experienced this as well?
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  3. #2
    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    BBing bench form usually involves a flat back with completely flared elbows with a very wide. This is extremely unsafe in terms of shoulder problems. PLing bench form is the safest way to bench. You can keep tight and secure at all times.

    And changing your bench form wont turn you in to a bodybuilder... powerlifters have very large chests as well. I don't know what your trying to accomplish.
    Last edited by BFGUITAR; 05-23-2008 at 12:37 PM.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFGUITAR View Post
    I don't know what your trying to accomplish.
    This.

  5. #4
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFGUITAR View Post
    BBing bench form usually involves a flat back with completely flared elbows with a very wide. This is extremely unsafe in terms of shoulder problems. PLing bench form is the safest way to bench. You can keep tight and secure at all times.

    And changing your bench form wont turn you in to a bodybuilder... powerlifters have very large chests as well. I don't know what your trying to accomplish.
    I'm pretty sure I know the difference between bodybuilding and powerlifting and I don't know if you're trying to be a smaratass or not by saying changing my bench form won't turn me into a bodybuilder. That's quite obvious. I didn't say I wanted to be a bodybuilder. I said I reverted back to bodybuilding which is a different style of training.

    And most bodybuilding benchers I've see incorporate a closer grip as it allows for tighter contraction, but like I said, that is ridiculously uncomfortable for me since going to a powerlifting form.

    Powerlifters do have a very large chest, I'm not arguing that. But, as a generalization, they have a large bodyfat percentage as well. Not many powerlifters can diet down to bodybuilding fat percentages and have a comparable chest to a bodybuilder. Not saying it hasn't been done, but it isn't done often..

    That said, I want to grow my chest. Not make it stronger. That's what I'm trying to accomplish. I thought that was obvious. I suppose I'll just continue with my volume training and a PL style bench.


    And please refrain from diet as I know someone will bring it up, I know what to eat to grow, that isn't the issue. This is strictly training oriented.
    Last edited by JSully; 05-23-2008 at 02:56 PM.
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  6. #5
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kastro View Post
    This.


    what is this mean?
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  7. #6
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    Jake I train with a bodybuilder and since he switched more to a powerlifitng style bench (elbows a bit more tucked, slight arch, feet back) he has been much more comfortable as well. That being said he focuses alot more on dumbbell work with a deep stretch and mixing in heavy incline work to keep his chest growing.

    Hope that helps.
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  8. #7
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    jake, I say stick with what is comfortable man.


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  9. #8
    Vanilla Gorilla
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    You will find "regular" bench technique to be very unstable and uncomfortable after PL benching for so long, yes. Same thing happens to me. I dont bench much at all but if I go back to targeting my chest rather than simply moving weight, my numbers are crap.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    1) What does body fat percentage have to do with their style of benching?

    2) "Not many powerlifters can diet down to bodybuilding fat percentages and have a comparable chest to a bodybuilder"

    No, this is incorrect.
    Look at heavybomber's profile. He "powerbuilds" and is one lean strong mofo. And bodybuilders are only "bodybuilding lean" for competition. They probably hover at around 7-10% off season which is more than possible for a PLer to attain.

    Also look at our own BMP Osgood on the pro online journals. I hope he doesn't mind but tell me that his chest does not compare to a bodybuider's chest. He is one strong PLer. Not to mention, he is quite lean and he can get leaner if he wants to.

    Last edited by BFGUITAR; 05-23-2008 at 05:04 PM.

  11. #10
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    pretty sure Phil H. could do some bodybuilding damage as well if he dropped bodyfat, and look at Sam Byrd. just some more examples.
    Last edited by joey54; 05-23-2008 at 05:19 PM.


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  12. #11
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFGUITAR View Post
    1) What does body fat percentage have to do with their style of benching?

    2) "Not many powerlifters can diet down to bodybuilding fat percentages and have a comparable chest to a bodybuilder"

    No, this is incorrect.
    Look at heavybomber's profile. He "powerbuilds" and is one lean strong mofo. And bodybuilders are only "bodybuilding lean" for competition. They probably hover at around 7-10% off season which is more than possible for a PLer to attain.

    Also look at our own BMP Osgood on the pro online journals. I hope he doesn't mind but tell me that his chest does not compare to a bodybuider's chest. He is one strong PLer. Not to mention, he is quite lean and he can get leaner if he wants to.

    Ok, if you want to continue the argument:::

    If you're going to quote me, make sure you acknowledge the entire statement you're quoting. I said "Not many powerlifters".. I never said there weren't exceptions. Gene Rychlak has an enormous chest too, but it doesn't look like a bodybuilders and if he were to diet down, to sub 10% levels I doubt it would look comparable to Johnny Jackson's or the like.. there is a different STYLE of training between PL and BB. I think you're missing that.

    I never said that bodyfat has anything to do with a bench style. But size MAY! I've had many friends of mine that "pump" train or volume train while I have always stayed in the lower rep ranges. My bench crushed theirs, but shape and size of their chest always dominated. Aside from genetics, I attribute that to their type of training.

    Sid answered my question. Keep the flat the same and add in more incline benching with deep db benching.


    I like your comment of how easily it is to obtain a 7-10% bodyfat. If that is your take on low bodyfat levels then you, sir, are lucky. People like myself and many others on this board thrive for sub 10% bodyfat and some of us will never reach that. Alot of us have turned to powerlifting instead since it is no so appearance oriended and it feels damn good to move some weight.

    BPM Osgood and HeavyBomber have a fantastic physique and they are both strong as a ****ing ox. I give credit where it is due and I will once again emphasize, there are exceptions.

    I don't particularly see many powerlifters walking around with pectorals the size of Lou Ferrigno's, Arnold's or Dorian Yates'. In contrast, none of them had the strength powerlifters do either. Its a difference in training, however, there are some exceptions for the genetically inclined.
    Last edited by JSully; 05-23-2008 at 09:44 PM.
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  13. #12
    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleJake View Post
    Ok, if you want to continue the argument:::

    If you're going to quote me, make sure you acknowledge the entire statement you're quoting. I said "Not many powerlifters".. I never said there weren't exceptions. Gene Rychlak has an enormous chest too, but it doesn't look like a bodybuilders and if he were to diet down, to sub 10% levels I doubt it would look comparable to Johnny Jackson's or the like.. there is a different STYLE of training between PL and BB. I think you're missing that.

    I never said that bodyfat has anything to do with a bench style. But size MAY! I've had many friends of mine that "pump" train or volume train while I have always stayed in the lower rep ranges. My bench crushed theirs, but shape and size of their chest always dominated. Aside from genetics, I attribute that to their type of training.

    Sid answered my question. Keep the flat the same and add in more incline benching with deep db benching.


    I like your comment of how easily it is to obtain a 7-10% bodyfat. If that is your take on low bodyfat levels then you, sir, are lucky. People like myself and many others on this board thrive for sub 10% bodyfat and some of us will never reach that. Alot of us have turned to powerlifting instead since it is no so appearance oriended and it feels damn good to move some weight.

    BPM Osgood and HeavyBomber have a fantastic physique and they are both strong as a ****ing ox. I give credit where it is due and I will once again emphasize, there are exceptions.

    I don't particularly see many powerlifters walking around with pectorals the size of Lou Ferrigno's, Arnold's or Dorian Yates. In contrast, none of them had the strength powerlifters do either. Its a difference in training, however, there are some exceptions for the genetically inclined.
    When I say easy, I mean it is very much possible. Obviously you need to put work in to it.

    And obviously if your friends pump train they are going to have a pumped up chest... You can always add in more high rep chest work with DB but why change to a BBing style bench? You can do high reps with a PLer's bench technique. There is more than strength that comes with low reps heavy weight which is why doing both would yield the best results.

    And you dont see powerlifters with pecs like BBers for many reasons.

    1) How often do the really big chested PLers cut down to BB size?
    2) How often do you ever see those PLers with a ridiculous pump?
    3) PLers typically have very large backs in proportion to their chest, this gives the illusion of a smaller chest. Personally, this is an observation I have made on my own. Whether it is true or not I don't know.

    And you can't call every PLer with nice chests "exceptions". It seems degrading to their training making it seem like they were born with the ability to get a nice chest trough PLing as opposed to how they train and diet. You also make it seem like everyone who trains with a BBing style bench will get a great chest. Both styles work, but one will end up a lot weaker (and possibly with shoulder problems if they use crappy bench technique).

    On top of all this, you were first talking about bench technique, and now rep schemes? Are you talking about a BBing routine or bench technique? You can still use PL bench technique with a BBing routine...

  14. #13
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFGUITAR View Post
    When I say easy, I mean it is very much possible. Obviously you need to put work in to it.

    And obviously if your friends pump train they are going to have a pumped up chest... You can always add in more high rep chest work with DB but why change to a BBing style bench? You can do high reps with a PLer's bench technique. There is more than strength that comes with low reps heavy weight which is why doing both would yield the best results.

    And you dont see powerlifters with pecs like BBers for many reasons.

    1) How often do the really big chested PLers cut down to BB size?
    2) How often do you ever see those PLers with a ridiculous pump?
    3) PLers typically have very large backs in proportion to their chest, this gives the illusion of a smaller chest. Personally, this is an observation I have made on my own. Whether it is true or not I don't know.

    And you can't call every PLer with nice chests "exceptions". It seems degrading to their training making it seem like they were born with the ability to get a nice chest trough PLing as opposed to how they train and diet. You also make it seem like everyone who trains with a BBing style bench will get a great chest. Both styles work, but one will end up a lot weaker (and possibly with shoulder problems if they use crappy bench technique).

    On top of all this, you were first talking about bench technique, and now rep schemes? Are you talking about a BBing routine or bench technique? You can still use PL bench technique with a BBing routine...
    Its very much possible to drop sub 10%? I disagree. A large majority of people can't drop below sub 10% bodyfat levels and maintain that kind of strength....... without assistance.

    I agree, you can do high reps with a PL bench, but then I get cramps in my lats and lower back for keeping so tight. That's why I asked about a BB style bench. I wanted to know if anyone else had experienced the same issues and had advice. Higher reps with a PL form is painful and I end up ****ing up my sets when I get to the 8th rep or so.

    Funny how you contradict yourself in the next line:: You say how easy it is for PLers to drop to 7-10% bodyfat, yet you ask how often do they do it. If it were so easy for them, I'm sure all PLers would be 7-10% bodyfat. They keep the weight on so they can pile the weight on. Its extremely difficult to drop from 25+% bodyfat down to 10% bodyfat and maintain strength. I know, I've done it. Hell, I did it "assisted" and still lost a grip of strength.

    I know that PLers don't get a pump, they don't pump train. I thought I covered that. Though it was a hell of a lot easier for me to pump my chest with a BB style bench than a PL style bench. Again, I asked if anyone else ever went through the same deal.

    RE: PLers backs.. that's funny. Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, Dorian Yates, I don't suppose they had/have big backs huh? Yet their chests still pop. That is due to the difference of training. Jay Cutler's bench doesn't have a ridiculous arch and super wide grip, nor did Dorian Yates'. Not everyone wants to bench 1000lbs. Not everyone wants to have a massively pumped chest. Thus, yet another difference between BBing and PLing. I love to see lean PLers, but I don't see how you can argue a powerlifters chest is comparable to a bodybuilders chest with various exceptions to the rule.

    You must be a PLer to dogg bodybuilders the way you do. Its humorous really. I would love nothing more than to continue powerlifting. I ****ed up my knee hardcore working my way up to a 585x1RM raw. I ****ed up my chest on a 445lb raw bench. That **** was painful and the knee still is. I can do without surgeries and the ability to walk.. in contrast, I swapped back to bodybuilding. I never said anyone that trained as a bodybuilder would get a great chest, it takes hard work, proper nutrition and good genetics. I wouldn't suggest anothing otherwise. So the bodybuilder will end up a lot weaker and probably with shoulder problems huh? Weaker, well that's a given, bodybuilders aren't the strongest, though Johnny Jackson is pushing a massive bench for his weight. Regarding shoulder problems, I'm not sure how you came up with this. What is causing the shoulder problems with a closer grip and less weight? I could argue that PLers will end up stronger but in the end weaker due to torn pectorals.

    Finally, I don't see how I degraded any PLers here and I don't see how that statement can be degrading at all. BPM and HB have great genetics and therefore great physiques. I could tell a PLer that their physique sucks ass and they'll look at me and say **** off then throw me across a room. Mike Wolf dropped alot of weight so he could go down a weight class, not so he could look better. I'm sure he enjoys his new physique, but that was not a priority from the article I read. If a PLer really felt degraded by my use of the word "exceptions" due to a "prettier" chest, I'm sure they would change their training around to obtain that "prettier" chest... but they aren't going to because they're going to bench 700+lbs in stead. Thats a damn good tradeoff, just not for me anymore. I used to powerlift and I got injured so I reverted. When a person can maintain 7-10% bodyfat without much trouble at all, and chooses to powerlift AND is successful at it, that is a gift, and therefore an exception. Take it for what its worth. Maybe if all PLers would diet down to sub 10% we could REALLY see the difference between a bodybuilders physique and a powerlifters. We've already seen fat bodybuilders, look at Jay Cutler in 2003 or Lee Priest in the offseason. Those ****ers get fat as all hell, but its still pretty ****ing obvious they're bodybuilders. The difference is that day after day a bodybuilder molds his physique to the best of his ability, meanwhile day after day, a powerlifter strengthens himself to the best of his ability. There is a difference in training, hand placement, foot placement and bar placement that separates bodybuilding from powerlifting.
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  15. #14
    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    I have always heard that BBers have very wide grips and flared elbows for bench, not narrow ones.

    "Funny how you contradict yourself in the next line:: You say how easy it is for PLers to drop to 7-10% bodyfat, yet you ask how often do they do it. If it were so easy for them, I'm sure all PLers would be 7-10% bodyfat"
    I never said it was easy, I just said it is very attainable. They don't do it often because they don't need to... It's as simple as that.

    About PLer's backs... Im saying in comparison to chest size, not absolute chest size. There is a difference. BBers have larger chests for their back sizes compared to PLers (from what I have personally seen). This can be because BBers work their chest more often than PLers? It is definitely possible.

    BPM and HB work hard, saying it is genetics IMO takes away from their greatness. They may have a genetic contribution, but it seems like you discredit their training in terms of chest building. It works, obviously. I would love to have a chest like that and they are proof that you can. Here's another question... have you ever seen a BBer without a pumped chest (either through training or from ridiculous supplements they take), at a high bodyfat percentage? I assure you, their chests would be a lot smaller.

  16. #15
    Dr. Dudley-Robey DrDudley-Robey's Avatar
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    Stick to the powerlifting bench. It is safer and you will be able to lift larger amounts of weight. Remember the more heavy weight you lift the more size you gain. You can use secondary exercises (such as dumbells) for shaping. Keep in mind that a very large part of the BB look is achieved though alot of cardio and very hard dieting (burger king is not good for this). I did at one time and still know alot of BB who do 2x a day workouts also (cardio in the AM before breakfast to burn fat and weights in the afternoon or evening).

    Good Luck!

  17. #16
    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    Not to mention, to bench like a powerlifter doesn't mean you have to lift heavy. Use PL technique with higher reps if you feel.

    If PLers were to use BBing bench technique there would be a lot more injuries than there are. Thus PL bench technique is the safer of the two no matter how you look at it.

  18. #17
    Senior Member MillerTime1485's Avatar
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    Exactly what DrDudley said.. there are other workouts to improve other areas if you feel that you arn't getting enough with the bench. If you can't get comfortable in a workout you'll probably just end up hurting yourself.

  19. #18
    The Body Never Lies Nosaj's Avatar
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    Man I feel bad for Jake here, lots of really dumb posts in here. The point of this thread was clearly for someone with experience of switching from a PL-Bench to a BB-Bench and how to adjust, and instead there is a wide range of stupid comments.
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  20. #19
    Senior Member Bruteman's Avatar
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    Jake, the difference between the two for me was more mental than anything. When powerlifting I'm thinking about speed, using the triceps, spreading the bar apart and what not. With bodybuilding my form was basically the same except I used a slower tempo and concentrated on using my chest. Sort of like rows. If you just pick up the weight and start throwing it around it turns into a half bicep move. If you slow down, and think, you can feel it almost entirely in your back.
    Last edited by Bruteman; 05-27-2008 at 07:02 AM.
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  21. #20
    THE FRIDGE! thewicked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDudley-Robey View Post
    Stick to the powerlifting bench. It is safer and you will be able to lift larger amounts of weight. Remember the more heavy weight you lift the more size you gain. You can use secondary exercises (such as dumbells) for shaping. Keep in mind that a very large part of the BB look is achieved though alot of cardio and very hard dieting (burger king is not good for this). I did at one time and still know alot of BB who do 2x a day workouts also (cardio in the AM before breakfast to burn fat and weights in the afternoon or evening).

    Good Luck!
    the best part DrD is you're right one... the pl'n style of bench pressing allows you to use much more weight and works more efficiently all the while being SAFER than a "bb" type of bench...
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  22. #21
    Senior Member Doobs's Avatar
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    Well I'm in the same situation, switching from PL to BB because of a knee injury, although I wasn't moving the kind of weights you were. I do incline DB bench the hardest with more of a bodybuilding style, with flat BB bench every few workouts to change up. I never saw much chest growth from a PL style bench, but going back to a BB style flat bench is too uncomfortable so I stay with PL style for that.

  23. #22
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDudley-Robey View Post
    Stick to the powerlifting bench. It is safer and you will be able to lift larger amounts of weight. Remember the more heavy weight you lift the more size you gain. You can use secondary exercises (such as dumbells) for shaping. Keep in mind that a very large part of the BB look is achieved though alot of cardio and very hard dieting (burger king is not good for this). I did at one time and still know alot of BB who do 2x a day workouts also (cardio in the AM before breakfast to burn fat and weights in the afternoon or evening).

    Good Luck!
    I know how to diet to get lean, that wasn't he question. And I already use dumbbells for "shaping" as you call it. I was just asking about the flat bb bench. I bolded one of the biggest misconceptions in bodybuilding. Huge weights does NOT equal huge size. There are 150lb PLers on this site that are extremely strong. Show me someone that benches 315x10 and I can take that same person and make them fail with 315x5, its a difference in training and firing of the different muscle fibers.

    Quote Originally Posted by BFGUITAR View Post
    Not to mention, to bench like a powerlifter doesn't mean you have to lift heavy. Use PL technique with higher reps if you feel.

    If PLers were to use BBing bench technique there would be a lot more injuries than there are. Thus PL bench technique is the safer of the two no matter how you look at it.
    I agree, which is what I have been doing for the last 8 weeks or so. It just sucks when you get to the 8th rep with 275 and you need to stop, not because you're burning out, but because your lowback is cramping from the wickid arch. I totally agree that a PL bench is safer because EVERYTHING is working in tandem instead of just plopping down and going at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MillerTime1485 View Post
    Exactly what DrDudley said.. there are other workouts to improve other areas if you feel that you arn't getting enough with the bench. If you can't get comfortable in a workout you'll probably just end up hurting yourself.
    I know, thats why I was asking if anyone had experienced similar issues. Bruteman hit the nail on the head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nosaj View Post
    Man I feel bad for Jake here, lots of really dumb posts in here. The point of this thread was clearly for someone with experience of switching from a PL-Bench to a BB-Bench and how to adjust, and instead there is a wide range of stupid comments.
    lol..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruteman View Post
    Jake, the difference between the two for me was more mental than anything. When powerlifting I'm thinking about speed, using the triceps, spreading the bar apart and what not. With bodybuilding my form was basically the same except I used a slower tempo and concentrated on using my chest. Sort of like rows. If you just pick up the weight and start throwing it around it turns into a half bicep move. If you slow down, and think, you can feel it almost entirely in your back.
    This is perfect and I think is what I needed. I'm going to try this the next time and really focus on squeezing the contraction, though it's difficult with my arms so far apart. Slower tempo may work too as I focus alot on speed of driving the bar upwards. Thanks for the advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by thewicked View Post
    the best part DrD is you're right one... the pl'n style of bench pressing allows you to use much more weight and works more efficiently all the while being SAFER than a "bb" type of bench...
    As I already stated, weight does not equal size..

    Quote Originally Posted by Doobs View Post
    Well I'm in the same situation, switching from PL to BB because of a knee injury, although I wasn't moving the kind of weights you were. I do incline DB bench the hardest with more of a bodybuilding style, with flat BB bench every few workouts to change up. I never saw much chest growth from a PL style bench, but going back to a BB style flat bench is too uncomfortable so I stay with PL style for that.
    I find incline is alot harder to implement a PLer style so that it definately helps with that. Though I need to throw it in there more often. I once had a 315x10 incline bench and now its demoralized to a 275x6. Even with a PL arch on the incline, I can still feel it good in the pecs. Going to be adding this to my high calorie chest workouts indefinately.
    Jake Sullivan
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    curently off-season
    HG training log = road to pro
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  24. #23
    Senior Member Bruteman's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    I actually used a wider grip when bblding. I would let my elbows flare a little and my mindset was more along the lines of trying to bring my elbows together(sort of like a fly), than pushing the weight up. Hope that helps, and makes sense.
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