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

Itís 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
    Wannabebig Member
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    benching flat vs. arched

    Are there people that compete flat? If so, why? Federation rules, or are there advantages/disadvantages to each? I was always taught to arch . . .

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  3. #2
    Matt Wright
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    Not everybody lifts more with an arch. Some do...
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Beverly McD.'s Avatar
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    Bodybuilders typically train flat. They have an interest in isolating the chest and front delts.
    Powerlifters generally train with as much of an arch as possible. It shortens the stroke, and it allows them to incorporate more of the back muscles and add some leg drive to the lift.

  5. #4
    Wannabebig Member
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    That's what I thought. I noticed that there are shirts that cater more to flat and more to arched and was wondering.

  6. #5
    Matt Wright
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    He isn't talking about bodybuilders. I thought the question was just about benching in reference to powerlifters. The only reason for the difference is that the person moves more weight with the form that they choose, whether from an old injury or from those muscle groups being stronger. Sometimes the bencher used to be a bodybuilder and they are just more strong with a flat(ish) back.

    It is not much different than the deadlift (conventional vs sumo). It is a preference based off of body mechanics. If you bench more with an arch, use an arch. If not go flat. Flat is a relative term though, as having absolutely no arch at all is probably a bad idea.

    PS - It should be noted that arched bench is used in training for a shirted bench. Arched bench doesn't help all that much raw, but the carry over to a shirted bench is greater.
    Injured.

  7. #6
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    I bench flat footed but i also have a 29 inch inseam. Do whats comfortable. Theres no cookie cutter set up.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member SELK's Avatar
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    I found that I get far more leg drive when I keep my feet flat on the ground. Arching helps me more with touching in a shirt then anything (less ROM).
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefcaker View Post

    PS - It should be noted that arched bench is used in training for a shirted bench. Arched bench doesn't help all that much raw, but the carry over to a shirted bench is greater.
    There is quite a big carryover in RAW as well. It allows better leg drive, puts one in more of a decline which is a stronger position, shortens stroke, and saves wear & tear on ones shoulders as well.

    But the amount of arch is all preference....so do what feels good & meets your goals!
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  10. #9
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    I agree. I notice a huge difference when I arch vs. when I don't arch raw.

    It really helps set my upper back nice and tight on the bench as well as tightening my core and allowing for proper leg drive.


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  11. #10
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    I spent years benching wrong for my short fat body. I was flat backed, flat footed, and couldn't figure out why I only got competition benches in the low 400's. I changed my bench setup completely a couple of years ago. I arch and try as hard as I can to put my belly up over the top of the bar when I take the weight. Both my shirted and RAW bench have jumped significantly

    You need to figure out what works for you. I'm a fan of a big arch. Some people are better benchers flatter based on their flexibility and their biomechanics.
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  12. #11
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefcaker View Post
    He isn't talking about bodybuilders. I thought the question was just about benching in reference to powerlifters. The only reason for the difference is that the person moves more weight with the form that they choose, whether from an old injury or from those muscle groups being stronger. Sometimes the bencher used to be a bodybuilder and they are just more strong with a flat(ish) back.

    It is not much different than the deadlift (conventional vs sumo). It is a preference based off of body mechanics. If you bench more with an arch, use an arch. If not go flat. Flat is a relative term though, as having absolutely no arch at all is probably a bad idea.

    PS - It should be noted that arched bench is used in training for a shirted bench. Arched bench doesn't help all that much raw, but the carry over to a shirted bench is greater.
    Definitely not the case for me. I bench a lot more raw with an arch.
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  13. #12
    Wannabebig Member Ambre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasG View Post
    Definitely not the case for me. I bench a lot more raw with an arch.
    Same here...I lift raw and it's like a night and day difference for me. I get almost no leg drive benching flat.

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