I read something that made sense once, but don't ask me where.
You are supposed to wrap your thumbs around the bar to prevent the bar from falling onto you if you lose control.
I'm looking at the "Bench Kings" article (not alloywed to post in the appropriate topic for some reason), and I see that they don't do that.
I personally prefer the grip shown in the image with thumbs running parallel to the bar. I've successfully unlearned that cuz I heard it was safer, m'kay?
Any thoughts? Does it matter? Can I go back to benching my favorite way?
3X week (really average 2.5)
Bench: 170 lbs @ ~8*3
Full Squat: 155*10*3
...then, 3-5 less compound exercises targeting same muscle groups in similar order...
...then isolate a few of favorite muscles
It's definitely safer to wrap the thumbs. You'll notice that all the pics from that article show them benching with at least 1 spotter, who I can only assume has a great deal of experience (so do the guys benching, I might add).
I don't believe your thumb has much to do with bench press. I've read that it all comes down to comfort. As for safety- you can do other things like use a spotter or bench inside the power rack. I used to bench with my thumbs back, but one time the pink dumbbells slipped and gave me a booboo (fabricated story).
Last edited by lawndarts; 08-31-2010 at 08:29 AM.
It can help you guide the bar back into the 'groove' should your form waver slightly. With the thumbs in the ''suicide grip'" position it is more difficult.
See the last two sentences of the 4th paragraph for relevance to the topic.
Last edited by Songsangnim; 08-31-2010 at 11:57 PM.
I just don't think it's worth the risk. You are still at a stage where you can get used to wrapping your thumbs, and it will become comfortable when things get really heavy and dangerous.
Mostly I would think it would come down to the weight you do, and if you think there is a problem with the way you are doing bench which is unsafe (ie no spotter).
I personally dont, and probably wont wrap my thumbs, like lawndarts said, could be hurtful lols
Look up "bench press accidents" on youtube and you will want to wrap your thumbs around the bar. You'll get used to it quickly. Even if you had a 80lb bench if that slipped out of your hand you could cause some serious damage
I bench with a false grip, always in a power rack as well. I am actually stronger that way. I don't remember which article it was but Louie Simmons once wrote/spoke about trying to bend the bar when benching. This helps you to use your triceps more. For me (and a few others) using a false grip does this without having to think about it.
Hope that helps. BTW, I trust a power rack way more than spotters but you definitely need to use at least one whenever benching, regardless of the grip.
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I don't see how wrapping your thumbs around the bar is NOT comfortable.
i use a thumbless grip. i find it to be far more comfortable although it is more dangerous. even using a grip with thumbs and a spotter, if you lose your groove, odds are your spotter will be completely unprepared (almost guaranteed if its a random) and you will still eat the bar.. having said that, the position of your head relative to the bench rails should be considered.
Going suicide grip takes stress off of your pecs and distributes it elsewhere. I'm 90% sure I read that from Dave Tate.
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if your thumbs can stop hundreds of pounds from rolling out of your hands i want them. then it comes to your wrist/forearm, if they can counteract the momentum of weight rolling out of your hands that your thumbs are sure not to let go i want them too and if your shoulders and back are strong enough to restabilize the weight after youre sure your wrist/forearms and thumbs wont give out given the awkward angle you've just placed your arms at i'll take a set of those too.
Just set up properly keep your head in the game and have confidence. I went from using my thumbs to suicide grip because my thumbs pushed the weight to far back in my hands causing me to put ridiculous stress on my forearms.
400(335) Bench Press
600(520x3 2xBW) Dead Lift
500(495x1) ATG Squat
365 Front Squat
consistency and intensity.
Now if you are an elite lifter use whatever grip works for you.
10 people a year die bench pressing. Read that again, they DIE while bench pressing. Thats all Im gonna say.
For newer lifters, the extra control the full grip gives keeps some discipline to the movement.
For elite lifters... all bets are off. You know how to bench, you know how the bar behaves, and if you lose it it'll likely be for some other reason.
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I have benched 605 raw in competition and 820 in a bench shirt. Both were done with a false grip (no thumbs). If the bar is going the wrong way with that much weight, thumbs are not going to help at all.
Just use your thumbs
Ultimately the choice is yours...just know the dangers involved. If you don't then do a youtube search for the former USC player Stafon Johnson...this guy had a spotter while using the suicide grip and dropped 275lbs on his neck.
For a guy like me with unimpressive numbers, the risk does not justify the rewards. Obviously I will continue to challenge myself because I believe weight training, more than any other sport, is all about personal responsibility because it is such an individual pursuit.
Last edited by riptied1; 09-07-2010 at 08:41 AM.
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Just get under the bar!
I do agree with you about the safety aspect. All bench press benches should be equipped with roll bars like those in the Dave Tate bench form video.
Last edited by riptied1; 09-08-2010 at 08:32 AM.
From the vid I guess I can see some point, but I just can't understand how that happens. I have a crazy tight grip on the bar even though I don't use my thumbs. I can do reverse curls without wrapping my thumbs with over a 100 lbs.
Here's a public service announcement for anyone who wants to use a false grip "Squeeze the bar into your palm with your fingers."
By the way, sensationilizing something is better known as lying. Please stop exaagerating. Also, not one of those deaths is attributed to false grip benching. See how much thumbs being wrapped helped the guy below. There are plenty more vids where this one came from.