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Thread: proper benching

  1. #1
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    proper benching

    hey fellas how far should you go down when benching......by the way thanx for that shoulder work out tips they are working great

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    touch your chest but dont rest the weight on your chest just barely touch it.

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    i was wondering because i see guys in the gym going half way?...i just winderd if there was a better way than going down all the way

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    Unless you have a particular reason not to ie. injury just go all the way down and touch your lower chest/upper abs.

    Some people bench with a partial range of movement in order to specifically work the top/mid point or to work on a sticking point. This is usually done at a specific height by touching the bar down on boards resting on the chest or pins in the power rack though, so don't pay too much attention to what other people are doing in the gym. In most gyms the majority of people there will be doing something wrong.

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    Still Plugging Away -TIM-'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by masaboy
    i was wondering because i see guys in the gym going half way?...i just winderd if there was a better way than going down all the way
    Unless they have a board resting on their chest then they're only going half way because they can lift more weight that way. By only coming down partially they'll never encounter the hardest part of the lift and thus "feel" that they're are benching heavier weight. Like mentioned, a proper bench ROM will take you to the chest and back up. Don't bounce the weight off your chest either. That's just a way to pick up momentum and again making the lift easier by reducing the stress on the chest muscles.
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    Stand there for a few minutes, then pace back and forth a lot, huff and puff, wait until everybody's looking. Approach the bar. Back off. Approach it again. Back off. Get some water. Chalk up. Approach the bar again. Then spray some more chalk around. Wait until people start losing interest. When nobody's looking, pick it a little off the floor, and slam it down. Jump up and yell "LIGHT WEIGHT BABY". Then give high fives all around. - Belial

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    is there any merit to the "my arms are longer than others" argument for not bringing the bar all the way down?

    or how about "my chest isn't as thick so the bar has to go down further than on other guy's"?

    i hear this stuff occasionally and wondered if there's anything to it.

  7. #7
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    Go to your best passive ROM, that is whatever your best ROM is. Should be like that with all lifts. If you are worried about your shoulders then tuck your elbows in, by tucking your elbows you eliminate alot of stress on the shoulder.


    Kc

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    Crud_Meridian "my chest isn't as thick so the bar has to go down further than on other guy's"?

    yeah man good quesition, i actually said this to a guy i was benching with, he just smirked and didnt give me an answere.


  9. #9
    Demotivated. JTyrell710's Avatar
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    and my arms are very long- benching is much harder for me than it is for my friend whos just as strong
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    what does Fortified Iron mean when he says "passive ROM"?

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    Originally posted by crud_meridian
    is there any merit to the "my arms are longer than others" argument for not bringing the bar all the way down?

    or how about "my chest isn't as thick so the bar has to go down further than on other guy's"?

    i hear this stuff occasionally and wondered if there's anything to it.
    People with longer arms can use a wider grip which reduces the distance the bar has to travel I'm 5'-8 and hold the bar a couple inches inside the outer ring. My friend who's 6'-3 has his pinkies on the ring.

    As for the chest thickness, I don't think anyone's chest is very thick when the bar is at the bottom of the movement because your chest would be stretched out all the way. I don't think it'd make a significant difference.
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    BF: 13.2% (6-10-07 w/ calipers)

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  12. #12
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    Originally posted by crud_meridian
    what does Fortified Iron mean when he says "passive ROM"?
    Passive range of motion.

    ie. the range of motion of your bench press without any weight in your hands.

    If you can get your hands level with your chest without any weight pushing down, then go down all the way down when benching.

    If your not flexible enough to do that, only go as far as you could without weight. In this case it would probably be a good idea to work on your flexability a bit as well.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by jww13

    I'm 5'-8 and hold the bar a couple inches inside the outer ring. My friend who's 6'-3 has his pinkies on the ring.
    I'm also 5'-8 and I also used to hold bar where you hold it. I recently started putting my pinkys on the ring and it really destroys the chest, you should try it, it really works the chest harder.

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    Originally posted by jww13

    People with longer arms can use a wider grip which reduces the distance the bar has to travel
    This is true, but for me the wider grip really bothers my shoulders if I go all the way down to my chest. I have long arms and narrower shoulders, so when I grip wider and bring the bar down to my chest, my elbows are dropping way below the bench and my shoulders are being strained (I have a sloppy left shoulder joint/impingement problems). I've gone to close grip (shoulder width or slightly narrower) as a result...it's easier on my shoulders with a full ROM, though I've had to drop the weight a bit.

    It varies from person to person, with build and injury history, etc. You should try to work with the largest ROM possible while making adjustments for your personal issues.

    If you see people in the gym working with a small ROM/partial reps they could be ego lifting OR they may be working a particular weakness or sticking point, as a few people have pointed out. Bottom line is to just worry about yourself and your own progress
    Last edited by IceRgrrl; 11-20-2003 at 07:22 AM.

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    Originally posted by Dedicated

    I'm also 5'-8 and I also used to hold bar where you hold it. I recently started putting my pinkys on the ring and it really destroys the chest, you should try it, it really works the chest harder.
    pinkys on the ring? does this refer to how the bar is gripped, and what part of the bar is the ring?

    sorry, i'm basic

  16. #16
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    If you'll look at the center of the bar, you'll see a rough patch, then a smooth area, then it gets rough again. A few inches into the rough area there's a ring around the bar that is smooth.

    That ring is used to determine grip. Generally speaking, since its different for everyone, gripping towards or past the outside of the ring is "wide" and inside the ring is "close." Personal defintions may vary on the actual positions.
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    Just sitting here at my computer, when I simulate the ROM of a bench press, my arms naturally stop (i.e. meet resistance) in a position where the bar would be at least 1and1/2" away from my chest. I can bring my arms farther back, but to do so (at least sitting here right now) requires a "stretch". Is this telling me that I don't need to go all the way down on my bench because my arms are long?

    also, what counts as "long arms"? i've always considered mine long, but what kind of armspan counts as long? I'm 5' 11and1/2" and my armspan (fingertip to fingertip) is 6' 2".

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by Dedicated

    I'm also 5'-8 and I also used to hold bar where you hold it. I recently started putting my pinkys on the ring and it really destroys the chest, you should try it, it really works the chest harder.
    Maybe I'll try that. Did it improve your benchpress any or even make it harder?
    Stats
    Age: 22 Height: 5'-8" Weight: 175 (6-10-07)
    BF: 13.2% (6-10-07 w/ calipers)

    Lifts
    Bench: 300x1 (9-22-06)
    Squat: 285x4
    Deadlift: 225x10

    Long-term Goals
    Weight: 180 BF: 8% Bench: 315x1

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by crud_meridian
    also, what counts as "long arms"? i've always considered mine long, but what kind of armspan counts as long? I'm 5' 11and1/2" and my armspan (fingertip to fingertip) is 6' 2".
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    Stand there for a few minutes, then pace back and forth a lot, huff and puff, wait until everybody's looking. Approach the bar. Back off. Approach it again. Back off. Get some water. Chalk up. Approach the bar again. Then spray some more chalk around. Wait until people start losing interest. When nobody's looking, pick it a little off the floor, and slam it down. Jump up and yell "LIGHT WEIGHT BABY". Then give high fives all around. - Belial

  20. #20
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    Your arm span minus height is commonly called your ape index. A positive ape index is an indicator that you might be a naturally good climber.

    A 2.5" index is large!

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  21. #21
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    is this good or just freakish? and does it explain why my bench press is so weak? (8 reps to failure at 140)

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    Originally posted by jww13


    Maybe I'll try that. Did it improve your benchpress any or even make it harder?
    It made it much harder, and it really worked my chest much harder. Be careful when you do it, make sure you warm up and use a less than maximal weight when you first try.

    You can go even wider if you want, just be careful.

  23. #23
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    It's hard to say whether it's good or bad for bench pressing. Presumably, someone with short arms may be better suited for bench pressing, but they may be short in stature or have wide shoulders, so the ape index may still be positive.

    I'd say it's far too complex to boil down to this stat.

    Your bench press is fine. Just keep working on it for a few months and it will go up a lot.

  24. #24
    Wannabebig Member MaDmaN2's Avatar
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    Something a little different on bench that has worked for me.My chest is the probably my best bodypart.When I lower the weight at a slow pace I position the bar almost under my neck for even more stretch,then I explode the weight up and repeat for 6-8 reps generally using 315 Lbs.The very last full rep I get then I lower the bar half way and burn out 3 or 4 more half reps for total exhaustion.This is great if you have no spotter....

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by MaDmaN2
    Something a little different on bench that has worked for me.My chest is the probably my best bodypart.When I lower the weight at a slow pace I position the bar almost under my neck for even more stretch,then I explode the weight up and repeat for 6-8 reps generally using 315 Lbs.The very last full rep I get then I lower the bar half way and burn out 3 or 4 more half reps for total exhaustion.This is great if you have no spotter....
    NO spotter? Performing 8 reps with 315lbs then doing "4 half reps unil exhaustion"with no spotter is the stupidest idea I've ever heard.
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