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
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    getting stuck at bottom of bench press

    I've finally increased my bench enough so that instead of just knowing I was a wimp, I can actually point out where I'm weak, and it's definately getting the bar off my damned chest.

    What does that indicate - weak triceps?
    what are some good ways to get strong on that portion of the lift?
    There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back.

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  3. #2
    I wannabebig!
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    if your weak off the bottom I would say to work your lats/chest/delts

  4. #3
    hammin'
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    I take it you haven't been lifting very long.

    That said, try this:

    Next time you bench, sit down on the bench first. Now lean back and grab the bar with an underhand grip and kind of 'pull' your body up to the bar whilst pushing slightly with your feet on the ground. Remember this 'flexed' body position. Now lay back on the bench but push with your feet, your back slightly arched (your butt should be in contact witht he bench), but the KEY here is to keep your lats flexed and tight. The weight of your back should be on your traps (middle and upper back).

    Now choose a lower weight and practice repping while keeping this tight body posture. Don't PUSH with your feet or arch your back. Simply keep yoru lats flexed and your feet firmly planted on the floor.

    ALso, you might try some targeted chest work to strength your pecs. This will also aid in getting the bar off your chest. Lat work will help to a significant degree too. But remember to use your lats to STABILIZE your torso.
    They say that when your ships comes in
    The first man takes the sails
    Second takes the afterdeck
    The third: the planks and rails.

  5. #4
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trich daddy

    Now choose a lower weight and practice repping while keeping this tight body posture. Don't PUSH with your feet or arch your back. Simply keep yoru lats flexed and your feet firmly planted on the floor.
    Nothing wrong with arching your back.
    Last edited by Behemoth; 12-22-2004 at 04:01 PM.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Behemoth
    Nothing wrong with arching your back.
    you reduce ROM that way. So what's the point? I like keeping my back flat on the bench

  7. #6
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    not a newbie to lifting, just have some joint issues that have kept me from hitting the bigger poundages. Now that I'm slowly closing in on it, I'm hoping to start working on the weak points. My form is fine, just wasn't sure where to do isolation work, or how, since it's never been an issue.
    There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back.

  8. #7
    Still Plugging Away -TIM-'s Avatar
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    I'm a fan of teh slight back arch and flexed lats. I can push more weight when my upper body is in a tight, fixed position.
    Best way to cheat on deadlifts...

    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

  9. #8
    Wannabebig Member Thunder's Avatar
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    Do some speed benching (Dynamic Effort ala Westside)

    - 50% of 1RM or lighter if you're slow
    - 10 sets of 3 reps using 3 different grips
    - 45-60s rest
    - Stay really tight but focus on making those 3 reps as fast as possible - explosive off your chest.
    - The addition of bands or chains to this is another idea.

    This'll help develop power and explosiveness of your chest.

  10. #9
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    Thanks Thunder, I was considering a similar method for my next training split in a few weeks, this ought to work into it fine.
    There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back.

  11. #10
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    IMO, getting stuck at the bottom means that the weight is a bit too heavy... keep working with it

  12. #11
    Wannabebig Member Thunder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bas
    IMO, getting stuck at the bottom means that the weight is a bit too heavy... keep working with it
    I suppose that's true but it's a bit too simplistic. We tend to be weak during certain portions of a lift. If one is weak off the chest, they need to prioritize that and do exercises to improve this weakness. If one is strong off the chest, but has a weak lockout, they need to work on improving their lockout. Etc, etc.

  13. #12
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    Exactly. I up the weight at all I get stuck, so if I backed it back off I'd never increase at all! This is why I noticed the weakness - now that I'm adding weight regularly, I'm noticing I could add a LOT more if I didn't have to bother with the bottom motiion. I could add 50 pounds and still go to lockout - I can't imagine anyone having problems with that part of the lift. This is why I want to prioritize the weak part. Hopefully it'll rapidly increase the weight once I bring the weak part of the lift up to speed.
    There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back.

  14. #13
    Panic Prone waynis's Avatar
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    Work those negatives! Come down slow. Atleast a 3 sec count. Then blast up. Also your back and shoulder muscles are probably weak.
    Never Giving In.

  15. #14
    WBB's Juggernaut/Liason BigCorey75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder
    Do some speed benching (Dynamic Effort ala Westside)

    - 50% of 1RM or lighter if you're slow
    - 10 sets of 3 reps using 3 different grips
    - 45-60s rest
    - Stay really tight but focus on making those 3 reps as fast as possible - explosive off your chest.
    - The addition of bands or chains to this is another idea.

    This'll help develop power and explosiveness of your chest.
    BINGO


    your just like me this is my weak point alson, so now im working on increasing my bar speed to increase my poundage
    Why live if one can not Deadlift?- John Paul Sigmasson

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  16. #15
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    Did 10 sets of 3 reps today. # with normal grip, 3 with close grip, 4 with wide grip, using about 70%. Had no real difficulty except for the close grip bench. Basically the closer the grip, the tougher the lift. I was shocked by how easy the lift was with a wide grip.

    I finished up by doing 2x6 sets in a power cage so that I could set safety bars at the bottom of the press, and another set 6 inches higher. Would press and hold into the upper safety bar. I forget where I've seen this technique, but thought I'd give it a shot.
    There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back.

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikigreg
    Did 10 sets of 3 reps today. # with normal grip, 3 with close grip, 4 with wide grip, using about 70%. Had no real difficulty except for the close grip bench. Basically the closer the grip, the tougher the lift. I was shocked by how easy the lift was with a wide grip.

    I finished up by doing 2x6 sets in a power cage so that I could set safety bars at the bottom of the press, and another set 6 inches higher. Would press and hold into the upper safety bar. I forget where I've seen this technique, but thought I'd give it a shot.
    odd, you say you get stuck at the bottom which would implicate a weak chest, yet you find wide grip easiest? A hard CGBP indicates weaker triceps. I believe you just found your natural position for bench press which allows you to push the most weight, that's all.

  18. #17
    Wannabebig Member djmatrix's Avatar
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    When I find a sticking point in my ROM on an exercise, I do what I call, "stop sets". I'll load up 50% 1RM and I'll lower the weight to the bottom, hold for a count of 3 then raise to the midway point and hold for a count of 3, then push to the top of the movement.

    I'll do this for 3 sets. It's helped me get through those sticking points, especially on bench press. Also work on negatives too, those help a ton!
    Age: 24
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    Goals for 2005:
    Add thickness to back, forearms, chest.
    26" Thighs
    17" Arms

  19. #18
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    That sounds like a great way to alternate with the 10 set technique as well.

    Odd that I had zero DOMS resulting from a completely different setup and execution. Hmm....years of lifting and lurking here, and I still don't know ****e.
    There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back.

  20. #19
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    Update for everyone. I've been working on Thunder's recs, as well as some sets where I set the pins in a cage so that I starrted at the bottom, instead of the top, as s shock to the system.

    Culmination of this two weeks of work: Added ten lbs to my bench. Tried for 20lbs today and barely missed it. I expect to be solidly there inside of a month.

    Incidentally, one odd thing seemed to help getting off the bottom - I don't know whether this should have been obvious or not, but even though I'm taking a shoulder-width grip, keeping my elbows tight to my sides seemed to really help me power the weight up off the bottom. They don't stay there once I get to the top of the movement, but even the thoughts seems to make the lift stronger. *shrug*

    Thanks for the help guys!
    There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back.

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