I have just started using free weights after having previously used 'assisted machines'. On those I could bench about 150lbs but on a free weights bench press I can only do around 50lbs. My biggest problem is when using the bench press I find it very hard to balance the weight above me. I think this has something to do with stabaliser muscles but I am not sure. Does everyone have this problem of not being able to balance the weight when they first start out?
i had a terrible time when i started out... after about 10 workouts i found myself balancing the bar and benching with perfect form... just stick with it ryder.
6'1 - 195
Crossfit Total: Press: 135 - Squat: 315 - Deadlift: 365
Competition Lifts: Clean: 205 - Bench: 205
yea just keep working at it concentrate on balancing bar and you dont have to go heavy now learn your form first then start adding weight.
Once you learn how to stabilize yourself and how to hit your lifting groove, your bench weights will start to increase.
"The female of the species is more deadly than the male."
My attempts at lifting heavy objects
Squat 145 kg (320 lbs)
Bench 67.5 kg (149 lbs)
DL: 142.5 kg (314 lbs)
...oh, and I'm a girl.
you have a harder time than most because of the assistance machines, essentially, they DID make you stronger but you have no ability to use that strength in the real world or with real weight because you lack the additional muscle strength required to control the weight. that will come quickly so dont worry.
Thankyou all for your help. Greatly appreciated.
I have a competition with a friend on who can 'press' the most on an assisted Bench Press machine in 4 weeks. He is currently stronger than me but not by alot. If I were to train for 4 weeks on a free weights bench every other day,(monday wednesday friday) would I be able to beat him in 4 weeks?
I can currently press 150lbs for 1 rep and he can do it for 10.
I am alot more experienced when it comes to weight lifting and I am a year older than him. I am 16.
He doesnt have the knowledge to train effectively.
I'm going to go with probably not on that one for a variety of reasons.
Yeah i agree w/ twm right now he can lift your max 10 times. Thats a pretty big difference. but try it out and see if it happens.
i remember for the first year i liftede i benched with a smith machine, my chest got bigger and felt stronger but when i started going to a new gym i tried free weight bench and nearly dropped it my balance was so bad, like anything you do ya just gotta keep trying and really focus on controlling that weight. Make it your bitch.
Pitiful Bench-Jockey for life
A perfect example of why freeweights OWN machines. The wobbling will get better as your stabilizer muscles and nervous system get used to the movement. Just keep at it. By the way, you're just starting so do yourself a favor and NEVER lift for ego - that is don't try to lift more than you can lift with perfect form. Alot of lifters make the mistake of compromising form for weight, including me
id say if you are doing the competition on the assissted machine, then train on that machine.... but if you want to get stronger and dont care about winning some stupid competition, then use a real bench press. I used to use those machines when I was first starting out, but then I soon wised up to why freeweights own, and I got a lot stronger fast.
If you really want to beat this guy. Train using 1-3 reps, with your maximum weight, using the machine. Rest well between sets. Eat lots, you need to put on weight for this.
After you've done a few sets on the machine, by all means go to free-weight bench and practise your form. But I'm sure the way to beat this guy is to practise low reps on the machine. Your stabalizers will hold back the major muscles you need to stress.
Age 29 | Height: 5'11 | Weight: 176 lbs (a while ago) | Weight: 180 lbs (2-Nov-05) | Weight: 181 lbs (8-Nov-05)
I find it difficult to believe than an "experienced lifter" struggles with 50lb on a flat bench. My girlfriend is 100lbs and she can handle the bar without a struggle and she's certainly not high on the testosterone side of things.
I must stress that when I say I am experienced I dont mean with how long I have been lifting weights. I mean that I have read alot of articles on ways to improve your techniques ( obviously must not be working). I know a fair amount when it comes to lifting but havent been lifting long enough to put it into practice.
On a side note. Everybody thankyou all for your help on this matter.
If anybody is wondering:
Good luck dude.. keep at it.
Apart from that, reading is not doing
Yeah I donno 50lbs??? On barbell??? thats 2.5plates on an empty bar. I see girls at my gym who weigh less than 100lbs doing 95lbs. Also 150lbs on chest press? I know its assisted but 150 still takes a bit of energy. Something smells fishy to me.
Heh yea, but really unless you care about beating him ditch the smith machine. Free weights will build you bigger and faster. Work with DB's, they are awesome workouts for your stabalizers. Eat properly and work your legs, thats very important espically if he doesnt work them. Squat, Squat, Squat. That alone should give you an edge in strength.
You won't catch the kid in four weeks, but if you keep doing the free weights, eat plenty, and work your full body, you'll surpass him pretty quickly.