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Thread: advice on powerlifting bench press technique

  1. #1
    Senior Member jtteg_x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Bay Area, CA

    advice on powerlifting bench press technique

    i been lifting for a good 6 months concentrating on compound movements such as bench press, squats, deadlifts, rows, etc. i always lacked on the bench press and would like to push more weight. i started looking into using different style form to achieve this. i have always used the traditional form; butt stays on bench, feet on floor, back flat, sticking chest up during the lift. eariler tonight, i decided to try new things by throwing my hips in the air, legs more in, standing on toes, and positioning the bar so it hits my lower chest level. i wasnt too sure if i had my form correct so im seeking advice.

    on the other hand, whenever i go heavy with this form, my whole body would shake/vibrate on the last few reps. calves and arms would shake like im about to collapse

  2. #2
    SFW! drew's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Get Tight!

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    dont get used to throwing your hips off the bench. in many powerlifting leagues, it is illegal for your butt to leave the bench.

    as far as powerlifting form:
    bring you feet as close to your body as you comfortably can. this plays into arching your back as much as possible so that you have a nice big arc between your butt and upper back. the lower back should not touch at all. the idea behind this is that a) your chest is as high as possible, thus the bar doesn't have to move as far and b) you're using as much of your chest as possible in that position thats between a normal flat bench and a decline bench.

    you're grip is up to you and you should experiment. it will vary greatly depending on how strong your chest is in comparison to your arms. i've found that for me, a somewhat narrow grip (not even a thumbs length from the grip) is best despite my wide profile. this puts a lot of stress on your elbows and shouldn't be done all the time, but it helps let your body get the most of of BOTH your chest and your arms.

    your whole body should be tight throughout the bench. although your butt should not leave the bench, you should still be using your legs to push your upper back into the bench. think like you're trying to make a reverse 'C' w/ your body.

    dont let your feet leave the ground. this is also commonly outlawed.

    last thing is the mentality of it. you gotta find what works for you, but for me, i dont think about moving the bar up -- i think about pushing agaisn't the bar to push my back into the bench as deep as i can.

    hope this helps!

  4. #4
    T.J.W. nhlfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by drew
    Get Tight!
    what does this mean?
    gym lifts: squat: 341lbs, deadlift: 374lbs, bench: 275lbs
    My journal:
    "Fk you and the Prowler you rode in on"

  5. #5
    IRL my name is Trent Hazerboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    This helps TREMENDOUSLY, and I don't even push that much weight (meaning it would probabley help even more at higher weights). Tighten up your abs, tighten up your butt muscles, tighten up and push with your legs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    All the advise mentioned above is good. It takes many years of hard work and trial and error to really develop proper powerlifting form. Sometimes kids come up to me and say things like ''you are not suppose to arch your back like that''..or''dude, your gonna break your back'' or ''doesn't that hurt your back?'' when i explain to them that i'm doing powerlifting and i'm using powerlifting tecnique, they are like''..power...what??''...LOL...These young punks think they are going to teach me how to!
    Another thing, arching your back shouldn't hurt your lower back, as long as you have a strong lower back, that means you'd have to have a strong deadlift and squat. If you don't have a strong lower back, I wouldn't mess around with arching my back at the bench...Good luck...


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