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  1. #1
    The Man of Steel -Superman-'s Avatar
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    Bench Press Without Thumbs?

    I have seen a lot of supposedly strong people bench without locking their thumbs around the barbell. I don't see what these people are trying to prove or why they would risk their health to do this unsafe bench in my opinion. Does it allow you to bench more weight? Is this the official bench press? I saw last week someone did this and the barbell slipped and crashed on their chest crushing their chest bones. I find this bench press technique so stupid but I see so many people doing it. You couldn't pay me enough to bench like that but I wanted to know the reason for doing it or why these people bench like this. Thanks for replies!
    From 155 lbs to 200 lbs (PICS/VIDS INCLUDED)

    Height: 6'0"; BW: 202lbs; Age: 24; BF: ~11%
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    Bench: 250lbs; Squat: 350lbs lbs; Deadlift: 430 lbs

    Military: 111lbsx8; Dips: BWx30; Pullups: BWx10; WChestP: 360lbsx7; 45LegP: 470lbsx20; C Raise: 360lbs; BB Curl: 105lbsx3; Lat Pull: 195lbsx5

  2. #2
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Some people find it more comfortable. I don't think it's allowed in most official powerlifting competitions.
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  3. #3
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    Some people are just stupid enough to do it that way, no better leverage or muscle recruitment without them.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Natetaco's Avatar
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    Probably a bad idea, if your hands were sweaty you would be screwed.
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  5. #5
    HS Football D Breyer's Avatar
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    I use it most of the time... It puts less stress on my wrists and it feels more natural. I've never had an incident where its slipped out of my grip...
    6'1 - 195
    Crossfit Total: Press: 135 - Squat: 315 - Deadlift: 365
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  6. #6
    TJW Keith's Avatar
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    Ive been using it recently to try it out. But I always have gloves on when doing it for grip.
    It does scare the hell out of me when pushing heavy weight though. I may switch back, but this grip does feel more comfortable and powerful.
    Age: 24 Height: 5'9" Weight: 185

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  7. #7
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Here's the deal. Thumbless bench (also called "suicide grip") allows for less strain on the wrists. It makes it easier to get the hands under the bar without flexing your wrists back. This also means it's easier to line up your wrist with your elbow, which means you can lift more. A lot of guys use this.

    When benching this way, it's very important that your spotters know what the hell they are doing. Back spotter must be alert AS ALWAYS and the side spotters must set up differently. Side spotters should stand toward the inside of the bench (Almost facing the back spotter) and should keep the hands close to the bar at all times (AS ALWAYS). If this is done, the lifter is safe.

    Also, this IS allowed at ALL powerlifting competitions. However it is important, if you plan to bench this way, that you inform the center judge as well as the spotters so that they can set up properly to spot you.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
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  8. #8
    The Man of Steel -Superman-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drew
    Here's the deal. Thumbless bench (also called "suicide grip") allows for less strain on the wrists. It makes it easier to get the hands under the bar without flexing your wrists back. This also means it's easier to line up your wrist with your elbow, which means you can lift more. A lot of guys use this.

    When benching this way, it's very important that your spotters know what the hell they are doing. Back spotter must be alert AS ALWAYS and the side spotters must set up differently. Side spotters should stand toward the inside of the bench (Almost facing the back spotter) and should keep the hands close to the bar at all times (AS ALWAYS). If this is done, the lifter is safe.

    Also, this IS allowed at ALL powerlifting competitions. However it is important, if you plan to bench this way, that you inform the center judge as well as the spotters so that they can set up properly to spot you.
    Good explanation. I sometimes feel I can do the machine bench press more without thumbs and keeping my wrist straight. But, after seeing it crash on someone in person and on youtube.com (you guys gotta check it out because it is some sick stuff, the bar completely crashes on the guys chest and rolls down his neck and then the video is cut off - mostly likely to get 911).

    As for me, I will always be locking my thumbs around the bar when I do the regular freeweight barbell bench press. I just don't know what I would do if it crashed into my chest. I would probably go into shock and die.
    From 155 lbs to 200 lbs (PICS/VIDS INCLUDED)

    Height: 6'0"; BW: 202lbs; Age: 24; BF: ~11%
    155lbs [07-01-06] 176lbs [09-14-06] 179lbs [09-21-06] 182lbs [10-02-06] 184lbs [10-18-06] 186lbs [10-23-06] 187lbs [11-08-06] 189lbs [11-19-06] 190lbs [11-21-06] 191lbs [12-21-06] 194lbs [12-31-06]

    Bench: 250lbs; Squat: 350lbs lbs; Deadlift: 430 lbs

    Military: 111lbsx8; Dips: BWx30; Pullups: BWx10; WChestP: 360lbsx7; 45LegP: 470lbsx20; C Raise: 360lbs; BB Curl: 105lbsx3; Lat Pull: 195lbsx5

  9. #9
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drew
    Also, this IS allowed at ALL powerlifting competitions. However it is important, if you plan to bench this way, that you inform the center judge as well as the spotters so that they can set up properly to spot you.
    You could be right, but from IPF's website:

    "2. The lifter must lie on his back with shoulders and buttocks in contact with the bench surface. The sole and heel of his shoes or any part thereof of the sole and heel must be in contact with the platform or blocks. The welt/rim or uppers must not be in contact during the lift. His hands and fingers must grip the bar positioned in the rack stands with thumbs around grip. His head must be over and above the bench surface i.e. not to one side or hanging over the end of the bench. This body position shall be maintained throughout the lift."


    ??????
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  10. #10
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    I've seen the video. That's a case of someone having no respect for the weight, not getting set right, not being ready, and having spotters who aren't paying attention. Let me tell you, when you're spotting a guy who has 500-600 or more on the bar, you had better be paying attention.

    Fortunately for me, I have found some of the best benchers in the world to train with, so I'm never worried that someone will let me get injured.

    BTW, I never use a thumbless grip on bench.

    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

  11. #11
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Anthony, I always forget about the damned IPF and their crazy rules.

    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

  12. #12
    Senior Member Howard 9's Avatar
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    What happeend to the guy? You saw his chest crush?!! That should tell you all you need to know about it.

  13. #13
    The Man of Steel -Superman-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard 9
    What happeend to the guy? You saw his chest crush?!! That should tell you all you need to know about it.
    Yeah, his chest caved in similar to the one on youtube.com (but the video cuts off after impact). I am not sure what bone that is, but when the weight comes down from 2 feet and drops, it's like getting hit by a car (momentum = mass x velocity). It snaps the (I'm guessing the term) breast plate and if you are lucky or unlucky, you survive. I can't even imagine what the pain must be like and I have broken several bones. But breaking a bone that close to the heart is some serious stuff. It's mind boggling at how many people choose to bench like that.
    From 155 lbs to 200 lbs (PICS/VIDS INCLUDED)

    Height: 6'0"; BW: 202lbs; Age: 24; BF: ~11%
    155lbs [07-01-06] 176lbs [09-14-06] 179lbs [09-21-06] 182lbs [10-02-06] 184lbs [10-18-06] 186lbs [10-23-06] 187lbs [11-08-06] 189lbs [11-19-06] 190lbs [11-21-06] 191lbs [12-21-06] 194lbs [12-31-06]

    Bench: 250lbs; Squat: 350lbs lbs; Deadlift: 430 lbs

    Military: 111lbsx8; Dips: BWx30; Pullups: BWx10; WChestP: 360lbsx7; 45LegP: 470lbsx20; C Raise: 360lbs; BB Curl: 105lbsx3; Lat Pull: 195lbsx5

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jinkies's Avatar
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    It's called suicide grip for a reason.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Howard 9's Avatar
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    Wow that sounds terrible. Did the guy die or what?

  16. #16
    Wannabebig Member
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    Ok guys the reason there are not a whole lot of people replying that they use thumb-less grip is because ...they're all DEAD!

  17. #17
    The Man of Steel -Superman-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikefiend
    Ok guys the reason there are not a whole lot of people replying that they use thumb-less grip is because ...they're all DEAD!
    Seems logical.
    From 155 lbs to 200 lbs (PICS/VIDS INCLUDED)

    Height: 6'0"; BW: 202lbs; Age: 24; BF: ~11%
    155lbs [07-01-06] 176lbs [09-14-06] 179lbs [09-21-06] 182lbs [10-02-06] 184lbs [10-18-06] 186lbs [10-23-06] 187lbs [11-08-06] 189lbs [11-19-06] 190lbs [11-21-06] 191lbs [12-21-06] 194lbs [12-31-06]

    Bench: 250lbs; Squat: 350lbs lbs; Deadlift: 430 lbs

    Military: 111lbsx8; Dips: BWx30; Pullups: BWx10; WChestP: 360lbsx7; 45LegP: 470lbsx20; C Raise: 360lbs; BB Curl: 105lbsx3; Lat Pull: 195lbsx5

  18. #18
    Read the Stickies! whiteman90909's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikefiend
    Ok guys the reason there are not a whole lot of people replying that they use thumb-less grip is because ...they're all DEAD!
    Darwinian evolution biyatches.

  19. #19
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    It seems most people can bench more with a thumbless grip, I think it changes the entire lift, and it helps you use your lats more, but yes, it can be dangerous, especially for powerlifters, not so much for bodybuilders who don't go so heavy and lift in a very controlled, smooth way.
    Safety is first, so I don't use it....but I remember whenever I would try it the bar felt so much lighter...lol

  20. #20
    sissy Bohizzle's Avatar
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    I've used it up until now, and have never had a problem, although i'm not pushin the big weights, and i suspect once i do, i will switch over and get some wrist wraps. As of right now, using the normal grip puts a lot more stress on my wrists than suicide grip.

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  21. #21
    Wannabebig New Member
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    I actually trained that way for several years and did my heaviest weight like that. I never had any feeling that I would drop the weight BUT as I got heavier I noticed that my forearms and wrists were getting weaker it seemed so I switched back to a normal grip. The thumbless grip feels stronger and more fluid but I couldnt stand my cramping forearms and weak wrists.

  22. #22
    Wannabebig New Member
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    Haha, I just searched for 'Bench Press Crush' and saw a couple videos. Im not sure which one everyone in this thread is refering to but in the videos I saw it appeard that the lifter didnt have the endurance to even keep the weight from falling much left lift the weight.

    Like in this one...
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=6zDN3QLAM...elated&search=

    I blame the lifter not the spotters (3 of them at that). The spotters have to let you try and lift the weight. The spotter helps with the lift off but then its the lifters job to at least keep the weight up. If they fail I think there is little a spotter can do to prevent the bar from getting to the chest even if they are paying attention and perhaps even have their hands on the bar.
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  23. #23
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    The left spotter (in the foreground) missed the bar. He actually started to move his hands away and wasn't paying attention. The right spotter had the bar and the back spotter generally has to be out of the way in a competition (so the center judge can see) so it's not really his fault either.

    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

  24. #24
    Senior Member hardgainer169's Avatar
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    Dude this is bad

    Quote Originally Posted by -Superman-
    you guys gotta check it out because it is some sick stuff, the bar completely crashes on the guys chest and rolls down his neck and then the video is cut off - mostly likely to get 911
    http://http://youtube.com/watch?v=cSJCDcAKShA


    I will NEVER use that grip
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