Thanks, Ryan. I view the bench press as mostly a triceps exercise with the most leverage near the top, as you suggest. My friend, Charles Venturella, holds a WABOL masters world record bench press of 410 lbs. at a body weight of 148. When he cleans the bar, you can barely see it move (he takes a very wide grip). I don't train like him because I am more interested in my appearance, not my maximum effort. While I pick up a fair amount of weight for my age, I always have a rep left at the end of a set. For big compound movements, my sets usually run 1x12, 1x10, 1x8, 1x6-8 with 10 lbs. added each set. I get a warm-up and maintain my size with this. For auxillary exercises with dumbells, etc, it's always three sets of 8-10 with 80% of what I can handle.
Bio: Age 56; former NPC Masters Champion (1990); teacher; married with kids; heroes: John Grimak and Frank Zane; favorite sport: Steelers Football (worked in TV with R. Blier); hobbies: canoeing, cycling, free weight exercise.