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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:42 am 
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Wouter wrote:
I don't know, I've always tried to keep my shoulders back and down.
But when the weight gets heavier (relatively),
my shoulders shrug up and it provides better stability for me and feels more natural.
Now that I know this, I'm not going to fight it anymore, might help getting a bigger bench?


Well, when I get heavy on a squat, my knees cave in, because my body finds this to be naturally a more stable position to stand back up with a heavy weight on my back. However, my knees aren't too impressed.

When I go really heavy on DL, my lower back rounds, as my body..... you get the picture.... Not trying to be an a$$hole, just pointing out that your reasoning here may not be the best. Shrugging when it gets heavy is very common but you can train yourself out of it. If you watch an experienced lifter "fail", their form hardly changes at all. This is years of practising perfect technique combined with years of bringing up weak points. If you watch a beginner attempt to go heavy or even fail, their body morphs into something completely different before failure actually happens. This can seem silly but it's very significant.

The way I explain it is how I see it in my head - you have a whole bunch of muscles than can bench 100KG, and you have a whole bunch of muscles that struggle with 50KG. This is why you can bench 50KG quite well, but bench 60 horribly, and get stapled with 70. When you get to over 50KG, your technique changes because your body is trying to use the stronger muscles more. At first (beginners), need to focus on limiting how much they can lift in exchange for good technique. This essentially focuses on those weak muscles that can only bench 50 because you limit the load based on technique. By the time you get those muscles up to 100KG, your bench will go through the roof. It just takes consistent practice, patience, and time.

Sometimes it's a case of just not using other muscles effectively (technique). So, the strength is there, you're just not using it. This is when I see you and put 10KG on your bench in 20 minutes. Other times the strength isn't there and neither is the technique. This is when I see you and decrease your bench in 20 minutes, lol, but try my best to assure you that you'll be benching more in no time!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:46 am 
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xshawnxearthx wrote:
Why not just do what's more comfortable to you?

EDIT: See KPJ's Post directly above for a better explanation of what I was trying to say.

Because what was comfortable to me initially was to flair my arms and essentially have my shoulders up. At one point early on, I had discomfort and even had to stop benching for a little while. This lead me to research "How" to Bench, which now has me somewhere between a Rippetoe Bench and Dave Tate Bench, which are very similar in their own respect.

Bottom line what was comfortable was dangerous. Now, what's "Trained" is not the Thib way. Therefore, I want to see the logic behind "Thib's" Way.

Cliff

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:58 am 
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pdellorto wrote:
I'm wondering too. I think the most common cue I give for everything is "shoulders back and down." Or some variation of that - "pack the shoulder" or "plug the shoulders in" or "squeeze your scapula together and pull them down." And that's for everything from bench pressing to pushups to rows to squats and deadlifts.

Heck, I learned cues for that from my sister, who learned them in her Iyengar yoga classes - they cue that for almost everything, apparently. We can't all be wrong . . .

I suspect Thibs has something else specific in mind and it's just not clear.


Yeah, i'm really curious to hear more from him about it.

The biggest thing for me is the Lat argument. As far as I can understand, saying you should shrug whilst benching is also saying that the lats aren't important for benching because it takes the lats out of it. I just can't buy into that.

KPj

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:58 am 
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Yeah! What Kenny P said!

That post should be a sticky all by itself. This is one of the reasons that one should not lift to failure, except maybe with a very strict, limited definition of "failure". Grinder reps leave good form way behind.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:19 pm 
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KPj wrote:
This is when I see you and put 10KG on your bench in 20 minutes.


Kenny, I am booking my trip to Scottland this afternoon.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:13 am 
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hoosegow wrote:
KPj wrote:
This is when I see you and put 10KG on your bench in 20 minutes.


Kenny, I am booking my trip to Scottland this afternoon.


I think with what you're benching, it should be me getting a flight to Texas!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:38 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
Yeah! What Kenny P said!

That post should be a sticky all by itself. This is one of the reasons that one should not lift to failure, except maybe with a very strict, limited definition of "failure". Grinder reps leave good form way behind.


Thanks!

With beginners struggling with technique, I still like them to "grind" or "strain" but, not in the way you would for a true 1-3RM (where as you said good form is left way behind). I refer to it as "fighting with form" vs "fighting with weight". If I stay on the example on that last post, then if someone can bench 50 perfectly, 60 horribly, and stapled with 70, then I want them getting some good reps with about 55. With bad technique it would be easy but, forcing them to lift with good technique makes it really difficult. So, for example, a common thing is, as soon as it gets challenging, the elbows flare and the shoulders hike up, so they end up straining and fighting to stop this from happening. They will really focus on keeping those shoulders tight and tucking the elbows. I just explain that at this stage they need a weight that makes them fight to keep form, but still lift with good form, and not a weight that's either too easy to lift with good form, or too heavy to lift with good form.... I think those "perfect" grinder reps are the ones that really build technique. That's my theory anyway!

KPj

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:18 pm 
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I know that this is an old post but i'll put in my two cents. As a long time Martial Artist, it only makes sense to "keep your shoulders down". Every "white belt" punches with shoulders raised and everyone who has ever taught any martial art has reminded students (like a million times...as we were reminded when we first started)...to "keep your shoulders down"....why? ....because otherwise the power of your strike "leaks" out and is not transferred from the ground, through the torso, through your shoulder to your striking hand and into the target....same in the bench press....transfer the power from the ground to torso, through the shoulders to the bar...one line...no leaks.

Cheers!


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