About where to lower the bar on benchpress

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robertscott
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Post by robertscott » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:10 am

ok well i don't mean to hijack this thread but i do have one small query: I tried benching with a narrower grip last night, kept my arms tucked in about 45 degrees. Hard work it was! Seems to have really hammered my triceps and anterior delts, with less work for the chest. So this in the long run is going to see me handle more weight? I would have thought the more work the chest was doing, the stronger you'd be.


robertscott
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Post by robertscott » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:13 am

actually that link answered my question, cheers Stuward...

One other thing i found quite interesting about it is the bar seemed to move a lot faster and there was much less stress on my wrists

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Post by KPj » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:12 am

robertscott wrote:ok well i don't mean to hijack this thread but i do have one small query: I tried benching with a narrower grip last night, kept my arms tucked in about 45 degrees. Hard work it was! Seems to have really hammered my triceps and anterior delts, with less work for the chest. So this in the long run is going to see me handle more weight? I would have thought the more work the chest was doing, the stronger you'd be.
See, i'm not convinced you can tell what muscles are doing what from 'feel'. Was your chest doing less or did you just assume that because you 'felt' it more in your tri's and delts? How do you 'feel' the effect? Was it fatigue during or after the sets or was it DOMS? Does DOMS determine effectiveness of a training session?

I'm just 'throwing it out there', these are open ended questions not neccessarily directed at you.

For example, I have big calfs (well, relatively speaking). I don't work them directly, at all. Obviously they're doing work during squats, DLs, and single leg stuff. I can honestly say though that i've never 'felt' them work.... How did they manage to grow, ya know?

Does, let's call it 'localised fatigue' determine the effectiveness of an exercise? For example, if you get someone to do push ups until failure, very commonly, the 'core' or upper back stablisers will give out first. This is evdient when the upper back begins to hunch and the hips begin to sag. However, ask the person doing it where they 'feel' the fatigue, I'm pretty sure they don't say "my abs/core". Or "my middle and lower traps". I'm sure it would be closer to "my arms/chest/delts area....

Just trying to make people think.... :grin:

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Post by Halfbreed » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:30 am

Yes, but the bench press movement requires that you take the fatigue off of your triceps in order to maximize a: the usage of your pectorals during the exercise; and b: the amount of repititions and weight you can place on your chest while pressing. If you feel your triceps burning up and you hit failure on your tris before your chest has been adequately worked, than you have failed to get your chest worked to the point you need for growth. This is why during the bench press, if working for the chest, it is very good to focus on squeezing the chest as opposed to just pushing the weight up. You will bring too many muscles into the equation by just pushing the weight up instead of isolating the muscle you are trying to focus on....for the purposes of development, that is. If for pure strength, just push the weight up, and get as many large muscle groups as you can into it, this is the point; to make it a compound exercise, deveopling power by incorporating the cooperative use of several muscle groups.

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Stephen Johnson
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:02 pm

robertscott wrote:i don't really understand why powerlifters use a narrower grip, i am just short of 6 foot and use an ultra wide grip for the bench. If i tried to make my grip narrower I'd be able to use far less weight. Am i doing something wrong or is that just the way my body's put together?


It could be the latter. One advantage of the wide grip is that it shortens the range of motion of the bench press. If your arms are short compared to your torso the ROM is shortened even more.

Years ago, I trained with a short squat fellow who was able to bench over 400# with a very wide grip. From top to bottom of his lift, the bar didn't look like it travelled six inches.


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Post by robertscott » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:57 am

I'm basing the idea my tris and delts were getting hit more by the fatigue during the workout, and also the fact they've felt absolutely brutalised the last two days. You're right though KPj the DOMS doesn't really mean anything except the muscles got worked in a way they weren't used to. The new technique did feel a little odd but in a good way. Felt like i had more control over the bar if that makes any sense.

Halfbreed: I hear what you're saying about limiting the fatigue, although I'm not too bothered about specifically targetting the chest, more just doiong the movement if you see what I mean. I try not to think about training in terms of body parts, more just movements.

And stephen yeah that makes sense about shortening ROM, the bar was definitely travelling way further after shortening the grip. Seems like a good thing though. I'd rather train with less weight through full ROM than sacrifice ROM for more weight.


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