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Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:42 am
by wilburburns
While watching the Thibaudeau Bench Press video from his circuit/complex routine, I heard some surprising statements.
The Article: How I Build Muscle and Strip Off Fat – FAST!
The Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5MikmvU ... dded#at=27" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Close to the beginning Thibaudeau states that benching without a Bench Press Shirt with the shoulders Down and Tight can cause injury because it's mechanically inefficient. Ultimately, he recommends flairing the elbows more to activate the traps more. This also puts his elbows lower and I would assume creates more external rotation of the shoulders.


To Contradict this, Dave Tate states in almost all of his videos to keep the shoulders tight and tucked more, because it's more efficient and less likely to cause a shoulder injury.
A couple of Dave Tate Videos that we've likely all seen here.
6 week bench press cure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QnwAoesJvQ" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Westside Bench Press: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QnwAoesJvQ" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

While not a competitive lifter, I try to follow the Dave Tate method as close as I can. That being said, is this form dangerous for those of us lifting "RAW".

Obviously, Dave Tate and Christian Thibaudeau lift for a different goal, so is this why they have such differing opinions that they are stating as truth? Thibaudeau's form does activate the chest more, while Dave Tate's form can limit the range of motion (good for powerlifting) andactivates the triceps more.

What say EXRX Forums...

Cliff

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:05 am
by robertscott
elbows tucked, shoulders back and down. Anything else bothers my shoulder.

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:11 am
by Paperclip
Dave also recommends to tuck your elbows like has been said (narrower grip). In this position, it's natural to engage the lats.

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:03 pm
by Jungledoc
Tate

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:58 am
by Wouter
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?

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:16 am
by wilburburns
Jungledoc wrote:Tate
Got any idea why Thib states that the Tate method is dangerous for non-shirted lifters?


Cliff

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:15 am
by Jungledoc
wilburburns wrote:
Jungledoc wrote:Tate
Got any idea why Thib states that the Tate method is dangerous for non-shirted lifters?


Cliff
No. I'd think that with the elbows less flared that the shoulder is less vulnerable to injury. I think that Thib is a smart guy, especially with muscle physiology, training, etc., but I think in this case he has it wrong.

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:23 am
by wilburburns
OK, your thoughts are the same as mine. Like you, I respect his writings and training, which is why I even brought up the question.

I don't like it when people I respect and consider "smart" say something wrong... Mainly because I'm may not be smart enough to know that they are wrong. :)

Cliff

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:30 am
by Wouter
In the video he said that "shoulders back & down" is used to take advantage of the bench shirt.
The shirt stabilizes the shoulders, without the shirt the lift isn't as efficient.

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:06 pm
by Jungledoc
wilburburns wrote:OK, your thoughts are the same as mine. Like you, I respect his writings and training, which is why I even brought up the question.

I don't like it when people I respect and consider "smart" say something wrong... Mainly because I'm may not be smart enough to know that they are wrong. :)

Cliff
Well, I feel a little arrogant to disagree with someone like him--I wouldn't except that people like Rip and Tate teach it the other way. I actually want to try benching this way and see how it feels. Maybe it's Tate and Rip that are wrong!

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:16 pm
by stuward
Anytime I see 2 experts disagree like that, it's probably some nuance that the rest of us aren't seeing. I bet the agree on most of the basics.

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:20 pm
by Matt Z
I'm with Tate. I think powerlifting style benching is safer and more efficient.

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:23 pm
by xshawnxearthx
Why not just do what's more comfortable to you?

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:26 am
by KPj
I really like and respect him and his work but I just don't get it. He didn't give any explanation for it either. I actually tried it and it felt horrible but, I guess it would anyway since i'm used to doing the opposite. I actually coach people out of this. You see Tate addressing this in one of his videos - people who "shrug" instead of retracting. I used his trick on a friend/training partner and it worked well (made him do 100 band pull aparts per day for 2 weeks).

My first thought is, what about the lats? They're an important stabiliser of the shoulder and especially during benching. They're also like the "bridge" between you're upper and lower body merging into the lower back (and hips if you follow the fascia). They basically "connect" your shoulders to the opposing hips. There's plenty of info out there on what the lats do, and plenty of tips for benching that include strengthening your lats and actually using them. How do you use them? Well, you depress your shoulders blades..... Give your shoulders a shrug and feel your lats, they'll be soft. Pull the shoulders down and feel them.

I would argue that "shoulders down" is more about taking advantage of the lats than the shirt. More lats = more stability, better transfer of force from lower to upper body, and therefore, more strength.

I'm open to be proved wrong but so far I just can't see any reason why shrugging would be a good thing.

KPj

Re: Bench Press Debate once again..

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:39 am
by pdellorto
KPj wrote:I'm open to be proved wrong but so far I just can't see any reason why shrugging would be a good thing.
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.