Bench Press

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The_dog_mom
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Bench Press

Post by The_dog_mom » Thu May 19, 2011 5:10 am

Well I think I am finally getting the squat thing down! Now my next obsession is the bench press.

I am up to 45# which is not bad for me but I have a couple of questions and need some suggestions.

The racks for bench pressing are too high and the one at the gym does not have an adjustable seat. Is there another alternative like doing them on the Smith?

I had someone at the gym spot me and it worked out well because he was able to semi assist to get me started when I stalled. If I use a rack then I won't have that assistance.

Thanks for the help,

Diana


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Re: Bench Press

Post by Paperclip » Thu May 19, 2011 5:36 am

When you want to use Smith for benching initially, it's good to consider that many people usually don't bench in a straight vertical line, thus if you want transition to free weight, you might have some difficulty (at first).

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Re: Bench Press

Post by hoosegow » Thu May 19, 2011 6:44 am

Try using dumbells. For most people there isn't a significant differnce between them and using a barbell.

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Re: Bench Press

Post by pdellorto » Thu May 19, 2011 8:20 am

The_dog_mom wrote:The racks for bench pressing are too high and the one at the gym does not have an adjustable seat. Is there another alternative like doing them on the Smith?
I'd stick to the barbell bench press if at all possible. Is the bench too high? If so, you can put weight plates under your feet to bring them up. I do it with my short-but-massively-powerful MMA buddy.

If not, dumbbell bench press instead.
The_dog_mom wrote:I had someone at the gym spot me and it worked out well because he was able to semi assist to get me started when I stalled. If I use a rack then I won't have that assistance.
This is going to sound macho and all of that, but it's not:

If someone else touches the bar during the rep, it doesn't count.

Helping you unrack and re-rack the bar is fine. Taking the bar away when you stall (aka, spotting) is fine. "Helping" on a rep is not. If you need help to press it, you need to do less reps or less weight. Even a finger tap can be enough to help you press the weight, but it means you weren't strong enough to do the weight alone.

A spotter can usually stand behind a rack and help you if you get in trouble. Two can help you from either side if they can't get behind your head.

Again, sorry if that sounds macho or whatever, but the bench press is notorious for getting "a little help" from the spotter, but getting counted. If I press by myself my best is 205. I bet I could crank out 315 for a single if my coach would just help me out on the bottom half with a little pull on the bar, heh. :thumbright:

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Re: Bench Press

Post by The_dog_mom » Thu May 19, 2011 9:41 am

This is going to sound macho and all of that, but it's not: If someone else touches the bar during the rep, it doesn't count.


This is going to sound like a girl but not meant that way :lol:
Who is counting anyway??

I am not sure why it would not count. My take would be if I stall and someone give me an assist lift on the first rep (which is the most difficult) and I am able to do all 5 reps with 45# rather than 40# aren't I better off? My strategy will be to stick with 45# until I need no"lift"
Is the bench too high?
It is not the bench that is too high off the ground .... my arms are not long enough to rack the weight and I can't add more height to the bench to get me up there.

Diana


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Re: Bench Press

Post by jackthestrat » Thu May 19, 2011 11:22 am

If you can't lift a weight without help, you are trying to lift too much weight. Go back down to a weight that you can handle completely by yourself. Strength training is not about lifting more weight (at least, it shouldn't be) - it's about getting stronger.

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Re: Bench Press

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Thu May 19, 2011 11:35 am

if your first rep is the most difficult, does that say something about form on the other reps?

does it? I'm asking.

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Re: Bench Press

Post by mark74 » Thu May 19, 2011 12:06 pm

Sticking to a bench which has the bar too high makes it impossible to lift with proper form forcing shoulder protraction if not something worse altogether. Also, you are supposed to rack and unrack the weight yourself.

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Re: Bench Press

Post by DavidMcF » Thu May 19, 2011 12:36 pm

Is it better to bench with BB or DB?

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Re: Bench Press

Post by Jungledoc » Thu May 19, 2011 12:45 pm

mark74 wrote: Also, you are supposed to rack and unrack the weight yourself.
Not true!

Hand-off and re-rack are a good idea for everyone for safety. Read/watch Rippetoe, Tate, etc., etc. Moving the bar over your face is the most dangerous time of the lift. If you're going to drop the bar, it's far better to drop it on your chest than on your face or neck. Hand-off is not "cheating". Look at sanctioned power lifting meets.

Your spotter helps you un-rack the bar, then starting with your arms locked you do your reps, then the spotter helps you re-rack it. The spotter shouldn't touch the bar at any other time, except when the bar stops moving (some would say slows significantly). If you can't get your first rep without help, you're lifting too heavy. Do DBs until you are strong enough to handle the 15kg bar. Also, some gyms have a 10-kg bar (regulation for women in competition, I understand).

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Re: Bench Press

Post by robertscott » Thu May 19, 2011 1:17 pm

Oscar_Actuary wrote:if your first rep is the most difficult, does that say something about form on the other reps?

does it? I'm asking.
i wondered about that too, sounds like maybe the weight's too heavy and there's bouncing going on?

in any case I think that the weights you are using might be too heavy if someone's having to give you loads of help. Just use the dumbells, I personally think dumbell press is much better anyway

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Re: Bench Press

Post by Proper Knob » Thu May 19, 2011 2:17 pm

DavidMcF wrote:Is it better to bench with BB or DB?
Define 'better'. Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages.

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Re: Bench Press

Post by mark74 » Thu May 19, 2011 2:55 pm

Jungledoc wrote:Not true! (...) Read/watch Rippetoe, Tate, etc., etc.
IIRC in Starting Strength the first thing that is taught is how to unrack and re-rack the bar yourself (safely). I confess that I assumed for most people racking and re-racking would be a necessity of life i.e. you're not lucky/cute/important enough to have someone else do it for you every time, then again I only trained at home and have not much experience of gym life myself, so if you tell that's the norm then I stand corrected.

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Re: Bench Press

Post by The_dog_mom » Thu May 19, 2011 3:06 pm

in any case I think that the weights you are using might be too heavy if someone's having to give you loads of help. Just use the dumbells, I personally think dumbell press is much better anyway
Not loads of help. I think 90% of my problems are mental. He did not lift the weight he assisted on the first lift that's it. If you think I should go down I will but for me I would rather conquer the 45# than go back down. Just a reminder, I did go back down on the squat because I felt it was the right thing to do. My gut says this 45# is a mental thing. Most of my problems come from fear / anxiety over the equipment ( my problem I know).

The real question was what do I do about my arms being to short to rack and unrack the bar. The bench is a fixed height and there are only 2 rungs one for start the other I was told was to unload if you have to. I did try Dumbells but they feel unsteady, perhaps I should go down in weight with those.

I am open to suggestions I just don't want to decrease weight just because I think I can't lift it.

Diana

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Re: Bench Press

Post by Matt Z » Thu May 19, 2011 3:12 pm

It's not a big deal to ask for a lift off/spot at most gyms. You don't have to be lucky, cute or important.


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