Assistance for bottom of bench

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KenDowns
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Assistance for bottom of bench

Post by KenDowns » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:17 am

My bench pattern has changed significantly over the past 7-8 months.

My largest issue now is getting the bar off my chest for heavier singles or doubles.

I think there are two issues here. One is that I STILL have a hard time staying in the groove on bench. My trainer gave me the amazing simple advice to keep my eyes closed on warmups and feel my way into the groove. This worked well enough on my first try (yesterday) to make me realize how far out of the groove I get. So I think I can get some serious mileage out of a remedial effort with lots of practice with eyes closed to really get into the groove.

But I also think I've got a basic weakness getting the bar off my chest. What happens is I seem to collapse and go loose at the bottom. I lower the bar, trying to stay in the groove and feel the stretch, and when I go to push everything falls apart, I might get 2 inches, I might not be able to move the bar at all, and then I'm stapled (well it's on the pins, but you know what I mean). If we assume I fix the groove issue and that there is no major technique issue (for the sake of argument) what assistance moves can I do that will help me off the chest?

hoosegow
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Re: Assistance for bottom of bench

Post by hoosegow » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:47 am

Cambered bar benches.

Pause reps.

If you are collapsing - work on your back.
Thanks TimD.

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Re: Assistance for bottom of bench

Post by KenDowns » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:41 pm

hoosegow wrote:Pause reps.
I'm assuming you mean pause right at the very bottom? Just like pause squats?
hoosegow wrote:If you are collapsing - work on your back.
Anything specific? The moves I rotate through are: one arm row, barbell row, row machine, inverted row, pullups, plus the obvious deadlift.

But is this general advice "do more of the basics" such as the moves above or are you suggesting something more specific?

EDIT: Farmers walks! Since changing gyms I do not do these. These gave me a huge "perceived" strength on OHP. Can't really describe it but when doing OHP the day after FW's, I had this feeling that my back was giving a super-strong base of support to push against.

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Re: Assistance for bottom of bench

Post by hoosegow » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:46 pm

Yah Ken. Pause for a long second at the bottom - just like pause squats. Lose the elasticity and explode up.

Where are you hitting the bar on you chest? You may not be going close enough to your belly.

The first three rows are the moves I'm talking about. You want to pinch the scapulas together.
Thanks TimD.

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Proper Knob
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Re: Assistance for bottom of bench

Post by Proper Knob » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:28 am

Here's a good applicable read for you Ken.

http://www.lift-run-bang.com/2013/11/so ... elped.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
What if the Hokey Cokey really IS what it's all about?

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Re: Assistance for bottom of bench

Post by KenDowns » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:03 pm

@hoose: thanks. Your advice triggered a Eureka moment, and I'm going to shift the accessories on bench and press day to favor more rowing pure and simple. My trainer really likes me to hold a row at the top, a "pause row" I guess you might call it.

@knob, I'm going to have to read through that a couple of times. The easy take-home is pause bench and volume. I will combine that with back work for a couple of cycles.

If this all works out I'll let you know in the Personal Best Log.

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Re: Assistance for bottom of bench

Post by KenDowns » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:45 am

T-Nation has a back article today:

http://www.t-nation.com/training/how-to ... -exercises" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Assistance for bottom of bench

Post by KPj » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:28 am

Definitely training with a pause. Humbles you at first but it makes you really explosive.

I'm a big fan of speed work, too. I always pause the first then almost drop and catch the rest, normally I do 6-10 sets of 2 -3 reps.

If you're collapsing, this may very well be the reason in itself, though. Try and get your scap tighter and think about pulling your chest up to meet the bar as you lower it, then shove yourself into the bench with hatred and aggression to reverse it.

One of my training partners had that exact issue with collapsing/losing tightness on the chest. We changed her set up to get her on her traps more and generally getting the shoulder blades much tighter, and really hammered the "belly up" (on the eccentric) cue. She turned a plateaued 1RM into a set of 4 then 3, and has paused 5KG more since, and her sticking point has now changed to a few inches off the chest.

KPj
Thanks TimD

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