Tag Archives: benching

160kg/353lbs Bench Press PR

160thumb

I hit a bench press personal record today with 160kg/353lbs. It was paused for a one count at an RPE@10. The video is below!

Pause Bench vs Touch n Go Bench

pause-bench

You may or may not have asked yourself, if you should be pausing your reps on bench press. Who better to ask than an IPF world record holder in the bench press?! And that’s exactly what Jonnie Candito did in his latest video about whether or not you should pause reps on the bench press. Enjoy the video!

Cliffs:

– The intro is f#cking crazy!

– Connor Lutz from Canada is an IPF world record holder in the bench press (in the 83kg/183lbs weight class of the RAW junior division) with a 190kg/419lbs bench press.

– Connor thinks you should pause most of your bench press work and also utilize long (3 second) pauses to force your body to become stable in the bottom position.

– Pausing your bench press at the bottom can help prevent form breakdown (and a higher risk of injury) in the bottom portion of the bench press under heavy loads.

– Touch n go bench press work might still have a place in your training as he briefly explains in the video.

 

I hope that helps you decide whether or not you should be pausing repetitions on the bench press! I will definitely continue to pause most of my benching.

Bench Press Basics

Other basics write-ups: Squat | Deadlift | OHP | Barbell Row

 

Similar to the Deadlift Basics and Squat Basics write ups I did, this one is going to cover the basics of the barbell bench press. It’s just my opinion mixed with some of the best bench press tutorial videos I know of. If you have anything to add, as always leave it in the comments or write me an e-mail. A lot of these videos have helped me reach a 147.5kg/325lbs bench press at 85kg/187lbs body weight (as of 6/13/2013).  I’m hoping they will help you as well.

 

So You Think You Can Bench?

This is one of my favorite video series from Dave Tate on YouTube. Be sure to watch all 7 parts. The first one is embedded and the other six parts are linked below the video.

Part 2 | Part 3| Part 4| Part 5| Part 6| Part 7

 

Other Bench Tutorial Videos

The first one is from Jonnie Candito. Easily one of my favorite YouTube guys. He goes into detail about elbow tucking (or lack thereof) and how to arch. If you only watch one of these videos I’m posting, it should be the following one.

 

Omar Isuf also did a great video on bench technique.

 

From T-Nation: Bench Press Tutorial

 

Prevent Shoulder Injuries

The bench press is notorious for wrecking shoulders. Most of the time, poor technique is used when shoulder injuries happen… but sometimes it is simply a lack of warming up properly or an injury might also be caused due to muscular imbalances. A good way to prevent this is to be proactive. Make sure your shoulder is healthy and moves properly instead of waiting until you injure yourself and have to rehab. Cliffs: Prehab instead of rehab.

I’ll start with a quick tip from Candito about how to prevent shoulder injuries by doing the Rear Delt Fly exercise between sets of bench press. I do face pulls instead, but it’s the same basic principle. Do these very light.

 

There is much more to keeping your shoulders healthy overall, but I already wrote about that in my shoulder health article. Another great thing to do for your shoulder health is to make sure you are overhead pressing in your routine. It allows for a more full range of motion in your shoulder girdle, plus it’s a badass movement. Pushing heavy-ass weight above your head is awesome. I’ll definitely cover the OHP (overhead press) in a future article.

 

Pull More Than You Press

This will help you balance out your body and avoid muscular imbalances in the future. Your back needs more work than your chest and shoulders. Try to hit a 2:1 or even 3:1 ratio of pulling:pressing in your workout routine.

To give you a really simple example: If you do 50 reps of pressing movements (bench press, overhead press, etc.) in your workout, you should aim to do 100-150 reps of pulling movements (pullups, chinups, rows, etc.) to balance things out.

Bonus: A strong upper back provides a very sturdy platform to bench press from. If your back is currently weak or smaller than it should be for good stability on the bench press movement, fixing this will likely improve your bench press.

Jim Wendler agrees with me in his 5/3/1 book. (Which just happens to be the lifting program I’m currently using.)

 

Other Bench Press Tips

From CT Fletcher: Optimal Grip Width When Bench Pressing

From Omar Isuf: Bench Press More

From Elliott Hulse (strengthcamp): Quick Tips on Benching

 

Alternative or Assistance Exercises for the Barbell Bench Press

This is just a quick list. I’m probably missing some other exercises, but these are the ones I personally think you could benefit from. This is direct assistance work for the barbell bench press. Most of your extra work should be pullups/chinups, rows and overhead pressing as mentioned.

The list: Barbell Floor Press, Dumbbell Floor Press, Board Press, Barbell Incline/Decline Bench Press, Dumbbell Flat/Incline/Decline Bench Press

 

I hope that helps. As always, it’s just my perspective along with some videos that will help you learn how to bench press properly.