Bench Press Grip Width

Create: 01/02/2006 - 08:00
If you go into any gym and watch a handful of strong benchers bench, you'll more than likely notice them using a number of different grip widths. Which one is right? Is there a right grip width? A poster at Ryan Kennelley's Bench Monster forum asks:

Just wondering how all the strong benchers here decided on how wide of a grip to take. I compete with a shirt, but I am talking raw grip width here. If one wants to maximize their raw bench poundages, how wide should the grip be. the rule of thumb I have always gone by is to have my hands slightly wider than my elbows when the bar is touching the chest. Does this sound reasonable? Some people will say to adjust your grip width based on muscle strengths and weaknesses. I would rather simply correct my weaknesses. Hopefully that rambling made sense. So what do you guys have to say about raw bench grip width??

New Year's Goals

Create: 01/02/2006 - 07:47
Monster Muscle has an obligatory New Year's goals thread. So what are the reader's goals? Many have listed new pr marks. Here are a few others.

Oh yeah and to try not to be an ass at the gym when people come up and ask, "What is that shirt for?"..."Are you supposed to squat that low with that much weight?"..."Do the boards help you bounce the weight?"

Mendelson Bench Press Classic Offers Up $5,000

Create: 12/31/2005 - 07:54
Information is out about the Fit Expo - APF Scot Mendelson Bench Press Classic & APF California State Championships. It will be held at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, California on February 18th & 19th. There will be Pro-Division Bench Press only classes for the men and women which are invite only. The Pro Division winners of each weight class (lightweight and heavyweight) for the men will be awarded $5,000. Each of the women's weight classes will earn $500.

Do High Reps Equal A Big Bench?

Create: 12/31/2005 - 07:44
Following the NFL scouting combine, talk around the gym often centers around how many reps were done by the players at 225. But what is repping at 225 really measuring? A poster at Ryan Kennelly's forum wonders:

just curious if a high rep bench equates to a high bench? Like doing 225 for 50 times like ryan does and he does 900lbs so if someone can do 225 for 50 times does that equate to 900lbs also? I have a hard time explaining to my buddies that i can do 205 for 10 reps, but I can also rep 225 for 10 reps also i tell them my muscles burn way too much for higher repping they dont believe me.

Bench Only Lifters Are What...

Create: 12/31/2005 - 07:37
A poster at Gibson Powerlifting remarks:

bench only fags, is that powerlifting? you guys seem to have some knowledge here- so tell me why these wanabes even include themself?

So is the poster serious or just trying to stir up trouble? Responses range from the serious to the comical.

When I competed we did not have specialists. It does not offend me for a lifter that wants to bench only. I really never lifted what folks are lifting now but I did well. Equipment that is around now sure does give the lifter an advantage over us old timers. If I trained for bench only I don't think my bench would have been any better with the training routains we had then. I just like to see big weights lifted. However they do them is not imprtant to me

Eating Big For Strength A Myth?

Create: 12/30/2005 - 07:59
A poster at Fortified Iron remarks:

I was bulking while lifting before and I gained size with the strength. Lately I've been gaining a lot of strength and not much size because I have not been eating much lately... So yeah this was just after about a week of observation, so I am not dead on with this just yet, but I am not too sure if eating big for strength is all its cracked up to be.

Flat Backed Benching

Create: 12/30/2005 - 07:45
A thread at Monster Muscle looks at some of the biggest benchers who didn't use an arch. A few of the names that surface are Ted Arcidi, Glen Chabot, and Mike Macdonald. However, there are very few in today's game that don't arch. 600 pound raw bencher, Nick Winters mentions his lack of arch in the thread and in this comment here on Powerlifting Watch. Winters from the thread:

I am incredibly inflexible, of course I also tend to forget all form once I lay down on the bench (hell I am lucky if I remember to keep my body tight, lol).

Locking Out Each Bench Rep

Create: 12/30/2005 - 07:30
You see it in the gym most every time you're there. Guys doing their bench set without finishing each rep to lockout. So are they hurting their training by not locking each of those reps out? That's the question examined over at Ryan Kennelly's forum. Most of the comments recommend locking each rep out if strength is the goal:

if you ever plan on competing you better work on locking out every rep. I am living proof that a weak lockout will screw you every time. its a lot more important than you think bro. Louie and George are emphatic about locking out each and every rep, nothing will build lockout strength like locking out every rep of every set.

$5,000 Up For Grabs At The USPF BP/DL Nationals

Create: 12/29/2005 - 08:01
The USPF Bench Press and Dealift Nationals is being held on August 12 at Parkersburg South High School in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Matt McCase is promoting the meet and has offered $2,500 for the heaviest bench press over 550 pounds and $2,500 for the heaviest deadlift over 750 pounds. Check out the USPF site for details.

Do Powerlifters Use Dumbells For Benching?

Create: 12/29/2005 - 07:55
A poster at Ryan Kennelly's forum wants to know if other powerlifters use dumbells presses in their programs and whether he can expect any carryover to his regular bench press. Pretty much a consensus of opinions in favor of utilizing dumbell presses:

in my experience i think the dumbell bench definately improves your bench press... it isolates the two pecs wich will strengthen the weeker one

Stretching Your Arch Out

Create: 12/29/2005 - 07:34
We all want a bigger arch to decrease the range of motion in our bench press. But how do we achieve it? A Monster Muscle thread looks at some stretches to help with that big arch.

The best way is to just setup every set focusing each time on getting your belly further and further up. Also everyday you go to the gym at the end of your workout setup a couple times and hold it. Try loosening your back with an inflated football or some PVC pipe. If all else fails get extremely fat and just lay down on the bench this is quite effective also.

Token Lifts And Records In The WPO

Create: 12/28/2005 - 06:30
At the APF/WPC forums bench specialist Clay Brandenburg proposes a rule change to WPO president Kieran Kidder:

kidder the way andy lost the deadlift record is bullshit there should be no tokens in the WPO.how about a new rule! You have to at least post the qualifying total to get the record in any of the three lifts.In my opinion bennedict should have at least totaled 2300 to get the deadlift record.

How Close For Close Grip Benching?

Create: 12/28/2005 - 06:30
A poster at Ryan Kennelley's forum wonders what other lifters use for a grip when close grip benching. There are lots of different answers for this one although this post contain a nice overview:

The only other thing that will probably control where you put your hands on the bar is how comfortable the bar feels in your hands/wrists while doing the movement. When I go real close-grip I feel it in my wrists before I feel it in my tri's so I slightly widen my grip until the wrists are ok and the tri's are burning.

Powerlifters Don't Do Leg Curls

Create: 12/28/2005 - 06:30
Posting madman and reformed bodybuilder John Prophet asks whether other powerlifters do leg curls. As can be expected many powerlifters look askance at machines:

I usually start off with a pretty light set of hamstring curls and leg extensions to help warm up for heavy squats. Don't worry though, I do them with a towel over my head and the shame that should be felt when going anywhere near the "machines". You know what, I'm going to quit doing them now. I just can't take the guilt now that I've admitted it in public.

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