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  1. #1
    The Rees Man welshace13's Avatar
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    DB Bench Press (having trouble with first rep)

    well basicly i load the dummbells on to my chest but i find it hard to get up the first rep. once i have done the first rep i can do the reps good. Just getting up the first rep seems to be harder than the last lol. any advice?
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  2. #2
    Training Smarter :::JMANN:::'s Avatar
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    Getting started is difficult when you are using heavy weight ( and by that I mean what's heavy for you personally) I like to sit up straight, and place the DB's on the top of my knees. I then lean back and push up with my knees getting the DB's in the air, so that first rep is not starting from a dead position agaisnt your chest. You still have to put extra effort get them up the first time, but this makes it easier. DOn't fall back too fast either. If possible have someone spot you for the first rep to get you going.
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    Registered User AU stu.'s Avatar
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    You could always ask someone to spot you a little bit and have them help you get the first rep.
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  5. #5
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    Never hesitate to ask for a spot!!!

    I always have a spot when I hit the 120lbs or higher.
    height = 5'7"
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  6. #6
    Training Smarter :::JMANN:::'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by OKgymNUT
    Never hesitate to ask for a spot!!!

    I always have a spot when I hit the 120lbs or higher.
    Dude, I am only 5'7" too, and I hoping to get to be your size one day. Holy ****! Yeah, most people are more than willing to help spot you.
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  7. #7
    Strength Addict ElderJefferson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by OKgymNUT
    I always have a spot when I hit the 120lbs or higher.
    Thanks for putting me in my place. I was bragging to my wife this past Sunday about how I was cranking out those 80 pounders. You just busted my bubble.
    "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38,39

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  8. #8
    Size Junkie OKgymNUT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ElderJefferson
    Thanks for putting me in my place. I was bragging to my wife this past Sunday about how I was cranking out those 80 pounders. You just busted my bubble.

    Opps...sorry...
    height = 5'7"
    weight = 200lbs as of 12-22
    waist = 31" as of 12-22
    arms = 20"
    max bench = 495lbs
    max leg press = 1305lbs
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  9. #9
    Thread killer lowkey122's Avatar
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    That happens to me too. I have to lower the weight about 1/4 of the way then back up, halfway down then back up, if it's a new PR 3/4 of the way down and back up and then do my first full rep and that's when I start counting. First one's always the hardest but they actually get easier until about the 4th or 5th rep and start to become more difficult. I work out alone at home so even though I exert a good percentage of my energy doing this it's better than dropping the bar on your chest or neck.

    *edit*
    I see you said DB not BB so disregard.
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  10. #10
    I <3 beer too much Hyoctane23's Avatar
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    For me, I just put them on my knees before I'm about to lift. Start gettting the weight moving up with your calves and then use your thighs. As you do this, start leaning back and pushing up with your arms as well. It's hard to explain, but as someone else said, just get some momentum going with your legs so you're not at the very bottom with all this weight.
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    Thats why i hate training alone
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  12. #12
    Registered User nuyorican00's Avatar
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    if your problem is lifting the heavy weights up to the bench press position
    then use ur knees (hold the DBs in a hammer curl position on ur knees push ur knee up to ur chest thus raising the DB to ur chest and lie back onto the bench)

    i did this with incline DB presses cause my forearms were killing me from pulling the weight up and holding them in position while i try to get into incline press position....hope i understood ur question


    just realized someone said the excat same thing lol oh well
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  13. #13
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    Your starting strength sucks ass, and you're relying too much on the stretch-reflex.
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    The Rees Man welshace13's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by W8isGR8
    Your starting strength sucks ass, and you're relying too much on the stretch-reflex.
    huh? what do u meen?
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    Originally Posted by welshace13
    well basicly i load the dummbells on to my chest but i find it hard to get up the first rep. once i have done the first rep i can do the reps good. Just getting up the first rep seems to be harder than the last lol. any advice?
    The problem is you lack starting strength. Once you get the first rep up, then the stretch reflex helps you with the subsequent reps. If you don't want to have to rely on a spotter forever, or mess with dumbbell hooks, then you need to address it.

    I used to be weak off the bottom too, but I made it a priority in my training to correct that, by always pausing at the bottom of each rep. In other words, I don't use "momentum" or the stretch reflex to help me knock out more reps. I pause just long enough for the stretch reflex to subside and then I explode up with the next rep. I do all my reps like this. It did result in me having to lower the weights I was using at first, but my starting (explosive) strength quickly caught up, and now it's no longer a problem.
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    The Rees Man welshace13's Avatar
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    so how long should i hold the rep at the bottom for?
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    Originally Posted by welshace13
    so how long should i hold the rep at the bottom for?
    A couple of seconds is fine. I guess it's all about one's goals, but I train alone (so a spotter is out of the question), and I don't want to have to depend on a piece of equipment (like dumbbell hooks), to make up for a weakness that needs to be addressed.
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  18. #18
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    It's harder because your chest has lost it's line of pull. If you can't master keeping the dumbbells elevated while swinging back tuck your elbows into your sides for your first rep, your anterior delt and triceps are going to have to get you out of that bottom motion until your chest can take over again, once at the top start your normal form.

    FYI: Hope I don't come off as a jerk but there is no stretch reflex in bench and the starting strength of that movement entails strengthening the anterior delt primarily. For power lifting or as stated if you don't want to have to rely on a spotter this has purpose because of the protocol but if you are just wanting to to target your pec it really doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by aqua-beowulf
    A couple of seconds is fine. I guess it's all about one's goals, but I train alone (so a spotter is out of the question), and I don't want to have to depend on a piece of equipment (like dumbbell hooks), to make up for a weakness that needs to be addressed.
    When you bench press, do you pick the barbell off of the floor and sit back with it?
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    Originally Posted by papi93
    When you bench press, do you pick the barbell off of the floor and sit back with it?
    Yes
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by W8isGR8
    Yes
    That's hardcore!
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    Originally Posted by papi93
    When you bench press, do you pick the barbell off of the floor and sit back with it?
    I see the point you're trying to make, but we're talking about dumbbells. When I use dumbbells, I'm in complete control of them, from the time I pick them up, lay back, press them, lean back up, and put them back in the rack. And I have no problem handling any weight that I'm able to push so it's not like I ever think I could do more if I had dumbbell hooks. I'm not weak off the bottom, simple as that, because I made it a priority in my training. Don't take it as a diss because I didn't agree with your post.
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    Originally Posted by papi93
    That's hardcore!
    X 2
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    I have more trouble with the first rep with DB's too. I just figured it was because after the first rep, your muscles were under tension so it was easier. I guess I never really worried about it. It did help me figure out that I had a weak rotator cuff in one shoulder.

    Sorry, this didn't help, but at least you're not the only one.
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    Thumbs up

    thanks peeps, il pause at the bottom for a few seconds. thanks
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    could i also pause as the bottom of squats? would it benefit?
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    Originally Posted by Canadian Iron
    Best post I have seen all week.
    Originally Posted by W8isGR8
    Your starting strength sucks ass, and you're relying too much on the stretch-reflex.
    Originally Posted by Aqua-beowulf
    The problem is you lack starting strength. Once you get the first rep up, then the stretch reflex helps you with the subsequent reps.
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    sit on the end of the bench....set the dumbells on your knees or up on your thighs a bit......now keep the legs bent like that and rock back to lay back on the bench and use the legs to push the dumbells up....DONT bring the dbells all way down to the chest....keep the arms only about halfway bent/halfway extended so that when you rock back the arms are about halfway extended already.....that way you dont have to press that first rep from the chest



    by the way, you have no stretch reflex on that first rep...no "loading" up of tension on the way down...thats why its so hard
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    Originally Posted by Canadian Iron
    Detailed explanation with logical reasoning and concrete example ftw.



    God damn, you expect me to spell everything out for him?
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    Originally Posted by aqua-beowulf
    The problem is you lack starting strength. Once you get the first rep up, then the stretch reflex helps you with the subsequent reps. If you don't want to have to rely on a spotter forever, or mess with dumbbell hooks, then you need to address it.

    I used to be weak off the bottom too, but I made it a priority in my training to correct that, by always pausing at the bottom of each rep. In other words, I don't use "momentum" or the stretch reflex to help me knock out more reps. I pause just long enough for the stretch reflex to subside and then I explode up with the next rep. I do all my reps like this. It did result in me having to lower the weights I was using at first, but my starting (explosive) strength quickly caught up, and now it's no longer a problem.
    Now this is the answer I've been looking for. Maybe you can give a clearer description of your technique?
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