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    Lightbulb When you bench

    So when i'm at the gym I see some guys bringing the bar to the chest when benching and others just a few inches above. What to you guys do?
    When i'm doing sets i stop about an inch above my chest just because it feels like i cant go any further and i'm doing ok with it.
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    An inch or two above the chest. Well at least thats how I do it because my elbows lock at that point.
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    Originally Posted by DasArsch View Post
    An inch or two above the chest. Well at least thats how I do it because my elbows lock at that point.
    The first time i hit 315 i got it up twice and this guy that weighs like 120 and benchs 100lbs starts lookin around saying " he never touched his chest, he done it wrong". Felt like I should choke the little spagetti strand
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    yup, also about an inch or so above chest. If u touch ur chest with bar, it seems like u r overextending ur elbows.
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    Go as low as your flexibility allows you to go, whether that is to your chest or a couple of inches above the chest. I personally dont touch the bar to my chest but rather 2'' above i feel the muscle working completely under constant tension.
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    In my opinion a couple of inches above the chest are good form.
    No need to put additional strain on your shoulders by going too low.



    I have my own question about the bench though:


    I've seen that if you just jerk the bar up as soon as it comes down - like if you were bouncing it with your muscles (but without touching your chest), it's much easier than if you pause for a sec/half a sec when you're in the low position.

    That's of course due to muscle elasticity.
    Question is,
    for me that I'm a beginner and I'd like to simply get stronger, should I do the way that allows more weight on the bar, or should I try to persist in doing the most difficult way (pausing at the bottom)?
    And what of the 2 brings more muscle mass gains?
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    Originally Posted by Ironlife View Post
    Go as low as your flexibility allows you to go, whether that is to your chest or a couple of inches above the chest. I personally dont touch the bar to my chest but rather 2'' above i feel the muscle working completely under constant tension.
    This

    If you can go all the way down then you should, maximize the range of motion. Plus a lot of people seem to think they are coming within an inch or 2 and really it is a lot more.
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    chest

    Originally Posted by benchboss View Post
    So when i'm at the gym I see some guys bringing the bar to the chest when benching and others just a few inches above. What to you guys do?
    When i'm doing sets i stop about an inch above my chest just because it feels like i cant go any further and i'm doing ok with it.
    Here is a simple answer. I've heard touch your chest or your cheating and all that. However, through all my education to becoming a PT, Bringing your arms parrallel to your chest is enough.
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    Originally Posted by p_trainer4u View Post
    Here is a simple answer. I've heard touch your chest or your cheating and all that. However, through all my education to becoming a PT, Bringing your arms parrallel to your chest is enough.
    This is another way I see quite often. But why not just get a better ROM? Why stop there? That seems a little to short of a lift to me.
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    I touch my chest most of the time, rarely do I stop a few inches above, usually on my heaviest sets I don't hit the chest a few times.
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    Originally Posted by noflyingcars View Post
    In my opinion a couple of inches above the chest are good form.
    No need to put additional strain on your shoulders by going too low.



    I have my own question about the bench though:


    I've seen that if you just jerk the bar up as soon as it comes down - like if you were bouncing it with your muscles (but without touching your chest), it's much easier than if you pause for a sec/half a sec when you're in the low position.

    That's of course due to muscle elasticity.
    Question is,
    for me that I'm a beginner and I'd like to simply get stronger, should I do the way that allows more weight on the bar, or should I try to persist in doing the most difficult way (pausing at the bottom)?
    And what of the 2 brings more muscle mass gains?
    Unless you're training for powerlifting, take advantage of the elastic stretch inherent in the bench press movement. It's not "cheating" or anything. You could also mix it up. In the long run, it's not going to make a huge difference, but pausing at the bottom's only useful really if at a meet or training for one.
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    Originally Posted by Inertiatic View Post
    Unless you're training for powerlifting, take advantage of the elastic stretch inherent in the bench press movement. It's not "cheating" or anything. You could also mix it up. In the long run, it's not going to make a huge difference, but pausing at the bottom's only useful really if at a meet or training for one.
    This is interesting, can you elaborate on this a bit please.?
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    I touch my chest when I bench. I bring down in a slow and controlled motion, touch my chest and then bring it back up. I don't bounce it off my chest or anything like "cheating" or using momentum. And its not uncomfortable for me to touch my chest so why not? lol
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    Originally Posted by Inertiatic View Post
    Unless you're training for powerlifting, take advantage of the elastic stretch inherent in the bench press movement. It's not "cheating" or anything. You could also mix it up. In the long run, it's not going to make a huge difference, but pausing at the bottom's only useful really if at a meet or training for one.
    why is that? Why would having more ROM not be useful? I would think that it would help you get stronger and work the muscle more completly.
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    just make sure you are not bouncing it off your chest!
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    Originally Posted by ddsdeeBO View Post
    just make sure you are not bouncing it off your chest!
    haha ya thats so funny. I like the 6'3 150lb monster at the gym that bounces 135 of his chest with his back arched as much as he can. As he is doing this he is grunting and screaming as his spotter helps him.....next he gets up and walks around looking all mad and **** like he is a machine.
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    Originally Posted by benchboss View Post
    haha ya thats so funny. I like the 6'3 150lb monster at the gym that bounces 135 of his chest with his back arched as much as he can. As he is doing this he is grunting and screaming as his spotter helps him.....next he gets up and walks around looking all mad and **** like he is a machine.
    Watch other people less! Fixate your thoughts on your own training! However it is true there are idiots who just distract you and what they do is useless and they probably don't even eat well.
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    Originally Posted by Ironlife View Post
    This is interesting, can you elaborate on this a bit please.?
    I'll take the easy way out, instead of trying to put this in my own words:

    Page 85 on Starting Strength, 2nd edition...

    "The bench press, like the squat, benefits from a certain amount of rebound out of the bottom, using the stretch reflex phenomenon that is a feature of skeletal muscle."

    Rip goes on to say how regulation bench presses at meets get rid of this stretch reflex by making the lifter pause at the bottom. You can lift more weight by taking advantage of the stretch reflex, and as long as you don't shortchange the ROM, it's probably a better way to do it for most lifters with standard strength/hypertrophy goals.

    Originally Posted by benchboss View Post
    why is that? Why would having more ROM not be useful? I would think that it would help you get stronger and work the muscle more completly.
    I was answering the specific part of his (the guy I quoted, not the OP) question on whether or not it was best to bench with a pause at the bottom or drive right out of it. I wasn't saying anything about ROM. In fact, I would assume the farther you go down, the better the "rebound" would be.
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    Originally Posted by Ironlife View Post
    This is interesting, can you elaborate on this a bit please.?
    You might find this post useful.
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    Originally Posted by benchboss View Post
    So when i'm at the gym I see some guys bringing the bar to the chest when benching and others just a few inches above. What to you guys do?
    When i'm doing sets i stop about an inch above my chest just because it feels like i cant go any further and i'm doing ok with it.

    Im still recovering from a shoulder inury, so i only go to where my arms are parallell with the floor.
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    Originally Posted by noflyingcars View Post
    You might find this post useful.
    Thanks man , cleared it up.
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    I touch my chest.
    Now, unless your competing in a power lifting contest, I don't see anything wrong with partial lifts with a more limited range of motion.
    My only "beef" comes when the lifter keeps on adding weight and continually reduces the range of motion until the 1-2" above the chest now becomes 4-5".

    "Touch and go" is very repeatable from session to session however.
    The issue of course, is the strain that is put on the rotator cuff.
    The rippetoe BP videos are pretty good for explaining how to avoid most of that stress.
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    depends how long your humerus is because of the angle your elbow flare into during the movement
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    strong username to thread topic
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    Originally Posted by Sage- View Post
    I don't bounce it off my chest or anything like "cheating" or using momentum. And its not uncomfortable for me to touch my chest so why not? lol

    I hear people talking about "bouncing the bar off the chest" all the time. I've even been accused of that myself.

    Surely, this isn't literal, right? I mean, theres no way a guy could literally BOUNCE a 200 lb barbell off his chest without breaking some ribs.


    Does that just mean something like "going too fast on the negative while letting the bar touch the chest"?
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    Emaj9#11 Inertiatic's Avatar
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    Nope, it means bouncing. Not all 200 pounds is slamming into the sternum...just a fraction of that weight (think: when you bounce of your chest, do you feel all the pressure of the weight leave your hands? no). It's still not good, and you could injure yourself if used excessively, but it happens sometimes at the end of a heavy set.
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    I always touch my chest. More ROM = more muscle being worked.
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    Originally Posted by benchboss View Post
    So when i'm at the gym I see some guys bringing the bar to the chest when benching and others just a few inches above. What to you guys do?
    When i'm doing sets i stop about an inch above my chest just because it feels like i cant go any further and i'm doing ok with it.
    I stop about 2 inches above my chest that way I keep my pecs involved and tight the whole time and it keeps me from bouncing the bar off my chest on the way up!!!!!! I do 215 and I'm 190.
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    Some folks like to go even LOWER than bar to chest. Y'all ever seen those U shaped bars?
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    i take it to my chest
    but 2 inches is fine
    Bench 301
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