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Bench Sticking at the Bottom


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While doing my bench for the just finished Nerdfitness lifting competition I noticed that I was having a problem getting the weight off my chest. Even before the third fail attempt (which might just be an issue with the total weight).

 

Generally I can get the bar and inch or two off my chest, there's sudden and pronounced deceleration and then if I get through that the bar picks up speed again to reach lockout. It's especially noticeable at 90% plus. 

 

At first I thought this might be a tricep issue. But I believe that actually the tricep only comes into play much higher up in the press, as you approach lockout. That low down I'm guessing that the problem is likely to be lats and or delts.

 

I'm currently working on 5/3/1 boring but big variation. So I have 5x10 pullups and 5x10 rows (although pullups tend to go 10/10/8 to 10/7/5). I'm wondering if I'd be better working with fewer sets of weighted pullups to build up the lats? And any good suggestions for delts? Or have a missed the mark altogether? Maybe just bench more :P

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From my own limited experience, I would have to agree with your conclusions. I was doing nothing but floor presses, and could do 195 lbs x5. I recently switched to bench, and maxed out during the lifting competition at 185. The sticking point was definitely near the bottom. I also noted some quite severe DOMS in my lats and pecs (minor ?) when I first started doing the bench, while the rest of the chain was pretty much pain free. This is all highly anecdotal, of course, but does suggest to me these muscles do more work at the bottom part, which is where bench is superior to floor press.

 

Looking forward to hearing the advice of the more experienced lifters around here on what accessories would be best.

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It's 100% not a tricep issue.

 

Your failing your bench when your anterior deltoid is taking over the movement before it starts to shift the stress to the triceps. So you need to do more work for your anterior delts and pecs. Add in some extended ROM pushups (put your hands on plates), spoto press/block press, fly's of all types, and DB bench press. Should see you blast through your weak point.

 

Building the lats for the bench in raw lifters isn't a priority either. Geared lifters need big, strong, lats because they need to row the bar down to their chest due to their bench shirt. When lifting raw you don't need to row the bar down. This isn't to say that the lats aren't a minor mover in raw benching, but more emphasis needs to be places on pecs/triceps/anterior delts for raw lifters.

 

Also consider doing your BBB sets on opposite days. ie; 531 OHP, BBB bench. 531 bench, BBB OHP.

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On 11/07/2016 at 3:17 PM, Meteoric said:

It's hard to go wrong with "bench more", and paused or Spoto presses are good for improving strength off the chest specifically. Pecs are also very important right out of the bottom, almost certainly more than the lats.

Hadn't heard of the Spoto Press until I posted this and now there are two mentions. Had to google them and it looks like FUN so will definitely give them a go :D

 

That link was also really awesome, and I'll read it a few more times lol. Was really interesting watching the guy bench in that shirt and having row even that massive weight into his chest.

 

8 hours ago, clandestine said:

It's 100% not a tricep issue.

 

Your failing your bench when your anterior deltoid is taking over the movement before it starts to shift the stress to the triceps. So you need to do more work for your anterior delts and pecs. Add in some extended ROM pushups (put your hands on plates), spoto press/block press, fly's of all types, and DB bench press. Should see you blast through your weak point.

 

Building the lats for the bench in raw lifters isn't a priority either. Geared lifters need big, strong, lats because they need to row the bar down to their chest due to their bench shirt. When lifting raw you don't need to row the bar down. This isn't to say that the lats aren't a minor mover in raw benching, but more emphasis needs to be places on pecs/triceps/anterior delts for raw lifters.

 

Also consider doing your BBB sets on opposite days. ie; 531 OHP, BBB bench. 531 bench, BBB OHP.

 

Will definitely be looking into the spoto press and adding fly's in that case. Will have to give some thought as to the best way to fit them in without compromising the program.

 

That link in the post I've quoted at the top of this post there's a cool comparison where you can see the effect of having to row the bar down against the resistance of the shirt. Can't believe I've never noticed it until it was expressly pointed out!

 

Will also have to look into shifting the BBB days like that. Interesting idea to push the weight up on the bench. I'm not sure I could manage doing the 5x10 bench as spoto press although I did consider it lol

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Battle Log:

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already mentioned, but pushups of all sorts will help.  For myself, I like to rotate through bench, inclined and overhead press on a weekly basis as well.  For added fun, which will get you the extended range pushups, rows and some cardio, try renegade rows.  Well, if you do them slower than I did you might get the extended range...  If your gym has round dumbbells, you'll get more grip work, or you can put a towel or a yoga mat on the floor to keep them from rolling away.

 

 

 

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Yeah, build the pecs. Pause reps are great and I've had decent luck with wide grip and Spotto presses but the one recommendation I didn't see is do some direct pec hypertrophy work. High rep DB pressing and flies will help you strengthen and add mass.

 

As a weightlifter who's done PL cycles due to injury this has always been my nemesis on bench. I can pretty much lockout anything I can get off my puny chest thanks to doing a lot of tricep work to support the jerk but my lack of pec development causes me to get buried at the bottom. Adding the hypertrophy work really helped me take my bench from hilariously bad to sorta ok.

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Thanks for all the feedback and ideas :D

 

I went over to symmetricstrength.com the other night and entered my 1 rep totals from the last competition we had here. It was interesting and depressing in equal measure lol. Back squat and deadlift well ahead, bench and OHP behind, and OHP buy about 9%! But the site also shows an anatomical breakdown of muscles with a strength rating. All of mine show intermediate except for pecs, anterior and lateral delts and triceps. So at least I know where to aim now. To make myself feel better, the end of my current benching cycle should bring my pecs up to the right level with everything else.

 

In the mean time here is my adjusted workout plan, my additions in italics:

Current program 5/3/1/ BBB variation

 

OHP, 5x10 pullups (still debating changing these to weighted anyway), 5x10-12 alternating delt raises. Thinking of adding paused reps here for the 5x10 ohp

Deadlift, 5x10 hanging leg raises, trap bar carry

Bench, 5x10 barbell row, 5x10-12 dumbell flys and treating lighter sets as spoto press. Might also try and pause some of the 5x10 sets and see how that goes.

Squat, 5x10 hypers, trap bar carry

 

Added the carries because I always liked the idea of doing them, but justifying them as another full body workout including shoulders but I could stand to loose them in the name of other weaknesses. But hoping this plan adds enough to get those muscles sorted out. May need to add tricep work somewhere still.

 

 

The valiant never taste of death but once.

 

Battle Log:

100 Day Bench Press Challenge (64 Days)

Challenge: 1, 2

         

Estrix, level 1 Goblin Raider

STR 3|DEX 2|STA 3|CON 3|WIS 3|CHA 2

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