My bench has always been ridiculously frustrating. I started SS a year ago, and did it for 3 months or so, before a knee injury and school forced me to take a break. Progress was something like:
S: 85 -> 225
D: 135 -> 235
B: 75 -> 150
P: 65 -> 115
BW: 141 -> 178 at 5'8
I failed 155 3 times, then reset. I then failed 150 a couple times, and reset again, only to fail at 150. I then took a huge break, and started up again in june. My lifts right now:
D: 225 (couldn't deadlift at school gym until about a week ago)
BW: 158 at 5'8
I just failed 155 four times again. Bench just feels awful. Finally managed to get it filmed here, though I stop one rep short of failure because my spotter was filming:
http://youtu.be/xpwq2FxpQ1g (spotter view)
http://youtu.be/vErhUNQnGyQ (side view)
My press/bench proportions have always been ridiculous. Here's an easy set of 110 press the workout before this bench:
How do I fix this? How am I easily pressing 75% of my bench, and failing miserably? I haven't been microloading, and I will once I reset again, but something in my form is clearly wrong.
Don't know if this is the answer, because I'm having a similar problem, but makes sure your back is really tight (like aggressively squeezing your shoulder blades together), and put your feet out a little further so you can push off/away from the floor (re-read the bench chapter about this). Hope that helps (you and me both). Hopefully someone who pushed through a plateau will respond.
Originally Posted by donk52
You are creating a rather large moment arm. You want the weight to travel up and down in as straight a line as possible. There is a large amount of lateral movement up and down. Now some lateral movement is necessary to protect should shoulders, but I think you are plateuing because your lift isn't as efficient as it could be.
1. Try widening your grip *just* a tad, maybe 1cm or so. It seems just a little bit narrow to me. Try it with your pinkies nearly touching the powerlifting rings on the outside. You've got a good width already, but a little wider will reduce the distance traveled.
2. Plant your feet, arch your back, and work on thoratic extension. The more "Up" your chest is (and the tighter your traps / rhomboids are as noted above by jheald)
3. Your elbows are closer to your body than they need to be. That's moving the effort to your triceps more than your chest. You obviously don't want 90 degree elbows (again, re-read the bench chapter), but I"d go wider, close to a 70 degree mark.
4. Do dips, then do weighted dips. AN assistance exercise will build up your triceps well. You can also do skull-crushers with an ez-curl bar (again, read the assistance exercise chapter).
5. Try deloading down to 140. Then do 5x5 rather than 5x3. Linear progression can mean increasing the weight or the reps. 5x5 will give your more practice at a slightly more manageable weight.
6. Buy fractional plates, like 1.25lb from amazon or rogue fitness.
7. Push the bar to the point on the ceiling. I see wiggle, are you watching the bar by chance?
And last, watch the videos here:
Last edited by 91blckgt; 08-11-2012 at 10:44 AM.
For starters we need a video where we can see your actual setup and the entire rep, feet and all. The whole thing from when you sit on the bench until when you rack the weight.
But even without a better video I can tell that was really really sloppy. Your entire body is shifting and floating around throughout the entire set. You aren't setup tight at all. From the side view we can see that you just sorta lie down and rock side to side. That's not how you get set.
Perhaps the bench is too narrow because it looks like your shoulders are shifting from side to side like mine do when I have to use a narrow bench.
You're bringing the bar way down your chest to the bottom of your rib cage, and the bar path if really curved.
You don't appear to have an arch at all. Your back looks flat on the bench meaning the length the bar travels is really long.
Then watch these: