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Thread: Benching alone

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Default Benching alone

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    Hi,
    Iím doing well on my NLP but still not exhausted it yet. Iíve been at a gym where Iíve been working out with plenty of people around to spot my bench but have changed jobs and canít use that particular gym. My new job makes it easy for me to access a great gym but my work hours will mean Iím often there alone to train. I read the article about safe spotting on the website but, to be honest, continuing to bench in an empty gym just doesnít seem worth the risk, even using safeties or removing collars.
    For the next few months Iím hoping for some advice as to how to continue to run out my LP without benching. I guess my options are:

    1) Press each session. Not sure if this has worked well for anyone, and I would like a little more variety in all honesty.
    2) Dumbell presses- usual problem with increments and getting heavy dumbbells up to position alone
    3) dips- I can do 10-12 unassisted so could do 3 x 5 with a linear progression adding weight

    Any advice?
    Many thanks
    James

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    North Texas
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    40,400

    Default

    I think you should master your fear, learn to use the equipment correctly, and bench press as the program calls for.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    81

    Default

    I normally train all the lifts alone, as it's usually 5:45 AM. Just don't use clamps on the bench.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    137

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    I rarely have someone around to spot my bench. I think the key is knowing what you have left. If you're going to bail on a rep, do it at the bottom, either on the safeties or just dumping the plates. Grip failures seem to happen closer to lockout when you're grinding out a rep that you're not going to get, so be willing to set it back down early if you have to. It's easier to recover from a missed rep than a dropped one, obviously.

    I'd rather not have a spotter than a shitty spotter anyway...they tend to either grab the bar too soon or they're not in a position to save a it at the top anyway. You need to learn to bench in both eventualities.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Washington
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    If there is a power rack (which I hope there is) bench in the power rack. Set the bars just below chest level in bench in there. Very safe!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Default

    Thanks everyone. I will give it a go. I was having a think and I guess the risk of benching alone is often compounded by ego lifters using weights WAY beyond their limits. Lifting 5lb more than a previously successful 3x5 session with no clamps probably is not as dangerous as I am worried about

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Pearland, TX
    Posts
    106

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    Collar the weights very tight on both sides and remember if you drop the bar on your neck, itíll probably kill you. That should provide the motivation to not fail any reps.

    Or, use a rack with spotter arms or pins. This would be much safer and less likely to kill you. Although, it still could maim you if you're not paying attention.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    254

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Hutson View Post
    Collar the weights very tight on both sides and remember if you drop the bar on your neck, itíll probably kill you. That should provide the motivation to not fail any reps.

    Or, use a rack with spotter arms or pins. This would be much safer and less likely to kill you. Although, it still could maim you if you're not paying attention.
    DO NOT collar the weights when benching alone. If you have to dump the weights, dump them. And ALWAYS use safeties when alone. If set correctly they will prevent injury.

    There is no risk of ďmaimingĒ if you do this correctly.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    554

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappey1 View Post
    If there is a power rack (which I hope there is) bench in the power rack. Set the bars just below chest level in bench in there. Very safe!
    this.

    OP, if you say the gym is empty, there should be no problem taking a bench over to the power racks /squat racks.

    or is the place not equipped as such? (no portable benches and/or no racks with adjustable safeties?)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    14

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    starting strength coach development program
    I had been struggling with a mental block honestly very similar to what the original poster had been saying. I was not "comfortable" doing more than 185-205 on the bar for a set of 5 without a spotter. I just forced myself to slowly work up using 5 lb increments, and about 2 weeks later, I did 230 x 5 on bench without too much more difficulty than I had been doing 205. I do NOT attribute any of this to short term strength gain, it was simply a huge mental block of me convincing myself I couldn't do it. One of Mark's Podcasts recently influenced me to get out of my own head and just try the damn weight. I am so glad I did! I am now comfortable unracking 225+ on bench press without a spotter. Don't give up on this.

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