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I Got The Bench Press Blues

by Kung Fu
(Jackson MS)

My hardest work out has to be the old fashioned bench press. It’s not that just one workout is hard, it is that every workout is hard.

I just cannot seem to be able to get my bench press weights up to a high level.

I seem to be able to lift heavy weights on leg lifts, calf exercises, dead lifts and any other exercise. It is the bench press that defeats me and causes me the most problems.

I have been told that I probably will never be able to lift very heavy in the bench press because of my biomechanics. I am very tall for a weight lifter, about 6 feet 7 inches tall.

I have long arms which put me at a mechanical disadvantage when bench pressing. It seems that I lose leverage at about one fourth press from the bottom. In other words when pressing from the low point with the bar on the chest those first few inches of the rise is where I lose leverage and cannot get past that sticking point.

I am very strong from the top down to about mid point but I lose strength from mid point to the bottom.

No matter what I try I have not been able to make any progress. This is a big problem for me because I realize it is the lower half of the bench press where the pecs get stretched that is the real part of the exercise that makes the muscle grow.

I do not allow myself to get discourage though and I will continue to “PRESS ON”.

Kung Fu

Do you need a little more help with your weight?

Note from Dr. Dan

Kung Fu,

People with long arms are definitely at a disadvantage with the bench press.

Most of the guys that do really heavy bench press are really thick and have short arms. So a full movement for them is a couple of inches.

If you have long arms, then when doing bench presses your elbow will be far from the midline. And the longer the distance from midline to your elbows, the harder your chest muscles will have to work to raise the weight.

You can do some bench press using light weights and limited range of motion -- emphasizing the movement right in the area of the sticking point. That might help.

And of course flyes are always good for chest development.

Dr. Dan

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