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Old 07-29-2012, 05:10 PM   #1
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Default Speed Bench question

Just opening this out there for everyone to share their thoughts on.

Have a look at this video, in particular look at where my elbows go on the first 5-6 recorded sets when I'm using close to medium grip:



The elbows drop below my torso and then push up very violently. The speed I got on some of the more explosive sets is what I'm working towards so I definitely want to keep the pace up. However today especially I got a little elbow pain, normally I'm fine. So I'm wondering whether it's because of my longer arms/shallower chest making for a stroke which potentially puts my elbows at risk.

For comparison sake here's a video of some raw 1 board work. Compare the elbow position here, I had no elbow issues whatsoever with these:


If that's the case, would training the speed day mostly to a 1 Board make more sense for me given my body proportions? I have done a 1 Board cycle before, and it felt great and it was fast. Perhaps that's what I should target. Because ultimately I want to get not only faster but faster with more weight as well.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #2
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The way I see it you have three choices to keep your elbows higher:

1. Use a 1 board.
2. Use a manpon or a few inches of foam which would give a more natural feel.
3. Get fatter so your arms don't have so far to go

Seriously though I see what you mean and in the interest of your elbow health I would limit your benching to chest. The shirt will take care of the bottom 2".

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Old 07-29-2012, 08:00 PM   #3
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Bumping for others to read.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:26 PM   #4
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OK, this could be utter crap, but I'm throwing it out there.

Your arch is awesome, but your head comes up off the bench and you are up on your toes. Regardless of rules etc. what that tells me is that your angle to the bench is not at it's best. Your foot drive is pushing into your back and not your arms very much, plus some force is lost in the flexibility of your foot. So your best force into the bar only comes when your butt comes up off the bench and your angle is better.

Try heels down, arching onto your neck and heels pushing right up through, driving your upper back/head into the bench, butt barely on bench at all. With your silly posterior chain strength added to the mix, that's perhaps a boost if it works.

I'm not an expert. But I do feel there's a connection between your heels driving into your neck and force going up the bar.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:00 AM   #5
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I won't claim to know what is causing your elbow pain, but I did notice that you are short stroking many of your reps(not to full lockout) and you are not flaring your elbows at the top of the lift. This will cheat your lockout strength out of good work. If the pain only comes on close grip benching maybe the stroke length isn't the problem. Shortening the stroke with the use of a board defeats the purpose of increasing speed off the chest. I usually vary my grip on speed days from close, to medium, to wide. Maybe just limiting the close grip sets would help.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
Regardless of rules etc. what that tells me is that your angle to the bench is not at it's best. Your foot drive is pushing into your back and not your arms very much, plus some force is lost in the flexibility of your foot. So your best force into the bar only comes when your butt comes up off the bench and your angle is better.
I've re-read this a few times Mike, I just don't get what you mean sorry?

I'm not using any foot drive, I just hold the position statically. You can't drive with your feet back like that, the drive comes with the feet out. Feet back is solely for the arch. I can actually get my feet further back with just toes on the floor, and that means a better arch with less chance of butt going up. My set-up was all over the place in that video as I noted in my log, so the butt raising is something I usually keep under control.

I have a feeling this might be something useful but I don't understand what you mean at the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryano View Post
I did notice that you are short stroking many of your reps(not to full lockout) and you are not flaring your elbows at the top of the lift.
Do you have any videos of your speed sets Ryan?

I want to see how you do it, I can lockout fully if I slow down a little like I do in the second video I posted. I do rotate elbows sometimes on max lifts but I don't really want to be rotating my shoulders back and forth on speed sets. Surely that rapid and repeated rotation is a recipe for disaster? I much prefer to go up and down.

Good idea to minimise the close grip sets though.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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Sorry Fazc, but I don't video any lifts but comp lifts anymore. To much of a pain in the butt. I do lockout each rep, warmups, speed or heavy every time. I don't want to cheat my lockout. Most the time, if I miss a comp lift, it's at the top.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryano View Post
Sorry Fazc, but I don't video any lifts but comp lifts anymore. To much of a pain in the butt. I do lockout each rep, warmups, speed or heavy every time. I don't want to cheat my lockout. Most the time, if I miss a comp lift, it's at the top.
I can't wrap my head around what you're suggesting then Ryan, the only videos I've seen where guys are actually rotating out to lockout are done slower with a short pause at the top like I did in the second video. Sure it's safer on the elbows and I can rotate to lockout, but it's also slower and surely that defeats the purpose too? I also can't see how it's going to be productive to rotate your shoulders to lockout each rep on a fast set of 3.

I was under the impression speed work needs to be as ballistic as possible, more closely resembling the first video. Unless the way you do your dynamic work is a slower than what I have in my mind as to what constitutes speed work.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:31 AM   #9
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My 2 cents I'm no expert by any means, I find if I go with banded benches for more that 3 weeks in a row my elbows and shoulders start to get beat up. When I do banded bench and use skull crushers that I bring down to my nose or lower on my pretty face it causes more soreness. When I do a wave of banded speed benches I try to pick more elbow friendly movements. I agree with Ryano if your CG benches are bringing your elbows below the bench don't do them full range on speed days for awhile and see if your elbows improve. When I do CG as a ME movement or as an accessory I never come down to the chest always 1 or 2 board.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:00 AM   #10
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OK, sorry. I didn't connect the dots. What I was trying to say is that I also have long arms and my elbows, I think, come too low too. For me, I believe it's what caused my shoulder problems, for you it may be elbows.

Anyway, I realized if I really pushed hard from my heels, my body went further up the bench and I was higher up on the back of my neck, once I was higher up on the back of my neck, my arms had less distance to go to my chest and my elbows didn't go past the bench on the bottom.

Again, not an expert, but it seems to me as if you being up on your toes are too bendy and moving around too much so your body is not staying up the bench and chest staying as high as possible on every rep. So perhaps some of your reps your elbows are going too low because of your setup not staying tight due to your feet flexing and that flex traveling up your body and perhaps causing your head to come up as your chest lowers a bit.

Could be utter crap. Everybody benches their own way. I just thought I'd throw that out as that's what struck me watching those videos.
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I am Anton Zdravko Martin!

Best meet lifts: Sq 150 Kg (330 lb), Bench 120 Kg (264), DL 160 (352) @89 Kg (197)
Best gym lifts: Sq 375, Bench 280 (pause), DL 385 @205 or less
Goals: 3/4/5
Goals beyond my wildest dreams, 600 Kg raw total, 200/160/240

Hack away at anything which isn't essential. Do what you love, and do it often. Fazc.

Everything competes for recovery so more assistance is not always the best idea. miked96
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