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Old Yesterday, 02:17 PM   #1
Tannhauser
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Default Bench Press issue

After reading some of MikeD96's stuff, I'm getting interested in increasing my bench press numbers, particularly my one rep max. I'm thinking vaguely about a bench only comp (raw, masters). However, there's an issue with my bench that I feel is holding me back.

When I go to 140kg (308) or above, lowering the bar on the first repgets extremely slow and cautious. About 2" from my chest, it gets quite hard to control the bar. It drops faster and I sort of catch it on my chest. Then I pause and press. On subsequent reps, I don't get this problem.

I can control the descent over the last 2", but it's really difficult and takes a lot out of the subsequent press.

Current training and info

I've started trying to get two bench press sessions in a week. In one session, I'll typically do a top set for reps, then back off by 20-30 lbs for another three sets. Examples of recent sets have been 120kg (265) X 12 or 130kg (286) X 8. In the other session I'll go heavier - the last one was 3 triples with 140kg.

Borrowing from MikeD96, I've stated adding 3-5 sets of paused bench on the light day and 3-5 sets of paused floor press on the heavy day.

There are some safety issues with heavier weights - I'm normally on my own in the gym and I can't set the rack safety bars to a height that will completely protect me. I don't have a Slingshot or anything like that.

My other major problem is arthritis in one elbow, which I'm hoping to get some surgery on.

Any ideas? My instinct is always just to bench more, but I'm open to ideas.
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Old Yesterday, 03:35 PM   #2
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Tann -

My two cents:

I had the exact same issue on the descent when I got up to 200kgs.
What I ended up doing was increasing the speed of my overall descent throughout the whole downward movement. I place the bar close to my xiphoid process and I would get some compression.
In competition I would usually mention to the head judge that I get some compression. They'll wait until the bar stops before the command.
This was part of an overall change in my bench that moved it to 217kgs.
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Old Yesterday, 03:42 PM   #3
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Default

Thanks Fred. I had thought about just allowing the bar to descend faster, but haven't put it into practice. So that's certainly one option.
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