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Old 05-28-2013, 11:26 AM   #1
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Default Curious as to what the powerlifters here think of this article ...

T NATION | Fake Strength: Stop Arching the Bench Press
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:30 AM   #2
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I thought about posting this earlier, but I don't really know enough about lifting to debate one way or the other. I think he included a line something like, "If you're a powerlifter, then arch away".

I think it's possible that he makes a good point for not arching competition style all the time(which I do) though. The reason is, I read an article on EliteFTS a few weeks ago about a girl getting recommended by Louie Simmons I think, to not bench with such an arch and leg drive so often. It seemed to help her bench.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:31 AM   #3
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The more you have to pull your elbows back, the more strain you will place upon your shoulders. I used a flat backed bench for 20 years and pay the price now.

While I can't comment about extreme arches, when it comes to muscle building proper setup, including some arch, will save your shoulders some wear and tear over time.

I can't tell you how many bodybuilders I've interviewed, met personally or talked to who no longer bench because their shoulders are screwed - from flat back, arms flared benching.

In addition, it's complete bull crap that you will experience diminished muscle building if you use some arch.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:37 AM   #4
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I'd love to write artciles about the bleeding obvious and get paid for it

Whom would cue anyone to perform an extreme arch whilst benching unless they were a powerlifter?

For the rest of my views just read BTBs post
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:45 AM   #5
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Not a powerlifter, though, the difference in the arch is the same as a person using two distinct DL styles (sumo v. regular, or any other version of DL) and in people using varying hand width grips on the bar...for the latter, there's a max distance set in stone. But, as long as nobody is breaking the rules and just using them to their advantage, I see no issues.

Not all youngsters and not all females have that sort of spinal flexibility, but guaranteed if the writer of the article had it, they'd be using it to their advantage, no question in my mind about that...given the title part about "fake strength".
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
The more you have to pull your elbows back, the more strain you will place upon your shoulders. I used a flat backed bench for 20 years and pay the price now.

While I can't comment about extreme arches, when it comes to muscle building proper setup, including some arch, will save your shoulders some wear and tear over time.

I can't tell you how many bodybuilders I've interviewed, met personally or talked to who no longer bench because their shoulders are screwed - from flat back, arms flared benching.

In addition, it's complete bull crap that you will experience diminished muscle building if you use some arch.
Exactly. If you go from a nice tight arch to a flatter iteration, the effect will be more or less the same as switching to a cambered bar. You might be ok in the short term, you might not. Longer-term I can't imagine great things happening for you.

Most competitive lifters will know better anyway, but in case anyone has doubts, the arch is an important skill, you need to practice it, the more the better. Some lifters bench in a belt to save their lower back some stress and that's an option.

If building muscle is your thing (not sure how that's divorced from strength acquisition but whatever,) I certainly can't claim much expertise here but I'd assume that dumbbell benching variations are the ticket for getting more stretched position work in anyway. If you bench, treat it like a technical skill instead of an 'exercise,' because that's what it is.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
The more you have to pull your elbows back, the more strain you will place upon your shoulders. I used a flat backed bench for 20 years and pay the price now.

While I can't comment about extreme arches, when it comes to muscle building proper setup, including some arch, will save your shoulders some wear and tear over time.

I can't tell you how many bodybuilders I've interviewed, met personally or talked to who no longer bench because their shoulders are screwed - from flat back, arms flared benching.

In addition, it's complete bull crap that you will experience diminished muscle building if you use some arch.

No need for me to rewrite that a 2nd time.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:02 PM   #8
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This is sort of related but only slightly, in a weirder way; I have read comments about extreme arches effectively making the bench press nothing more than a decline bench press and though I know little about the decline, I can't see it, since the shoulder/chest/arm barbell trajectory placements are not the same as they are in a decline bench press but exactly the same as they are in a regular bench press, even with an extreme arch thrown in.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:14 PM   #9
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Cool

As I've said, I took about 25 years off from reading Muscle Magazines and going to the gym.

Then I started following the scene again online a year or two ago.

I was absolutely astonished at the deep arches and foot placement of some of the modern Bench Pressers...

Like the Dude at the start of the article.

Obviously one benefits from arching the back somewhat—say to where someone could place a flattened hand between the small of the back and the Bench, or a bit more.

It is hard to see how one could have a firm bodily platform to lift from without that much arch.

If you allow any arching at all though, there doesn't seem to be any obvious point of demarkation to say:

"This far and no farther."

I don't compete anymore and I don't care what other people do...

But hypothetically, if I wrote the rules and I wanted to eliminate extreme arching, I'd limit how far back the feet could be placed...

Say, no more than half a foot's length behind the knee?

Yeah,

Those Benches with an Arch one could pass a Basketball—or at least a Volleyball under...

And those Squats with Low-Bar, Extremely Wide Stance and Beaucoup Forward Lean...

Both look very grotesque to my eyes.

{The Squatters remind me of a Crouching Toad.}

If I were asked to do them that way, I'd feel that they destroyed the Aesthetics and the Integrity of the Lifts.

If it doesn't make you feel good, why do it?

I mean, if I were a competitor being encouraged to use an extreme arch and toad Squat in order to win...

But Victory at what price?

But if those lifts fit in with your Aesthetics and Sportsmanship...

You're welcome to them.


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Old 05-28-2013, 12:19 PM   #10
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I love the fact this guy uses the extremes in his article as well. If you don't have at least some back arch you are running major risk of pec and shoulder injuries.

Also he talks about back injuries, then uses a pic of (I think its Lamar Gant) who had scoliosis lol
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