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Is it possible to have a big bench without benching?

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Yano

Yano

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Sep 18, 2022
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I knew a kid back in 1979 he could not have been over 18. Never lifted unless his buddies talked him into cold benching 315X3. Kinda stocky for a kid, but not big or fat, just cock strong as a MF'r!
That sounds like me in 7th grade haaahaha but it was a deadlift.

I was the kid in husky sized pants that played the saxophone and bass in jazz band read comic books and talked about dungeons n dragons all the time.

We had band practice at the high school and I was watching the football guys lift -- some quick back ground on me i'm a bit of a dwarf thats built like a chimp - short legs , long arms ol man and uncles were masons I grew up carrying blocks n bricks , bags of portland and did lift a bit with them at home in the garage.

I walked up and asked if I could try to pick it up and they basically laughed at the fat band kid and said ,, thats 315 pounds you can try ... I walked over n picked it up ,, turned to them and asked ,, now what ?

An they told me put it down put it down and just looked at each other , coach walked up and said ,, you ever think about playing football ?
 
Bigtex

Bigtex

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Aug 14, 2012
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I apologize if that sounds like an idiotic question.

My ultimate aim for the next several years is to compete (naturally) in Olympic-style weightlifting. Overhead pressing strength is far more useful for me and I have heard of acclaimed weightlifters saying bench presses are a bad idea because they'll make your shoulders stiff for the sport. I lean on believing them.

I do, however, want to compete in powerlifting here and there if there are no weightlifting meets around. But I don't wanna get mocked for a piss-poor bench. lol. So if I train heavy on the standing overhead press while still hitting the tris and pecs with isolation moves, can I still get a decent bench?

Squat and deadlift will be very good, I'm sure. I've never struggled getting PRs on those two lifts. (Best powerlifting squat was 445 pounds raw.)
Hate to be the one to break the news to you but there is an old law in exercise science and it is called the law of specificity. In other words if you want to be a good 50 meter sprinter, you will have to run a lot of 50 meter sprints. When I powerlifted I hit an all time high in the deadlift at 800 in the 308's. People use to ask me all the time how to get the deadlift up.......DEADLIFT. Want a good bench.......BENCH. Olympic lifting is not going to help you in powerlifting because nothing you do there transfers very well to powerlifting. Doing what you plan to do will get you stronger but will not transfer so well to a competitive bench. Not sure what weight class you are in but 445 squat is a good squat in the gym but is not very much in powerlifting.


Squat (RAW no wraps) American records
Class Lift Lifter Year Fed

123 551 Mike Booker 2002 AAU
132 551 Mike Booker 2002 AAU
148 579 Charles Okopoko 06/12/19 IPF
165 633 Michael Seay USA 10/16/19 USAPL
181 716 Maliek Derstine 01/23/16 USPA
198 766 Jesse Norris 11/07/15 SPF
220 822 Joe Sullivan 09/26/20 WRPF
242 837 Kevin "Oak" Okolie 08/04/19 USPA
275 903 Dennis Cornelius 12/09/17 USPA
308 922 Robb Philippus 08/25/17 WRPF
SHW 1,080 Ray Williams 03/02/19 NAPF

By the way, Ronnie Coleman bench pressed 495lbs for 5 reps on video. But then Ronnie Coleman started his career as a powerlifter and was trained by a guy who was a competitive powerlifter. Here it is right at the start of this video:

 
gunslinger

gunslinger

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Sep 19, 2010
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I knew a kid back in 1979 he could not have been over 18. Never lifted unless his buddies talked him into cold benching 315X3. Kinda stocky for a kid, but not big or fat, just cock strong as a MF'r!
Yep, there was a fairly well known body builder back in the early 2000's who did 405 for 19 reps the very first time he tried to bench. Some ppl are just born different. My friend Marcus was doing 315 for reps at 185 age 20. He worked out maybe once a week if he felt like it. He could also do 20 pull-ups with me hanging off of his waist.
 
N

Nerve

Member
May 11, 2015
44
25
Hate to be the one to break the news to you but there is an old law in exercise science and it is called the law of specificity. In other words if you want to be a good 50 meter sprinter, you will have to run a lot of 50 meter sprints. When I powerlifted I hit an all time high in the deadlift at 800 in the 308's. People use to ask me all the time how to get the deadlift up.......DEADLIFT. Want a good bench.......BENCH. Olympic lifting is not going to help you in powerlifting because nothing you do there transfers very well to powerlifting. Doing what you plan to do will get you stronger but will not transfer so well to a competitive bench. Not sure what weight class you are in but 445 squat is a good squat in the gym but is not very much in powerlifting.


Squat (RAW no wraps) American records
Class Lift Lifter Year Fed

123 551 Mike Booker 2002 AAU
132 551 Mike Booker 2002 AAU
148 579 Charles Okopoko 06/12/19 IPF
165 633 Michael Seay USA 10/16/19 USAPL
181 716 Maliek Derstine 01/23/16 USPA
198 766 Jesse Norris 11/07/15 SPF
220 822 Joe Sullivan 09/26/20 WRPF
242 837 Kevin "Oak" Okolie 08/04/19 USPA
275 903 Dennis Cornelius 12/09/17 USPA
308 922 Robb Philippus 08/25/17 WRPF
SHW 1,080 Ray Williams 03/02/19 NAPF

By the way, Ronnie Coleman bench pressed 495lbs for 5 reps on video. But then Ronnie Coleman started his career as a powerlifter and was trained by a guy who was a competitive powerlifter. Here it is right at the start of this video:


Came in here to basically say this. Some people can have a "big lift in XXXXXXX" without actually doing said lift often. MOST people, however, need to do the movement for reasons already discussed. A lot of people think the bench press is just a chest movement too, but it is not. It is a full body movement. You need to develop & practice that coordination.

Hell, performing single repetitions like one would in competition is a skill in & of itself. Ever notice during your own lifts or notice someone else performing a set & the first rep or two is noticeably harder then reps 3, 4, 5, etc? That's because you/they kind of "fall into the groove" on subsequent repetitions where everything is kind of "locked in" so to speak. You need to practice single repetitions like you do anything else that is skill based if you want to be "locked in" & "in the groove" so to speak & able to move the most weight possible right from the get go without having "practice reps" going on at first. Throw in the fact that most people have no idea how to unrack a bar properly & the incessant tap-dancing I see so many people do, it's not really a wonder why people struggle so much with the bench press.

TLDR: big bench needs benching & IMO at least, & what I always tell anyone who asks me for bench advice, a big strong back too.
 
Bigtex

Bigtex

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Aug 14, 2012
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I met Tiny Meeker in 1995 and he had a 600lb bench. It took him well over 20 years to get where he is now and I know he does a whole lot of bench press.
 
A

aymerickravelet974@gmail.

New Member
Jan 19, 2024
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0
Calisthenics and Weighted calisthenics are very populars in France, it's not rare to see some guys doing reps with 275-365 lbs without regularly benching. The amount of push-up, dips and weighted dips they do give them crazy physique and strenght especially if they started young.
 
The other Snake

The other Snake

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Aug 19, 2016
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Calisthenics and Weighted calisthenics are very populars in France, it's not rare to see some guys doing reps with 275-365 lbs without regularly benching. The amount of push-up, dips and weighted dips they do give them crazy physique and strenght especially if they started young.
Thanks for that info. Could you sent it to my Gmail account?
 
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