Ah, the bench. Not my favorite lift by far and honestly, some of the Miss Fits are quite apathetic about it. We could take it or leave it. We do it because it’s part of our powerlifting meets. Don’t mistake this as a lack of will to try though, we still give it everything we’ve got but you just don’t get the excitement of a squat or deadlift day.
Working hard and not making gains is very frustrating. From my first meet to my second meet, my weight in bench only went up five pounds. Now, I know what you’re thinking…and yes, it is a gain but when you compare it to the gains I made in squat and deadlift it’s just not the same.
Our coach, Jim, understands our frustration but is unwilling to risk our long-term health for a few extra pounds on the bar. You’ve probably noticed that most competitive lifters have a hard arch in their back when benching. That arch gives the lifter more power and decreases the distance from chest to lockout. While this technique is certainly tempting for those of us motivated by PRs, it’s terrible for your back and shoulders. And, for us, it’s just not worth it.
If we didn’t compete, Jim says bench wouldn’t even be part of our training program. There are so many other good options for getting strong:
- Push ups
- DB press (double and single arm)
- Landmine press
- Bear crawl
- Floor press
But, since we do love competing, we will continue to bench. And, with hard work and a whole lot of patience, we will get better.