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Old 07-01-2009, 07:27 PM   #1
Brad O'Hara
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Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

It seems that my bench press is very lacking for my size and strength of other lifts. Im about 6'2 185 and do well on other lifts, but for some reason my bench press wont increase. My max is about 215, and I can bench my bodyweight about 5 or 6 times. Also, I can only do about 35 pushups in a row, so basically I feel that my chest is pretty lacking. I definitely have good form so I dont know what is hampering me. I have heard that long arms can hinder the bench press, as my wingspan is 6'7. What should I do to improve my chest strength?
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:36 PM   #2
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

To improve, more ring work/BW work or upper body work with a BB be it OHP or BP.

With an armspan that long, you're screwed. 215x5 at that weight isn't too shabby though as your max could be 240-250+.

Pushups are more about endurance than anything else so you simply need to practice them to excel into that endurance scheme or have a monsterous enough pushing power so a simple pushup is such a low load that you can do a lot. That's pretty much my ability. I never practice them but I'm probably good for 50-70 fresh. When I was much stronger, I still rarely practiced them but was more towards the 75-100 but that's been over 5 years. When I was younger, I practiced a lot of pushups as a kid besides quite a bit in ROTC and karate which generally was 150-300 pushups per class.

So you can either work on getting more efficient at doing high rep pushups by practicing them, like 100 per day broken up or you can just keep on focusing on upper body strength and that will up your bench but not necessarily your pushup score.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:45 PM   #3
Thomas Green
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

Yeah, for someone who's 6'2 and 185, 215 really isn't that bad.

Try going for 6x3 at 205 and eventually work up to 3x5 or 5x5. I don't have the ideal build for a bencher myself, but if you work hard enough at it, you'll notice improvements.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:08 PM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

CFStrengthBias with BP or MEBB towards BP or just doing BP 1-2x a week. If you want a bigger bench and more pushups, you will need to work them both.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:40 PM   #5
Thomas Green
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

Back when I used to do bodybuilding style workouts, I spent a couple months doing 5 sets of pushups till failure immediately after my last set on the bench. Hurts like h***/feels like you're lifting a whale. Push up numbers went way up the next time I tried to do them fresh.
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:04 PM   #6
Dan Johnson
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

I am a former bodybuilder, years ago I had a strong bench of 425 for sets of 5. A stronger bench requires benching once a week, I like 3 sets of 5 - 6 reps at the top weight (requires warming up). Sounds to me like your current bench is OK, but it will take focus to get it higher. I typically add bench press (and heavy deadlifts) into my WODs once every 6 days, I find a workout that seems to be a good fit. Good luck!
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:20 PM   #7
Greg Pieris
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

yes, long arms really does hamper bench strength. I know lots of long limbed guys that have deadlifted over 500lbs (long arms help on the deadlift) but can't bench 220lbs. But that being said, bench press, like other compound lifts is very technique dependant. You say your form is good, but good technique and good form are not always the same thing. It's possible tweaking a few little things you haven't thought of will get you past that sticking point.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:16 AM   #8
Brad O'Hara
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

thanks for the input-this is gettin my psyched to workout today. also, i forgot to mention that any soreness I get from benching is mostly accumulated way on the outside of my pecs and even on my rotator cuffs. As a baseball player, I have always had stronger shoulders/rotator cuffs than my friends, but they all outbench me on flat bench. However, I hold my own on incline, even doing better than a guy who maxes bench press at 250. Am I overcompensating by using my shoulders too much on flat bench maybe?
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:38 AM   #9
Mark Lanza
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

Brad,

Doing more pushups won't increase your ability to do more pushups. Sounds screwy, so let me give you an anology: a person that runs an 800M doesn't get faster at this event by running more 800M's, right? He gets faster by running sprints or intervals.

In a similar fashion, you need to bench press more weight in order to increase your single-set push-up max. It's already been said that 5x5 or 3x5 training once per week will get you there...and this is completely correct.

Rack it and press away.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:08 PM   #10
Thomas Green
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad O'Hara View Post
thanks for the input-this is gettin my psyched to workout today. also, i forgot to mention that any soreness I get from benching is mostly accumulated way on the outside of my pecs and even on my rotator cuffs. As a baseball player, I have always had stronger shoulders/rotator cuffs than my friends, but they all outbench me on flat bench. However, I hold my own on incline, even doing better than a guy who maxes bench press at 250. Am I overcompensating by using my shoulders too much on flat bench maybe?
You're probably gripping too wide. What sort of foot placement do you use if you don't mind me asking?
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