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Old 11-06-2008, 06:01 AM   #1
Ryan Marquart
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Bench Press improvement

Before I started this program I was unable to bench press my body weight, 180 lbs. I would try bench presses every week.

Since starting Crossfit 11 months ago I have not bench pressed, until today.
Not only was I able to press my own body weight one time, I was able to do it a total of 26 times. My sets were broken up, but as Rx'd.

While my numbers are not staggering compared to some, the improvement is undeniable.

This program works.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:41 PM   #2
David Meverden
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Re: Bench Press improvement

Very cool to hear. I love the testimonials where people improve on stuff they aren't even working on. Great stuff!

Keep up the good work and keep us posted on your progress!
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:52 PM   #3
Eric Helms
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Re: Bench Press improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Marquart View Post
Before I started this program I was unable to bench press my body weight, 180 lbs. I would try bench presses every week.

Since starting Crossfit 11 months ago I have not bench pressed, until today.
Not only was I able to press my own body weight one time, I was able to do it a total of 26 times. My sets were broken up, but as Rx'd.

While my numbers are not staggering compared to some, the improvement is undeniable.

This program works.

Outstanding. I BP'd for the first time in about 2 mos. First set I did 25 reps of 135#. It was my warm-up set too. Did nothing but crossfit type workouts.
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:14 AM   #4
Edward Lee
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Re: Bench Press improvement

I too have not benched in a long time (over a year) and was shocked at my ability to bench my BW the other day. I have never been able to do this. CF works!
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Old 11-29-2008, 12:28 AM   #5
Kirez Reynolds
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Re: Bench Press improvement

I bench pressed occasionally in college, and built up to a 325 lb max in 1995.

Then nothing but bodyweight training for 13+ years. I think I could have bench pressed about 295-305 lbs when I started CrossFit.

I've only bench pressed, in CrossFit, the 5-6 times I've done Lynne, since I started in late January 2008.

I tried a 1RM bench press 2 weeks ago. I didn't know where I"d be, so I built up for a long time... had done about 20 reps when I failed at 375, barely didn't lock it out. I succeeded at 365, so that's my PR. I suspect I can do 385. :-)
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:42 AM   #6
David Schneider
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Re: Bench Press improvement

Yeah, well Kirez, you're just a freak of nature and the standard laws of physics don't really apply to you... Now do they?
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:54 AM   #7
Kirez Reynolds
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Re: Bench Press improvement

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Originally Posted by David Schneider View Post
Yeah, well Kirez, you're just a freak of nature and the standard laws of physics don't really apply to you... Now do they?
Too kind, David. Tell it to my alternate-day alter-ego Wile E. Coyote.



I've seen some disparaging comments about bench pressing slithering about. This is a natural reaction for people who are lovin the kool-aid. Yes, the press (shoulder press) is a more functional movement and a more potent stimulus for the adaptations we love.

But remember that heavier weight is also a potent stimulus. You can lift heavier weight in a bench press than you can in a press. Also consider that the bench press, according to Rippetoe, Simmons, and Bill Starr, makes a significant contribution to the Press.

The role of 'heavier weight' means that if you want a stronger press, of course you need to use hefty doses of Push Press and Push Jerk. All is kosher with CrossFit purists. But bench press will also get you the slow lift strength of heavier weight, isolated from the hip contribution. The hip drive contribution is gold to be sure, but it is not present in the press.


Regarding the new-crossfitters' disregard of the bench press: it's a common social reaction. The bench press is an easy target. It is a passion for the cliched stereotypes of the musclehead world, the uninformed guys who just wanna bulk up and be bada$s and never get wise about how best to do that, or what bada$s might truly look like. When we get wiser and more informed, it's natural for us to display our new felt superiority with a dismissal of the old icons. I did this myself: I swapped a Standing Lynne for CrossFit's RX Lynne, with 1/2 bodyweight Press replacing the bodyweight bench press. (Scores on Standing Lynne were slightly higher than RX Lynne among the 18+ people who have done this with me.)

It wasn't only variety that I neglected, when I did subbed out the bench press. The bench press also includes aspects of functional stress that are different from the press. I'm hardly going to argue that the bench press is an ideal, a trumping virtue of athleticism, or even a benchmark you want to include in your top 10. But it is valuable and deserves a role in CrossFit.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:40 AM   #8
Kurt Armbruster
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Re: Bench Press improvement

I've never been able to bench more than 100#. While warming up for last week's Lynne, I had a 1RM PR of 135!
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Old 11-29-2008, 04:08 PM   #9
David Meverden
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Re: Bench Press improvement

Man, nice work, all you. Wish my bench was going up like that. Ah well, it's not like I don't know what I need to do to fix that.

As for your sentiments Kirez; good stuff. I think the hard part with Bench Press is that it's an exercise that is simultaneously overrated AND important. It's hard to accept both concepts as true at the same time.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:00 PM   #10
Scott Erb
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Re: Bench Press improvement

Bump!

Debated whether this should be testimonial or Fitness topic, but found this old thread and ran with it...

Today I decided to implement 'constantly varied' but NOT doing CF. Needed a 'rest' day and decided to see where my bench was.

Background - College swimmer (1yr), football player (2yrs), and powerlifter (1yr) (not all at the same time). In 1992 at 181, my best PLs were 505 BS, 285 Bench, 505 DL. All with the normal gear - squat suit, belt, wraps, bench shirt.

Started CF April 08 after about 8 yrs out of the weight room and a little playing with triathlon in between then and now. Only benching I've done is Lynn 4x (best was 25 reps at 190#) and Linda once.

Today, decided to play on the bench. Worked up to 255x4, 275x1, missed 285 by a hair. No shirt, no belt, Jonas Bros on the globo gym radio. Wasn't really seeking a 1RM, but decided to do it during the workout. I was pretty happy with it, and could probably do better if I actually approached it as a 1RM workout.

Thought this fit nicely with the "You can't do our stuff at all, we can do your stuff almost and well as you, and we can do what neither of us do better than you" observation. A friend I ran into asked how often I benched - told him about once every 3 months and he looked puzzled.

Now I'll back away from the bench and work on my press - it needs some help!
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