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Old 06-26-2008, 12:39 PM   #21
Sam Ser
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

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Originally Posted by John Alston View Post
Usually the technique that allows you to use the most weight (excepting when it is by reducing range of motion) is the one that is most structurally sound.
Put your feet up to screw up your stress.
Bench on a bosu ball to be silly.
Go ahead and see how much this lets you lift, or what you do when the ball pops.



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Old 06-26-2008, 01:52 PM   #22
Gavin Harrison
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

Chris,

Benching with your feet up is wrong. The bench press is not a ****ing stability exercise, it's a pressing strength exercise. It's unsafe by removing stability from benching heavy and makes the exercise less than worthless by forcing you to bench light. Handing out and arguing for WRONG advice is ethically wrong as well, please reconsider. It's not "a fun challenge" or "thinking outside the box", it's wrong.

I honestly read this thread with the expectation that everyone who'd already responded would have said "this is silly and wrong, don't do it!", I'm surprised ANYONE said otherwise.
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:13 PM   #23
Chris Butner
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

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Originally Posted by Chris Walls View Post
We do barbell lifts to get stronger, you get stronger by pushing the heaviest loads possible, to do this your feet have to be on the ground. period. If you're not interested in getting stronger and want to do neat/cool/interesting/outside the box stuff, then go ahead and do it... squat on a bosu ball while you're at it, looks impressive but is pretty useless functionally speaking, as you can't push enough weight to make you stronger, just a big risk for injury at low weights with little benefit.

You don't have to think outside the box, there's good stuff in there. That's why it's been in the box so long.

Find better ways to "mix it up"
So apparently you know exactly what my goals are. Did I ever say I wanted big muscles ? No I did not. Nor did I say I wanted to press the heaviest load possible. You said functional. I did not, but since you brought it up. You are going to try to tell me a bench press is functional ? When do we do a bench press in everyday life outside the gym ? For that matter how is the CF wods functional for most everyday folks. You are physically training yourself for working at the office ? Maybe CF is OK for military personnel, fire fighters jobs of this nature.
Did you ever think that some of us have other goals then just big muscles ? Maybe we do lighter weight just to keep our bodies active. Maybe we don't do very much isolation, because it is boring. Maybe we do various drills cause we think it is fun, or want to get our heart rate up. Maybe we like the "buzz" the movements give us. Maybe we do it cause it simply makes us feel healthy. Maybe we do it cause it reduces stress from life outside the gym.
It is not all about isolation, and big muscles. I am not surprised by everyone's CF responses, but I am entertained by it all. Keep the responses coming ! To tell me I am unable to arch my spine as I do this is hog wash.....

Their is such thing called "the spectrum of strength". Each individual falls somewhere differently on that spectrum depending on your goals. To define strength is simple.....ability. To be strong is to have ability. Ability to do movements in the gym, ability to deal with friends/family/co workers/etc, ability to overcome emotional obstacles. So go ahead, and define strength for yourself. You may have a different definition. Strength is not all about big pec muscles from bench press isolation, but if that is your personal goal. I very much accept that. Each persons goals will be different.
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:36 PM   #24
Chris Walls
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

I never said anything about big muscles, or isolation. (if anything your version is "pec isolation") I said get stronger. And it is functional in the sense that it makes you stronger for other tasks. The WOD is functional in that it prepares you to overcome any task you might need to handle, not only physically but mentally.

I would rather keep my training efficient, safe and to the point. I don't want to screw around with a version that will give me less of a return when I can do it properly and get a higher return on my time investment.

Whatever floats your boat there bud.
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Last edited by Chris Walls : 06-26-2008 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:37 PM   #25
Matt Thomas
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

First. It sounds like your saying one reason you don't like bench with feet on the ground because you don't like isolations exercises? Weird.

But anyways it sounds like this argument is pretty much over.

Original poster - If you want to get bigger, get stronger, get the most advantage from a bench and keep it as safe as possible I would read Starting Strength, Louie Simmons, and anyone else that knows about bench and do what they say. If you want to do a cool movement, get a buzz, have some fun, stay active...then do it however you want. Completely fine. Just understand the decision you're making and live with the outcome.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:13 PM   #26
Murray Birch
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

As soon as you take your feet off the ground, it ceases to be a bench press. It becomes a midline stabilization movement, so if that's what your goal is, so be it (just make sure you have a good spotter or two.) But as mentioned before, there are many superior alternative movements for mid line stabilization.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:21 PM   #27
Sam Ser
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

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Originally Posted by Chris Butner View Post
I am not surprised by everyone's CF responses, but I am entertained by it all...
chris, i've only been checking out crossfit for about as long as you have. i have never paid them for anything, nor has anyone connected to crossfit ever paid me for anything. the idea that lifting your feet during the bench press is bad is not something that i got from crossfit. i got it 20 years ago, from franco columbu, in the first book on weightlifting that i ever read... and in pretty much every encounter i have had with the movement in the gym, and in training literature, since then.

and, chris, i have to tell you: NOWHERE on "the spectrum of strength" is this an advisable lift!

(by the way, franco columbu was arnold schwarzenegger's long-time workout partner. for years he was recognized as one of the world's strongest men. he holds two doctorates, one in nutrition and the other in chiropractic. he tried A LOT of different moves to build muscle, as well as "shake things up" and fight off boredom. benching with feet in the air was not one of them.)

it's clear that, if i tell you that your comments reveal a serious confusion about exercise science, you will reject that assessment. i'm not offended by that, because i don't profess to be an expert. but i really hope that you can step back for a minute and think about the fact that several people now are telling you that you've got this wrong. they're not out to get you, man, they're part of a community of people trying to help each other get the most out of their training. and they're telling you something important.

now, these people are also laymen. so you would certainly do well to seek out the advice of experts. if for some reason you fear that mark rippetoe will lead you astray on this because, as you believe, crossfit is irrationally biased against the feet-up bench press, then perhaps you will trust others? perhaps you could look to louie simmons for advice on this? or charles poliquin? or joe defranco? or the strength and conditioning coach of any major university near you?

are you willing to take this challenge?
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:05 PM   #28
Daniel Mick
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

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Originally Posted by Matt Thomas View Post
Original poster - If you want to get bigger, get stronger, get the most advantage from a bench and keep it as safe as possible I would read Starting Strength, Louie Simmons, and anyone else that knows about bench and do what they say. If you want to do a cool movement, get a buzz, have some fun, stay active...then do it however you want. Completely fine. Just understand the decision you're making and live with the outcome.
As prickly as most of Chris' comments are, he is very correct about his discussion of goals. I would surmize that almost all people who CrossFit do it to "forge elite fitness". We take that as our base assumption and thus are upset by Chris' comments. Total fitness is clearly a secondary goal for Chris but we shouldn't dog him for it. So, original poster, to your original question, "can it provide some benefit", see the quote above.
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:54 PM   #29
Nick Gagnon
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

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Originally Posted by Chris Butner View Post
With both your paragraphs clearly you did not read my second comment. It is not about a heavy lift. It is not even about isolation. It is about taking a boring movement. Creating a variation, and doing it safely with lighter weight. As a combo movement. No I will not try repping 225 with feet off ground, but then again I don't want to rep 225 period. You missed the point. May I suggest checking my second post. If you really want to waste time on this nonsense. Good day.....

I'm not going to beat the horse anymore. If you don't want to "think outside the box". That is fine, but don't tell me I can't do something. When I can do it, and do it with proper form. It is not like I do it all the time. My library of movements is large enough I don't repeat these movements all the time. I can stretch out my choices for a given workout. I guess this is why I'm not a "wod" person. I don't limit myself to only a few movements like the "wod" choices. If you don't want to do the variation that is fine. I'm not going to pressure anyone in doing it.

We can have different views. I'm not going to ramble anymore. It is not my intentions to upset, or attack anyone. I just want to be clear.
Nobody said you can't bench with your feet off the ground. You came on here stating your opinion, and other people stated theirs.

Bench pressing is not an isolation movement any more than standing presses or dips are. You claim benching with your legs up will activate your core more, when it is just mildly contracting your abs/obliques/hip flexors and reducing the overall stress on your shoulders/chest/triceps. Proper technique teaches you to activate your posterior chain to move the most weight. A strong posterior chain makes a strong person.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:41 AM   #30
Chris Butner
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

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Originally Posted by Nick Gagnon View Post
Nobody said you can't bench with your feet off the ground. You came on here stating your opinion, and other people stated theirs.

Bench pressing is not an isolation movement any more than standing presses or dips are. You claim benching with your legs up will activate your core more, when it is just mildly contracting your abs/obliques/hip flexors and reducing the overall stress on your shoulders/chest/triceps. Proper technique teaches you to activate your posterior chain to move the most weight. A strong posterior chain makes a strong person.
Actually it seems to me many are shouting that it is unsafe for me to do that with my feet off the ground. What I do agree with is. If you want to lift heavy loads yes your feet should be on the ground. Where we all seem to disagree is. Taking a basic movement, and turning it into a variation. Lifting feet, isolating that chest more, but using other muscles as well in your mid section. It also adds the element of balancing yourself. Doing this with lighter weight. Yes I agree it is not meant to produce big muscles. Yes there are also many other movements you could do in place of this one. That does not mean the variation can't be done. That does not mean it is unsafe. Although it can be unsafe it you are not paying attention to your mechanics.

Yes Nick. Two sides are being shown here. The CF side, and another alternative "brand" of fitness. It just so happens CF "brand" does not fit into my goals. Not saying anything bad about that. We all have the freedom to do as we please in this counrty of USA. As stated before our goals dictate our chosen "brand" of fitness. CF is not the only "brand" of fitness. I understand you are all very serious about your CF thing, but there are other types of fish in the sea.
The other side is telling me I am doing something unsafe when I am doing it safely with proper mechanics. I think some still have stuck in head I am using heavy mad weight. I am not looking for your acceptance. I am just sharing my opinion as you said Nick. The OP asked about feet off ground. As a outcast as a non CF I happily share the "brand" I use. It is up to others to decide if they want to do it, or not. In the end if your not familiar with a movement. Proper certified personal training is recommended to make sure you are doing movements safely. I have been using PT's for a long time to evaluate, and train me. On a regular basis. I guess they all received improper training , and they know what my goals are much more then any of you online cyberspace people. No offense intended. I suppose this is why you have the digital coaching section of the forum. For folks that can't afford personal training sessions. Frankly I don't want someone correcting my form that is not certified, and I am not familar with that person's background. I see folks in the gym all the time with bad form. Apparently in your eyes I am one of them, and you all are superior to my personal trainings sessions. Entertaining....Have a good day CF folks.......

Last edited by Chris Butner : 06-27-2008 at 07:46 AM.
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