Benchin’ LOLOL.

January 7, 2012

It is OK for weightlifters to bench press.  It doesn’t look pretty.  But it’s OK.

Benching doesn’t hurt your ability to snatch and clean and jerk, NOT mobilizing everyday hurts your ability to snatch and clean and jerk.  And if you are not doing mobility work like you should, then you won’t have the positional strength necessary to be good at the lifts.  I know.  I did a poor job mobilizing for years.

I stopped bench pressing altogether after high school.  I was on that “real weightlifters don’t bench press” trip.  Now I’m on that twice a month program.  It’s working out pretty well.  This was 155kg.  My best before this was 150kg.  Note that I don’t pause at the bottom because I’m not a powerlifter but if I did ever do a powerlifting meet, I would open significantly lighter and pause.

Is benching harmful for a weightlifter? No.  Not if done sparsely and safely.  Obviously eleeete level weightlifters don’t waste their time on it because they are too busy breaking records or standing on the medal podium.  But I’m guessing that is not you.

Is benching helpful for weightlifting? No, not at all.  Not unless you are literally too weak to hold a barbell above your body.  But you will fill out a singlet better.

In conclusion, I snatch or clean probably around 9 times per week.  I bench around twice a month.  Necessary?  No.  Important? No.  Fun? Yes.

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12 Responses to “Benchin’ LOLOL.”

  1. Joshua Cline said

    Stoped benching for about 5 months. I started back about 2 months ago. Reason being that the swolenesss of my traps.and shoulders greatly exceeds that of my chest. This was a concern so now I bnch and incline bnch once a week. I recently had to get rid of a bunch of shirts because they were too small. Coincedence. I think not….

  2. Daniel said

    Strong fucking bench dude. My all time favorite slayer song. All things that are good.

  3. Sheldon said

    Oh come on now, I think we are being unfair on the bench press. When done with a close-grip it can help build some tricep strength that carries over nicely to push presses/jerks. I do it once a week just so I don’t lose too much ground to my meathead Globo Gym friends, even if they can’t squat for shit.

    • bclaridad said

      Sure, I would agree with that. But there are other exercises more closely related to weightlifting that I would add in first for the Olympic weightlifting trainee. This is only my opinion, but I would say that tricep strength is one of the last things on my list of things that make for a great jerk. That being said, I recently added in a lot more general overhead work into CC’s program, things like: presses, push presses (this one I would say has been the most beneficial), snatch balances, push jerks (also a good one), and on occasion jerk recoveries. But I don’t think I would assign her bench press to assist her jerk.

      Another athlete of mine, Sarah is interested in having a strong bench press. And knowing that it is never a bad thing to be stronger in general (provided that she keeps up with her mobility) I have her benching once a week.

      I was serious when I said that more people interested in weightlifting should include it in their program, but I would say that it would be a hard sell to say that it has great carryover for someone interested strictly in olympic weightlifting.

      I’m sure you didn’t mean for me to actually give reasons for not valuing bench press in a weightlifting program, but I saw an opportunity to give my opinion somewhere and I took it.

  4. Terri with a heart over the "i" said

    Ben, consider augmenting your training regimen as such:

    Mon – Bench

    Wed – Bi’s

    Fri – Bench & Bi’s

  5. kecks said

    …guys. tueday is international chest and triceps day. never forget that. ever.

  6. […] and members Joel and Lauren! (text & video) Exercise hormone may fight obesity and diabetes “It is OK for weightlifters to bench press. It doesn’t look pretty. But it’s OK.” There are no clean slates and you don’t need […]

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