Doing My Homework: Hitting the Bench

Following the Strength Builder I program has been going well. I’ve worked hard to overcome and fix issues in my back squat, overhead press and deadlift. I feel comfortable with these three. However, I missed two bench sessions coming back from holidays and benched once in the past month. It is still my weakest bench and I have only myself to blame.

I knew it was time to do some research, as well as some homework. Watched several videos on YouTube and this one by the omniscient Alan Thrall was the most succinct:

Yes, I know my diet hasn’t been great and I haven’t fixed it yet. I do have plans to start meal-planning in the fall, but for now, I will just focus on form.

I scrubbed through a couple of old videos I had stashed on Vimeo. The most glaring mistake that I’ve been repeating is having a poor bar path. I start of strong, stacked in a good place over the shoulders, back arched, forearms and lats engaged. You can even see H. is smiling; everything looks good on her end!

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 9.04.41 PM

As I bring the barbell down, things are good but you can see that I am not returning to the original position. The distance I have deviated from the original position is shown in green. It doesn’t look like much -only a few inches – but by doing so, it has changed the nature of this exercise into a shoulder raise rather than a bench press:

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 9.05.22 PM

So I’ve got some homework to do! Our next (and last session as as trio) will be on Monday. Will have to bring the iPad in and do a lot of filming!


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