According to strength coach Mark Rippetoe, “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general.”
When CrossFitters think of a strong athlete, they probably imagine someone like Neal Maddox cleaning 365 lbs or Dave Lipson deadlifting over 600 lbs. When it comes to the bench press, however, most CrossFitters don’t necessarily think of it as a test of functional strength, so they don’t use it often in their training program. The truth is that if your goal is to become a stronger athlete, there is no denying the value of the bench press. Learn more about this important lift and how to do it better.
Bench Press = Good for Beginners
According to Mark Rippetoe, the bench press may be the best lift for introducing pressing strength to a novice athlete. In his CrossFit Journal article, he explains:
Benching provides hard active work for the chest, shoulders, and arms and isometric work for the forearms. It trains novice lifters the fundamental skill of pushing on a very heavy load, perhaps its most useful function. When people first start training, they have no experience with maximal effort. The bench press is a very good place to learn how to bear down and push hard, and this invaluable lesson translates to all the other slow lifts quite well.
CrossFit West Sacramento also endorses the bench press as “a suitable exercise for any beginning strength trainee who is deficient in upper extremity strength….The low skill nature of this exercise lends itself very nicely to the novice lifter.” Steve Mologousis of functionalathlete.com adds: “There are not very many exercises that will allow you to load up the kind of weight the bench press allows you to do.”
For many athletes, the shoulder press “is quick to stall, but pushing the bench press up is a good way to gauge whether your overall pressing strength is increasing or staying stagnant.”
Women in particular often struggle with lacking the gymnastic strength required for movements like pull-ups and full push-ups. The bench press is a movement that can aid in developing both upper body strength and tricep strength at a much lower percentage of one’s bodyweight. The bench press is a foundational lift that can build much-needed absolute upper body strength.
Better Bench Press = Better Shoulder Press
CrossFitDoneRight advocates for the value of the bench press as an assistance exercise for the shoulder press. For many athletes, the shoulder press “is quick to stall, but pushing the bench press up is a good way to gauge whether your overall pressing strength is increasing or staying stagnant.” Both of these lifts demand that athletes improve their upper back (lats) strength in order to provide a base for the pressing action.
One of the keys to a solid bench press is maintaining full body tension, from your feet pushing off the floor all the way to your tight grip on the bar.
Furthermore, CrossFit Asheville describes the use of the close grip bench press as an indicator of upper body strength. According to them, the ideal ratio of one’s 1RM close-grip bench press to one’s 1RM back squat shouldn’t be any lower or any higher than 66%. That is, if “legs too strong (Close Grip Bench Press < 66%)…you’ll have trouble catching the bar correctly and are likely to create injury to the neck and shoulders long term. Arms too strong (Close Grip Bench Press > 66%) and you’ll likely pull early with your arms and damage your elbows and wrists.”
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09Apr, 2014Categories:UncategorizedComments:No Comments Thursday April 10Better hip folding for toes to barhttp://www.mobilitywod.com/?s=toes+to+barLow backhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUKhljDYOZM3-6-9-12-15Box JumpsT2BOver head walking lungesLeave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not b...
Everyone is invited to join PCFer ML Gilbride's family and friends in a celebration of her life and legacy by participating in a CrossFit WOD in her honor. All are welcome to participate, spectate, or just come out to honor our friend. Registration link and details below.
Want to make your race experience more social? Plancast helps you discover what your friends are doing in the coming days, weeks and months. Now you can share your experience and distribute your photos and videos from a recent event through Twitter and Facebook instantly with your friends and fans.A...
Written by Neal Jamison, Brickhouse CrossFit Endurance Coach A couple years ago, back when we were still at the old 310 address, I challenged some of the endurance athletes to start running a short distance immediately after their WODs. The Big 6:30 ...
FREE COMMUNITY CLASSES!!! Saturdays at 10am are now open to our local Community and our NECF Friends and Family! Been wanting to try Crossfit, but been to nervous?!?! Come as a guest to NECF for a great beginner style workout. Coaches will be there to welcome and instruct you through basic Crossfit movements to keep you safe and efficient while you work. Current members are welcome as long as they bring a guest:) We hope this will be a great opportunity for more of our neighbors to get involved and see how NECF and being a part of our family can greatly improve health and daily life. Look forward to seeing you soon!
So the Open is over and you are a broken, weary Crossfitter. What now? Is your mobility a daily struggle? Do your shoulders give you problems when going overhead? Do you get no repped on OHS for not hitting depth? Understanding how your muscles interact with each other is key for moving better, gain...
Sometimes your PR might not seem so awesome compared to big-time CrossFitters, but remember that you are probably stronger than almost everyone you know!
Check out this article for some numbers to shoot for at different levels.
Outlaws, we are happy to offer you a new specialty course on Thursdays and Sundays. As always, this course is a free offering for all members. Thursday classes will begin April 24, and Sunday classes will begin April 27.
Meghan, our new in house sports massage therapist will be in tonight from 5-9. If you are feeling sore, need a little recovery or just want to treat yourself be sure to see her. It's a game a changer!!!
Outlaws, we are happy to announce a new specialty class we will be offering on Thursdays and Sundays! Check out the flyer below for more info on Yoga for Outlaws! Thursday classes start April 24th and Sunday classes start April 27th.
Strength: Dead Lift
10x Empty Bar
10x 20% of 1RM
10x 50% of 1RM
3x5 85-90% of 1RM
3xMax Strict Pull-Ups (In between Sets of Dead Lifts)
10 Thrusters 95/65