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.”
Monday August 25, 2014
A. Find 1 RM Back Squat
Bar x 5 x 2
55% x 5
65% x 3
75% x 2
then do singles to fnd a 1RM.
B. WTD Pull
Ups. 2.2.2 rest 15 sec/rest 2 min x 2
AD 20 sec AFAP, rest 2:00
X5 p1,p2,p3,p4,p5 share an AD. Record calories of each round to the board.
Of the day
10 1-minute rounds of:
315-lb. deadlifts, 3 reps
60-yard shuttle sprint (5 yards, 10 yards, 15 yards)
Max reps burpee
Rest 2 minutes between rounds. Post number of burpees completed each round to comments.
SWOD Front Squat 5×5 w/3 sets @ 75% WOD “OPEN WOD 13.4″ Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes: STANDARD: 3 clean and jerks @135/95LBS, 3 toes-to-bar, 6 clean and jerks @135/95LBS, 6 toes-to-bar, 9 clean and jerks @135/95LBS, 9 toes-to-bar, 12 clean and jerks @135/95LBS, 12 toes-to-bar, 15 c
WOD: “FRAN” 21-15-9 Thrusters 95/65 Pull-ups For time! Midline: 3 rounds 1 min weighted plank hold Rest 90 sec 25 banded good mornings Rest 90 sec Well it’s finally here. We have been working on thrusters all month. “Fran” is… [ 51 more words. ]
Check out Napua!!
Name: Napualokelani (Napua or Pua)
Why did you choose to do the Powerlifting Seminar?
I liked the way lifting weights made me feel as an active teenager and having not lifted on a regular basis for many years, I wanted to revisit it and get stronger.
What were 3 of your goals when starting powerlifting?
Gain strength, build muscle & find a new program that would enhance my overall fitness goals.
Have you achieved those goals?
What type of body composition changes have you seen since starting powerlifting with CrossFit?
Although I’m not as lean as I’d like to be YET, I have seen great changes in the definition of my upper arms & thighs the most. And my ass is sitting higher & tighter than it ever has in my life!
What are your goals for the future in fitness, CrossFit and powerlifting?
My goals for powerlifting are to get stronger, build endurance, build more muscle and perhaps compete in powerlifting events locally. I’d also be interested in encouraging women to powerlift and articulate the benefits.
My main goal for CrossFit, specifically over the next year, are to attack my weaknesses, which usually involve bodyweight skills and drop weight via a combination of powerlifting and high intensity interval training (met cons).
Anything else you want to add:
Big Mahalo to Coach Nick for his guidance, encouragement & programming. I may have complained about certain accessory work while doing them, but trust me, it came from a place of love as I am a believer in the program. Westside Barbell’s methods are proven and #powerliftingwithnick = GAINS! It would be highly inappropriate if I didn’t also acknowledge my fellow power athletes who are all sources of inspiration to me in their own right. Keep on lifting heavy shit!!
The fall semester for CrossFit Kids will begin September 17th and run until December 13th. New kids interested in joining our program start a week earlier, meeting on both September 10th and 13th to learn foundational movements and exercises.
Here is everything you need to know:
Classes are 30 minutes long
Classes are held Wednesday at 4:15pm and Saturday at 10:00am (15 minutes later than in the past)
Children aged 5-12 are welcome to participate.
Direct questions to email@example.com
ONLY 4 SPOTS REMAIN...DON'T DELAY, CLICK HERE TODAY...
We strive to make fitness fun for our kids. Every session includes a warm-up, focus work on a basic athletic movement and or gymnastics skill, a short Workout of the Day, and most importantly (for our younger ones), a game. It's the same strength and conditioning program that you LOVE but with scale…
If you are interested in a healthier lifestyle which includes information and support about healthy eating combined with a strength and conditioning program, stop by Intense today at 2 pm to take part in our Paleo Challenge meeting. We will discuss what "Paleo" means, the benefits of eating whole foods, and how our Challenge will work with our members. Don't wait another day to make a decision that could change your life - just DO IT!!! See you at 2 pm!
Congratulations to our athletes who qualified to compete at the onsite Individual competition at CrossFit Beckley on Saturday, September 13th: Men's Open: Gage Hannah, Dale Childs, Kenny Hacker, and Bryan Wilson. Women's Open: Candy Wilson, Ali Gross, and Dominica Hermosilla. Women's 40+: Heather Rider, Tina Mascaro, and Misty Garlow. Men's 40+: Brian Menzies and Doug Hannah. Women's 50+: Kim Wilson and Gayla Channell Daoust. We are proud of all of our members who competed and who pushed themselves to get their first pistol, chest-to-bar pull-up, PR'd their clean and deadlift, and gave it their all! Tomorrow we look forward to "getting back to normal" with our programming as we begin test week and start our ring-dip focus.
Big congrats to our own Lindsey and Nicole from Crossfit RVA on their victory at Team Superfit Richmond this weekend in the Female Rx division! Also, Levi and Kayla finished 13th in the Male/Female Novice, and Coard and Jess were 14th in the Male/Female Rx. Congrats to all of our CFC competitors! You make the gym proud! #ponyjacoby #crossfitchesapeake #cfcbuildschampions #firebreathingunicorns
If you want an #iambeastmode Signature Athlete shirt (and I think you do) now is the time!!! They are on sale for 50% off PLUS use Ann's code: ANN20 and you get another 20% off....70% off TOTAL!!! Get some!!!
Way to go Jason Thomas! Exhausted after kicking ass in the CAL Final Competition at CrossFit Impavidus. Such a fun time and a great group of people to compete with and against! Can't wait to get a CFA team together for upcoming competitions!