olympic weightlifting bench press

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of bench pressing specific to the specific needs and goals of Olympic weightlifters, and how, when, and why coaches and athletes should program these into their training routines. While you're probably right, not everybody is a huge purist. If you want to take the guesswork out of programming, use the Fitbod app. Non-vertical pressing variations, like bench presses, can be included to balance out all the overhead pressing movements that often occur, which may also be responsible for sluggish strength increases (rather, the lack of varying movements can create stagnation and blunt muscular adaptation). Having more upper body mass will help you provide sufficient padding and muscle tissue to absorb the load and impact during Olympic weightlifting movements. While it's possible to maintain overhead flexibility, benching still lacks any worthy carryover to constitute spending much time on it outside of wanting a bigger chest and bigger bench numbers to tell people. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. Whenever I see one of these questions, I immediately translate it as: "I want to keep bench pressing cuz benching. You never hear female lifters asking these questions or focusing on benching at all, yet in general females learn the jerk more easily and quickly than male lifters, have better technique, and don't typically have "lockout issues", etc., or any of the problems males try to 'fix' or 'improve' by benching. Editors note: This article is an op-ed. Like other overhead athletes (such as baseball, track and field throwers, and American football), chest training via bench pressing and dips is generally said to place high amounts of stress and strain on the shoulder joint. Don't think that doing bench will improve your total like a squat would, but if you want to bench, just bench man. Would bench press still be useless then? Have a question or comment?

It's an accessory lift for an accessory lift, I wouldn't recommend it. If your jerk technique is excellent, benching will not help you lockout more weight overhead. Five-time world champion L Xiaojun shares the reason he doesn't try to shoot for big bench numbers. While bench pressing, which occurs in the horizontal plane, is not movement-specific to the snatch and jerk, it can offer athletes increased muscle mass, upgrade the amount of muscle fibers we have, and enhance ones ability to produce force across a wide array of pressing angles. Email us: info[at]barbend.com, Rows, pull-ups, face pulls, farmers carries, and other back focused movements need to be emphasized in weightlifting training to support the stress of this overhead sport. You need strong midline stability to lift a heavy bar off your chest. To fully address this chest training question for weightifters, I feel its best to break down: The benefits of training chest for Olympic weightlifters, Why some weightlifting coaches are against training chest, The best chest exercises for weightlifters. Instead, maybe add chest to the accessory segment following the jerks and snatches, or on a day where a rest day follows. Lately I've been benching one heavy-ish set a week and slowly progressing it just for fun. There are a few situations in which I would advise not bench pressing, (1) in the event a lifter has a specific shoulder injury/impingement, however I would then question why they are doing explosive overhead movements (2) lifters who currently have limited shoulder range of motion in which mobility should be the primary concern prior to strengthening and stabilizing the shoulder, and (3) in elite weightlifters (as in the those compete on national stages with their finances and livelihood on the line) in which I would suggest taking a deeper looking to the true needs and goals of a lifter prior to jumping directly into bench press training. "Bench Press? Therefore, treat the bench press as any other assistance exercise (meant to supplement an already amazing program, not to replace or deter from primary goals), and attack your mobility for the pecs, shoulder, and triceps in similar fashion to dips and other pressing movements. The bench press is the end all, be all for lots of guys in the gym. Xiaojun actually advises that weightlifters (the athletes competing in the sport of weightlifting, not just guys lifting weights in the gym) avoid bench pressing on the whole because it can restrict shoulder mobility, which is essential for the overhead maneuvers of the sport. lifter reebok legacy og Therefore, many coaches will look at those movements and discredit the benefits of chest training, stating that because a lifter does not press weight in the horizontal direction (rather, they lift weight vertically), that there is no benefit in training the chest for Olympic weightlifters. Squat VS Hip Thrust: Which Is Better For Growing Your Glutes? I often find that lifters (myself included) do only enough back training to survive, and many, do wonders for your overall muscle and strength development, A video posted by Mike Dewar (@mikejdewar), my reasoning for arm-specific training for weightlifters, A photo posted by Mike Dewar (@mikejdewar), Hunter Labrada Explains What Optimal Rest Periods Are, Brian Shaw and Bobby Thompson Train Legs Together to Prep for the 2022 Shaw Classic, John Haack (90KG) Bench Presses 272.5 Kilograms (600 Pounds) in Training, Chris Bumstead Believes Stem Cell Treatments Strengthen His Kidneys and Immune System, The Best Creatine Supplements for Bulking, Mixing, and More, Best Pre-Workout Supplements For Muscle Gain, Weight Loss, And More, Best Home Gyms For the Money, Bodybuilding, and More, The Best Barbells For CrossFit, Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Deadlifts, and More, Athletic Greens Review Price, Flavor and Nutrition Breakdown. tl;dr If you're new-ish to weightlifting, and are SERIOUS about learning the jerk well, forget about benching entirely. Long answer: It's good for packing on upper body mass if you're moving up a weight category and for overloading the triceps. Xiaojun guesses 120 or 130kg, which would equal about 265 or 287 pounds. I prefer to add 3-5 sets of one of the movements above, 1-2 times per week depending on the needs and goals of the lifter. Rows, pull-ups, face pulls, farmers carries, and other back focused movements need to be emphasized in weightlifting training to support the stress of this overhead sport. I've always stood by the bench press as a great pressing movement. Take Chinese Olympic weightlifter L Xiaojun. It could have minimal effect in improve the jerk due to a stronger overhead ability, but for the most part, no. What do you think in terms of shoulder, arm development, and overall benefits for a weightlifter when comparing push press to strict press? Unfortunately, this reasoning is flawed, as chest training can and does help many lifters who struggle with upper body strength, front rack positioning in the clean, and even increasing lean body mass. L said he doesn't bench because it would hinder his catch position in the snatch and squat jerk. During times of increased pressing (bench press, dips, push ups, overhead press variations, etc) coaches and athletes should additionally increase the amount of back training. Even so, his interviewer presses forward, asking how much Xiaojun would estimate that he can bench presseven a gold medalist can't escape the question. Otherwise avoid it and use that time for pulls, jerks, and other accessory work that will provide the most bang for your buck in the competition lifts. Slap some plates on the barbell, slide onto the bench, and move that weight. Another time when chest training should be decreased is if a lifter is experiencing pain, stiffness, or general limitations performing other movements due to increased soreness or immobility following chest training days. "Even worse, if you form a habit, it's not a good habit.". If yours is to build chest muscle and push big weight on the bench, the bench press is a great exercise. Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. If that's what you want, then go for it. Ultimately, push pressing is the one movement which, if you had to pick just one, you would want to do to work on upper body strength and mass. Strict overhead pressing is highly transferable to the push press and jerk variations, and can drastically impact overall muscular development. Mike has published over 500+ articles on premiere online media outlets like BarBend, BreakingMuscle, Mens Health, and FitBob, covering his expertise of strength and conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, strength development, fitness, and sports nutrition. The lumbar arch that you see powerlifters do when benching is so that they can drive hard into the floor with their legs, while pushing hard toward the bench with their hips (the glutes can't leave the bench for three whites). While I do agree that lifters should be performing strict overhead lifts regularly before they add bench press, I do feel that bench press can decrease overuse issues coming from training in the same vertical patterning day in and day out. To reiterate, bench pressing is not the root of all evil, rather, unbalanced training with minimal to no recovery practices to counter the high levels of joint, tissue, and muscular loading that occurs in weightlifting. Learn more about the differences between push jerk vs push press. It is also important to place this on a day where you will not be conflicting with the ensuing training session: For example: If you are to do jerks and snatches on Day 3 of a program, it may not make the most sense to train chest on Day 2 as this could impede with pressing strength and lockout performance (triceps). Additionally, performing handstand push-ups (non-kipping) builds high amounts of triceps, shoulders, and upper chest strength making this a great movement for more advanced lifters. Learn more about Reddits use of cookies. Both movements are highly technical and rely on muscle coordination, flexibility, timing, strength, and power. Are you a beginner? He goes on to explain that lifts that involve pressingstrict press, bench press, and push pressare his weakest lifts. Both competition movements (snatch and clean and jerk) rely on leg, back, and overhead strength primarily, with the shoulders and triceps being used to support the bar in the overhead position of both the snatch and jerk. We welcome discussions regarding elite athletes, amateur athletes, competition strategy, training, theory, technique, Weightlifting programming, and current events in the sport of Weightlifting. When adding chest training exercises within a training program, look no further than these 7 chest-building movements. The views expressed on this site may come from individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the view of BarBend or any other organization. Not only are these great ways to stimulate chest growth and upper body strength, but they can also help reinforce triceps development, scapular stability, and improve lockout strength needed in the snatch and jerk. It will take into account your prior training history, ability level, and goals. BarBend is an independent website. Sure, tight pecs and triceps can make placing a heavy barbell overhead more challenging if they arent maintaining mobility, however it can also help increase overall strength, muscle mass, and weightlifting potential. If you have ever caught a clean on the collarbones or on the bony aspect of the shoulder, you know how painful that is and how you are more likely to try to avoid it the next time around. Additionally, the shoulders are trained in high volumes in Olympic weightlifting (snatches, jerks, presses, overhead squats, etc), making the floor press a great way to give them a break while still training the upper body. It will give you weightlifting workouts based on your logged training data to make sure youre progressing in the most optimal way possible.

Olympic weightlifting is a sport in which a lifters success is ultimately determined by their performance in the snatch and clean and jerk. Ain't nothing wrong with it, you probably do this as a hobby, don't tell yourself you can't do an exercise you like because you weight lift. In some cases bench pressing, done in reasonable and well-balanced doses, could do wonders for your overall muscle and strength development that may directly impact long-term progress.

Probably won't help, but as long as you manage your volume carefully it probably won't interfere either. "This is different to weightlifting," he says. Bench pressing is often a touchy subject when we talk about accessory training for Olympic weightlifters. Take a look at the 5 Tips Every Beginner Olympic Weightlifter Should Know. Validate me so I can justify it!". Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author. Let me make some more advocacy for the devil here, since I came to weightlifting via powerlifting. The incline barbell bench press is a great foundational upper body strength exercise. There are a few reasons why some coaches feel strongly against training the chest in Olympic weightlifting. Some weightlifting coaches dont think you should train chest. So I'd recommend against it. Get in touch: This relationship can then span to overall improvements in pressing strength and upper body mass; both of which are beneficial for lifting heavy loads in weightlifting. A photo posted by Mike Dewar (@mikejdewar) on Aug 19, 2016 at 10:21am PDT. Hes a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), USA Weightlifting Advanced Coach, and has over 10+ years of experience working with collegiate athletes, national level lifters, and beginners alike. Related Article: Strength vs. Power: 5 Main Differences You Should Know. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, This Simple Drill Builds Forearm Strength, This Outdoor Lunge Series Builds Your Legs, A Physical Therapist's Tips for a Better Deadlift, Trainer Shares How to Deadlift for Hamstring Gains, Apply for Our Strength In Diversity Program Here, Men's Health Knows There Is Strength in Diversity, Marcus Filly Ends Arm Day With This KB Finisher, The EZ Bar Incline Row Lets You Lift Heavy, A Strength Coach Ranked All the Glutes Exercises, An Olympic Weightlifter Explains Why He Never Bench Presses. The more reps in a set, the less sets I program. Adding chest specific training exercises, like the ones below, in addition to shoulder strengthening exercises can help you develop a well-rounded upper body ready to take on 315lb clean and jerks, anyday. You really have to stretch your pecs out real good if you bench though because if not you will start to have trouble in that overhead position. So I'm not a huge advocate of it. Additionally, you can perform the bench in a way that develops fast twitch muscles in the upper body, which I think would be useful for snatch/CJ. I personally only bench maybe once every 2-3 months, and not even heavy but for speed. While this is generally a fair assessment, the fault of poor mobility lies not with chest training, but the lack of proper shoulder and overhead mobility training within a weightlifting program.

It is no secret that a strong overhead press, push press, and general upper body strength is highly beneficial to Olympic weightlifting. In the event a lifter is looking to increase triceps strength and muscle development to specifically impact the overhead stabilization of their lifts, bench press variations (close grip, neutral grip, etc) could be a worthy alternative to dips. Some athletes may actually prefer bench pressing, as it offers variety to ones usually mundane training cycles (snatch, clean, jerk, squat, pull, repeat) and/or can offer a less painful alternative to stronger and more advanced athletes who are sensitive to heavy loaded or high volume (sets and reps) dip training.

Related Article: Low Pec Workout: 9 Best Exercises & Sample Program. In the very least, when you are cruising the beaches at the American Open Series II national weightlifting meet in Miami, Florida, you may find yourself walking a little taller and a tad more confident, both potentially translating to greater successes on the platform and beyond. Yes, weightlifters should train their chest, as well as all other muscles to develop muscular balance, increase lean body mass, and help minimize injury. Generally speaking, I program 3-5 reps for strength, 6-8 reps for strength and hypertrophy, and 10-15 for general fitness and muscle building. Can You Build Muscle With Light Weights? We will dive deeper into the weightlifting benefits of chest training later. In Mikes spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, travelling the world, coaching, whiskey and craft beer, and spending time with his family and friends. While this may technically be more of a shoulder/overhead pressing movement, I suggest lifters learn how to properly support themselves in the handstand position. Let the Fitbod app program your next weightlifting workout. Price and other details may vary based on product size and color. While this can vary lifter to lifter, it is generally a good idea to slash overall chest training volume at times when a lifter is training more intensely in the classic lifts (snatch, clean, and jerk). Youre seeing this ad based on the products relevance to your search query. It reduces shoulder and chest mobility which weakens the snatch, and the jerk is mostly a leg lift so it won't help much. Dips are another bodyweight movement that can be used to increase upper body pressing strength and muscle mass, specifically for the chest and triceps. But the bench press is actually an expression of a specific type of strengthand there are guys who are absolutely, undisputedly strong don't even spend any time on the lift because their training goals are focused elsewhere and they need to move differently to achieve those goals. Without adherence to a balanced training approach, sound technique, and regular stretching and recovery practices, bench presses; as well as snatches, jerks, squats, deadlifts, and dips can all result in tightness that will affect mobility during the Olympic lifts. If you are an Olympic weightlifter, you may have heard coaches tell athletes that bench press is useless, and that training the chest will make them less flexible for snatches and jerks.

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