Today we are working with the 3 phase Bench Press of the 5/3/1 template. The bench press is a great measure of upper-body strength, but as many lifters often ignore, it’s also outrageously technical – that is, if you want to move big weight. If you’re happy with moving 200 pounds like a grandma shoveling snow, then certainly, disregard the following paragraph. A technically sound bench press rests solidly on a foundation built by tension. Even though your back is resting soundly on a pad, looseness promotes energy leaks that demote power output. Since the body is a large piece of equipment, and the bench requires a great deal of technical tightness, let’s examine full-body tension in list form.
- Is your grip tight, and are your wrists straight?
- Have you “broken the bar?”
- Is your chest pushed up to the bar?
- Is there so much air in your abdomen that you feel it pressing into your spine?
- Are your feet pressed into the floor with so much force that your glutes feel like they could cramp?