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Long arms, no bench press...Agree or Disagree?

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  • Long arms, no bench press...Agree or Disagree?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncuzW7RLK-A

    I was watching this the other day and found myself nodding my head as Abel was talking about how ineffective (and potentially dangerous) it is to bench for long limbed individuals. It's interesting to see someone knowledgeable back this up though, because I had to find this out the hard way (AKA, getting bad shoulder pain, luckily I stopped before I injured myself).
    Disclaimer: I am not a DC trainee/expert/guru/coach, anything I say is purely my opinion based on experience and research I've read

  • #2
    I am about 6'1" but have the arm span of someone about 6'5", I benched for years and always had shoulder pain. stopped flat bench about 2 years ago and moved to incline and decline movements and the should pain is gone.
    If stupidity were bricks, you'd be the great wall of China

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    • #3
      For muscle mass I wouldn't use it at all, ever. But as someone with long arms, I've been able to adapt well to the movement. I don't think anyone should ever do the movement "bodybuilder" style as it's just too hard on, well, the body. But "powerlifter" style can work well and minimize the dangers. But if you're just interested in putting on muscle, there are tons of more effective and less dangerous movements to use.
      Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
      kind of a douche

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sammich View Post
        For muscle mass I wouldn't use it at all, ever. But as someone with long arms, I've been able to adapt well to the movement. I don't think anyone should ever do the movement "bodybuilder" style as it's just too hard on, well, the body. But "powerlifter" style can work well and minimize the dangers. But if you're just interested in putting on muscle, there are tons of more effective and less dangerous movements to use.
        i have to say this is spot on.

        when I was at golds and I didn't know anything about benching, i did get some shoulder pain that was there on almost all movements. I stopped benching until I started training more like a powerlifter. In the 1 1/2 years training like that I have no problems with my shoulder, and actually feel my shoulders are stronger and more flexible now then before.

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        • #5
          I don't agree. Stop bench pressing due to long arms? Perhaps short armed individuals should stop deadlifting using the same logic aswell. Long arms = poor bench, good deadlift. Short arms = poor deadlift, good bench (in general). You just deal with the cards you've given. That's life.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by heavyset View Post
            I don't agree. Stop bench pressing due to long arms? Perhaps short armed individuals should stop deadlifting using the same logic aswell. Long arms = poor bench, good deadlift. Short arms = poor deadlift, good bench (in general). You just deal with the cards you've given. That's life.
            Does deadlifting with short arms predispose you to an increased potential injury?
            Journal http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=51093

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            • #7
              I am 6'0" and went back to flat benching to bring up my chest... IMO just keep form rock solid and keep reps above 6 and problems should be minimal. As you can see from my profile pic my arms are pretty long.
              2014 NPC Mr MN State TBD
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              • #8
                Originally posted by heavyset View Post
                I don't agree. Stop bench pressing due to long arms? Perhaps short armed individuals should stop deadlifting using the same logic aswell. Long arms = poor bench, good deadlift. Short arms = poor deadlift, good bench (in general). You just deal with the cards you've given. That's life.
                Originally posted by Adam2433 View Post
                Does deadlifting with short arms predispose you to an increased potential injury?
                I concur with Adam...

                From what I've seen it seems that lifters are TRYING to mimic having shorter arms with deficit deads (looks like it in Adam's avatar) to make their deadlift better...Not sure if I see a lot of benchers mimicking having longer arms on bench to make it better...(I guess you can use a bar like this if you were so inclined http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...160_AA160_.jpg)
                Last edited by theroymccoy; 05-25-2011, 01:18 PM.
                Max Muscle
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                • #9
                  I'm 6ft with a 78" reach and have no issues benching. I'm not a powerlifter but have done 365 in a PL competition
                  Bryan


                  Colorado Patriot Guard Rider

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                  • #10
                    I have long arms also and I keep my form tight as possible. I think it all comes down to what the goals of the individual are and if there are more effective (not easier) ways of doing things to get the desired result
                    Twitter:@badbadleroyb

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sammich View Post
                      I don't think anyone should ever do the movement "bodybuilder" style as it's just too hard on, well, the body. But "powerlifter" style can work well and minimize the dangers.
                      I agree with this. When I used to bench with a wider grip, I found it uncomfortable and awkward. I learned a lot about bench form from the 5/3/1 book as well as videos of Wendler and now I use the same grip he uses, which is considerably closer than how a bodybuilder would bench. I also make sure to tuck my elbows.

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                      • #12
                        I'm 6'5 with extremely long arms and slight pectus excavatum, and have never been able to progress with the bench press, I subbed in dips for my main pressing exercise and saw much better progress as I'm not trying to become a powerlifter.

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                        • #13
                          What would you do if you didn't bench press? Flyes and crossovers only?

                          This is similar to the people who advise against squatting if you've got a high waist. Then again, it's Scott Abel who's sort of being making up bullshit for years.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by theroymccoy View Post
                            I concur with Adam...

                            From what I've seen it seems that lifters are TRYING to mimic having shorter arms with deficit deads (looks like it in Adam's avatar) to make their deadlift better...Not sure if I see a lot of benchers mimicking having longer arms on bench to make it better...(I guess you can use a bar like this if you were so inclined http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...160_AA160_.jpg)
                            One of the best benchers ever Mike MacDonald (582 raw at 220) used to do them like that as an assistance move, you don't see it that much these days tho..
                            PM me to discuss website/video/dvd etc. related work.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gmarceau View Post
                              What would you do if you didn't bench press? Flyes and crossovers only?

                              This is similar to the people who advise against squatting if you've got a high waist. Then again, it's Scott Abel who's sort of being making up bullshit for years.
                              We're talking about bench press as in flat barbell bench press. Not all pressing movements.

                              And no, it's not similar.

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