Where To Touch Chest To Maximize The Bench - Fix It Friday

The Problem - Touch Point On Bench

This may seem a puzzling issue to few but the advanced lifter knows that you need to be consistently lowering the bar to a spot on your chest that maximizes your ability to generate force off the chest. When repping out you want to hit this exact location every single time and when handling max effort weight it is essential to hit this spot to give yourself a chance to complete the lift.

You know you have a touch issue if you feel yourself having to correct your bar path once you begin the press. It is often noticeable under max loads, you will either start drifting towards the neck or drifting towards the feet because the alignment to push through the lift isn't there. 

The Fix - Weightless Bar Test

This is a trick I learned from Brandon Lilly. To find the perfect spot to touch on your chest, set up on the bench and hold an empty bar up. Slowly begin to bring the bar up over your face and then down to your waist. Do this about 5 times and note where the bar feels absolutely weightless in your hands. It helps if you want to close your eyes to focus in on your sensory information. There will be a spot where you can't feel the weight of the bar

Wherever the weightless spot might be, if you bring the bar down in a straight line that is where you need to touch the bar on your chest. This a great technique designed from a 600 lb raw bencher so there is merit to it. Work with lighter weights first and try to hit that spot on your chest consistently over and over again. Increase weight as you become more efficient and consistent

As a bonus discussion for more advanced lifters, something I've brought up in talk before in the gym is how you need be precise with how much you let the bar sink into your chest. You do not want to hold the entire weight of the bar barely gracing your t shirt because then you're basically doing a spoto press with maximal weight but you also need to watch how much you deload the bar into your chest or you will likely lose tightness to the bar.

This is something I've had to play around with a lot in raw benching and something I'm experiencing now with equipped benching in a shirt with great stopping power. There is a fine line in benching with how much weight you let deload into the chest. The more you sink in the easier it will be to have to rely on the leg drive thrust and you will likely lose tightness. It is something worth playing around with once you have the rest of your mechanics in order. The competition pause makes this a subject worth delving into.