Comp bench has nothing to do with benching for pec hypertrophy. Its not a big deal to recognise that. Feasibly the most annoying thing in the gym is to bench, and someone tell you not to arch or its bad for your back (or its cheating).
At the end of the day, its sometimes BETTER to meet in the middle and say ‘oh yer, I am cheating range of motion, in a pressing contest, all the matters is it touches the body, so we make the body higher, I agree a larger range of motion is better for chest development’.
A personal gripe we have is with lifters that get all aggressive and angry and yell ‘its better for shoulder health’ when we all know what we are doing. Its bad for the sport not to help people understand, and creates this odd idea the powerlifters are the odd people in the corner that take too long between lifts. Anyone in a gym is a friend, we are all here with common goals.
Some of the people here do a ‘bro bench’ day, shoulders retracted and minimal arch, and a comp bench day. Its fine, and its actually very helpful for getting out of the hole. Some of us are actually coming back to gym with a mesocycle of minimal arch – just to get swole before we work on technique.
High level benching may be the most difficult of the three lifts. When you get to close to your genetic potential, you are now living in a world of ‘perfect grove’ or no lift. Bro benching is so much less mentally taxing, and doing reps of fun. Both movements have there merits, and its good to involve both in your lifting.
Bonus bench tip - stay consistent in path - (we plan around the nip). Almost all of us will have a sweet spot for bench - and the more consistent you are, and the more you hit the groove - the better bencher you are.
Beginners often really get a lot of value from a chalk line on their chest so they hit the bar in the same place every time. No matter what stage you are - from first warm up of the day to the last single - make sure you hit the bar in the very same exact place - and your bench will prosper. Personally - I'm about 1cm below the nip - thats how I remember!
Train as many grips as you can – before you specialise. Over under is the easiest – but training it one way from day one does not give you the strongest grip.
Double overhand is (obviously) the ‘harder’ grip – and will allow you to tax those gripping muscles. You should commit to getting a huge grip if you want a huge deadlift.
Some people with the ‘right thumbs’ are super strong hook grip, but if you have stubby fingers and fat thumbs, its unlikely to be super strong.
If you are a over under person, make sure to practice ‘both ways’
Pro Tip 3
More narrow foot forward squat ( high bar or saftey bar ) are brutal on quads AND the musculature that stops you from good morning-ing weights when things get heavy.
If you get pitched forward a lot, consider this as a tactic to built the lower and mid back. This was a huge issue for some of our athletes, to the extent we would have them pretend to 'throw the bar back at the spotter' - ie, actively keeping the bar over mid foot.
Do not go heavy on these and pitch forward. If you have spotters, a great exercise is to squat only on or two inches from the uprights, so you can actively see when you are leaning forward.