Tip #5: Don’t go full range on the bench press

Photo courtesy of bodybuilding.com

Another shocking revelation for you huh? Well, there is a scientific basis for this tip of mine so let me explain.

Our muscles fibers are comprised by motor units. These motor units are governed by the “all-or-none” principle. What this means is once the group of muscle fibers get the signal to contract, they all respond together. So its either they respond or they don’t. In the case of benching a weight above your chest, the same thing happens.Our chest or “pectoralis” muscle spans a wide attachment line along the sternum where it originates and inserts into your humerus bone ( Your upper arm). When you use lift a barbell, all the muscle fibers that is involved in the movement fire up.

But your next question would probably be…” why not all the way down to your chest since you feel the contraction more right“? Actually, the contraction you feel is a tug on your tendons. Once your elbows go past your body when doing a bench press, you’re already hyperextending your shoulder. Now unless you love your shoulders more than you love your personal record on the bench press, I suggest you stop when your arms are parallel to your body.

So, do you still want to go full range?

4 Thoughts

  1. what’s up bro? It’s Dave Pimentel, I used to workout at Planet Infinity. Just wanna say thanks coz you were the one who introduced me to the science behind working out and I still apply that knowledge with every workout and sports I’m in to. great tips, by the way! I’d love to hear some about developing the shoulders too. Keep up the good work! Best of luck to ya! 🙂

  2. Its not that terrible.Its not your fault because that’s how we’ve all been taught how to do the bench.My take on this is unless its necessary ( Joining a powerlifting meet etc.), you don’t have to go full range. After all we all want to go for efficiency right? So lets just move forward and adopt new ways to do things.

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