Had a dick head visit the Muscle Pit the other day. After crapping on for about 15 minutes on what he could bench, (240Kg raw for reps at 100kg body weight – the Australian Record by the way is 245Kg held by Adam Coe) he asked me to critique his bench. Hey, what the hell, I thought. I’m always keen to unearth the next big thing. The guy proceeded to warm up & begin his bench cycle to which he managed to bounce off his chest an undie stained 160Kg, which is pretty good for a novice weighing around 100Kg, but a long way from 240Kg.
After 5 minutes of excuses of why he never hit anywhere near 240Kg let alone 200Kg., which included, “I trained bench last night” , “ I have tendonitis of the elbows”, “not used to your bench”, “Haven’t eaten much today”. He asked… “So what do you think of my form”
Now the kid does have raw power & with a bit of technique training, coupled with strengthening a few glaring weaknesses, he has the potential to build a decent bench… I thought
I started my reply acknowledging his raw strength & his good points. Then suggested to advance his bench he’d need to strengthen his triceps as his lockout was his weak point at this stage, and as I’ve said 100 times a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. I also suggested he could improve his bench by tucking his elbows to bring his lat’s into play, which would create more stability on the concentric phase of the lift, plus add power off his chest. His grip on the bar could go wider which would cut distance off the lift and he needed to develop some drive with his legs.
His summation of that info was if I tuck my elbows I can’t lift as much, I’ve never got any benefit from driving with my legs and I don’t feel comfortable using a wider grip. My triceps are bit off today.
“So why the hell ask?” I thought. If your happy with your progress just continue doing what you’re doing. If you want someone to blow smoke up your butt, go to Langtrys’ the girls there will do most things for a hundred bucks (Perth’s best brothel, so I’m told).
It amazes me how short sighted some people are, sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone even to the point you may temporarily lift less to move beyond where you are today, especially if your lifts have stalled with no improvement for some time. Without a doubt with correct technique & a good work ethic he could dramatically improve. However with a crap attitude & over inflated ego this kid’s biggest lifts are always going to be of the verbal diarrhea kind.
One of the things I’ve tried to install in our novice lifters at the Muscle Pit is correct technique right from the start as the whole purpose for the powerlifter is to lift as much weight as possible. Technique is the foundation a lifter incorporates to build the best leverages possible. If you have good technique you can stress your strong points & eliminate weakness. More importantly it helps prevent injury.
From our own experience at the Muscle Pit we found some lifters weights initially went backwards, however as we built up their weakness they have all exceeded their old lifts and have developed an excellent base to keep advancing….. The Moral here is sometimes you need to go back one step to move forward two.
Oh! Yeah and second moral if you want to train at the Muscle Pit leave your ego at the front door or you’ll be out of there faster than a cat can lick it’s ass with it’s tail up and it’s tongue out…. Just ask our dickhead friend…