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    Chest Press in Power Rack

    I have a fitness test coming up for an LE job. I was given some bad information about a particular test, the % body weight push test. Most people thought it was a simple bench press test. However I found out today that the test occurs in a power rack with the safety bars as close to your chest as possible (typically 2-4 inches) while lying down, the bar bell is then placed on the safety bars. I then have to press/push the bar until my elbows lock out.

    The test coordinator says this test is easier then a basic bench press test and that my weight should be higher then a bench press, is that correct?

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    If you wouldn't mind commenting I would be interested in hearing what agency this is?

    I've lifted using similar technique pressing from my chest in a power rack and then really working the negative portion of the rep. I found that the first couple are tougher but once my body and joints are warm I'm good to go. I would say to make it easier when you set up on the bench really peel your shoulder blades together forcing you to open your chest. Set up with your hands at the narrows and line the bar up just below your nipple line. In my opinion if I were going for a one rep press max this is how I would set up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyFan87 View Post
    If you wouldn't mind commenting I would be interested in hearing what agency this is?
    It's going to be for National Park Service. They are trying to mimick the machine that they use at FLETC, with what they have (bench and power rack) at the location I will be working at.

    The machine at FLETC looks something similar to this:
    http://www.eye2lens.info/wp-content/...e/img_9355.jpg

    So the bar starts in the lowered position. According to the test coordinator they are looking more at press/push power and that is how they do it. Since there is some energy lost when lowering the bar during a traditional bench press.

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    You will not save energy or be able to bench press more weight starting a press from the bottom. It will negate the stretch reflex completely out of the equation. I can see how it would in fact be a better indicator of the ability to push something/someone off of you in a shtf situation,

    It will entirely negate the need to critique form or technique on the administrators part. Depending on how close the pins are acually set to your chest it could cost you a scant few percent or significantly reduce your total. It depends on a lot of variables: how low you normally lower the bar, how slowly you normally lower the bar, how quickly you switch from the eccentric to the concentric portions of your bench. etc etc.

    Benching from pins is a common accessory lift for benchers weak from the lower portion of their bench. It usually greatly reduces the amount of weight most people can bench. Do not wait until the test to find out. If you do not have pins, mimic the lift by lowering the bar to your chest and pausing for a few seconds, completely in the down posistion, to get an idea of the feel of things.

    There is a reason powerlifters have to wait for the command to press to get a qualifying lift. They wait until after a judge has determined the weight has come to a complete stop in the decent. It makes it harder to reverse to direction of travel, anyone disputing this has never tried a max or near max effort bench press, end of story.

    There is a reason most gym rats do partial reps and bounce the bar off their chest if they do bother going through a full range of motion. Because learning a proper set up and execution for the lift takes an understanding of body mechanics and technicalities most gym rats will never bother to attain. I suggest you watch the video "so you think you can bench press" on youtube. It is a good guide of what to do when benching. It is not everything there is to know but you will have a good base to work from if you watch it.

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    So here is my situation. Found out about this form for the test yesterday afternoon after three days of weights for upper body and push ups at the gym. I know I shouldn't have worked my arms that much but I did. And to say they were sore is an understatement.

    When I attempted to do this version of the test today I couldn't even do 145, did 135 easily. So I would assume with fresh arms I could have done 145.

    In order to meet standards I will need to be in the 165-170 range. The test date is May 7 so I have exactly a month to increace my weight by 20-25 pounds.

    Is increasing by this much in just a month possible? I have access to a 24/7 gym with a power rack and have no problems with getting into the gym. If you guys have any tips it would be greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by wildlife97; 04-05-2012 at 11:16 PM.

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    I would definetly say you should be able to get that much more if it is that low now. Like I said check out so you think you can bench, and go to t-nation.com's powerlifting forum. There is a post on the first page that reads "check out my new blog" by screen name storm the beach. He has a few really good tips for form and set up that are easy to implement and understand. You should be able to add quiet a bit of weight just getting your form dialed in and add 5 pounds a week or so for the first few months of lifting.

    If you are spending 60 minutes or more geting a good pump and trying to build a bigger chest, doing burn out sets of ab ripper nonsense, and following it all up with steady state low/moderate cardio, stop. You can do that later (although I strongly discourage it) but for now start working on form with just the bar for 4-5 sets then attacking the higher end of your limits/capabilities for a few GOOD sets. Start doing military press and the tricep execise storm the beach has on his blog it is killer. Those are the two things that effect your bench the most shoulder and tricep strength.

    If you can give yourself a few pounds by strengthening 2 or 3 different weak areas collectively you will easily get the needed gains. Start working you back also to give yourself a base to press from. Every time you do a set of any press do a set of pull ups or rows of some sort.

    Get after it and good luck.

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