Bill Starr Bench Press Program
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Bill Starr is a powerlifter who has been writing articles on strength training for many years and he has some very specific views on how to approach bench-press. Although he says that many top competitive weightlifters will avoid bench-press completely because it may reduce their flexibility and limit their ability to press overhead.
Bill explains that another reason why weightlifters do not bench-press is because of the tightening of the shoulders, which make jerking and snatching a lot more difficult. If you add this to the fact that these athletes do not want to add any muscle to their chest as the pectorals will contribute nothing towards helping to elevate more weight when doing an overhead movement.
Just like his 5 X 5 training program he designs them around three basic movements, and with his bench-press program he uses three primary exercises which are incline bench presses, some form of lifting overhead like a military press or jerks and push presses.
Bill stresses that technique is everything when it comes to getting results and that any form of cheating is just sloppy technique and must be avoided at all costs. He recommends that you start your incline bench-press with dumbbells to make sure that you are no feeling any uncomfortable pain when doing the movement. Correct form when doing incline bench-press is vitally important because one cannot rebound or cheat when doing inclines.
Bill says that most people touch the descending barbell too low on the chest by touching the same general area that they would when doing a flat bench-press. He says the correct way to perform incline bench-press is to make sure that the bar touches high on the chest in line with your Adams apple where the collarbone meets the breastbone.
He says that a spotter should be used not to help you get through a sticking point but to help guide you to replace the barbell on the uprights as often they are behind you and cannot be seen. The width of the grip on the barbell will depend on the width of your shoulders but your forearms should always be vertical and never too wide as this will add more stress to your shoulder joints and reduce the weight you can use.
Bill suggests that you use 5 sets of 5 reps and then do what he calls a back-off set of 8 to 10 reps. He recommends doing 3 sets of 5 reps as a warm-up followed by 3 sets of 5 reps with a heavy weight and then a back-off set of 8 to 10. The next exercise in Bills bench-press program is dips which should be done with a dipping belt so that more weight can be added.
Bill says that dips are a natural movement for the upper body and before any weight is added you should do as many reps as you can for 4 sets using a 2-0 tempo. When this can be done you are ready for weighted dips, which should be started with around 8 reps as you slowly move upwards adding more weight.
The last movement in Bills benching program is an overhead pressing movement like military press. Again only the strictest form will allow you to progress without injury and a warm-up of 20 reps with minimal weight should be done before starting with 5 X 5 and then a back-off set of 8 to 10 reps.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and
informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.