The art of touching in a bench shirt, part II

To reiterate what I stated in my previous post:

Here’s what you can do to make light weights easier to touch in a bench shirt:
- Don’t wear a belt (this will allow the shirt to rise up making it easier to lower the bar)
- Don’t set the shirt too low
- Touch the highest point vertically on your belly/chest
- Tuck your elbows as much as possible in order to touch
- I recommend lifting your head to be able to see the ideal spot to touch

How to successfully press back up after touching:
It can be a struggle to touch, so you don’t want to go through all of that only to fail or dump the weight.
- Try to make the first motion back towards your head/where you started from. If you push straight up the bar will most likely stall.
- Once you get to about halfway up flare your elbows out to catch the weight from its momentum and lock it out over your line of vision where it started.
- Make sure to hold the bar at the top before racking it. You also don’t want to go through the trouble of touching and pressing the weight only to have it not count due to not waiting for the commands.

Here are some off my additional suggestions:
Don’t force the weight down. If you do then you’re almost guaranteed to dump it. I’m not a fan of the “row the bar” or “pull the bar to your chest/belly” idea. The mere concept of this would distract from the primary muscles that are supporting the weight (your chest, anterior delts, triceps) and place it onto your lats. Your lats may provide some shoulder stability and tricep support, but they’re not doing much as far as moving the weight is concerned.

I recommend only lowering the bar as far as it will go with your belly filled with air and elevated as high as it can go as well as your elbows tucked as much as possible.

Here’s Jon Burnham touching for the first time with 545 and 565 in a single ply bench shirt:

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Jeff had the right idea with his belly up and elbows tucked with 545, but tried to hang on too long to force it down. This gives him a better idea of how much weight it will take to touch, although he may just be better off in a poly shirt which will be more forgiving.  I have no doubt he'll get it figured out soon enough.




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As I mentioned before, I usually recommend using about 5% less weight as you go down each board. Personally, I was usually able to press whatever I could do off of a 2 board, and it seems to be working out this way for Jon as well. We’ll see how things go for Jeff once he has the opportunity to try some different shirts.

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