From Casey's Coaching Blo

I had a question come in the other day regarding bench grip:

"Does the whole finger need to be covering the ring or does it simply need to be in contact with the ring?"

I don't pay attention to feds or their rules with any type of regularity. As far as I'm concerned they are all about the same, and judging is neither strict or not - they either abide by the agreed upon rules or they don't. And I'm of the opinion that lifters should hold themselves accountable before a fed or a judge has to. I digress...

Yes, it's good to know exactly what the limits are on bench grip. And if the person asking was about to set a world record, they wouldn't be asking this question. So it's safe for me to assume that they're relatively new to lifting.

So the answer is simple - IT DOENS'T MATTER (quote the Rock if you'd like). I get that young lifters have a smaller comfort zone than more experienced lifters. And I get that they feel like "I have to bench here because I'm my strongest." The truth of the matter is you should really spend your emotional energy on getting stronger and recovering like a mother fucker than you should bending the rules to get .25lbs out of your bench grip.

And unfortunately, unless you have a sick arch, a wider grip is typically not helpful for most benchers. They use it because they haven't spent enough time and attention building up their baby triceps - which by the way is the key to a big bench press.

So, I'm not trying to be rude on this one, but my points here are:

  • Bring your bench grip in permanently to grow your bench.
  • Spend your time and energy on getting stronger and not worrying about pushing the edge of the rule book. Because in most cases you're going to fuck up and get called for it.
  • Oh and don't forget to take that stupid thumb loop off before you bench. I don't know if I'll ever understand that rule. Buehler? Anyone?