TECHNIQUE - METAL MILITIA STYLE
BENCH PRESS - METAL MILITIA STYLE
COMPETITION BENCH PRESS SET UP
Setting up properly for the bench press is the foundation for benching a maximum bench. It is not comfortable and it never will be. It needs to be practiced to the extreme each week and several times a week to get started.
Basic points are:
- stretch your hips out - grab the bar in the middle and pull yourself far under the front of the bench, plant your feet, then move into position keeping your feet planted and stretching at the hips
- position your body so your eyes are under the bar or slightly ahead
- pull your shoulders together and drop them down and pull them together again. drive your heels down and push into your shoulders digging them down more to plant them solidly.
- arch twice, upper back or shoulder under arch and belly up or lower back arck. Arch hard pushing air into your belly by breathing through your nose.
- grip the bar using the maximum width allowed
- should be done straight arm, teeter totter
- hold the weight steady for a second
- settle or sink the weight with straight arms by pulling your shoulders back again hard and puffing up your chest
- start with the elbows turned out from the hand off
- descend straight down body building style until the shirt completely locks up
- start moving the bar forward toward the lower sternum by moving the shoulders and not by turning the elbows - think of a "U" bolt moving forward
- then when necessary start to turn the elbows in to loosen the shirt to touch - again, turn the elbows in from the shoulder and not from the elbow - do not twist the forearm to turn the elbow in, the elbow must always stay directly under the bar, not ahead or behind it
- at the last two inches before touching, push the belly up to the bar to touch keeping the shoulders back and everything really tight
- after the touch command do not explode immediately, instead start moving the bar back in the same direction as it landed
- exploding after the touch command will only sent the bar straight up and then you will have to correct the bar path
- as you find the right line back, then start accelerating on an angle up back toward the uprights.
- ride the support of the shirt on the way up and keep the momentum to keep the bar moving
- if you stall or get stuck hovering, step the bar backwards like walking up stairs
- hold the bar steady at lock out
- keep your breath in and do not let it out until the bar is racked
- Use the same set up, the same bar path in order to develop the right muscle strength. Never go back to a body building style of benching any more.
- Learn to stay tight at the touch. Raw lifters tend to let loose just before touching and focus on the rebound. Don't do this anymore, instead practice increasing your tightness in the last two inches before touching.
- Use a grip that works for you. A wide grip without the support of a bench shirt may not be the best for you. Narrow grip uses more triceps and wider grip uses more shoulders and pecs. Find the right balance for you.
SQUAT - METAL MILITIA STYLE
- Set up with the bar across the shoulders, not high touching the neck and not low, find the right spot to settle the bar. You should have two red marks later just below the top of your shoulders.
- Stand up straight - breath in through the nose and tighten your entire upper body, hips and legs then stand up
- Start first by breaking at the hips and not the knees. Move the hips back then immediately start to push the knees out
- Keep your chest upright and look straight forward
- Open your hips, find your line down, then start accelerating down till the gear slows you down
- At parallel or just before, learn to dip by pushing the hips down while keeping the back straight or arched and not rounded
- Push the knees out hard to get depth and keep your back and chest upright
- After hitting depth, explode back up in a straight line all the way to lock out
- Push back into the bar and push your belly out to not let the weight bend you forward.
DEADLIFT - METAL MILITIA STYLE
Sumo deadlift or conventional deadlift?
Gear or a lifting suit will give more carryover in sumo, up to 100 lbs in sumo versus just 20 to 50 lbs max in conventional. Sumo requires more focus on technique but has a better potential. Some people naturally prefer one over the other. Personally, I prefer conventional. At 6'3" I prefer the speed I get off the floor and it feels more fun, but I train sumo because it has more potential for me to lift more weight. Sumo allows you to position your body closer to the bar for better leverage.
The bar must go up in a straight line, therefore the shoulders and arms need to be positioned directly vertically over the bar in a straight line and the closer you can get the hips to the bar the more weight you will lift. For every half inch that the shoulders are out in front of the bar and the hips are back behind the bar, you lose power. Power is in the straight line up.
Position your feet as wide as you can while maintaining your balance and position. Point your toes out at about 45 degrees and turn your knees out to line up with your toes.
Stay flat on your feet with the weight on the ball or middle of your foot, slightly more toward the heel and not on the toes. Some people put spacers on the toe part of their shoes to keep off the toes.
The bar should be almost touching your shins about a quarter inch away, knees turned out
Chest should be upright as much as you can, shoulders pulled back and lats tight
Grip the bar with arms completely vertical not in an "A", this means that smaller people may have to grip the bar half on the knurling and half off
Once you are in position, then force the upright position even more one more time
Keep the arms straight never bent
Push the belly out hard
Try as hard as you can to be in line with a lock out position before you start. This will be very uncomfortable. When you are most uncomfortable and can't hold that position anymore, then you are ready to start pulling.
Pull straight up, squat the weight up, push your hips to the bar immediately as the weight leaves the ground.
Accelerate straight to lock out.
There are many styles of approaching and starting the conventional deadlift but the basics are always the same.
- Find the right starting position for your body. Some people crouch right down low and use more leg and some start in a higher position using more back.
- Always keep your back at least in a 45 degree angle so that you are always in a position to keep pulling. Too far forward will fry your lower back and will not let you lock out heavy weights.
- Speed start or slow steady start? - Speed deadlifts only work with lower weights, this is why speed work is actually detrimental to a strong deadlift. Personally, I love snapping the the weight off the floor fast, but when I reach max weights, it sits on the floor without budging. At sub-max weights, if I snap the weight fast it quickly goes six inches off the floor then dies instantly. A strong deadlift is a steady speed deadlift. Speed deadlifting will develop the wrong technique and tempo. Learn to pull strong throughout the whole deadlift.
- Bringing in your feet closer and turning your toes out Charlie Chaplin style helps lock out at the top.
- Arms straight over the bar, bring the knees inbetween the arms, keep your hips low as you can and your back as upright as you can.
- Take the slack out of the bar and out of your body just before pulling
- Use your legs to push through the floor
- First move is to pull back with your back
- As the bar rises try to accelerate all the way to the top
- Always keep your arms locked perfectly straight, don't tear a bicep by bending your arms at the elbow.