Fix the Bench: Off the Chest

Westside Barbell
Wed Jun 03, 2020

    After all the work powerlifters, athletes, and gym goers put themselves through, what can be more frustrating than failing a bench right off the chest? Sure, you're doing all the chest work from flyes and fancy chrome machine presses, but are you taking into account the additional auxiliary lifts which stabilize and springboard the press from the bottom? These are three of the variations we use at Westside to fix this issue.


  1. Plate Raise - A Louie special. This move drives the strength of the front delt which in turn translates power from the chest into the extension. (pro tip - the higher one holds the plate, the more side delt, while conversely, the lower one holds the plate, the more direct front delt)
  2. Tricep Rope Face Pull - Holding a tricep rope with palms facing inward, drive the elbows back, almost making a ‘double bicep pose’. Honing in the upper back (shoulder blade retraction) aids in keeping the shoulders/biceps tendons from over exposure and injury. Additionally, when mastered, it allows the lifter to significantly raise their target point of the lower sternum.
  3. Dumbbell Rear Delt Flye - Simple but needed, rear delts keep the shoulders from pronation (which keeps one from generating a full stretch reflex).


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