Bench Pressed 200 Pounds

“The bench press is the best exercise for absolute strength in the upper body.”
Mark Rippetoe

I have always disliked the bench press, mostly because I suck at it.  My chest and shoulders are definitely weak compared to my legs.  Ever since I started doing
CrossFit, improving my bench press has not been very high on my priority list.  The standing overhead press is bit more functional because you’re more likely to lift a weight above your head from a standing position than you are on your back.  Tons of people overtrain it to the point that their upper back gets hunched over because the chest muscles pull the shoulders forward (Kelly Starrett has a special name for that).

Regardless, the bench press is the lift the NFL uses in its tests of strength at
the Combine, and it’s a one of the most common lifts you’ll see people do at the gym. 

Not too long ago, I could not bench press my body weight (175 lbs).  This left me in a spot where there were handful of CrossFit workouts I could not do, one of which is called
“Linda” (its other nickname is “The Three Bars of Death”).

While 200 pounds is nowhere near a competitive weight, it’s very good for me.  It was actually 205.  I used to max out at 135, and this was not a long time ago.  Coming off the
100 day burpee challenge, I felt I could have improved my bench press to hit this goal, so I gave it a shot.

After a sufficient warmup, I got my hands set.

I pulled the bar off the rack.

I lowered it, and I let it touch my chest.

I pressed up.  I tightened my core as much as I could here.

I reached a sticking point that took me second to push through.

Eventually, I was able to press out of it and lock out.

Enjoy the video.  (Thanks to Becca for shooting this.)

I was very happy after I got this lift.  It’s not every day I can show myself that I’ve improved so much in something, let alone something I feel I’m not good at.  It’s was very satisfying. 

Related Item:
Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe
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