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S&C UnderGround >> Best way to dump a bar when benching?


12/19/12 4:33 AM
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HULC
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The number of times people have asked about going to failure while alone is pretty damn high, and the bench is always the exercise where people seem to be the most scared. So for safety's sake, what are the best ways to dump the bar if you get caught short?

For myself i've only had it happen once, and then because i tried too many reps rather than being a true max in itself. In that case i lowered the bar towards my lower ribs/upper abs and sat up as i was doing so, rolling the bar over my belly and onto my lap. It didn't feel great going over my hips but no real dramas with it.
12/19/12 8:46 AM
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paw
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If I was benching to failure, I'd bench in a power rack and set the pins appropriately.  ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHLfTq-HnQ4 )

Another option is to tilt the bar to one side so the weights fall off.  This will create a whiplash effect, dumping all the wieght and make enough noise to wake the dead, but the lifter should be ok. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgOoSTQ0tdY )

12/19/12 8:56 AM
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LiftStrong
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Well, I really wouldnt recommend testing maxes by yourself unless you are very experienced and arent pushing for a PR. My concern isnt getting buried by the weight and having to dump it, it is failing on the lift or losing control of the bar. If I have to dump a weight (cant remember the last time that has happened), I would do as you did and lower the bar to my chest/belly and then roll it off. More importantly, you should be going heavy in a rack where you can set safety pins to protect yourself a bit. Spotting straps are ideal if you have access to them.

Had a scary situation where an athlete doing singles at 500lbs (had a 565lb max) on his 3rd rep, he got the bar up half way with good speed when one of his wrists rolled back and he just dropped the bar. Thank god we had 3 spotters on it and redirected/caught the bar before it crushed his head/throat. Served as a scary reminder that shit happens, even at submaximal weights.

12/19/12 12:57 PM
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dizz
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I've had it happen once...it was a snowy day in Virginia at the school gym so no one else was even there. I was literally the only person in the gym. Like OP I wasn't maxing, I just tried to squeeze out an 8th rep when I shouldn't have...dropped it on my chest. Since I was alone I didn't have collars on, so I just rolled it to one side and dumped the weights, then the other side whiplashed and dumped them.

 

Really fucking loud, but since no one was in the gym, no biggie.

12/19/12 1:34 PM
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vermonter
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Yeah.. use pins when lifting alone. Dropping the weight would be and even bigger disaster if you were by yourself, forget about finding a way to get rid of the weight.

I've rolled a fairly light bar off myself when doing too many reps and that sucked. If it were any heavier i'd dumb the weight to each side. I don't lift with collars anyway.
12/19/12 2:59 PM
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shootfighterbull
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Had it happen a few days ago. It was the second week of 5/3/1 at the last set so i was going to failure. Because it wasn't too heavy, i did what the op did. Sat up while bringing weight forward. From there, i just lifted it up to the ground. I'm sure i looked stupid but it didnt hurt or anything. Phone Post
12/19/12 3:44 PM
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Taku
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Edited: 12/19/12 5:25 PM
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I agree with several points made above.

1. Don't test max without spotter(s).

2. Use a power rack and set pins accordingly. (I bench to failure all the time using this method).

TAKU

12/19/12 3:53 PM
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shootfighterbull
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I'm an idiot. I never thought of setting pins. Phone Post
12/19/12 6:08 PM
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TzTinkle
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I use two saw horses as my spotters at home, works well.
12/19/12 7:17 PM
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OregonChaelClosedDueToBandWagonCrash
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Just use dumbells Phone Post
12/20/12 3:58 PM
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NeoSpartan
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i just push it off my chest. pussies.

jk, I haven't flat benched in a LOOOOOOOONNNGGGGG time. I usually incline so I can just drop it to my lap, then to the floor, power clean it, and put it back on the rack.
12/20/12 4:04 PM
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Gokudamus stole my name
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Rack with pins is the only safe way, rolling and other shit could still kill you. Or just use dumbells like me

12/20/12 6:41 PM
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ruggerbouy
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Edited: 12/20/12 6:41 PM
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May sound kinda silly, but I bench on the floor if I'm by myself (i'm also small enought o fit under a bar not everyone is lol I find it serves 2 purposes)

 1) can kill myself when I go to failure, weight just stops on floor

2) only allows your arms to go to 90 degrees because you cant brings them below the floor. Works well for me because I dont like going below 90 degrees dont like to chance injury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/21/12 9:54 AM
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Out To Lunch
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I used to just roll the bar to my waist and then situp. Never had a problem, I used up to 300lbs using this method. Nowadays, I use a power rack though.
12/21/12 10:07 AM
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HULC
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I think the posters recommending to use pins or the power rack are missing the point. If you have the option to use safety aids such as these then obviously you should use them. I was thinking more of the "worst case" scenario that many people seem to have, where the option is to either bench without such aids, or not to bench at all.

Also, as somewhat of a perfectionist - or perhaps just someone with minor OCD - i've never considered not using collars for any lift. The seesaw idea sounds doable though.
12/21/12 10:16 AM
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jeremy hamilton
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If you hit failure then just place the bar on your neck until you get a second wind.
12/21/12 10:21 AM
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Out To Lunch
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HULC - I think the posters recommending to use pins or the power rack are missing the point. If you have the option to use safety aids such as these then obviously you should use them. I was thinking more of the "worst case" scenario that many people seem to have, where the option is to either bench without such aids, or not to bench at all.

Also, as somewhat of a perfectionist - or perhaps just someone with minor OCD - i've never considered not using collars for any lift. The seesaw idea sounds doable though.

I know what you mean. You already know that you should use a power rack and lifting alone isn't safe, but you want to know what to do if you do decide to lift alone.
12/21/12 2:10 PM
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Taku
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To me, the answer is DON'T LIFT ALONE.

The floor press is a good option for both of the reasons ruggerboy mentioned. Unless you are a competition lifter like J.H., then full range benching is not a requirement.

IMHO, there really is no safe way to dump the bar, that will guarantee that you walk away un-scathed.

TAKU

 

12/21/12 7:27 PM
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Jacks Wasted Life
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Taku -

To me, the answer is DON'T LIFT ALONE.

The floor press is a good option for both of the reasons ruggerboy mentioned. Unless you are a competition lifter like J.H., then full range benching is not a requirement.

IMHO, there really is no safe way to dump the bar, that will guarantee that you walk away un-scathed.

TAKU

 

I agree...if you don't have a spotter or lift in a power rack, you shouldn't do barbell bench presses. Do floor presses or db bench presses instead.

If you are going to work out at home, I can't recommend a power rack highly enough. Best home training purchase I've ever made (followed by trap bar). Phone Post
12/27/12 12:03 AM
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Dogmeat 1
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about 10 years ago I got trapped under a bar while benching due to a re-occurrence of a rotor-cuff problem mid-lift. I managed to roll the bar down to my belly then sit up and lever it off but it was not a pleasant experience.

Like so many others have already said don't bench if you are alone and you don't have the proper safety equipment. I bench a fair bit and I've training long enough to know my limits but even so you never know when an injury or accident is going to occur. The majority of weight lifting deaths have been caused by exactly that situation. Even floor presses are not a good alternative unless you have something to rack the bar on before and after the lift or have massive sized plates.

Dumbells should be the main choice of people lifting without proper safety equipment. However I think anyone serious about training at home should be investing in a powercage. They only cost $300-400 for a solid one (and much less 2nd hand) and they greatly enhance the quality and safety of home training. It's a pretty tiny investment considering the long term health and safety benefits gained by owning one. If someone's gym lacks the necessary equipment to train alone safely then it's probably a good idea to change gyms.
12/30/12 11:54 AM
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KILLALL
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I always use spotters when I lift heavy.

if I'm alone I usually go one rep below failure on a set (but I leave the clips off in case of emergency I can let the weight fall off).

.. Or ill skip bench that day and use extra dumbbells sets. Phone Post

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