ab·so·lut·ism: The acceptance of or belief in absolute principles in political, philosophical, ethical, or theological matters.
A person once told me that barbell training, explosive power training and horizontal bar training were only serving as sure-fire means that I would eventually cripple myself. The fact that the commenter looked as if they never ran into a weight was not lost on me.
Some Non-lifters will say lifters are using methods that are outdated. Outdated for what exactly is something they rarely address.
Some people who suck at using lifting straps will say that straps are cheating. If a lifting event allows straps in its rules, then I fail to see how it would be considered cheating.
People who don’t know how to use a belt (or are too fat to use one) will say belts are cheating. I own a belt and rarely use it in training. Does the fact that I own a belt make a potential cheat?
Tall, long-legged people cry about how unfair deadlifts are, especially if they also have short arms. Short people will complain about Atlas stone platform heights.
There is also the possibility that someone tried it, found out they weren’t good at it within five minutes and decided NOBODY should do it.
I say “in general” because there is also the group that doesn’t know what they’re looking at. Since it doesn’t look familiar to them, it MUST be wrong.
The Bench Press performed with an arched back, as seen in Powerlifting “looks wrong” to someone unfamiliar with Powerlifting technique. In some cases, the person is also unfamiliar with Bench Pressing. In the case of Certified Trainers, the lift doesn’t look exactly like the photo/diagram of a bench press on page 123 of the CPT book.
Oddly, it seems only smaller females are at risking “blowing out their back.” The spines of larger males and females must be immune.
MINI-RANT: Don’t get me started on “the knees can’t go past the toes…ever” or “toes must always point forward” people when it comes to squats. (Photo Credit: Starting Strength 3rd Ed)
Such absolutism. I wonder if the absolutists ever took the time and effort to read broadly on the subject they speak of, or if they only read things that supported their view. Did they ever make an effort to test things for themselves?
I like Bench Pressing. It’s in my programming twice per week (1)
I compete in a sport that has rules defining what qualifies as a passable lift.
I think I’m pretty good at teaching it, and I can remedy a number of commons lift errors and weaknesses.
Properly applied,I think it can be a decent post-rehab/prehabilitation exercise for the shoulder. (2)
The Bench Press (with a Barbell) is not for everyone, nor does it apply to all goals.
The lifts range of motion (outside the sport of Powerlifting) is defined by the individual.
“Down” and “Up” are the only two benching commands some trainers seem to know. If thats all they know then they have no business trying to make others do it.
It’s an exercises that people can easily over-do, often to their detriment.
It’s a lift with attributable deaths.
(1) One day is reserved for maximum effort working to the days heaviest single lift. It may or may not be a record. The second day is reserved for maximum speed,and is set to a load percentage based on the weeks maximum. The lift variation changes every 1-3 weeks depending on my skill in the lift. This prevents accommodation in the lift and reduces the potential for injury. Some weeks I skip maxing altogether and strictly work on repetition efforts. This type of programming is designed for an intermediate to advanced lifter, and not something I have beginners do.
(2) A well coached powerlifting style of bench press requires engagement of the upper-back, shoulders and humeral positioning to stabilize and repetitively move a large load. This isn’t where I would start someone, but it is a good progression that could fall within a client defined training continuum.