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  1. #1
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    Default "How Much Can You Bench?" vs Weight Training

    Yeah, I know, it's not about Trump so it'll get the fast track to oblivion I was digging around on youtube last night and found this bench press competition and watched it. The political forums on the board were getting too hot, heavy and fast for me

    So I notice a few things right off the bat. These guys are trying to bench between 750 and almost 900 pounds. Unreal. Sorry, but I don't believe those guys aren't juiced to the gills. There's nothing normal about the weight, nor these guys sizes.

    So naturally, I'm looking at these guys. They can hardly move. Their sole function is lay down on a bench and push a weight up. Pretty impractical if you ask me. Then I started trying to remember when "How much can you bench?" became the question du jour between weightlifters in the gym. Sometime in the 80s.

    To sort of set the background, probably half the Marine Corps lifts weights. Maybe a quarter or so seriously. I was in that quarter so I was ALWAYS around it. At some point, "how much can you bench?" became the measuring stick for both Marines and in the civilian world for how strong you are. And yes, I am about to piss ALL OVER the "How much can you bench?" crowd cuz i'm just a nice guy like that

    When I started lifting it the mid-70s prior to society going on a fitness craze and was just one of those dummies that lifted weights to overcompensate for being stupid , it was NOT "How much can you bench?" It was "How much can you clean and press?" (taking the weight from the floor to your shoulders then pressing straight overhead) and "How much can you squat?" We did bench presses of course and tried to bench as much as we could, but they weren't some special focal point. The clean and press was.

    In contrast to now, if you were in a bodybuilding competition if the 70s or earlier, part of the competition was the clean and press. THAT was the indicator of strength, and is a much better one than laying flat on your back and pushing a weight straight up. The clean and press requires strength, timing, speed and coordination. Pound for pound, it was and still is my strongest lift to this day.

    This isn't bragging and I can't even do it now. It's a comparison. My best bench press was 345 lbs. On the USS Boxer while under way. Means my platform was moving In contrast, I could clean and press 245 lbs and squat 350. Unlike these guys I was watching last night, I could also run 3 miles in 22-24 minutes, play basketball, practice martial arts and I was Water Survival Qualified at Swim Qual. Meaning I could move and get practical app out of my strength.

    Really came in handy as an electrician when we would get stuck hauling 80 lb bags of cement. I would clean the weight to my should and off I would go while everyone else did all kinds of monkey-ass crap trying to haul them.

    I know. I lead an exciting life
    Last edited by Gunny; 05-21-2018 at 09:29 AM.
    My quota of bullshit cop outs from closed minds is full today, Tomorrow's not looking good for you either.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunny View Post
    Yeah, I know, it's not about Trump so it'll get the fast track to oblivion I was digging around on youtube last night and found this bench press competition and watched it. The political forums on the board were getting too hot, heavy and fast for me

    So I notice a few things right off the bat. These guys are trying to bench between 750 and almost 900 pounds. Unreal. Sorry, but I don't believe those guys aren't juiced to the gills. There's nothing normal about the weight, nor these guys sizes.

    So naturally, I'm looking at these guys. They can hardly move. Their sole function is lay down on a bench and push a weight up. Pretty impractical if you ask me. Then I started trying to remember when "How much can you bench?" became the question du jour between weightlifters in the gym. Sometime in the 80s.

    To sort of set the background, probably half the Marine Corps lifts weights. Maybe a quarter or so seriously. I was in that quarter so I was ALWAYS around it. At some point, "how much can you bench?" became the measuring stick for both Marines and in the civilian world for how strong you are. And yes, I am about to piss ALL OVER the "How much can you bench?" crowd cuz i'm just a nice guy like that

    When I started lifting it the mid-70s prior to society going on a fitness craze and was just one of those dummies that lifted weights to overcompensate for being stupid , it was NOT "How much can you bench?" It was "How much can you clean and press?" (taking the weight from the floor to your shoulders then pressing straight overhead) and "How much can you squat?" We did bench presses of course and tried to bench as much as we could, but they weren't some special focal point. The clean and press was.

    In contrast to now, if you were in a bodybuilding competition if the 70s or earlier, part of the competition was the clean and press. THAT was the indicator of strength, and is a much better one than laying flat on your back and pushing a weight straight up. The clean and press requires strength, timing, speed and coordination. Pound for pound, it was and still is my strongest lift to this day.

    This isn't bragging and I can't even do it now. It's a comparison. My best bench press was 345 lbs. On the USS Boxer while under way. Means my platform was moving In contrast, I could clean and press 245 lbs and squat 350. Unlike these guys I was watching last night, I could also run 3 miles in 22-24 minutes, play basketball, practice martial arts and I was Water Survival Qualified at Swim Qual. Meaning I could move and get practical app out of my strength.

    Really came in handy as an electrician when we would get stuck hauling 80 lb bags of cement. I would clean the weight to my should and off I would go while everyone else did all kinds of monkey-ass crap trying to haul them.

    I know. I lead an exciting life
    LOL... I can bench my ass for hours at a time and I clean and press my work shirts at least weekly.

    Don't get me wrong, I still lift but not nearly as much as I used to. I am all done impressing people with my physical prowess and workout to maintain some state of good health.
    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
    Thomas Jefferson


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  4. #3
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    I never could bench all that much -250 at best.
    But one single rep of astonishing weight is not a measure of muscular endurance.
    Why do people think that the NFL combines use 225 lbs as a measure? To see
    how many times you can do it non-stop - muscular endurance.

    I could curl 135 3 sets of 8 reps, power row the same amount the same number of times,
    Lat pull 200 3 sets of 8 times. There was the thrusting strength needed for blocking
    or shivering a block.
    I have lost my mind. If found, please give it a snack and return it?

    "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same of others"...John Wayne in "The Shootist"

    A Deplorable!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CSM View Post
    LOL... I can bench my ass for hours at a time and I clean and press my work shirts at least weekly.

    Don't get me wrong, I still lift but not nearly as much as I used to. I am all done impressing people with my physical prowess and workout to maintain some state of good health.
    I have never been into impressing other people. I've been lifting since around 74-75. Seriously since around 79-80. In that time, I have lifted with others maybe a total of 2 -3 years. When I used to have to use the base gym I would generally work out with someone around my level so I didn't end up completely stripping and reloading the bar every set.

    My only competition EVER has been ME. More than last time. If I repeated the same workout with the same weight, was a write-off, maintenance workout in my book. And my gym throughout the years has been mostly the garage or patio but I CAN get creative . In Alexandria, VA living in an apartment with daughter, and Vista CA as well, the gym was the living room. I hauled my weights out of the closest, lifted, and back they went.

    I was a skinny teenager and became obsessed with power, but it was never about anyone else. And it wasn't about looking good. It was about monster power. Unless it's a team sport or competition/game, my competition in everything I do is me.
    My quota of bullshit cop outs from closed minds is full today, Tomorrow's not looking good for you either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunny View Post
    I have never been into impressing other people. I've been lifting since around 74-75. Seriously since around 79-80. In that time, I have lifted with others maybe a total of 2 -3 years. When I used to have to use the base gym I would generally work out with someone around my level so I didn't end up completely stripping and reloading the bar every set.

    My only competition EVER has been ME. More than last time. If I repeated the same workout with the same weight, was a write-off, maintenance workout in my book. And my gym throughout the years has been mostly the garage or patio but I CAN get creative . In Alexandria, VA living in an apartment with daughter, and Vista CA as well, the gym was the living room. I hauled my weights out of the closest, lifted, and back they went.

    I was a skinny teenager and became obsessed with power, but it was never about anyone else. And it wasn't about looking good. It was about monster power. Unless it's a team sport or competition/game, my competition in everything I do is me.
    Yep...I totally get that and am of the same mindset
    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
    Thomas Jefferson


  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elessar View Post
    I never could bench all that much -250 at best.
    But one single rep of astonishing weight is not a measure of muscular endurance.
    Why do people think that the NFL combines use 225 lbs as a measure? To see
    how many times you can do it non-stop - muscular endurance.

    I could curl 135 3 sets of 8 reps, power row the same amount the same number of times,
    Lat pull 200 3 sets of 8 times. There was the thrusting strength needed for blocking
    or shivering a block.
    One of the things we used on the bench press as a measure was bench pressing your own bodyweight 20 times. I could at one time do 225 for 10 reps.

    I've just never considered it a practical exercise. The NFL is a good point though. I can SEE football players using the bench press, especially linemen because a lot of their job is basically a vertical bench press.

    The other thing that got me to cackling about these competition bench pressers is there were a LOT of toothpick legs in the crowd That's like having 440 under the hood and a Yugo transmission. Where the rubber meets the road the transfer of power is not there.
    My quota of bullshit cop outs from closed minds is full today, Tomorrow's not looking good for you either.

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    So I'm watching these guys. They're wearing some special suit that is somehow supposed to make them stronger but really cheesy looking weight belts. I DO understand the technique of the powerlift bench press. Learned it long ago, so that didn't surprise me.

    And I guess given it's on youtube I got only the tail end of the show because these guys were lifting almost a half ton. I say lifting, but that was the other thing that stood out. Almost all of them were missing their lifts.

    Therein lies another reason max bench press was never I priority for me. Given I have mostly lifted alone, the bench press is the the most dangerous lift for me if I miss the lift. Lesson # 1: I don't wear a weight belt to bench press. On more than one occasion missing a 300 lb bench press, I've had to roll that 300 pounds down to my hips where I could roll it onto the bench while dropping my legs out from under it So I stay away from any max bench pressing.

    The time I bench pressed 345 on the Boxer I could have done more (I was feeln' it that day ) and I didn't. But I had spotters. You do some crazy shit when you're bored to tears and been under way for over a week and looking at at least another one ahead of you. I quit while I was ahead

    And it's all a matter of perspective. In walks the CO, "the Duke". "Not bad for an old man, Gunny", and proceeds to warm up with what I lifted just once "Thanks for the ego boost, sir" That dude was 6'4" and worked out as much as I did. And he was a complete hardass. He didn't take shit of anyone for anything. Was one of my favorite CO's ever I hated the XO so it balanced out.
    My quota of bullshit cop outs from closed minds is full today, Tomorrow's not looking good for you either.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunny View Post
    I have never been into impressing other people. I've been lifting since around 74-75. Seriously since around 79-80. In that time, I have lifted with others maybe a total of 2 -3 years. When I used to have to use the base gym I would generally work out with someone around my level so I didn't end up completely stripping and reloading the bar every set.

    My only competition EVER has been ME. More than last time. If I repeated the same workout with the same weight, was a write-off, maintenance workout in my book. And my gym throughout the years has been mostly the garage or patio but I CAN get creative . In Alexandria, VA living in an apartment with daughter, and Vista CA as well, the gym was the living room. I hauled my weights out of the closest, lifted, and back they went.

    I was a skinny teenager and became obsessed with power, but it was never about anyone else. And it wasn't about looking good. It was about monster power. Unless it's a team sport or competition/game, my competition in everything I do is me.
    Yep... same here. I was skrawny, which worked to my benefit in Wrestling. I wrestled in school for 6 years. It was the one sport that I got to compete in against someone my own size. But I wrestled at 124 my Senior year. I ate like a horse but just never gained any weight. I always wanted to pack on some more size, so when I joined the AF at 24 years old I was basically same as I was when I graduated, but I really packed on some weight fast in basic. This got my attention, so when I got to Nellis one of the first guys I met was pretty ripped, I asked him about working out and he said just come with me to the gym. That's where it started for me. I'd go work out on my lunch break, and usually for a couple hours on the weekends. I did that for at least 7 1/2 of the 8 years I was in. I just got to liking that pumped up feeling, it just felt good. I never really packed on that much size in any one place. I always tried to work on everything, this one day, that another, I didn't want to look lopsided. I've had a couple gyms since I've been out, the most recent being that huge Golds Universal gym I had in the shop. Loved having it but it took up a LOT of space. I got it for free. It was in pieces and needed welding repair. Naturally I took it and fixed it and got the good out of it. Sold it probably 5 years ago now. Going to get one about a 1/2 the size this winter, and I'm with CSM, it's only for my own benefit. I don't give a damn how it will or could change my appearance to impress someone, it's about getting much needed exercise in the winter and being healthy.
    Last edited by High_Plains_Drifter; 05-21-2018 at 01:36 PM.
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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by High_Plains_Drifter View Post
    Yep... same here. I was skrawny, which worked to my benefit in Wrestling. I wrestled in school for 6 years. It was the one sport that I got to compete in against someone my own size. But I wrestled at 124 my Senior year. I ate like a horse but just never gained any weight. I always wanted to pack on some more size, so when I joined the AF at 24 years old I was basically same as I was when I graduated, but I really packed on some weight fast in basic. This got my attention, so when I got to Nellis one of the first guys I met was pretty ripped, I asked him about working out and he said just come with me to the gym. That's where it started for me. I'd go work out on my lunch break, and usually for a couple hours on the weekends. I did that for at least 7 1/2 of the 8 years I was in. I just got to liking that pumped up feeling, it just felt good. I never really packed on that much size in any one place. I always tried to work on everything, this one day, that another, I didn't want to look lopsided. I've had a couple gyms since I've been out, the most recent being that huge Golds Universal gym I had in the shop. Loved having it but it took up a LOT of space. I got it for free. It was in pieces and needed welding repair. Naturally I took it and fixed it and got the good out of it. Sold it probably 5 years ago now. Going to get one about a 1/2 the size this winter, and I'm with CSM, it's only for my own benefit. I don't give a damn how it will or could change my appearance to impress someone, it's about getting much needed exercise in the winter and being healthy.
    Funny. I started lifting in a Air Force weight room too. Homestead AFB when I was 15. I saw Superstar Billy Graham on tv and said "THAT is what I want to look like!" . Little did I know that was not going to happen for a couple of reason. He was a bodybuilder. I tried that for about a month or so in the mid-80s and said screw this. A thousand sets of a thousand reps to get bigger but actually lose strength for powerlifting. Too much time and Ash was a baby at the time.

    He was also a total 'roid freak and I never went that route. I considered that fake muscle and I wanted mine to be real, not go away if I stopped drugging up.

    I also had to temper my size with being a Marine. The Corps was the one paying me and NOT for how much I could lift. I had to be able to run, swim negotiate obstacles, climb, crawl, you name it. Was easy when I was 20. When I started getting older I had to drop some weight and tailor my workout a bit. The thing I struggled most with was my run time and lifting. The bigger and stronger I was, the slower I ran

    I never saw it as a sport except watching the Olympics, and never saw it as a competitive anything with others. Seen quite a few people get hurt trying to keep up with stronger people. I was usually trying the "next, newest" program to increase MY strength and dancing to the beat of my own drum.
    My quota of bullshit cop outs from closed minds is full today, Tomorrow's not looking good for you either.

  13. #10
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    So tell me what's wrong with this picture ....

    You can buy this "power suit" that is supposed to increase your bench press anywhere from 75 to 150 lbs. Don't as me how it works because I haven't been interested enough to look it up. It kind of looks like a wrestling singlet except it's a crew neck and made out of some really tough fiber.

    You can buy these "weigh lifting shoes" that supposedly you can lift more just by wearing them. What they amount to is putting 3" wedges under your feet. We used to put 10 lb plates on the floor and put our heels on them. That just makes squatting easier on your knees.

    I also notice people used these wrist straps to keep hold of the bar.

    Now all that's just wonderful. I guess. I look at that junk like I looked at steroids. I have no problem with any of it. To include the steroids. BUT ... if you DON'T have on your suit, your shoes and your straps and aren't juiced up, THEN what can you lift? I use none of the above. I don't even use a weight belt.

    My theory always was, and it started with being offered the steroids, is I want whatever I do to be ME, not some juice or device. It's not like I had my own lab and fitness paraphenalia store.

    The argument FOR is where else are you going to stand around doing specific lifts over and over again for a sports record? Why not use what is available to make it easier or help you lift more? Odds aer good you won't be doing anything remotely resembling the lifts in your every day real life.

    I'm sticking with doing shit the hard way cuz that's just how I roll
    My quota of bullshit cop outs from closed minds is full today, Tomorrow's not looking good for you either.

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