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bench press, long arm's vs short arm's

View Poll Results: Short or long arms benching harder?

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  1. #1
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    bench press, long arm's vs short arm's

    okay, so me and some guy got into a argument with him saying that short arm's are harder to bench alot because the bones or something will have to much pressure, i say long arm's are harder because simple as you have to move the weight alot further.... so which is it..
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  2. #2
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    More ROM => less weight.

  3. #3
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    Assuming all other factors are exact between two individuals, one with long arms and one with short arms, the one with long arms won't be able to move as much weight.

    Case of leverage.

    However, this isn't always the case, it depends on a lot of factors.
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    i say harder with long arms... probably something to do with the leverage and extra distance you have to push the weight...

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    try benching half way and see how much more weight u can do vs all the way to chest
    its like having shorter arms

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    yeah i know lol i can do like 30-40 more pounds at least not pushing it fully up and like half way lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by fufu View Post
    Assuming all other factors are exact between two individuals, one with long arms and one with short arms, the one with long arms won't be able to move as much weight.

    Case of leverage.

    However, this isn't always the case, it depends on a lot of factors.
    what factors?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by readyformore View Post
    what factors?
    Neurological adaptations, style of training, level of muscle mass.

    For instance -

    You can have an individual who is more muscular, trains specifically in the bench press and has short arms and another individual who is less muscular, doesn't train bench press that much and has longer arms. However, the latter individual is stronger genetically (more neurologically efficient in high intensity exercise) so, he can bench press more. This is the reason you can see a lot of small guys with huge lifts. Not the most common case, though.

    Another case -

    You can have two individuals who are virtually the same, one with long arms and one with the short. The only other difference is the the long armed individual trains the bench press specifically, so he has undergone the neurological adaptions to become stronger in the lift. The short armed guy, who in theory should be the stronger lifter because of his superior leverage, is weaker in the lift because he doesn't train it specifically.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fufu View Post
    Neurological adaptations, style of training, level of muscle mass.

    For instance -

    You can have an individual who is more muscular, trains specifically in the bench press and has short arms and another individual who is less muscular, doesn't train bench press that much and has longer arms. However, the latter individual is stronger genetically (more neurologically efficient in high intensity exercise) so, he can bench press more. This is the reason you can see a lot of small guys with huge lifts. Not the most common case, though.

    Another case -

    You can have two individuals who are virtually the same, one with long arms and one with the short. The only other difference is the the long armed individual trains the bench press specifically, so he has undergone the neurological adaptions to become stronger in the lift. The short armed guy, who in theory should be the stronger lifter because of his superior leverage, is weaker in the lift because he doesn't train it specifically.
    haha yeah those factors are true, i totally agree with you... but as my argument was, in general... personally i worked out alot with my bench and got it to 300 without working out much ( 1-2 times a week, even took a 4 month break and wtf i came back stronger? lol?)
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  10. #10
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    I agree, in general, it is true.
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    Long. Taller folks have to move it further. I'd imagine your ROM would be pretty large rfm.

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    lol yep, personally, i feel me benching 300 pounds being 6'3 without ever ever having a workout routine and working out like 3-4 times a month really was good for me =D i think i have good genetics, probably can get to 450 or so without the ROIDS lol
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    Assuming everything else is equal, longer limbs make it harder. You have to go through a greater range of motion, and therefore, do more work. Also, longer limbs mean you are working at a greater mechanical disadvantage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CowPimp View Post
    Assuming everything else is equal, longer limbs make it harder. You have to go through a greater range of motion, and therefore, do more work. Also, longer limbs mean you are working at a greater mechanical disadvantage.

    I disagree, partially because im short, but i feel that lifting weights is about percentages. if you have a large muscle mass percentage for your height/weight, you will be a stronger individual. so, if I weigh 135 pounds, stand at 5'3", and bench 300 lbs that would be less impressive than a man who weighs 135 and stands 6'0" who benches 300 lbs not because i have to push it a shorter distance, but because that man has a much smaller muscle mass percentage compared to his height/weight. Its not necessarily the distance the weight has to be pushed, but more the amount of muscle to push it. Thats my excuse for it, somebody has to stand up for the shorties!

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    Why do you think powerlifters use an arch? It's all about decreasing the ROM.

    A lot of PLers say that every extra inch below parallel on a squat knocks off 40 lbs.

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    AH i don't even remember posting this LOL!!! WOW!!! Haha obviously it's harder for the longer armed people even though i have long arms and bench quite a bit for never really working chest out b4 lol
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    This wouldn't be the case in real-life scenarios, eg pushing a boulder, would it?
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    I am 6'2" and have long arms. I will never bench 2X my body weight because of the long arms and my relatively flat chest. My observation is that most of the guys with shorter arms also have the barrel chest. This appears to put me at a mechanical disadvantage. I have friends that can bench 400+ while weighing less than 200, these friends have short arms and barrel chests. I have to be 235+ to bench 405 so I will always be chasing heavier lifts by increasing bodyweight.

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    I have a long arm span(75in) with just 5ft 10in height. Shouldn't we be talking about ratios?

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    lol it's just as simple as the person with longer arms is going to have to push the weight further therefore making it harder to do... If i was to load up 260 on the bench i could do it if i didn't have to go down all the way or i didn't have to get it up all the way.. but since i have such a long distance it's freakin hard haha
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoglander View Post
    I have a long arm span(75in) with just 5ft 10in height. Shouldn't we be talking about ratios?
    Yes, but we shouldn't be talking about the ratio of arm span to height. Rather, we should be talking about the ratio of arm span to trunk thickness.

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    Short vs. Long

    Quote Originally Posted by ironbull View Post
    try benching half way and see how much more weight u can do vs all the way to chest
    its like having shorter arms
    Shorter arms is better

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    Quote Originally Posted by shortysammy View Post
    I disagree, partially because im short, but i feel that lifting weights is about percentages. if you have a large muscle mass percentage for your height/weight, you will be a stronger individual. so, if I weigh 135 pounds, stand at 5'3", and bench 300 lbs that would be less impressive than a man who weighs 135 and stands 6'0" who benches 300 lbs not because i have to push it a shorter distance, but because that man has a much smaller muscle mass percentage compared to his height/weight. Its not necessarily the distance the weight has to be pushed, but more the amount of muscle to push it. Thats my excuse for it, somebody has to stand up for the shorties!
    Well, sorry to say but you're wrong. Laws of physics dictate otherwise. I agree to some extent, that your bench press relative to your bodyweight means something. However, you cannot argue biomechanics.

    If you have shorter limbs, you are overcoming a shorter lever. The lever is equally important to the weight. So, if you have a lever to overcome that is 10% shorter than mine, it has the same impact as lifting 10% less weight.

    Also, in your example of people that are different heights but the same weight, you only have it half right. Yes, the taller person has less muscle mass because they have a greater amount of other lean tissues (Assuming the same body fat percentage here). However, even assuming exactly the same amount of muscle mass, they are still at a disadvantage, even not considering the greater lever arm they must overcome. Force production in a muscle is in part tied to the cross sectional area of the muscle. Having equivalent muscle mass, but a muscle that is longer (Like in a taller person), as opposed to having a greater circumference, does nothing for force production.
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    Quote Originally Posted by readyformore View Post
    okay, so me and some guy got into a argument with him saying that short arm's are harder to bench alot because the bones or something will have to much pressure, i say long arm's are harder because simple as you have to move the weight alot further.... so which is it..
    Oh, just to clarify, he's completely wrong about there being more pressure on the bones too. That is complete nonsense. The amount of pressure on the bones would only be changed by the surface area of the contact points on the bones, which as far as I can tell is not dictated by one's height.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CowPimp View Post
    Oh, just to clarify, he's completely wrong about there being more pressure on the bones too. That is complete nonsense. The amount of pressure on the bones would only be changed by the surface area of the contact points on the bones, which as far as I can tell is not dictated by one's height.
    Well generally, to be fair, don't your bones get wider as they get longer? I'm not saying it's a factor but I doubt someone 5" has the same joint surface area as someone 6"4 for example.


    Is there a limit to your capacity of muscle gain? For example will someone 5"5 slow down their muscle gain at some point because of spacial issues, whereas someone 6"4 would have a bigger frame to add muscle to and so can carry on to much heavier weights easier?

    And taller people with longer limbs, do they get more muscle tear for the same amount of weight lifted, assuming that their muscle is longer etc?
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    I remember how strong Franco Colombu was when he was training with Arnold. He was about 5'5" and around 190 lbs but he was benching over 500, dead lifting over 700 and squatting over 600. Not very good at the refrigerator race however!

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    Longer arms also means longer triceps and delts. A taller body means longer and often wider pecs. Unless genetically-awkward, shouldn't people's default muscle mass be relative? I know some tall guys who don't work out and they have bigger natural muscles than I did when I started. So, while it may be a longer way down on bench, they also have more muscle to compensate.

    Besides, unless you're 6'8, I don't see a huge difference in ROM, considering most tall guys I see don't go down very far. What if the short guy goes below 90 and the tall guy stops at 90? There may be a 2 inch diff in ROM (not that significant in my books) but they go to different depths. In the end, does it really make a difference?

    I think it should be about the same. Maybe a joint issue, but muscle-wise I would think it should be the same.

    I'm so sick of hearing this. I myself am pretty short...5'9. And, I can't stand hearing it when I do an impressive lift and a tall friend says "ooh whatever your arms are short". Honestly, I think a lot of people use this as an excuse.

    Then again, maybe I'm just a bitter vertically-challenged young man.

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    This isn't about making excuses, I admire those guys that lift more than 2X their body weight. Makes me work harder! If someone makes a heavy lift, they are to be praised.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maturemuscle View Post
    This isn't about making excuses, I admire those guys that lift more than 2X their body weight. Makes me work harder! If someone makes a heavy lift, they are to be praised.
    No, I know, not everyone is using this an excuse. I just hear this far too often.

    At the end of the day, hard work is hard work.

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