Binch!!!! For powerlifting and if you want to bench with a flat back, by all means do it, just skip the part that about thoracic arch.


Shoulder Placement (Setting your foundation)

I believe that people should start with their eyes underneath the bar while lying flat on the bench. Where your shoulders lie when your eyes are underneath the bar should be where they stay.

Hand Placement

Start with pinky to the power rings. Un-rack the bar and bring the bar to your chest. Now adjust your hand placement to where your wrists are right above your elbow. This is where you are anatomically the strongest position on your back for a pushing movement.

Arch/Butt Set Up

With your hands still on the bar, put your feet flat on the bench. Raise your hips so you get a better feeling of driving your shoulder blades into the bench. Now drop your butt on the bench with an arch in your thoracic part(middle back), NOT IN YOUR LUMBAR (lower back). An arch or forced arch in the lumbar section can cause an impingement to your lower back and hips because you just created a heavy load onto an anterior pelvic tilt. Which now gets locked in because your body thought for those seconds that you were under load benching, that is where the body should be to be strong. You will realize this once you stand if you do it wrong because you’ll look like an old person with a walker.

Feet Set Up

Set your feet flat on the floor. The closer you can get your feet to your butt the better. Unless you never want to get into a powerlifting meet in your life, you can lift your heels off the ground. USAPL does not allow your heels to be off the ground.


If you are going for a heavy set or 90% of your 1RM, I recommend getting a hand-off unless it doesn’t phase you by not getting a lift off.


Bar Path – it should have a J-curve. The bar normally hits the chest around the sternum and when you push the bar back up, the bar should be just over your shoulder. With that being said, you can visualize the an upside-down J.

Again, breathing and bracing. Keep your back tight and push!

*More videos coming soon!

A video posted by Bryan Sumardi (@sumolifts) on