conquerandestroy said: Wait. People actually say that stuff?
To your face no. And nobody actually said those words to me, but they’ve said other stuff in different ways. But I see it all the time online. Especially with powerlifting bench press. “Oh that’s cheating because of the arch!”…
Shouldn’t specific form only matter when you’re bodybuilding? I mean only squatting with, say your feet shoulder width, or benching with your back as neutral as possible. You can keep your form “proper” even with a very wide stance or your back slightly arched more. Doesn’t keeping what they call “proper” form (I’ll call it “specific”) help for isolation and hypertrophy?
When I bench I’ll actually put my feet on the beach as well to keep the stress completely on the upper body. When I squat I only go shoulder width to focus more stress on the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. But I feel like, for powerlifting, you can have a nonspecific form, getting the most power and still keep the lift proper.
Form with powerlifting is to decrease ROM and use the muscles which will best perform the lift. So for squat, the wider stance allows for more glute activation and less work from the quads. There is usually more hip extension.
For bench, the back is arched to decrease ROM, legs are used for leg drive, and a wide grip while “tearing the bar apart” is used to activate the triceps and decrease the involvement of the pecs. If I use a powerlifting form for bench, I’ll add 20-30 lbs to my lift easy.
You’re correct about bodybuilding. The goal with bodybuilding is to cause tension on the muscle you want to train. Form also depends on the athlete. Some people, like yourself, can squat at shoulder width. I can only do that while causing a sever arch in my lower back, which can lead to a low back injury (and has). So I go wider with squats, but then for leg press or hack squats I make sure to keep my feet close. For bench, I use a slight arch because it puts you in a stronger position and it works for me. Not to say yours is wrong, as long as it works for you and you’re not getting injured, who cares.