Originally Posted by conceptionist
Oops, I meant 190-195. If my lifts still go up at that stage, I could go on to 200. Only problem is that by then all nice clothes I've got would not fit. Bye bye a Toj trousers and nice outerwear/knits/shirts.
Joshua, what problems do you see with my bench form? You've got a sound approach to lifting.
I know there is a school of thought that says arch your back as much as possible while benching. The idea (as I understand it) is that this decreases the angle between your arms and torso (like a decline press) and allows you to press more weight. I'm sure that this is true, but unless you are a competition lifter where every pound counts, I'm don't think that the increased pressing capacity justifies the risk of taking your spine out of a solid, neutral position. The risk of spinal injury during a bench press is pretty low, as you aren't really loading your spine, but I find that people who get used to benching exaggerated spinal flexion tend to have that same exaggerated flexion when they overhead press - and that poses a much greater risk.
In general, I believe that all lifts should be performed with your spine in a neutral position and your core completely locked down. For benching, this means low back pressed firmly against the bench and feet flat on the floor. You are pretty tall so that shouldn't be a problem. For shorter people (like me) it's sometimes necessary to put some plates down under your feet so they aren't dangling. Scapular retraction and external rotation of the shoulders are also important, but it sounds and looks like you've already got that part down.
Again, and because I know I'm going to catch some flack for this post, I don't think you are doing it WRONG. I think that you've followed an approach endorsed by a large group of powerlifters. I just think that this approach doesn't necessarily make the most sense for people who aren't competitive lifters. The risk of injury isn't worth a 5-10 percent increase in your pressing capacity, particularly as you aren't anywhere near theoretical maximum pressing capacity for a guy your size.