Who said it was OK to stop six inches above your chest? Are these the same people parking two and a half feet from the curb?

The bottom portion of the bench press is where your pecs are most heavily activated. If you don’t touch the bar to your chest, you’re cheating your pecs out of a lot of good work. Sure, it’s the most difficult portion of the lift. That’s the point.

Doing these partial reps to inflate numbers?, be advised: Any rep that doesn’t both touch your chest and end with complete unassisted lockout is not a rep. This means that you can’t claim it when a fellow gym rat asks, “So how much ya bench?”

It’s true that partial bench reps are acceptable in certain training programs: elite level bodybuilders wish to increase time under tension in order to get maximum blood flow to certain areas of the body. Or a power-lifter working on a sticking point in the lift. Are you either of these two cases? Full range of motion yields maximal results – don’t cheat yourself.