Should You Bench Press ?

Discussion in 'Gator Country Health and Fitness' started by Dreamliner, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,543
    Likes Received:
    510
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +2,492
    According to respected trainer, Chad Waterbury, unless you're a powerlifter ... no. Here he explains why and suggests productive alternatives:

    http://www.chadwaterbury.com
  2. LeafUF
    Offline

    LeafUF Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    13,503
    Likes Received:
    303
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Wandering
    Ratings Received:
    +401
    Definitely an interesting stance though not one I plan to adopt any time soon. To me if it isn't harmful and you enjoy it there is no reason to quit. I actually think for me changing to movements that would require a higher amount of reps would aggravate some injuries and lead to set backs.
  3. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,543
    Likes Received:
    510
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +2,492
    Yeah, I'm not a big fan of high reps either. I've hurt myself doing high reps as well as low reps. I've hurt myself doing weights and bodyweight exercises. A new trend is doing low reps, but nowhere near maximal effort ... but doing them more frequently. Ex: 2 X 5 with maybe 10RM weights ... but five days a week.

    However, I will say that "It doesn't hurt now" can, repeat: CAN be seductive as damage can occur, little by little, over time before it becomes apparent. I know that's what happened to me. I did ridiculous stuff, for years, before my shoulders began to hurt.

    On the other side, some are obviously better built for bench pressing than others. Men with shorter humeri and barrel chests only have to push the bar 12'' or so. And their elbows don't migrate much past midline.
  4. LeafUF
    Offline

    LeafUF Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    13,503
    Likes Received:
    303
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Wandering
    Ratings Received:
    +401
    Good point on some being better built for it. I have a naturally big chest and my arms aren't very long. Even with shoulder issues bench has never aggravated me. And in fact I only do between 15 and 20 reps a week. That's it. I do think Waterbury is right that a fighter is better served doing other exercises nut what about an offensive lineman?
  5. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,543
    Likes Received:
    510
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +2,492
    Well, you'd think that O-Linemen are made for bench pressing. But some argue that an incline-pressing movement better transfers to blocking and fending off people, presumably because you typically extend your arms with torso inclination in the 'athletic stance.'

    On a side-note: just a pet-peeve of mine, but I don't understand why obesity is considered to be an advantage for an O-Lineman. I get the 'mass is harder to move" argument. But I think I'd prefer to trade off at least some of the fat for the enhanced athleticism.
  6. ATL_Gator
    Offline

    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,340
    Likes Received:
    1,402
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Acworth, GA
    Ratings Received:
    +1,413
    You should bench press, but only on Mondays. That should immediately be followed by some incline bench presses, then finish up with a boatload of curls, preferrably with too much weight where you use your back and momentum to complete the curl.


    Too much?
  7. 97g8tr
    Offline

    97g8tr VIP Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,704
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Ratings Received:
    +1
    bench pressing is great for developing bar muscles.
  8. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,543
    Likes Received:
    510
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +2,492
    No, that's just right. Then you should drive home, hunched over the wheel. Then spend the rest of the evening hunched over the computer. This really brings out the pecs.
  9. tec68
    Offline

    tec68 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,476
    Likes Received:
    88
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Fort Pierce
    Ratings Received:
    +91
    I honestly just enjoy benching more than any thing else.
  10. StrangeGator
    Offline

    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    28,282
    Likes Received:
    563
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Chicago
    Ratings Received:
    +1,628
    I like the bench press because it's nice to lay down.
  11. LeafUF
    Offline

    LeafUF Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    13,503
    Likes Received:
    303
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Wandering
    Ratings Received:
    +401
    All the bench press hate is odd. Its worked for every bodybuilder since the inception of the sport. I think it still works. Most of arent trying to build functional muscle though a strong chest does come in handy. Honestly, working out is the pursuit of vanity and if benching builds "bar muscles" then that is what you should be doing.
  12. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,543
    Likes Received:
    510
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +2,492
    I don't see it so much as hate (although there may be some of that ... and certainly I wouldn't mind being a big bench-presser) as much as a refreshing counter-balance to long-standing convention. We've had bench press for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Maybe it's time to talk about something else.

    If you're a powerlifter, clearly you have to bench press. If you enjoy bench-pressing, and it isn't injurious, by all means, bench press! Otherwise:

    I again submit that there is no such thing as an "exercise you can't do without." Bench Press is no exception. For pushing strength AND hypertrophy, there are numerous (and arguably safer AND more effective) alternatives. And when you watch elite bodybuilders train these days, you are as apt to see them using dumbbells and even machines as you are barbell bench presses.
  13. GuyWhiteyCorngood
    Offline

    GuyWhiteyCorngood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,296
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +184
    In a year of crossfit, we benched once using our bodyweight. After not benching for more than 6 months, my bench press was stronger than ever.
  14. LeafUF
    Offline

    LeafUF Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    13,503
    Likes Received:
    303
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Wandering
    Ratings Received:
    +401
    True except the article argues against those as well.
  15. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,543
    Likes Received:
    510
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +2,492
    I'm not sure I follow ... that he argues against dumbbells and machines too ?
  16. LeafUF
    Offline

    LeafUF Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    13,503
    Likes Received:
    303
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Wandering
    Ratings Received:
    +401
    Yeah, unless I am misunderstanding his quotes.

    Now I do totally agree that there is no exercise you cant live without and if people dont want to bench press by all mean dont do it. I just prefer it to the exercises he is recommending.
  17. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,543
    Likes Received:
    510
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +2,492
    Fair enough.
  18. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,543
    Likes Received:
    510
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +2,492
    Latest T-Nation article, by noted strength trainer Nick Tumminello, underscoring the limitations of the bench press. For starters, with regards to the claim that the lift transfers to sports, one study has shown that an individual cannot exert a force greater than around 40% his bodyweight while standing:

    http://www.t-nation.com

    And again, Tumminello says the same thing I'd say, do bench press if: (a) you're a powerlifter or (b) you enjoy it.

    Otherwise, it's overrated.
  19. LeafUF
    Offline

    LeafUF Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    13,503
    Likes Received:
    303
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Wandering
    Ratings Received:
    +401
    Here is the direct link. http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/the_truth_about_the_bench_press_1

  20. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    65,543
    Likes Received:
    510
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +2,492
    Thanks, Leaf. And keep on bench-pressing! :wink:

Share This Page