T Nation

531 Without Bench Press


Hey guys, I just got a squat rack and barbell for my 15th birthday, but I don’t have a bench. Is it okay to skip benching and just squat deadlift and overheadpress? I want to start the boring but big program and I wanted to see if I should do it. I would really appreciate anyone who takes the time to answer this.


Do floor press for the time being, better than nothing


With as much weight as I can get into position? It will only be a small amount of weight


The squat rack in my house goes low enough that I can place the barbell on the rack, load plates, lie down in the floor under neath and do a floor press. Check how low you can put yours. If it’s not possible, then save for a bench and do push ups for now. Do what you can.


Drop the safeties as low as possible and unrack off them to floor press. If you don’t have safeties, press twice a week. Or do Z-presses (sitting on the floor legs extended in front of you) one day and military press the other.


Dump the bench press - its not going to kill you. Stay AWAY from weird barbell variations of any lift UNTIL you have mastered the “real thing” i.e. the squat, press and deadlift.

I also encourage you to learn how to jump/bound, situp, dip, chin/pull up, leg raise, ab wheel, and RUN.

If you do this, you will get stronger and be better PHYSICALLY. I work with kids everyday and while the kids themselves are fucking great, I am baffled how few are even remotely physically fit/strong. And these are ATHLETES, not “regular people”. You got the shit-end of the stick in terms of developing a GPP base so make sure you get this done.


Thanks for the answer Jim, I’ll do that


Two more questions then I’ll leave you alone. Should I do my curls, pushdowns and face pulls on OHP day because I’ll only be doing one main lift? And can I substitute upright rows for facepulls because I don’t have any cables?


Rubber bands. Cheap and effective.