T Nation

Bench or Arm Press?


#1

My gym is small, and doesnt have a bench, just a squat rack, which everyone benches on, is it better to use that or to use the arm press machine. And on the squat rack, does the bar count for any weight?


#2

Since you're asking if the bar counts as any weight, it sounds like the squat rack at your gym is actually a smith machine. Benching in a smith machine, or with an arm press machine are both far inferior to using free weights- sounds like you need to find a new gym, or if yours has dumbbells, press with them instead.


#3

ya it has dumbells, but the price of the gym is $40 a YEAR, so you cant beat that!!! The nearest gym is like 15 miles away, and I can't drive. The problem with dumbells is that my left is way weaker due to me breaking it and it was broke for 9 months. So my right arm can do by far more weight. Ill just work it more.


#4

If your left is weaker than your right, it gives you more reason to use dumbells to correct the imbalance.


#5

Trust me I try, its making gains in size mainly, I cant even do curls properly because my hand wont bend straight, I cant even do curls on the wavy shaped curl bar... I have been stretching every day, hopefully it will catch up...


#6

He's right, if you use a smith machine it'll only further the imbalance because your stronger arm will do the majaority of the lift being a smith is a fixed range of motion and there is no balance. Using dumbbells will have them working on there own, and ya may have to go light bc of the previous injury but it'll help you in the long run.


#7

I guess Ill do the dumbells, But I can do practically the same on a smith as I can on a regular free weight bench. I guess I will do DB bench and look like a sissy ha because my left arm is weak.


#8

Don't worry about what you look like. You're probably the only person that's going to notice what weight you're using. As long as you know you're making progress that's all that matters.


#9

Ive made progress, I have nearly doubled most of my lifts, not to bad


#10

I think you'd look more like a sissy doing smith machine bench presses with a couple wheels on it than you would using db's that aren't exactly on the heavy side of the rack.


#11

fuck what ppl think just go in there and take care of business

after a few months you should see a major improvement in the other side becoming stronger. when u first enter the weight room few people have equal strength in both sides so don't worry about it, it will come.