T Nation

Bench Press for Bodybuilder vs Powerlifter?



I began working out less than a year ago, and only seriously began in late November or so, and I've recently come to an impasse. Probably my favorite workout day is the chest day, where I generally do BB bench press, incline BB, and a set of flys and incline flys, finishing up with push ups, and I generally do this once to twice a week (depending on how my 4 day cycle works and how many off days I take).

Anyways, I began researching recently more and more about the bench press, becoming a fan of Dave Tate's particular opinions on the exercise, however, although I aspire to bench a lot, I do want to focus on building a nicer chest (in particular more definition), and I suppose inevitably focusing more on the bodybuilding aspect of it, so I wasn't sure if I Dave's techniques for the bench press (i.e elbows tucked as opposed to flared, cross-over from the power lifting realm.

Should I follow what he does to the letter, even given my goals? Or are there other means/resources that I should look into? I also would like to get rid of as much as possible any man boobs, which I know would inevitably come from body fat reduction and cardio, but are there any exercises specifically that help in this department? I haven't looked too much into decline presses yet, are those recommended?

Thanks for any help!


Dave still benches a shit ton, and although a more bodybuilder style bench will yield a bit more chest development, Dave's techinique is much safer. As far as reducing said "man boobs", theres no such thing as spot reduction, meaning you wont reduce fat specificly on your chest by doing chest exercises. Loss of body fat is going to be from your whole body, not just one spot.


Oh yea, I am aware that spot reduction isn't possible, but I was wondering if there are any exercises that would help define that area, sort of add more muscle and tightness to it I guess?


This is very important. You're in this for the long run.

How much do you lift? No real other way to tell what kind of help you need... DB presses are good for chest size, and doing it at an incline might help the chest you develop look less like a boob and more like a pec. But losing fat is the real key there.


Going to agree on both here. Specifically safety--dave's torn almost every muscle you can tear: BOTH pecs (one completely off the bone), calves, hamstring, quads, low back, upper back, both shoulders.

He tore the pecs from benching like a bodybuilder with powerlifting goals (ie: bench a lot of weight).

Depends on where you are of course.


Well I started bench pressing seriously around 5 months ago, right now I'm at about 185 for 6-8 reps, I usually start with 135 and do that like 12 times and build up, a 12-10-8 scheme..at the end of this scheme I sometimes do a one rep max, which is currently at 225.

I also tend to like doing a lot of incline stuff, I've done incline exercises for the upper pec since the start so my upper pecs actually look pretty nice, I just have some body fat to burn still.