T Nation

Bench Press Question

This question applies to DB and BB bench press, because I have the same issue when I do both.

Yesterday, I did my push day, only chest/tricep work because it’s been a while. So yesterday my workout was:

DB Bench 5 sets 10,8,6,5,12
Flat Chest Press Machine 4X8
Incline DB Fly/DB Press Superset 3X8
Tricep Pushdowns 4X8
Pushups 3Xfailure
no direct shoulder work

When I woke up today i’m sore, as usual, but my front delts are just as sore if not more-so than my pecs. This has been a consistent thing for me.
Does my bench form need tweaking? Am I missing out on chest gains? Or is this not a big deal?
Thanks in advance

Could be a couple of things…

My first guess would be that your doing your DB presses too high, and not tucking in the elbows, bringing more of the shoulders into play. Grab a video of your DB press for form review…

MMC? Maybe squeeze the pecs a bit at the top. Also don’t lower DB’s so low the tension comes off the pecs and onto the delts. Also like above on the BB bench tuck elbows a bit (Powerlifting style).

BB Bench honestly is an upper strength exercise anyway. Your dominate muscles tend to take over that movement, and if its not the chest then you wont get the pec pump your looking for.

A common mistake i had to corect is too much ROM. Maybe when bench pressing you go too low, Our training librairy includes videos that might be helpfull.
For flys i prefer a machine because we can hold under tension hands together.
Pecs press machine if available you might try neutral grip.
Also pushups a small adjustment with hands placement might have some impact.
Sometimes small tweaks do make a difference.

Louie Simmons said the bench press was an arm exercise…and I believe him more and more every time I bench.

If you’re looking for a pump try reverse grip bench press

Is your goal to build your pecs, or increase your bench? The answer to that question determines which form you want.

[quote]chobbs wrote:
If you’re looking for a pump try reverse grip bench press[/quote]
Not necessarily looking for a pump. I just want to be benching in the most effective way possible as far as getting stronger and building muscle.

[quote]mkral55 wrote:
Is your goal to build your pecs, or increase your bench? The answer to that question determines which form you want. [/quote]
I’d like to do both if possible, but of the two building strength and increasing my numbers is the first priority.

[quote]Andrewdwatters1 wrote:

[quote]mkral55 wrote:
Is your goal to build your pecs, or increase your bench? The answer to that question determines which form you want. [/quote]
I’d like to do both if possible, but of the two building strength and increasing my numbers is the first priority. [/quote]

In that case, soreness in the anterior delts isnt a cause for concern at all, imo. A lot of PLers seem to like to ‘take stress’ off the shoulders, but the anterior delts remain a pretty big part of the bench press.

Also with those stated goals you should be training bench PL style. Check out dave tate and jim wendlers bench articles or post a video in the PL forum of your bench if you are still worried its a form issue.

not that big of a deal. make sure you’re tucking the arms and give the false grip a try
( as Dave says, don’t be an idiot)

Dave Tate cracks me up

If you tuck your elbows while benching you are doing a front raise with your shoulder.

This is why a good powerlifting bench isn’t really that good of a chest exercise.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
If you tuck your elbows while benching you are doing a front raise with your shoulder.

This is why a good powerlifting bench isn’t really that good of a chest exercise.[/quote]

Yeah, I definitely bench in a BB style. I’ll go ahead and grab a vid today so you guys have something better to work with.

Here’s the vid of my 4th set of BB bench from tonight. Would have gotten the fifth but I asked my filmer to spot.

Can’t see any video…Are you sure your front delts are sore? Or have you got sore shoulder joints? You’re flaring too much IMHO.

[quote]knokkelezoute73 wrote:
Can’t see any video…Are you sure your front delts are sore? Or have you got sore shoulder joints? You’re flaring too much IMHO.[/quote]Agreed. Tuck the elbows in a little bit more, bring the bar closer to the bottom of your chest, and see how much better that feels. I used to flare my elbows like a mother fucker and I still get joint pains.

Probably too much flaring and maybe a high incline on the db bench

Looks like a pretty wide grip, maybe consider that.

Take a page from the bodybuilders book. Flex your pecs constantly, consciously build that mental connection to the muscle. Sitting at work, on the couch, whatever.
Squeeze together your pecs with the hardest contraction you can and hold it till they cramp.
Practice making your pecs bounce. Not just flexing each independently, you should actually be able to get a serious noticeable bounce even with a shirt on.
Play around benching with just an empty bar, or 95lb. It should be so easy that you can focus purely on lifting with your chest. Close your eyes and imagine the electrical pulse traveling from your brain to the pecks, and then the pecs lighting up, literally ‘firing.’

[quote]Andrewdwatters1 wrote:
When I woke up today i’m sore, as usual, but my front delts are just as sore if not more-so than my pecs.[/quote]

I’m not a bodybuilder, so I can’t help you tweak form to hit your chest more, but what I can tell you is that what you’re experiencing is the norm, not the exception.

I would be way more surprised if you told me you felt it more in your chest than your front delts. In my experience the limiting factor on bench press training is virtually never the chest, it’s all the other crap. Your front delt is practically the size of your thumb, whereas your pecs are enormous by comparison. Just look at the infatuation powerlifters have with keeping their shoulders healthy and balanced.