Chest: Multiple Movements?

I was just browsing through some Max-OT templates out of curiosity.

One of the things I noticed in those, and in several “bro-splits” is that multiple pressing movements are used for the chest.

What’s the benefit of doing, say: 3 sets of BB incline, 3 sets of BB flat, 1 set of BB decline. Versus, 7 sets of whatever press variant hits your chest the best.

Assuming you’ve found a pressing movement that hits both pec heads well, why would you use multiple movements?

One big reason would be to save the shoulders.

Yeah saving the shoulders is key. I think thibs was saying that slight declines and partials on incline are easier on the shoulders than flat benching all the time.

[quote]LoRez wrote:
One of the things I noticed in those, and in several “bro-splits” is that multiple pressing movements are used for the chest.[/quote]
The idea of “attacking the muscle from different angles” ties a little bit to the debated idea of upper pecs, lower pecs, etc.

Part of it is anatomical, placing muscle under slightly different stretch, and part is strength-based. You’ll be stronger at some angles than others, which means the load used will be different, which means the reps used will be different, which means the overall stimulus will be different.

Brad Schoenfeld talked about some logic behind using different exercises per muscle here:

Thanks for that link. I’d never read that article before.

One of these days I’ll probably give that a fair trial since now I’m curious.

pcdude and jlabs

I’m not really following how it’s any better for the shoulders to do 7 heavy sets from different angles vs 7 heavy sets from the same angle. Could you elaborate?

I always have had decent tie ins even when being a fat powerlifter and also during/post low back back issues when I lost ~70 pounds of mixed fat and muscle. I’ve generally credited this to slightly paused deep reps on a low dumbbell incline. Seems like I lost development in that area every time I quit using some kind of exercise similar to that.

This is also broscience, so take it with a grain of salt.

To be honest I never really liked doing more than one chest pressing exercise in a training session. Recently I’ve been fooling around with incline and decline. Although I really like db presses after barbell presses. I usually will just rep 60s for 10 or 12s for a pump after doing strength sets on a barbell. I started doing decline because it makes me tuck my elbows in a bit more and it takes stress off the shoulder.

It all depends where you are tight and if you bench flared tucked or semi tucked. Also as Colluci stated hitting different parts of the muscle with different exercises stimulates growth because (A) It is working in a pattern that the body is not used to.(B) It forces the muscle to work from an angle that may cause force output from a region of a muscle that is underdeveloped or not used to direct stimulus.

Hence why people on this site say find an exercise you hate and get good at it. If you suck at that one exercise than you have shitty motor patterns for it and it is probably going to stimulate growth by getting good at it. Like front squats for myself I never trained them and now when I do them I get great pumps in my erectors from fighting the weight to stay upright. .

Personally though if I want to get better at one lift I train that one lift but as I outlined certain modifications on main lifts such as incline decline hand placement will shock your body and force you to work in a way that is yet to be an efficient movement for your body creating a stimulus that should create growth or new patterns in which you have to work to get used to.

I really think that plateaus happen because our bodies get used to the stimulus we put on it so it is good to switch up exercises and learn new ones to help growth.
This is just from my experience by the way and things I have noticed or learned through training and reading.

Thanks for the explanations.

To follow that up incline when I first started, the bar would stick when I lowered it my shoulder did not like pressing from the bottom position. Which means the mobility in the joint was messed up . I have since started doing more shoulder stretches and movements that make it feel better. DB presses lateral raises and incline partials feel great on my shoulders it’s usually when I get in the bottom position that I start to see issues

[quote]Jlabs wrote:
To be honest I never really liked doing more than one chest pressing exercise in a training session. Recently I’ve been fooling around with incline and decline. Although I really like db presses after barbell presses. I usually will just rep 60s for 10 or 12s for a pump after doing strength sets on a barbell. I started doing decline because it makes me tuck my elbows in a bit more and it takes stress off the shoulder. [/quote]

Could not agree more with this paragraph…