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Coach Correct about the Bench Press?

Basically my coach is trying to work around managing the risk of injury on the BB bench press and he has set out a plan for me to do incline smith machine bench press combined with DB Bench Press plus other DB exercises.

He believes that for our team the chances of injury on the BB bench is one that cannot be afforded and that he is looking to microload on the smith machine in combination with the DB Bench presses to make sure we go past plateaus. (because with the DB’S the increases are too high … e.g. 5kg increases if we want to move up the dumbbell weights)

What is his specific concern about the bench press?

[quote]PimpBot5000 wrote:
What is his specific concern about the bench press? [/quote]

He says that he has seen far too many young guys cut their seasons short and put the team in shit with pec tears, shoulder injuries etc.

I don’t know much about the science though, is the BB bench absolute necessary to progress on the chest? (i.e. would it seriously hinder our chances of say going from 50kg bench press to 100kg?)

smith machine bench is far worse than BB bench in terms of injury. your coach is a moron or just too lazy to teach correct bench pressing.

[quote]renatus wrote:

I don’t know much about the science though, is the BB bench absolute necessary to progress on the chest? (i.e. would it seriously hinder our chances of say going from 50kg bench press to 100kg?) [/quote]

Absolutely necessary…no. A very effective movement that shouldn’t be dropped from your arsenal without good reason? Definitely.

(Now, by “progress on the chest” you mean increasing your bench press numbers, then yes, I would consider it very necessary. I haven’t noted much carry-over between DB to BB pressing)

If you learn good form, proper progression, and not lifting with your ego, there is absolutely no reason to drop the bench press from your routine. Tell your coach to check out this site, sounds like he needs some help

[quote]hanban wrote:
smith machine bench is far worse than BB bench in terms of injury. your coach is a moron or just too lazy to teach correct bench pressing.

[/quote]

wtf plz explain

[quote]PimpBot5000 wrote:

[quote]renatus wrote:

I don’t know much about the science though, is the BB bench absolute necessary to progress on the chest? (i.e. would it seriously hinder our chances of say going from 50kg bench press to 100kg?) [/quote]

Absolutely necessary…no. A very effective movement that shouldn’t be dropped from your arsenal without good reason? Definitely.

(Now, by “progress on the chest” you mean increasing your bench press numbers, then yes, I would consider it very necessary. I haven’t noted much carry-over between DB to BB pressing)

If you learn good form, proper progression, and not lifting with your ego, there is absolutely no reason to drop the bench press from your routine. Tell your coach to check out this site, sounds like he needs some help[/quote]

Right, so my understanding of it is that i got injured on BB bench because i did not have a spot, surely if you have a spot you can reduce injury chances dramatically anyway?

[quote]hanban wrote:
smith machine bench is far worse than BB bench in terms of injury.
[/quote]

This is not true.

There is no reason at all that either should cause an injury.

Eh, he’s a coach working with a specific group of boys. I wouldn’t go “recommending” he visit this site just yet.

First, you should sit down with him and ask him why he is doing it specifically. Take notes. Try to learn from your coach. Take those notes back to this thread and see if they match up. Maybe he is wrong or ignorant…or maybe YOU misunderstood him. Is he saying to never bench again? Just not for the next 3-5 months while you are in-season? Did you do something (or someone else on your team) that gave him a reason to restrict your exercises? Is the ban for the whole team or just for you specifically?

Also, this is for a sport in-season? What sport? Are your goals better performance, increased numbers, or something else? If you are trying to “have it all” you may run into problems.

My 2 cents.

[quote]Gambit_Lost wrote:
Eh, he’s a coach working with a specific group of boys. I wouldn’t go “recommending” he visit this site just yet.

First, you should sit down with him and ask him why he is doing it specifically. Take notes. Try to learn from your coach. Take those notes back to this thread and see if they match up. Maybe he is wrong or ignorant…or maybe YOU misunderstood him. Is he saying to never bench again? Just not for the next 3-5 months while you are in-season? Did you do something (or someone else on your team) that gave him a reason to restrict your exercises? Is the ban for the whole team or just for you specifically?

Also, this is for a sport in-season? What sport? Are your goals better performance, increased numbers, or something else? If you are trying to “have it all” you may run into problems.

My 2 cents.

[/quote]

The ban is for the whole team while we’re preparing for tournaments (we’re a rugby team).

I hate the barbell bench press. I didn’t start getting comments on my chest development until I quit doing it. It helped build a solid base, but I am one of those who would recommend serious lifters try more exercises that allow both sides to work independently along with more incline work.

In other words, the barbell is great for beginners. You need to learn the basics and build that strength up.

if your plan is to have a HUGE chest, plan to eventually move into other areas with your primary focus.

I understand this is about performance, but again, I felt limited in strength by the barbell bench mostly because it takes confidence in your spotter to really test yourself and progress into an above average strength range.

[quote]yolo84 wrote:

[quote]hanban wrote:
smith machine bench is far worse than BB bench in terms of injury.
[/quote]

This is not true.

There is no reason at all that either should cause an injury.[/quote]

I’ve actually noticed that smith benching, especially incline, is WAY harder on my wrists than regular bench/incline (or obviously dumbells). I’ve had a couple injuries from smith incline benching without even that much weight, that kept me from doing heavy pressing for a while, would never do that movement again. That’s just me though, and I have little shitty wrists.

I used the smith machine for years. I didn’t injure myself on it. I know guys who get injured doing anything. That doesn’t make the movements useless.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I used the smith machine for years. I didn’t injure myself on it. I know guys who get injured doing anything. That doesn’t make the movements useless.[/quote]

I agree, that’s why I added the bit at the end about just my personal shitty-wristed experience. Just thought I’d throw it out there since people were asking about how it could be worse for injuries, and I personally have found incline smith benching to be harder on the ol wrists.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I hate the barbell bench press. I didn’t start getting comments on my chest development until I quit doing it. It helped build a solid base, but I am one of those who would recommend serious lifters try more exercises that allow both sides to work independently along with more incline work.

In other words, the barbell is great for beginners. You need to learn the basics and build that strength up.

if your plan is to have a HUGE chest, plan to eventually move into other areas with your primary focus.

I understand this is about performance, but again, I felt limited in strength by the barbell bench mostly because it takes confidence in your spotter to really test yourself and progress into an above average strength range.[/quote]

I’m sure you’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but what exercises do you recommend?

When you say “both sides to work independently” I’m assuming you mean things like DB flyes and DB bench. I also saw you mentioned incline work.

What else?

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I hate the barbell bench press. I didn’t start getting comments on my chest development until I quit doing it. It helped build a solid base, but I am one of those who would recommend serious lifters try more exercises that allow both sides to work independently along with more incline work.

In other words, the barbell is great for beginners. You need to learn the basics and build that strength up.

if your plan is to have a HUGE chest, plan to eventually move into other areas with your primary focus.

I understand this is about performance, but again, I felt limited in strength by the barbell bench mostly because it takes confidence in your spotter to really test yourself and progress into an above average strength range.[/quote]

I’m sure you’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but what exercises do you recommend?

When you say “both sides to work independently” I’m assuming you mean things like DB flyes and DB bench. I also saw you mentioned incline work.

What else?[/quote]

I like dumbbells…a lot for increasing your strength once your bench press moves into “can kill me without a spotter” territory. Incline and flat bench dumbbells will fill your chest out. With that as the core movements (which for me usually means the exercises done second in a workout where I truly go all out) all you should need is to add any movements you are currently weak in. I would do at least 3 different movement for chest…a heavy flat and incline movement and then at least one exercise where the goal is just to feel that muscle group working with moderate weight.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I hate the barbell bench press. I didn’t start getting comments on my chest development until I quit doing it. It helped build a solid base, but I am one of those who would recommend serious lifters try more exercises that allow both sides to work independently along with more incline work.

In other words, the barbell is great for beginners. You need to learn the basics and build that strength up.

if your plan is to have a HUGE chest, plan to eventually move into other areas with your primary focus.

I understand this is about performance, but again, I felt limited in strength by the barbell bench mostly because it takes confidence in your spotter to really test yourself and progress into an above average strength range.[/quote]

I’m sure you’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but what exercises do you recommend?

When you say “both sides to work independently” I’m assuming you mean things like DB flyes and DB bench. I also saw you mentioned incline work.

What else?[/quote]

I like dumbbells…a lot for increasing your strength once your bench press moves into “can kill me without a spotter” territory. Incline and flat bench dumbbells will fill your chest out. With that as the core movements (which for me usually means the exercises done second in a workout where I truly go all out) all you should need is to add any movements you are currently weak in. I would do at least 3 different movement for chest…a heavy flat and incline movement and then at least one exercise where the goal is just to feel that muscle group working with moderate weight.[/quote]

Meadows had me doing it the other way around this week, it felt awesome

aka start with some time of pec deck/fly/cable crossover for high reps with a hard squeeze and then move to incline pressing and then flat bb pressing

It was one of my best chest workout ever… best pump ever too

As a powerlifter I am going to chime in:
The bench press can be very hazardous to the shoulders and chest, or it can be an excellent movement.

Often, I see guys benching with their shoulders completely anteriorly rotated, and bringing the bar down to their neck… Benching like this will surely cause damage to the shoulders and chest.

Now, I personally bench something like 4-6 times a week, and have done so every week for over a year. Shoulders always feel great and chest has never been a problem. Why do I think this is the case?

  1. I don’t do maximal exertion sets.
  2. I bench with excellent form
  3. I do light chest flyes after I bench - GREAT for the pec tendons
  4. I do rear delt flyes after I bench - GREAT for shoulder health

I think that the bench press can be an outstanding movement to develop your chest and triceps, but needs to be used properly.

Now I probably don’t have the largest chest in the world, but if you ever look at the bench benchers in the worlds, they have INSANE chests, and do nothing but bench. Honestly, there is a million ways to build a chest, and the bench press should be viewed as a tool. IMO the best tool, but every one has their preferences.

PS: Regarding needing a spotter, just bench in a rack with the safety pins set. I always do this… Pins are way more dependable that a spotter will ever be IMO.

Regarding the smith machine:
It is WAY harder on you because it forces the bar to move in one linear motion! The proper mechanics of the bench press, dictate that the bar should not be moving in a perfectly straing line. The bar should come in contact with the bottom of the chest (maybe right above the sternum but everyone is unique). Then when you press, you obviously need to finish with the bar in line with the fron of the shoulders otherwise it will be pulling your arms to drop it on your stomach… Ergo, IMO the smith machine is garbage for benching.

Again, just my opinions.

[quote]Gambit_Lost wrote:
Eh, he’s a coach working with a specific group of boys. I wouldn’t go “recommending” he visit this site just yet.

[/quote]

Why not? I think any coach for almost any sport could benefit from some of the articles here.

Hell, I wish my coaches in high school had access to a site like this - wouldn’t have had training routines based upon deep-knee bends and sit-ups if they had…

[quote]renatus wrote:

[quote]Gambit_Lost wrote:
Eh, he’s a coach working with a specific group of boys. I wouldn’t go “recommending” he visit this site just yet.

First, you should sit down with him and ask him why he is doing it specifically. Take notes. Try to learn from your coach. Take those notes back to this thread and see if they match up. Maybe he is wrong or ignorant…or maybe YOU misunderstood him. Is he saying to never bench again? Just not for the next 3-5 months while you are in-season? Did you do something (or someone else on your team) that gave him a reason to restrict your exercises? Is the ban for the whole team or just for you specifically?

Also, this is for a sport in-season? What sport? Are your goals better performance, increased numbers, or something else? If you are trying to “have it all” you may run into problems.

My 2 cents.

[/quote]

The ban is for the whole team while we’re preparing for tournaments (we’re a rugby team). [/quote]

Maybe its because the flat barbell bench press is probably the most useless pressing exercise for rugby…