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Does Decline Bench Help?

So I started looking back in my training logs because my bench has been stuck about 20 lbs below what it was before I strained my pec and I noticed that I was doing Decline BB Bench pretty frequently as compared to now I don’t do it at all. I guess I stopped because I noticed no one else seems to do it. I was also doing some board presses in there as well but I have been floor pressing and am still stuck. So my question is, how many of you Decline for either a ME lift or a supplemental lift? Who has had success with it or who has seen no benefit from it? I plan to start working it back in, because it seems that it did help. Also, where I’m at now, I have no boards and my elbow (humeroradial joint) is bothering me with floor presses so I’m going to have to take a few weeks off of those as well. So I figure Decline is a good, relatively partial movement to perform as long as I don’t arch too crazy in addition to the decline. So, any thoughts?

what bench routine are you following right now?

I’ve never liked decline bench as a Max effort movement. I can’t get set up tight or stay that way due to having to hook the feet under stuff. I never had any carry over to my flat bench. I have done it with light weights and done decline skull crushers on the bench with decent improvement to triceps strength which would carry over to other things.

No boards, no problem man. Check out Yoga blocks. They are dense foam and some are cork. They are the thickness of a 2 board and one can stick them right under their T shirt. They fit in most gym bags and don’t weigh much. Best of all, you can get a two pack at Walmart for around $10. Before my shoulder surgery I’d use these quite often. I even cut one in half to make a 1 board. This really helped my shoulder not feel like total ass.

StrengthDawg, I appreciate the tip on yoga blocks, I’ll look into those. If I use it for ME it will be for 3-5 reps and I think I’ll probably keep it more as a supplementary movement.

Larry10, I’m running conjugate periodization (I won’t call it Westside because of the “It’s not Westside if you’re not at Westside statement.”)

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
I’ve never liked decline bench as a Max effort movement. I can’t get set up tight or stay that way due to having to hook the feet under stuff. I never had any carry over to my flat bench. I have done it with light weights and done decline skull crushers on the bench with decent improvement to triceps strength which would carry over to other things.

No boards, no problem man. Check out Yoga blocks. They are dense foam and some are cork. They are the thickness of a 2 board and one can stick them right under their T shirt. They fit in most gym bags and don’t weigh much. Best of all, you can get a two pack at Walmart for around $10. Before my shoulder surgery I’d use these quite often. I even cut one in half to make a 1 board. This really helped my shoulder not feel like total ass. [/quote]

I agree with this. Ive never gotten any carryover with decline, and all the 400-500 benchers ive trained with never did it. Not sayin it has absolutely no value, but i personally dont even like it as an accessory lift. Theres a bunch of bench variations i like better.

In addition to the yoga block idea, actual wood boards are pretty damn cheap too, Menards or Lowes or whatever usually has a scrap wood section and you can get a usable piece for 99 cents.

Great for triceps extensions and ab work. Not so much for bench pressing.

Does anyone know why decline triceps extensions work so well?

[quote]cscsDPT17 wrote:
StrengthDawg, I appreciate the tip on yoga blocks, I’ll look into those. If I use it for ME it will be for 3-5 reps and I think I’ll probably keep it more as a supplementary movement.

Larry10, I’m running conjugate periodization (I won’t call it Westside because of the “It’s not Westside if you’re not at Westside statement.”)
[/quote]

Hey man, I’m of the belief, that to bench more you have to bench more.

The conjugate system is extremely cool amd excellent for pure strength, but unless you take a trip to westside to really learn how to use it, you’re likely doing it wrong. I really don’t mean that as an insult, I’ve tried it and totally screwed it up.

I was a beginner doing westside, and I barely knew how to bench properly, and I was doing everything but benching… speed work is cool, and will for sure make you faster, but you need that base technique and skill to make it effective I feel.

I’ve read studies that suggest it takes 10 000 reps to be good at something, and one I saw recently that says it takes a million reps to be an expert. Therefore, it will likely take a few lifetimes to get really good if you’re using westside.

I’d reccomend you try a program like sheiko, where you bench 3x a week, and do a lot of volube around 80% for doubles and triples, I feel this translates much better to a raw bench as you’ll be getting tons of practice. You’ll likely surprise yourself with how much you learn, i know I have.

Why don’t you post a video of your bench, and we’ll see if there’s anything you can tighten up or improve upon that will help you get a PR. please don’t be insulted, any real lifter is thrilled to find something they’re doing wrong, as they see it as something they can improve upon the become better.

Either way, best of luck.

[quote]cscsDPT17 wrote:
So I started looking back in my training logs because my bench has been stuck about 20 lbs below what it was before I strained my pec and I noticed that I was doing Decline BB Bench pretty frequently as compared to now I don’t do it at all.[/quote]

For me, declines don’t really seem to help my bench enough that I would use my “economy of training” on that exercise over something else that I would get more out of. The lifts people get the most out of aren’t the same for everyone though. If you feel like you were making gains thanks to declines, don’t throw them out just cuz other people don’t do them.

Looking at the broader picture though, you strained your pec and you’re having trouble recouping your lost strength. I’m not sure how your pec feels nowadays, but it seems to me you could really benefit by hammering your triceps after you do your benching (this is pretty much true for everyone whether they have a pec injury or not lol).

How much close grip work are you doing? What about weighted dips? You can use the close grip on inclines and declines as well. I would encourage you to explore some more intense tricep training, and have those contributing a larger percentage of force on the bench relative to your chest.

Well the way I’m running it now, set up like the cube, is where I am actually doing the competition lifts at least 2/3s of the time. It’s helped my deadlift so far this cycle and conjugate is what got my deadlift to start taking off in the first place so I can’t drop it but I am following a different approach in that I’m only rotating through a few different exercises with the competition lifts being in the main rotation.

Also, from looking back at my log, I would do speed work with more like 65-75%. This was when I was first introduced to Westside (also, my pec injury was a couple months ago so it is more than healed now, don’t feel it at all. Just now hitting a wall though).

So now I’m either doing speed bench with 65-75% without dropping it so fast, controlled but still moderately fast eccentric, then explosive concentric. I already have been feeling better since jumping to that percentage range. And if I use bands, I’m using minis with 60% or so.

Having said that, if I don’t feel like this set up is going good in about 4-6 weeks I may try to run Sheiko. I’m about 16 weeks out from my first full powerlifting meet (I’m doing a DL only meet in a week and a half that I was originally going to do push/pull in but decided not to since my bench sucks). I’ll probably throw decline in just as supplementary and then try to get some boards for under my shirt.

Mkral55, how will scrap would feel under my shirt though? And how easily does it slide? I checked out the Yoga blocks at walmart last night and I feel like the foam ones would stay in place pretty good although I might still go with the cork since I feel like the foam might give way too much.

CSulli, I’ve actually been hammering my tri’s a good bit, actually did decline close grip yesterday before posting this. I plan to try out Incline CG as a supp movement soon. And actually the close grip put more strain on the portion of my pec that I strained as compared to comp grip (I could feel it on comp too though, just not as much).

hey man, if you need help knowing wich programs to pick for your peak just PM me, and I’ll let you know, that’s if you decide to do it.

Best of luck

[quote]cscsDPT17 wrote:

Mkral55, how will scrap would feel under my shirt though? And how easily does it slide? I checked out the Yoga blocks at walmart last night and I feel like the foam ones would stay in place pretty good although I might still go with the cork since I feel like the foam might give way too much.

[/quote]

Easy, two shirts. When I board press (which is not enough recently) I have a tshirt and a sweatshirt and the boards stay put pretty well inbetween the two. Go with cork/foam if you prefer though, was just tryin to expand your cheap options.

Just remembered too, never done this myself but I’ve heard of it: if you have access to a cambered bar, you can flip it around and do a really poor mans board press.

Aside from close grip benching, never use the decline myself. Movement is too similar to a flat setup without the added benefit of getting yourself fully stable.

Just my 2 cents being that everyone here has said different. But I actually enjoy decline. I do it after my flat pressing on my conjugate day. And usually happens after incline as well. I do not always do it but enjoy it.

Decline was the first movement that allowed me to “bench” 315 and now I can do it for around 12 on a flat. I like decline because of that. Most people can decline press more than their flat at the earlier pre 400ish stages. So it allows you to hold heavier weight and prep you more for hitting it on flat. Yeah you can use boards/floor press/pin press for that, but with decline you are touching your chest, even if its a shortened ROM which imo helps with the mental aspects of benching.

Regardless GL

@Fletch : Well, it’s pretty simple. Since the long head of your triceps take origin on your scapula (infraglenoidal tubercule), when you’re lying decline on a bench, gravity forces your arms to go straight to the floor which is counter-act by the force exerced by the upper portion of your pec and your long head triceps (imagine the movement of a pullover). Indeed, simply by declining your bench, you put more emphasis on the long portion of your triceps which carry more over the bench press than the other portions of the triceps.

Here’s a pic of my board set ups since I train alone mostly, and love the board presses. These boards are made of that composite decking because the gym I was going to took issue with 2x6’s saying that they would splinter and poke out my lungs. ( I’m serious- they were fucktards)These work well if you only have one buddy to train with as he can stay behind you and help spot or whatever and not have to hold the boards.

Basically make your boards 12" long or so. Then screw in an eye bolt into the bottom board, the one that lays on your chest. Attach a caribiner to the eye bolt in the board then hook onto your belt. This set up will also let you know if you get sloppy while pressing as they will start to shift around on you if you don’t stay tight or if you start bouncing the bar off the boards.

Hope this helps and give you folks some ideas on how to get some work in if you train alone or have limited training partners as I do.

[quote]Larry10 wrote:

[quote]cscsDPT17 wrote:
StrengthDawg, I appreciate the tip on yoga blocks, I’ll look into those. If I use it for ME it will be for 3-5 reps and I think I’ll probably keep it more as a supplementary movement.

Larry10, I’m running conjugate periodization (I won’t call it Westside because of the “It’s not Westside if you’re not at Westside statement.”)
[/quote]

Hey man, I’m of the belief, that to bench more you have to bench more.

The conjugate system is extremely cool amd excellent for pure strength, but unless you take a trip to westside to really learn how to use it, you’re likely doing it wrong. I really don’t mean that as an insult, I’ve tried it and totally screwed it up.

I was a beginner doing westside, and I barely knew how to bench properly, and I was doing everything but benching… speed work is cool, and will for sure make you faster, but you need that base technique and skill to make it effective I feel.

I’ve read studies that suggest it takes 10 000 reps to be good at something, and one I saw recently that says it takes a million reps to be an expert. Therefore, it will likely take a few lifetimes to get really good if you’re using westside.

I’d reccomend you try a program like sheiko, where you bench 3x a week, and do a lot of volube around 80% for doubles and triples, I feel this translates much better to a raw bench as you’ll be getting tons of practice. You’ll likely surprise yourself with how much you learn, i know I have.

Why don’t you post a video of your bench, and we’ll see if there’s anything you can tighten up or improve upon that will help you get a PR. please don’t be insulted, any real lifter is thrilled to find something they’re doing wrong, as they see it as something they can improve upon the become better.

Either way, best of luck.[/quote]

Every one of your posts is just pure gold.

CS

[quote]Larry10 wrote:
Hey man, I’m of the belief, that to bench more you have to bench more.

The conjugate system is extremely cool amd excellent for pure strength, but unless you take a trip to westside to really learn how to use it, you’re likely doing it wrong. I really don’t mean that as an insult, I’ve tried it and totally screwed it up.

I was a beginner doing westside, and I barely knew how to bench properly, and I was doing everything but benching… speed work is cool, and will for sure make you faster, but you need that base technique and skill to make it effective I feel.

I’ve read studies that suggest it takes 10 000 reps to be good at something, and one I saw recently that says it takes a million reps to be an expert. Therefore, it will likely take a few lifetimes to get really good if you’re using westside.

I’d reccomend you try a program like sheiko, where you bench 3x a week, and do a lot of volube around 80% for doubles and triples, I feel this translates much better to a raw bench as you’ll be getting tons of practice. You’ll likely surprise yourself with how much you learn, i know I have.

Why don’t you post a video of your bench, and we’ll see if there’s anything you can tighten up or improve upon that will help you get a PR. please don’t be insulted, any real lifter is thrilled to find something they’re doing wrong, as they see it as something they can improve upon the become better.

Either way, best of luck.[/quote]

I like you, your posts, and the way you think.

nohetero

thanks a lot guys, it’s sincerely appreciated, and a long long road to get to this point