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'Flat Bench Press is a Sh**ty Exercise'


said Yates in a seminar (I can't post it on forum because of spamming problemS),basically He said that low decline bench press has been his main muscle builder for chest,so low incline bench press and that he stopped to perform flat bench because it's dangerous (pec tearing) and less effective for chest development.

fom Stars to rats,I tend to agree , from august I quited flat bench and never come back, but I would like to know opinions about throwing the flat BP out the window....


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Reverse grip bench and decline bench are FAR superior.


every muscle has specific function...if you study the functions, you will be able to understand which movements will stimulate certain muscle's the most...

the chest's function is similar to decline.....and hence...decline has highest pec activity out of all variations...

that being said....my chest grows just fine off flat bench, and i like doing it for ego purposes...


For obvious reasons, those of us who compete (even recreationally) in powerlifting competitions would still like to keep it in our program. However, I can't imagine that switching back and forth between decline and flat bench would be the worst idea ever. Perhaps even just switching back a few weeks before a competition to fix any flat bench form issues. thoughts?


I know a lot of people who do not like it because if joint issues and what not, and I use to be one of them until I started pre-exhausting my chest. So for those who don't like it I also suggest at least trying a pre-exhaust, and yes your numbers will take a hit but I get far better stimulation out of it now.


In a strictly bodybuilding sense, it does for 90+ of trainees.


I stick to what I've said before; till someone has actually started to develop a chest and started to develop strength in the flat movement (3 plates) I don't think you can make a blanket statement about the usefulness or lack thereof of the flat bench for chest development (or tricep/shoulder dominance). The fundamental movement recruits all the important muscles.

It is such a blamed exercise because so many people ONLY do flat bench for the chest and end up with various issues. More often than not aggravation on the flat is symptomatic of OTHER issues that need to be addressed.

So many people get on this site, see a thread like this, and end up trying to do something like 10 exercises for chest without focussing on anything and getting any progression.

Give it 5 years when everyone doing low incline/decline bench start complaining of all the same issues.


We're trying to bodybuild, not powerlift.

It doesn't matter if you bench 315 or 135, some people's bad habits/physiology/psychology/whatever prevents them from stressing their chest with a flat bench press. Sure it gets worked, and sure you'll put on muscle on your way to a 315 bench, but if heavy flyes or decline works the target muscle better, why beat a dead horse?


Don't quote random rhetoric thrown around on this site. Inferring my post was about powerlifting vs bodybuilding is idiotic.

When it comes to fly exercise, I am yet to meet, or see anyone on this site who has a great chest from doing flys. All well and good the guys with big chests who are using flys more for ongoing development, but as a primary exercise I'm still doubtful.

I have no issue with decline or incline pressing. Don't be a fanboy with comprehension issues. I am completely against blanket statements that the flat bench is a shitty exercise when there really is little concrete proof that this is true.

I have been in so many gyms where every clown (on bench press Monday) wastes their time doing 5 different pressing variations, then get into the multistation to do their million crossovers.

And yes, it does matter if someone is benching 135 or 315. Someone benching 135 can't comment on what is and isn't a good exercise for their chest development; they don't have one yet.


Flat bench press hits my chest better than any other exercise, real talk.


I like flat bench because, I can lift a lot of weight and progress faster compared to other chest movements and I really feel my chest working.

I know some people have shoulder problem from it but I never have. I know some people are tri and delt dominant but I'm not. I could go into the gym and only do four heavy sets of flat bench and an hour or two later my chest will be fatigued and cramp up when I reach my arm across my chest and the next day or two I would have DOMS in my chest.

I like incline too and I will probably switch back to using that as my primary chest movement soon, but thats only because flat bench has been successfull for me at putting some size on my chest and now I want to balance out the upper part.

I never liked decline, I dont think I've ever seen someone who's upper chest is too big for their lower (in my opinion) and it just feels weird.

Now I'm would never stand there and tell someone who has experience that they should do flat bench as their primary exercise if they have had more success with something else. I think it is pretty stupid to say that flat bench is a shitty exercise though when so many people have done well using it.


I'm not dropping an exercise that put stretch marks on my chest after a couple weeks of adding it in


Is anyone asking you to?


I hate decline. I don't like flat bench, though I must admit, I get the best pump in my chest from them, while it allows me to use the most weight. So, it's effective, but it won't make me to like it (because I suck at every types of benching :slight_smile: ) After years of avoiding flat bench, I do them every pushing workout now.

Because they're effective. I also hate machine chest presses, but I do them. Because they work. :o)


No but people who are putting out the blanket statement that "reverse grip benches and decline" are better are suggesting it


For me they are. I don't give a fuck what exercises you do, this thread isn't for you clearly.


no one is saying not to flat bench....but, people avoid declines for some reason...

decline and dips have scored highest on every EMG I've seen for chest activation...in all areas of the chest...so, why avoid it?

here is an emg test done by an author on this site..


also interesting to note...weighted dips scored almost as high in tricep activation as the isolation exercises...


Um, the op is asking him.


I saw the video before it was removed. Dorian does say that flat bench is a shitty pec exercise and dangerous...for him.

I'm slightly biased because I come from a powerlifting and rugby background, but I would never completely remove flat bench from my training primarily because it's such a great strength builder, and for me, a great chest builder. And anyone who says that being strong isn't important in bodybuilding training can go argue somewhere else. I've never seen anyone who can bench 200kg+ with underdeveloped pecs.

I'd even disagree with Dorian about it being a dangerous exercise. Maybe for people with existing shoulder and elbow problems, but I have a hard time swallowing that a properly executed bench press will give you problems.

To paraphrase his reasoning in the video, he basically says "I speak to powerlifter friends who have had pec tears etc. and how did they get their injuries? Surprise surprise, flat bench".
It seems obvious to me that if a powerlifter was going to tear a pec, the bench press would pretty much be the most likely culprit, to the point of being obvious. But if you're going to push yourself into injury territory, it could happen on anything. The same lifter could tear a knee ligament squatting or something.