T Nation

Incline Bench Stronger Than Flat?

So me and my workout partner were wondering if there is anyone else that is stronger in the incline versions as compared to flat. I have almost always been able to handle about 20-30 pounds heavier on a moderate to low incline in either the barbell or dumbbell version. It’s not even that I train incline more, just feels more natural and stronger. I just wanted to know if there were any other weirdos like me out there.

I’m still stronger on flat, but since I started doing incline several months ago, it’s catching up quickly and it does feel more natural. Someone I know from work who’s pretty built can do more on the incline than he can on flat.

Yeah I have this similar abnormality, I can press the 60kg dumbbells for 8 on an incline but on a flat bench can only do the 52’s for 8-10.

Weird.

Yeah I’m stronger on it but I do incline more often. Pretty much all there is to it in my case I think.

2 Words: STRONG DELTS

[quote]AzCats wrote:
2 Words: STRONG DELTS[/quote]
incline gives me better chest activation than flat

I also feel much more of my chest working and also sore the next day after incline as opposed to flat.

A few things that will contribute to being stronger at one than the other:

-How frequently you actually perform each movement. If you never or rarely do flat work, of course you will not be throwing up weights comparable to something you do with regularity. This can be in relation to muscle strength, or simply neurological adaptation.

-The strength of your pectoral muscles vs the strength of your front delts. Flat work will typically call your delts into play to a greater extent, while incline work can circumvent them and place more stress squarely on your pecs. If your delts are weaker than your pecs (often the case) to such a degree that it becomes a limiting factor among the muscles that contribute to a flat bench press (pecs, delts, tris, and depending on form, lats), then you will move less weight.

-Simple biomechanics. Some people are naturally stronger at certain motions.

-Equipment. I’ve used incline benches that are the same seat height as a flat bench, and incline benches that basically have your butt on the floor of the gym. I’ve found that although I can move a considerable amount of weight on the average seat height bench, when I use the floor level seat, I’m capable of lifting seriously stupid heavy loads. This will play into the discussion of biomechanics a bit.

If you guys are training for the sake of muscle growth, and not simply trying to improve your bench #s, don’t worry about it too much.

S

I train both incline and flat relatively equal amounts. I usually just say the reason is biomechanics as well ( I am an orthopedic/sports Physical Therapist after all.) At this point I’m lifting for muscle growth, sure strength numbers are a nice side effect but I’m not chasing a high total or anything.