T Nation

Incline, Flat and Decline Bench


Hi CT! I've noticed that I am almost as strong on incline bench than I am on flat or even on declines!On inclines I can do sets of 4 with about 265 wich is pretty good compared to my flat that is only at 275x4 wich is not really good. I never start with declines but when I do them I do about the same weight as I did on the Incline or flat before.

What's wrong with me? I see people doing like 315 for reps on the flat bench barely repping 225 on inclines and I also see a lot of people doing like 50-75 pound more on declines than they do on flat. Do I have an imbalance somewhere? What could be the cause of that problem?


my incline is more or less the same as my flat. I think it's because I find it easier to get my feet set solid on inclines.


That's what I find too but maybe it is a question of imbalance somwhere too. I don't know if it has a link but my chest is really developped compared to my triceps and delts. I'm just saying it because it might have a link..or not..I don't know!


I think it has to do with your bench being shoulder dominant, but don't take my word on it.

My strongest one is my decline, I don't know why.

Bench and Incline pretty close, but Im a sucky bencher.


That's what I find weird, because when I do bench I really feel it in my chest and my chest is really developped compared to my triceps and shoulders so I don't think it is that, it could've been that tough. Even when I do close-grip bench press or dips I feel it too much in my chest and I am trying to hit my triceps haha! I am looking for an explanation and I tought maybe CT would have a clue!


a lot could depend on the angle you set the bench at. if its only a few degrees, then yeah your 'incline' numbers would be close to your flat bench.

also, think about your upper body posture... some people tend to stick out there chest and bring there shoulders back so even though they're on an incline bench, the ribcage is in more of a flat bench position... thus the strength levels are similar to flat benching -this is more of an ego thing..

it could also be due to learnt movement patterns. spending time on a type of bench pressing will benefit from the increased CNS input... have you been neglecting flat/decline and spending more time on incline?

lastly, if you're doing incline then flat then decline in a session, the fatigue build up will obviously hurt your performance as you move through the exercises.. if you train this way, try starting with flat or decline, and save incline for last....

i dont know if any of this applies to you but hopefully its useful :slight_smile:


I think the one that makes more sense is the CNS and movement pattern. It is true that over a long period of time, I was always starting on Inlcine, but for about 8 monts I've been prioritising the flat. I was doing my incline on an incline bench that is fixed at 45 degre so it's not the angle. Maybe a question of movement pattern. Thanks. But it seems like since I prioritize the flat, it hasn't improved so much.