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Incline Press Carryover to Flat?


What are your thoughts on incline to flat bench carryover.

I have been doing inclines for 2 months or so at 30 deg and got stronger. I tried a bench today and it hasnt moved at all. I should add that i did this bench cold just to see, and it was very hard.

Does this mean inclines just dont carry over to bench that much or is it more a technique issue i.e. because i havent benched i have lost the groove?

CT will correct me if im wrong but i think i takes approx 2 weeks for the carry over to take affect in the new lift. However im not sure if there is a great deal of carry over from incline bench to flat. I think there may be more of a carry over to your overhead press than flat bench.

Hope this sheds some light on your question and hopefully CT will add/ correct and expand.

Good question - I’m wondering the same thing. I haven’t tested flat bench since I started the layer system, but it’s always been in the back of my mind. I would think adding strength to the incline press would help the flat bench, but it must take a few workouts to get back into the groove.

Well it depends on several factors:

  1. Training the flat bench or not… if you focused on the incline press for X weeks and didn’t do any flat bench work, it will be longer and harder to transfer the strength gains. It doesn’t take much time off training a lift to lose your edge that can make a big difference with maximal weights.

  2. What were your weaknesses in the bench. If you were a shoulder-dominant bench press, chances are that focusing on inclines will not help you much because it focuses on your strength and neglect what is holding you back. If you are more of a chest-dominant pressee then the incline should have a greater carryover.

  3. Your level of experience. Someone who has been bench pressing for 5, 10+ years and focused on learning perfect form, will have a easier time transferring strength gains to a movement than someone who has much less training experience. The longer you have been practicing a lift, the more stable your technique is. A newer lifter will lose some technical efficiency even with 2 weeks of not training a specific lift.