T Nation

Incline vs Flat DB Bench


I think I really need to work on the upper area of my pecs, as you can tell I have deltoids and 'middle' pecs, but there's nothing really linking them. My question is however, would subbing incline Db benches IN for flat db presses in my upper/lower split help? Would this then overtrain the anterior deltoids if I'm also doing a BB military press?


I would suggest you do both incline and flat OR decline presses. I'm not sure if you train in splits or total body, either way, I don't see how you can only do one without the other.

No, it won't overtrain the anterior deltoids (if you mean overtrain = pain). If that's the case, I think you should look at your shoulder work before taking out a crucial pressing movement to build the chest.


Do both and to put more emphasis on the pecs in either movement go with a wider grip with the bar. The delts and tris will always be involved, but are much more involved with a shorter grip on a barbell. With bells go for a wide stretch.



Oh god, more fear of overtraining..

Start Chest day off with Incline BB Bench and go into Flat BB Bench then some flyes.

Problem solved.


Well that would be good for a chest day, agreed, but I stated that I'm on an upper/lower split, so doing both incline and flat DB bench isn't going to fit...


Says who?

If you want to impede your progress, that's fine. Just don't waste the time of the people trying to help you by rejecting sound advice.


Why won;t it fit? Make it fit and eat enough quality food to progress.

And if you want to bring up your upper pecs, I'd recommend you get on a bodypart split and devote a whole day to chest - IF including both these in your upper day is impeding recovery even with enough calories/protein.

OR keep doing what you're doing and allow imbalances to creep up.


There are so many ways to go about this... Splits or just a simple exercise-rotation...

Besides, Maelstrom and Paulinho seem a little suspect to me... They've started approximately 300 threads with total newbie questions on here over the last few months and seem to be changing their routines daily?


Exercise rotation is a good idea. Wesley once mentioned how he put beginners on a moderate volume routine with an upper-lower (ish) split and rotated the flat and incline presses every week.


I change my routine daily

On monday I do chest and biceps, on tuesday I do back and triceps, on wednesday I do legs.....

lol :wink:


Completely ignoring any question about why this should even be an either/or situation, I prefer incline. Mostly because I can't go very heavy on flat without my shoulder bothering me.


OK, i feel a bit backed against the fence here now! I never meant to 'rubbish' anyone's advice, far from it. I was simply stating that my current upper/lower routine wouldn't to the best of my knowledge be able to accomodate both incline and flat benching. That's not to say that splits are crap, as they clearly aren't, but one of my resolutions this year was to stick to a routine long enough to see it through, and the upper/lower was the choice I made!

Is it going to be possible to still stimulate the chest nicely by changing to slight incline (2 on the bench) db presses for a month or two? I seriously feel thay my lower pecs hugely outweigh the clavicular/upper portion.


Dude, why do you want to limit yourself with a routine like that?
Make a and b versions of both your upper and lower days so that you can focus on flat or decline one workout, then incline the next, repeat.

Same for other bodyparts, some heavy hamstring stuff like SLDL's coupled with leg-press or hack-machine (i.e. less low-back involvement on quad exercise due to the heavy ham work) on lower day a, then on lower b you can do squats or front-squats and lying leg curls or whatever...

And include some actual tricep work like CGP's in there as well as some heavy-duty curl variation while you're at it.

Also, it might be an idea (I've said this in some other thread of yours I believe) to stop starting a new thread EVERY time you have a question and just make 1 thread about your training, or a log or whatever, where people can comment.