T Nation

No flat bench?

Does anyone here NOT incorporate flat bench into their routine? Yesterday, mostly due to a crowded gym, I did incline, decline and then incline flys. To me this seems like one of the better chest workouts I’ve ever done. Since incline is an equal/better mass builder and decline activates more of the pec, why bother with flat bench?

I quit doing flat bench (with a bar) along time ago. I still use incline barbbell bench, but I use DB’s for flat. That seams to isolate the chest better, for me anyway.

yeah, I’ve gone without doing flat bench for a while. It’s just another angle to hit your chest. I think i’ve heard somewhere that decline might hurt your shoulders. So maybe cycle in and out the flat bench. also, most guys (not bodybuilders) measure strength by flat bench not incline or decline. When I took time off flat, and did incline/decline, I didnt’ lose much if any strength from my flat bench max. so don’t worry about that.

I never do flat bench, not because I think it is ineffective, i just can’t seem to activate as much muscle fiber as I can on incline, decline, or dips.

Heya manimals. Here’s my take on the flat bench, its akin to having a hookup to the Spice Network. You find something new and inovative late at night like Playboy latenights or some HB(bl)O(w) special and spend some time on that for a while, but soon you’ll start missing that old porn fallback. I attempted to do all incline work for a while, and now, about two months later, I find that those little cut ridges on the inside of my pec are dissapating. I was quite dismayed upon this finding, or, in Iron Man’s (Layman’s) terms: Fuck that Shit. I went back to flat benching this week (4 sets of 4-7 reps) alonf with two sets of incline work and some wide-grip dips. Wanna know what? (of freakin’ course you do…) The next day I was sore, and I feel the ridges pleding with my skin to burst out and instill fear in the fat, shiftless public. So, my friend, the flat bench may cause cumbersome emotions to arise at times, but do not desert it for too long, it comes in handy when you’re feeling hardcore.

"MB Eric: Sore as the whore that he left on the floor since 1845."

-Eric

Yeah, the decline bench press is better than the flat bench press. Incline bench presses don’t really involve the same muscles. They are more of a shoulder exercise above the 30 degree angle.

have there been studies conducted on whether the decline really stimulates more muscle fibers than flat bench? i stay away from declines because of the limited range of motion (with a barbell). from what i understand, the flat bench should stimulate more muscle fibers because it works the muscle through a greater range of motion. can someone clarify, with scientific evidence, whether the decline is superior to the flat bench?

well i a few years ago i maxed out on flat bench at 305, and just stoped doing it for about two years because of the fact that i moved to a different area and lifted so earily in the morning that there was no one at the gym to spot me…Anyhow in that time frame i did just dumbell lift for the chest - flat, incline and the occational decline, but always with dumbells…About two years later i got under a flat bench and through up 335…

Tudor Bomba’s book has some EMG (I think that was the method)that tested the involvement of the pectoralis Major. in order from best to worst exercise Decline dumbell, decline barbell, flat dumbell, flat bench, flat flys. So, why does anyone even bother with flys if they are one of the worst exercises for the chest?

This is not an endorsement for Flyes or even a recommendation for doing them…there is no substitute for the heavy, compound and basic movements

NaturalMan…my only support for including flyes in training the pecs would be from a physiological standpoint. The pecs function differently physiologically during flyes–horizontal adduction–so you’re possibly activitating some more fibers. It’s more complicated by this, but I think you see what I’m saying. I have the same Bompa book and agree with you completely:-)

Makes sense to me :slight_smile:

Guys, I find flyes or cable crossovers very good for preexaust. One of my best chest growing workouts I ever concieved was doing 5 sets…1x10, 1x8, 1x6 1x4 and 1x2, then stripping the bar to 135 (for me that is a light warmup…so adjust accordingly) I would then do VERY slow flyes or crossovers (depending on what machine was open) and immediatly hit the bench at 135, and see how slowly I could do about 8 reps. Do this fly/bench routine for 4 sets. That routine grew my chest thru the roof, and burned like hell on those slow sets…it became a mind thing of how much of the burning I could endure…it was great! I would suggest you have well built arms before you do this one tho, because this was when my chest started to outgrow my shoulders and arms…leaving me still with a somewhat imbalanced look.

For a really interesting chest workout, and one that you’ll feel for days- try setting a bench within the cable-crossover. Put the ankle straps around your forearms, just above the elbows, and perform db bench while your arms are also attached to the lower cables. You get a great stimulus throughout the range- just as you are beginning to lose the gravity on your db resistance the cables are pulling hard on the elbows. There’s no rest in the range. It’s also great for getting the attention of everyone in the room.

As for the decline bench, you also get more lat involvement which along with the limited range allows so much more weight to be used.

I haven’t done flat bench with a bar in 2 years. I always use D-bells for flat bench so I can neutralize the shoulder better since I injured it doing flat bench. Shitty thing is my gym’s D-bells only go up to 80lbs which I hit about 6 weeks ago so now I’ve got to do a shitload of pushups or light bench with a bar to pre-exauhst so I can get the strain I need with the given rep range.

Heya Manimals. Yeah, I use my Powerblocks exclusively when benching. First off, I don’t have a spotter in my room (DAMNIT TC, I WANT MY BIOTEST HARDCORE HELPER ELVES!!!) secondly I don’t have a rack in there, which could prove detrimental to my windpipe. THirdly, as previously mentioned, the bar really does not isolate the pecs well. WHen utilizing dumbells you have more varience in your range of motion. You can’t press the left side of a bar towards the right, because they’re connected, there’s bar inbetween (Ahem, Duh!) Dumbells allow more isolation of the pecs because you can actually use them in the pressing motion as you bring the weights towards each other. Well I hope I’ve thouroughly explained what most of you already know. Lata.

“MB Eric: Forced into promising not to eat his cat if he’s low on protein since 1981.”

-Eric

i dont know i think it how your body is put toghether for me all i need to do is flat bench(changing the grip every now and then) and flat flys. this gives me even and great chest developement. but my friend his chest doesnt get anything from flat bench.

Eric, you crack me up man!!