when i used to lift in high school, the bench press was by far the most popular exercise, next to curls. people formed lines waiting for their chance to get under the bar. but now, 5 years later, my favorite has become my least favorite.
so since october of last year to febrauary of 08, my workouts consisted mainly of only two exercises. pull ups and deadlifts.
i benched maybe twice in each of those months and it only consisted of 2 sets every time.
my bench max in october was about 185lbs.
currently it is 245lbs, tested last week. so simply put, ive put on 60lbs onto my bench press hardly ever working chest!
in the words of penn & teller, is this bullshit?
I wish my bench would go up 60 pounds without me working on it. My bench is in a rut as of now. In order to keep a good muscle balance, you should do bench presses. Just because you want to stand apart from the embarrassing crowd of bench-happy weekend warriors doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bench. The fact that you work out your entire body from chest to calves is what sets you apart from them.
And yes, that is complete bullshit and I hate you.
Maybe you should try nixing the mighty BP for a month and replace it with more weighted chins. Stimulus is the independent variable, recovery is the dependent or the goal. Or just Nix it and see if it goes up. Initially it might go down because it is a very neurally dependent lift but once you get your motor patterning back (1 weekish) it might rocket right up there. I know that kind of shit happens to my clean when I leave it alone. diminishing returns I reckon.
Also, “in order to keep a good muscle balance” why should he “do bench presses?”
A) If he can still press more than he can pull the imbalance leans towards the back. He may or may not be able to pull 245#.
B)Why bench? why not another chest movement or press besides bench? Does he really need bench or is there other lifts that can keep him away from a debatable muscle imbalance?
Not to be adversarial but It’s a good discussion to have and I believe this variety of discourse is what T-Nation is really for. All the hilarious “rate my hawt abz” threads in the world can’t come close to a topic as interesting as this.
let me know,
A ) I would shit my pants if he could press more than he can pull, especially when he has been doing back exercises like crazy. No offense if he can’t. I can’t bench 245 (I bench maybe 215, and that could be pushing it), but I can not only pull 245, but 545 raw and no straps. I do 3 sets of 12 for deadlift per week with a test on max, and same for squats, and each exercise gains 10 - 20 pounds a WEEK on max. 3 sets is nothing, yet it seems like my back and legs are progressing like a runaway freight train on full speed towards the twin cities of strength and size. But my bench has barely moved since December. It’s ridiculous. Even if this were true, just because he can bench more than he can pull doesn’t mean that he should stop benching and work more on his back.
B ) Because bench is a really damn good exercise for chest. I would find it hard to argue against that. But one’s chest routine should not be limited to barbell bench. Obviously add in other things. Yes, you can avoid benching and still have a strong/large chest, but there’s no reason to do so unless you are injured. And yes, there’s the decline and incline bench as well and all variations of those in dumbbells as well, but it’s all still benching.
As for my bench, it’s gone up maybe 10 lbs, if that, since December. I think it might be because I’m off my creatine, I don’t know. I was making great gains on creatine, but I’m broke so I can’t afford it right now.[/quote]
LOLrus. When I said pull I meant like row or chinup. My badness. I bet he and almost anyone else can “pull” (ie. deadlift) more than they can bench.
And as far as barbell bench (to be specific) goes I still wonder if the cost/benefit ratio is worth while for it. What I eman by that is if the benefits of using BB bench instead of another safer movement will out weigh the negative training effects of a shoulder strain. I find that shoulder strains are a very debilitating injury for many lifters. It detracts you from doing OH press, upper body pulling, and many other movements. I would say that something such a DB bench would likely prove the better option. that or levered dips, or if you can’t lever then use chains around your neck to create a lever.