Same here. I’ve benched twice in the last 3 years or so. I still have a 275 close grip with my max ever being 300 close grip (only ever did close grip for athletic purposes then realized dips were better).
Now I only do o-lifts (and their accessory lifts), squats and pullups.
I also have a crusade against barbell bench for anyone other than powerlifters. I just do not see it as being worth a shit to anyone in sports beside football O-line and D-line. There are less shoulder destroying lifts that can have those sets and make a client (or me) better at sports.
As far as training for chest size goes there are tons of better lifts that help people actually get work out of their chest as opposed to arms.
So yeah. learning to lever yourself for dips is much funner anyhow.
tell me about it. i just started benching and my right rotator cuff is acting up already. btw, i do 2 - 3 sets of external rotations and 12 reps with the bar to warm up, and still there is discomfort. i personally prefer the dumbbells.
For this exact reason I would say that you can leave the bench out of your life for the rest of your life unless you are going to be in a benching comp. It doesn’t make half sense to do something that is only going to spoil other lifts for you. Like i said before the cost to benefit ratio must be positive on the side of benefit for it to be worth while. I’d say an existing shoulder agitation/injury makes it almost impossible to come out positive on the benefit side.
So just use things like DB movements and weighted push ups (with some shipping chain on your back I think this is one of the best pec developers ever. more so if you have hand “sliders” or loose DB’s that roll your hands together as you press.). I have never had any shoulder pain or reports from clients of shoulder pain doing chest movements other than bench. It just seems to be the odd guy out.
In other news the best rotator cuff pre/rehabilitation movement ever has to be the “wind mill” with just a 5kg plate or so. this really gets your R-cuffs warm and strong as the plate or DB or KB goes up in weight. I had no idea how much better this movement was than the usual external rotation movements until it was Rx’ed by a fellow trainer. Evers ince I have just done the windmill unless someone cannot seem to get the movement down due to flexibility/back issues.