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Observations About Bench Press Accessory Work

I see. It’s just almost all sources says hypertrophy is good for powerlifting, indirectly at least and the mechanisms and focus/utility definitely varies: from Louie to Sheiko to contemporary coaches/influences like Mike Tuscherer and everyone and their mum in between. Bunch of scientific research evidence on top of that I’m not sure if it informed these guys’ ideas or the research was done and then confirmed what they were already getting at.

Is it not worth a consideration?

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Hypertrophy comes with training, it is a normal result. If you are training for strength, hypertrophy is a side effect not a goal. There is a difference. It is also illustrated in the drugs commonly used. If hypertrophy = strengtrh, there would be one training program and we could simply scan everyone’s LBM at a contest and give out the awards without lifting anything. Ceratin types of lifting maximize hypertrophy, but that isn;t the sameas training for strength.

We don’t scan people but we do put in em in weight classes even if the final decider is total or using some formula.

A gain of 10 lbs of weight will increase your lifts, it doesn’t matter if that weight is water or fat or muscle. A gain of 10 lbs of muscle will likely increase lifts more than tthe other two. But, different fibre types respond differently as far as hypertrophy versus strength. There’s a reason BBers use very different rep schemes than PLers.

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The fact that you would adjust your programming according to whether your main goal is an increased 1rm or hypertrophy does not mean they’re entirely different things. Adding 10lb of muscle to your upper body is a great way of building your bench. Of course it might take a bit of a transitional period to see the effect in your 1rm, but still.

I dunno if OP minds gaining weight or not. From the way u put it sounds like a decent approach or maybe as part of a larger strategy.

Do other mechanisms of strength more efficient provide long term consistent gains?

Like technique improvement can add on quite a bit like even 5-10% a sesh if their techniques bad enough lol. It’s not like we get 10% every sesh or week or month or year from technique improvements.

If hypertrophy is gonna be a component of the approach to increasing OP’s bench shouldn’t we consider how to make as much of that weight gain muscle as possible then with the caveat that as you say there’s some interference effect there so a full on hypertrophy focus is inappropriate.

You might enjoy “Strength is Specific” by Chris Beardsley. It’s like $5 on Kindle if I remember right.

It’s a simply worded but fairly dense read, and I’ve found it to be a helpful reference text since purchasing.

I’ll save the five bucks and stare into Chad Wesley Smith’s beautiful blue eyes as he talks to me about specificity

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His eyes are truly mesmerising

But actually any guiding principles that are worth knowing that ain’t common knowledge?

I’m going to leave this here. It a Dave Tate article on getting stronger.
Notice the “Hypertrophy Phase” section.

If Dave Tate says bigger is stronger. Then bigger IS stronger.

If you’ve stalled on a lift making to associate muscles bigger is a grade A way of breaking through. It’s not a direct “increase size by 5% increase lifts by 5 %”. But it’s about building (as CT puts it) strength potential.
I cant see why there would hypertrophy phases in so many proven strength schemes otherwise.

I’m hoping I’m the same as you. I stopped benching a few months back. But I’m working hard on press and incline. I hope when I return to the bench I’m a wee bit stronger.
I will add I used to make easy progress on squat and dead lift by just squatting and dead lifting. But when I swapped to 531 and added extra lower back work my deadlift and squat exploded even further.
Try adding some lower body assistance see how it goes?

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He doesn’t actually say that. He describes the Hypertrophy Phase as a prep for the Strength Phase, because bigger isn’t stronger, stronger is stronger. It’s a decent article (But he should have used a proof reader or spell check) describing the basics of Periodization, which most people don’t really get. I’m guessing you have missed a few points. I’m not talking out of my ass here, I have a competitive background.

Actually right now I’m trying to learn the Olympic lifts on the days that I’m not focusing on pure strength; on those days, I do the front squat and overhead squat to get used to the catch position for the clean and the snatch. Hopefully those will benefit my back squat as well.

Don’t really understand where this thread is going. Is anyone suggesting that the OP doesn’t build a bigger chest, back, shoulders and arms? Probably not. Is anyone suggesting that OP doesn’t improve his bench technique and neural efficiency? Probably not.

We’re just arguing academic points at this point IMO.

OP, get bigger, improve your technique, handle some heavy weights. I assure you that your bench will be better


I’m gonna have to argue with you on this one bud

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They are not his goal, should shouldn’t be pursued, as such. Works towards the goal, not the ancillary that may or may not come with it. Focus on technique and working weak points will get results. Worrying about hypertrophy will not for his stated aims. In particular, they can hurt his O-lifting as they directly impact flexibility.

Perhaps I did miss your point. Which is entity possible. Also I wasnt meaning to be a dick in my post btw. I reread it. I typed it with other shit going on and I have a abrupt typing manor anyhow.

Perhaps another time we can get more into it as I feel we are derailing the thread. As I’m still not understanding your point.

Didn’t really read all the comments, but I’ve definitely seen a lot of variation in how lifters get their bench moving, from needing tons of variation and volume to only benching. I know a lifetime drug free guy, around 260 who moved his bench from 500 to 530ish doing literally nothing other than competition benching (but we also got him from 470 to 500 with a lot of variation work).

Really I think this is one of those cases where individual differences can be really dramatic. Some people really need more mass to get certain lifts to go up while others can just keep gaining strength without increasing muscle size. At the end of the day, you seem to have pinned down what you specifically need to make improvements, so I would say just stick with that until it isn’t working anymore.


I didn’t think that you were, I try not to read too much emotion into posts. They’re like texts and can easily be taken wrong.


The O-lifts I’ve been practicing are more for my personal enjoyment than anything; I just want to learn them for the satisfaction of learning them and to gain some general athleticism. I don’t have aspirations to be a champion weightlifter. If putting on size will help my bench, I’m all for it. From my past experience, which admittedly is nothing all that impressive, an increased bench press does correlate with more upper body mass. When I moved from a 260 to a 320 lbs bench, I had to get new suits because I simply couldn’t fit into my old jackets. Whether the size causes the strength increase or the other way around, I can’t say, but they definitely seem to correlate.