T Nation

Press or Bench Press First?


First off, I did search this and couldn't find an answer so I am sorry if this has been discusseed before. I know that CT said pressing should go before bench for shoulder health. I get this, my question is which should go first to maximize pec recruitment in the bench press rather than front delt recruitment? Is it better to "fatigue the front delts first" or "hit the pecs before you pre-exhaust the delts"????
Thank you!


I think i know the article you mean (when CT advised using the shoulder press before bench press), but i suppose if you wanted to do some sort of pre fatigue in the chest you could always do shoulder press, followed by chest isolation (pre fatigue) straight before your bench press set.

it depends on your goals though (size vs motor pattern strength etc)


I am talking simply in terms of pec activation...should I push press and then bench? Or bench and then push press?
(Sorry I said military press, I use the push press)


Once the body is used to doing the push press first there will be no difference in pec activation regardless of the other of the pressing movements.

I prefer to do the push press first, as you mentioned because it makes the bench press safer. YES you might have a slight decrease in bench press performance for 1 or 2 weeks, but once the body gets used to it you will go back to normal then become stronger on the bench press.


Push pressing before bench press seems a good choice. If I want to do layer system / ramping to incline bench press, what sets and reps would you recommend for push press?

Thank you once again for sharing your knowledge!!