T Nation

Substitution for Flat Bench?


#1

Jim a couple questions on bench press substitutions.

  1. If someone is lower pec heavy/dominant, and shallow mass wise and weak in the upper pecs, is it acceptable to substitute incline presses for the bench press, or would that be to much vertical angle type pressing?

  2. If I wanted to stick with bench presses because they have so much carry over for me when I get strong on them but don't want to add any more mass to my lower pecs but still want the carry over from strength gains, could I do the 5/3/1 flat bench(and maybe some joker sets or the template where you work up to your TM and and keep going with jokers etc) just to get strong, but finish with down sets like "first set last" and/or assistance exercises with incline pressing to work on mass and hypertrophy for upper pecs?

  3. My last question is being that I have ripped up rotator cuffs(old age,surgery,etc,can't repair)are board presses(1 board, maybe 2 boards at most if even that) accpetable as a substitution in either flat or incline pressing since it allows me to still train heavy with no issues or pain?

Thanks, sorry if it's been asked before.

Basically in summary I'm looking for a way to get as strong as possible on flat bench for the carry over but without adding anymore mass to my lower pecs and instead putting some size on upper pecs.


#2

Why not focus on strenght for the bench. Limit the jokers etc. And instead do
Hyperthrophy work for the upperpecs.


#3

Do 531 flat bench. Use BBB for assistance template and do incline bench or incline DB press. If you want to add more mass to your upper pecs, do incline db flyes. It will have minimal impact on your lifts, but will add mass to your upper chest.


#4

Use incline as the accessory work.


#5

I would hope that the exercise that allows you to lift the most weight would stimulate the most muscle I.e. the bench press, but I'm not an expert. If you feel lacking in an area, that weak point should be addressed by using proper accessory work like the incline bench or incline Dumbell bench. If your rotator injury limits what you can doing any pressing movement without pain you either should get it fixed or do what you can like a board press or perhaps a bench with a thick barbell pad. Anyways good luck brother I hope you find a solution for your problem.


#6

Thanks for the replies everyone. Yeah basically that's what I planned to do. Do strength work on flat bench (with 1 board) and do accessory work on inclines.

Coincidentally I just found a view videos of Dave Tate on board pressing where he states he does board presses exclusively now to save his shoulders.


#7

Might be worth checking out a football/swiss bar as it'll let you flat bench with a neutral grip.


#8

I have zero experience with bodybuilding so I am not qualified to answer this. My training and knowledge is fairly limited to performance.