T Nation

Why Train Pecs for Strength?

besides pec hypertrophy for bbing, and big bench for pwerlifting, why should we train the pecs for strength?

I mean it’s obvious that training squats and deads that you’re gonna get strong, and that your quad strength or back/lats strength is gonna help you in tons of other applications, but what’s the strength application for having big powerful pecs?

I’m thinking of cutting way back on any flat bench work, but not sure if it’s a good idea.

This has all the potential in the world for becoming one of those awful “functional” debates LOL.

But seriously, I have thought about this one a little bit and my conlcusion is that over-head pressing is probably more useful in the caveman sense of things.

Because I want to be an all around athlete. I only BP 2x out of my 10 training sessions a week. The other 8 (3 squats, 3 oly, 2 hurdle/ sprint) sessions are basically all leg and technical stuff.

For me it gives me time to rest my legs.

First exercise I cut are the upperbody ones when I rest up though.


What’s your reasoning for not wanting strong pecs?

If you dont want to bench then don’t bench. Different folks, different strokes.

What if youre laying on your back and something falls on you? Now youre fucked. But seriously pecs do have a smaller potential for use but you would still need strong pecs for some activities as there is crossover in muscle use, your pecs do work in non benching movements.

i don’t want to bench either because i feel it bothers my shoulders and there are way more important lifts to me for overall strength, but one’s that can also keep your chest strength from completely taking a dump.

most chins and rows will use the sternal pecs as a synergist, overhead pressing will hot the clavicular pecs some, and triceps dips will hit both.

any kind of crushing strength (as in bear hugging something,) any kind of horizontal push (like getting a fat chick off your chest - then again, why would you want to?) and to overload your triceps with weights that your overhead will simply not allow you to use

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
any kind of crushing strength (as in bear hugging something)[/quote]

Well, part of the bear hug is really crushing something into yourself, which requires more back than chest strength, in my opinion.

I’m not making a case for or against benching, I just wanted to point that out.

How about the fact that when you do a upper body pushing movement(like punching) your chest is one of the main factors. and besides you don’t want strength imbalances.

Since I switched to powerlifting 3 years ago, especially support-geared PLing my pecs are probably less developed than 3 years ago. However, since I’m benching over 100lbs more I don’t care. Pecs are a “show” muscle only. Triceps and lats are for “go”

What’s the point of training legs if you don’t need to run, jump, deadlift or squat to survive or to be happy?

Hell, why train any body part?

I know some very healthy, happy people who only do different types of cardio to keep their heart healthy, and I don’t think they ever needed more muscle to live happily.

Saying you need leg strength to do anything is just like saying you need benching strength to push that object off of you in the slight chance you run into that scenario, in that position.

When was the last time you really needed to jump real high, or use all your might to squat something a few feet?

Oh, and I have used a pressing motion when I moved from one house to another. Squeezing between a Uhaul truck wall and pile of furniture to make some extra space, where if I had to take everything off of the pile to move it, it would have taken me a lot longer, and used a lot more energy.

for the chicks man, for the chicks!

haha just kidding, anyways since training for strongman I have not benched in over 3 months except for once where I just was messing around one day and pressed 10lbs over my PR.

I plan to incorporate some soon though, atleast some close grip.

People also say my chest looks bigger, I don’t think it does, maybe my upper chest is bigger and the fact that I am bigger overall might have something to do with it.

I do try to incorporate some pushups and dips though.

I’m sorry but posterier chain just doesn’t attract the girls on the beach like bench press.

Truth of the matter is over a life time the Majority of people have over emphasized chest and therefor can afford to stop doing chest work for a year or two.

Shit I bench more than I squat.

But the pecs are very usefull in all activities long as the rest of your body is balanced.

[quote]John S. wrote:
How about the fact that when you do a upper body pushing movement(like punching) your chest is one of the main factors. and besides you don’t want strength imbalances.[/quote]

Most of your power for punching comes from the hips.

The pecs are a major link with the triceps and shoulders in upper body pressing activities. Why have a weak link in that important chain?

If you like to climb on stuff, the pecs help tremendously in pushing yourself up onto something, like in a dip. I generally feel more pec involvement doing dips than flat bench.

There’s no such thing as a muscle that it is too strong, only other muscles that are too weak. I think the issue boils down to pecs being a relatively minor issue compared to the surrounding musculature. If your pecs lag, train them, if they aren’t then your pressing work is probably hitting them hard enough.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
I’m sorry but posterier chain just doesn’t attract the girls on the beach like bench press.[/quote]

You bench press on the beach?


2 reasons-

1)Its a beach/show muscle. The stronger you get the bigger you get (if you eat enough).
2)For pushing fat bitches off you.