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  • Flat BB bench press I don't like you no mo'

    Discussion in 'Training' started by Greg, Feb 20, 2012.

    1. Greg

      Greg Well-Known Member

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      Well, it does for guys like me.

      First of all, I love bench press, I mean who doesn't?
      Is probably the very first exercise we ALL did, I mean who started working out doing
      I don't know, DB rows? or overhead triceps extensions?
      No, you start with good ol' flat bench press

      I love it, but I love my chest and my joints more

      My chest workout is super long and super stressing, I could train
      chest forever, in my session I do so many exercises, too many to list,
      flat bb press, inclined, declined, DB flys, DB flat press, DB decline, DB pronated grip,
      supersets, dropsets, cable, etc..
      seriously you'd be impressed if I listed them all.
      I destroy my chest on its dedicated wo day and I hit it pretty hard in the full body wo day as well.

      Since day 1, flat bench press has been THE main exercise,
      the one I considered the most important, the one I was maxing out the weight, you know?

      And yet - now I'll say it out loud for the first time - for 10 years I've never really FELT it
      in my chest like I wanted, flys gave me much more stimulation, DB presses too
      and I was "oh it's because I have wide shoulders, so the stretch from the flys works better on me... etc.."
      but I still *need* the flat bench press because of the WEIGHT.

      Now, lately I've been collecting some of my best workout sessions ever and that's thanks to
      a better form, concentration instead of weight and different exercises I (wrongly) considered inferior.
      Time has come to question the big bench.

      I knew that guys with long arms - like me - had hard time with flat BB bench,
      because of the mechanic of the movement doesn't really allow to focus the stress on the pecs,
      plus it gets hard on the shoulder joints, etc..
      But you learn to adjust your form when you have long a## limbs like me to feel it more on the chest.
      Yes to feel it more, but not to feel it as you wanted. Not to feel it like DB presses or flys.

      So why doing it??
      But still, givin' up on flat bench press? Never.
      Better to do and exercise that possibly triggers your pecs less but with a lot more weight, right? Wrong.
      Dead wrong, now I know.

      After reading this article wrote by Dorian Yates in which he explains why guys with longer
      arms don't really benefit form flat bench press, after hearing people like Heath, Cutler and many more
      all saying the same thing "I tend to stay away from flat bench because of the injuries and because inclined and
      DB presses develop chest better", but most important after I've been forced to hold the weight back a bit
      from my bench due to a sore shoulder, and favor DB presses I now can say it: flat bench press sucks for me.

      I am not giving up on it, I still think is a great exercise, but the point is: is not going to be my MAIN
      chest exercise anymore, is not going to be the one in which I go for the maximum weight, no.

      DB flat press, yes.
      Inclined BB press, yes.
      Flat BB bench, no.

      I will go for it as my 3rd exercise maybe, sure it's great for supersets, dropsets etc..

      I find i get a much greater stimulation with higher reps and lower weight
      when I do flat bench as opposed to low reps with a ton of weight,

      Instead I find maxing out the weight on DB press (both incline and flat) and incline BB press
      gives me a lot more stimulation, even if the max weight is less than on flat bench.


      So, yeah, after 10 years, I'm switching my main chest exercise, change the game in my fav
      training day and hopefully witness my chest to grow more!
       
    2. fa2nzg

      fa2nzg Well-Known Member

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      Flat BB bench press I don't like you no mo'

      Don't give up on the flat bench but there are alternatives. I personally like to focus and and train incline first whether it is Dumbbells or Barbell. After that I will do Hammer Strength Flat Bench and really squeeze and isolate the muscle. Than dips and flys.

      And in regards to you liking high reps for stimulation read this. You might like what you read...
      http://www.flexonline.com/training/l...s-heavy-weight
       
    3. remstation

      remstation Well-Known Member

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      Flat BB bench press I don't like you no mo'

      I seem extremely week on bench press. It could be my form, shoulders or both. I have been using dumb bells instead.

      VS, I'm read that link later on, but I'm going to take your advice on what u stated above!

      VS, do u really thing hammer strength is legit for chest muscles?
       
    4. Capone

      Capone Well-Known Member

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      Flat BB bench press I don't like you no mo'

      I like hammer strength. It's good for isolation and good hypertrophy. Should you rely on machines for your entire workout? No! Like I said I like to focus my attention to my upper pecs so after some heavy intense sets of incline presses I turn to hammer strength to isolate and squeeze. Plus I too have gotten injuries from flat bench. Weird, you would think I would get injured from incline pressing since the angle is more awkward but nope. My chest gets more fatigued though from incline presses that's why I turn to Hammer Strength to keep my workout intensity up
       
    5. masoven4u

      masoven4u Well-Known Member

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      Flat BB bench press I don't like you no mo'

      No i'm not giving up on flat like I said, but I'm not going for max weight with it anymore.
      I just don't feel it in my chest, and I know my form is near perfect, and I have a pretty strong bench too,
      I can bench 3 plates, it's twice my weight and that's not 1RM, is my last set, but still I just don't get anything
      near the stimulation I get from DB presses or flys or inclined bench.

      Reading about it I really found out is a matter of body type, long arms+flat BB bench=not the best stimulation/exercise for pecs
      Now, going for a lighter weight and higher reps instead is a whole different game.

      And please note that is not that I do heavy-low-reps OR light-high-reps, I do both, like I said,
      my sessions are crazy long and chest is in second place after back which is the longest..

      Because of that, the layout of the workout usually sees the heavy lifts at the beginning of course
      and the concentration/isolation later one.
      Flat bench is not going to be the first exercise anymore, I'd go for flat DB or even better,
      flys first and then flat DB, so to hit the pecs and stress them first in order not to have tris get tired before the pecs do.

      Flat BB bench is great for guys with shorter arms, but it really is a matter of structure, not form
       
    6. masoven4u

      masoven4u Well-Known Member

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      Flat BB bench press I don't like you no mo'

      Do whatever exercises you confidently feel will best get you the gains you want. Don't listen to ppl's criticism telling you "oh that's crazy the barbell bench press is the best, you just do it!" No you need to pick exercises you feel will help you out. Ppl say "if you want big legs you need to squat, that's it!" We'll Dorian Yates never barbell squated in his life (he said in an interview it had something to do with his joints that connect his torso to his legs) and he had big legs. It all depends on your body (like you said), the way it moves and such.
       
    7. jailynn24hb

      jailynn24hb Well-Known Member

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      Flat BB bench press I don't like you no mo'

      I can't remember the last time I did BB flat bench. Like OP, it does little for my chest. Floor Press hits my pecs way better for some reason, so I use that instead mostly.
       
    8. crormaSoila18

      crormaSoila18 Well-Known Member

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      Flat BB bench press I don't like you no mo'

      AutoKal, I agree with what you're saying since I'm also tall with long arms. Flat bench hasn't been my main lift for chest in ages, until I started powerlifting the past year.

      I powerlift, but then do assistance work for size and it goes something like this:

      Flat bench for low reps, heavy weight (5/5/5+ or 3/3/3+ or 5/3/1)
      Then incline bench for something like 5x15 reps
      Flat dumbell press for 5x15 reps

      And that's all that's needed usually in one of my workouts. Get my strength lifts in and then that amount of lighter volume usually does me in for the day. Now, if I were really going for striations, and shaping, then I'd add in flies and cable flies (especially at an incline).

      That way I get the best of both worlds. If I were strictly training for size though, I would not really do flat bench. Incline + decline, incline cables, DB flat and slight incline, dips. It's tough to do flat bench for size, since your lats fire up a lot in the movement, and the propensity for delts kicking in is also high, when form breaks down.

      Other things I've messed with is TUT, not using the full range of motion, keeping tension on pecs through the full movement. It's not functional to do this, but it works to target more.

      I also try to grip a little wider since I have long arms. But only do that if you don't have shoulder issues.
       
    9. defelqy

      defelqy Well-Known Member

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      Flat BB bench press I don't like you no mo'

      Yeah my grip is wide, very wide, it has to otherwise it goes ALL in the triceps.
      Thing is, powerlifting aims at max weight, bb at max muscle stimulation, so very different..

      And yet, knowing this it's hard NOT to go for big weight ya know? it's a mental thing,
      but seriously, in the past 6 months I kicked myself in the a## and left the ego outside the weight room
      and got incredible results on every muscle group, but I couldn't do it for chest, I felt bad, especially because
      I've been able to finally bench 3 plates which was my goal, now that I can do that, I realized that
      I don't get the stimulation that I want, no matter how heavy my flat bench gets.
      Plus, benching more than twice my bodyweight is going to cause me injuries, now the shoulder is nothing
      serious fortunately, but I know I will eventually do some damage if I keep doing that, and for what?
      My chest didn't got any bigger with my bench getting stronger, while incorporating different DB presses and
      doing more inclined (with less weight) DID make my chest bigger and wider.. that's def a proof
       
    10. casse

      casse Well-Known Member

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      Flat BB bench press I don't like you no mo'

      Yeah, there was a point when I was regularly benching over 400, but had majorly lacking pec developement. I was able to put all the weight on my lats, traps, shoulders and tris so effectively that I pretty much took my pecs out of the equation.

      My pressing style has changed since I can't powerlift right now, and accordingly other chest movements are given priority since they're more productive.
       
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