No Partner: Smith or Machine for Chest Press?

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    No Partner: Smith or Machine for Chest Press?


    My chest has been a lagging body part for some time. I know that the reason for its' growing slower than my other groups is that I can't go as heavy to failure on my major two lifts (Flat & Incline Bench Pressing). They say "Do what you've always done and you'll get what you've always gotten," so I'm going to try and mix it up.

    I want to go as heavy as possible and not worry about getting trapped under a weight if I can't squeeze out that last, forced rep. My gym hires teenage girls who I wouldn't trust to leg press my weights, and I'm only ever in there with geriatrics or curl bros who couldn't help me any more than the teeny bopper, so I haven't been able to just grab someone handy and have them spot me. That's not really my style either.

    Would I be better off doing my heavy sets on a Smith machine or on a standard chest press machine? I'm planning to use these as a massive pre-exhaust then get back under the bar for some higher volume/lower intensity work. My gym also has Hammer strength incline and flat press if they would be superior. Sound good?

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    If your gym has a powerrack then set up in that since you are there at non-busy times.
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    Just use dumbbells you don't really need a spotter with those.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZMIDLYF View Post
    If your gym has a powerrack then set up in that since you are there at non-busy times.
    what he said
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.
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    Dumbbells the way to go.

    They may be hard to get up by yourself but you won't run the risk of hurting yourself. Besides, I feel like you need to focus more when you're doing those and keep more stabilizing strength.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bla55 View Post
    Dumbbells the way to go.
    I think this is what I'm going to keep doing. Do 'em flat and you can just roll into it almost. Getting them up gets tricky when you're going for some higher incline presses.

    Thanks for the advice errbody.
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    Yeah I use DBs often for chest, over bench.
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    Go with dumbells and focus on time under tension during each set. Shoot for 30-40 seconds of muscle tension per set.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronJP1 View Post
    Yeah I use DBs often for chest, over bench.
    this. i prefer dbs over flat bench as well.
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    Well smith or machines presses if your gym doesn't have dumbells heavy enough?
    I had to switch gyms due to my job and there is no regular bench or squat racks.
    And the dumbells they have are too light for me.
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    I would still not abandon flat bench. You don't have to go to failure. Just use weights you can handle and stop 1-2 reps short, its still a great lift. I would put freeweight flat bench way ahead of smith machine even if not doing max weights as far as how effective it is.

    I also am not saying to not use dumbbells or any of the other methods listed above, just that you can still flat bench without a spotter. Maybe do flat bench first, then if you want to go to failure do dumbbells after.
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    I get better results with DB flat bench anyways, its not hard to get them up if you just roll into it like you said. I feel a much better burn, and isolation then in BB bench also my right arm is slightly stronger then my left so during bench press I tend to push more with my right then left. I've had better overall development with doing Flat BB and Incline DB then BB but I also mix in some Close Grip BB.

    Maybe mix in some repetition work with Flat BB if you wish, to at least keep your form in check so if you ever want to venture back into BB.
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