Flat Barbell Bench Press Is It Mostly Just Ego?

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    Flat Barbell Bench Press Is It Mostly Just Ego?


    Myself and several people that I know have some pretty nagging shoulder issues that I happen to believe accumulated from years of focusing on heavy bench presses. My question is are there better ways to build your chest,shoulders and triceps so that you can avoid theses shoulder injuries?? Or the fact that it is such a big compound exercise that allows you to put up some heavy weight that makes it the most effective exercise. Is the bench press really the king of upper body mass or just something we all love to do because we can go real heavy for our Egos?

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    Don't think of bench press as a chest exercise. its a full body movement, using chest/back/shoulders/tris/bis/legs... I don't use bench press to build strength and size, I use it to test it. Your shoulders could hurt for various reasons; poor form-using too much delt, elbows flared, too much weight you're handling improperly and too often, poor warm ups, poor shoulder strengthening, poor shoulder pre habilitation.

    There's a million different ways to build upper body mass without the bench press.
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    The bench press is still an effective exercise for developing the chest, anterior deltas and triceps. Is it right for everyone? Not those with shoulder issues, no.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean1332 View Post
    Don't think of bench press as a chest exercise. its a full body movement, using chest/back/shoulders/tris/bis/legs... I don't use bench press to build strength and size, I use it to test it. Your shoulders could hurt for various reasons; poor form-using too much delt, elbows flared, too much weight you're handling improperly and too often, poor warm ups, poor shoulder strengthening, poor shoulder pre habilitation.

    There's a million different ways to build upper body mass without the bench press.
    Bastard, beat me to it.

    I don't particularly care for the bench press, but like Sean said its an indicator. Depending on where I fail, I'll know where my muscular weaknesses lie. *cough* upperback *cough*
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean1332 View Post
    Don't think of bench press as a chest exercise. its a full body movement, using chest/back/shoulders/tris/bis/legs... I don't use bench press to build strength and size, I use it to test it. Your shoulders could hurt for various reasons; poor form-using too much delt, elbows flared, too much weight you're handling improperly and too often, poor warm ups, poor shoulder strengthening, poor shoulder pre habilitation.

    There's a million different ways to build upper body mass without the bench press.
    I don't think of the bench press as solely a chest exercise at all. Like I said in my post I know it's one of the best compound exercises to build chest, shoulders and triceps. My point was, does it in the long run do more harm than good. And are there better ways that we can build those muscles without having to worry about rotator cuff or labral injuries years down the road. And do most of us love to constantly bench heavy not so much for the muscle development it gives but rather to feed our Egos.
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    Just do the exercise correctly and there won't be shoulder injury.
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    Db work will stress the pecs more than bb...
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggero View Post

    I don't think of the bench press as solely a chest exercise at all. Like I said in my post I know it's one of the best compound exercises to build chest, shoulders and triceps. My point was, does it in the long run do more harm than good. And are there better ways that we can build those muscles without having to worry about rotator cuff or labral injuries years down the road. And do most of us love to constantly bench heavy not so much for the muscle development it gives but rather to feed our Egos.
    if you or your friends hurt your rotators on the bench, youre doing it wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggero View Post
    Myself and several people that I know have some pretty nagging shoulder issues that I happen to believe accumulated from years of focusing on heavy bench presses. My question is are there better ways to build your chest,shoulders and triceps so that you can avoid theses shoulder injuries?? Or the fact that it is such a big compound exercise that allows you to put up some heavy weight that makes it the most effective exercise. Is the bench press really the king of upper body mass or just something we all love to do because we can go real heavy for our Egos?
    Number one reason why bench press wrecks shoulders is bad form. I've been there and experienced it.
    I used to bench with incorrect form, had bad shoulders couldnt even bench much more then 225lbs.
    Took 6 months off to heal and I changed my form completely.I went to a power lifting style set up. Now I can normally bench 350 for reps and push over 400 for reps when Im training harder I just dont do it often. Just a note, I do deload for few months sometimes. When I diet down I usually dont bench more than 225. THis way I avoid injuries and have had no shoulder problems.
    If you bench with correct form there should be zero pressure on the shoulders or very little at most.
    As far as ego is concerned, I admit when I was younger I was into that but now is more about making progress and gains. I need to bench a certain weight to move forward it seems. If I can bench light and make gains I would but those days are gone. I have to go a bit heavier on my compound exercises to build more mass.

    If you want to research or talk about proper form look into power lifting rather than bodybuilding. I have seen many bodybuilders with bad bench form. Im not saying they all do but a good number do.
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    I disagree. The FLAT barbell bench press in particular places a large amount of stress on the AC joints and over time this can lead to chronic pain. It's an exercise that in and of itself is hard on the shoulders even if performed "correctly"
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    I mean obviously if benching with bad form then the scenario is even worse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnyboombots View Post
    I disagree. The FLAT barbell bench press in particular places a large amount of stress on the AC joints and over time this can lead to chronic pain. It's an exercise that in and of itself is hard on the shoulders even if performed "correctly"
    I've performed ME bench press with a strained RC (possible minor tear) with no pain by performing it correctly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnyboombots View Post
    I disagree. The FLAT barbell bench press in particular places a large amount of stress on the AC joints and over time this can lead to chronic pain. It's an exercise that in and of itself is hard on the shoulders even if performed "correctly"
    This was pretty much my point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick View Post
    I've performed ME bench press with a strained RC (possible minor tear) with no pain by performing it correctly.
    im with you on this one

    When I bench my shoulders dont experience any stress either. I have been benching for 20 years no shoulder problems except when I used bad set up and form. I think the correct form is different for ppl even the ones who say their set up is good prob isnt if they experience shoulder problems. If you feel any stress on the shoulder the set up is bad or the bar lands on the wrong spot on your chest. It;s a game of less than an inch to set up for proper form.
    I actually have to work my front delts separate because I dont hit them while benching at all but when I used bad form they used to kill me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggero View Post
    This was pretty much my point.
    Have someone who knows their stuff look at your set up and form. When I first set up correctly and benched with proper form it felt so weird to me I almost gave up on it but after a while it became second nature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vassille View Post
    Have someone who knows their stuff look at your set up and form. When I first set up correctly and benched with proper form it felt so weird to me I almost gave up on it but after a while it became second nature.
    My setup is downright uncomfortable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swanson52 View Post

    My setup is downright uncomfortable.
    True that. The most uncomfortable positions for my low back seem to produce the best bench with minimal pain. Go figure.
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.
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    The bright side is you get used to getting into that uncomfortable arch. I used to get cramps when I got into position and had to wait a few seconds before getting my air and unracking, but I haven't had that issue in a long time. It may have coincided with me incorporating SMR work into my warmups.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swanson52 View Post
    My setup is downright uncomfortable.
    haha I hear you but it gets the job done
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    There are so many more variables than what has been brought up (perfect form) in regards to flat bb bench. Some people's shoulder anatomy alone is a limiting factor. I can do flat bench with perfect form, and in a matter of weeks my shoulders immediately begin to bother me again. This is also with years of shoulder mobility work, rotator cuff work, foam rolling, and more than a hefty amount of low trap/scapular stabilizer work. Doing almost nothing besides incline dumbells and push-ups my chest has gotten considerably bigger (and the occasional hammer strength machine). There is no "right" or absolute when it comes to this sort of thing.
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    I would say cable chest flys have much more and complete pec flexion as compared to flat bench. Plus, adjusting the pulleys can give a more complete workout vs a fixed plane flat bench.

    I have a shoulder issue that is aggravated by flat bench and still, but not as much, by cables. And forget about incline bench, that hits anterior delts almost more than pecs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by threeFs View Post
    I would say cable chest flys have much more and complete pec flexion as compared to flat bench. Plus, adjusting the pulleys can give a more complete workout vs a fixed plane flat bench.

    I have a shoulder issue that is aggravated by flat bench and still, but not as much, by cables. And forget about incline bench, that hits anterior delts almost more than pecs.
    Same for me, I tend to be able to get away with dumbbells if I do them a certain way.
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    To paraphrase Dave Tate, "Maybe just don't know how to ****ing bench."
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggero View Post
    Myself and several people that I know have some pretty nagging shoulder issues that I happen to believe accumulated from years of focusing on heavy bench presses. My question is are there better ways to build your chest,shoulders and triceps so that you can avoid theses shoulder injuries?? Or the fact that it is such a big compound exercise that allows you to put up some heavy weight that makes it the most effective exercise. Is the bench press really the king of upper body mass or just something we all love to do because we can go real heavy for our Egos?
    simple answer for bold is yes, there are much better exercises, that has been proven

    why spend countless years learning to bench with proper form for an inferior exercise just to avoid some injuries.....just use db for better results and less stress about injuries...in the amount of time it'll take you to learn to bench right you can make drastic improvements in your body just by using DB's
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    The bench press is a staple of my chest routine. Every 4 to 8 weeks I switch to dbs. For programs that emphasize strenght I suggest only the barbel. Why? Because you can loose reps on the DB flat press.

    For hypertrophy I suggest switching between barbel and dbs.

    As for different exercises for chest/triceps/shoulder yes there are plenty. Dips,flys,chest press machines * will let shoulders rest*
    Diamond pushups ect ect
    I will save your life with this next suggestion.

    Add in rotator cuff work,add extra rear delt work and add in grip training.
    These are steps to prevent injury and fix imbalances.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    To paraphrase Dave Tate, "Maybe just don't know how to ****ing bench."
    Good example, and you're absolutely right his perfect powerliftng bench press form is this the best way to prevent shoulder injuries. . Thats why his shoulders were so bad one with a torn supraspinatus, bone spurs and both so arthritic that he had to lose 50 pounds and stop powerlifting.
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    Powerlifting is way more involved than recreational lifting. Even with perfect form injury can happen because it's just a lot of weight. Just because you do squats perfectly wuth 135lbs doesnt mean you can squat 800lbs. The point is that if an exercise is done properly with good form with weights that a person can handle comfortably for around 10-12 reps most injuries can be prevented.
    Like anything else, there are ppl who just are not build to do a particular exercise and it's wise to make adjustements according to what works for you.
    Nobody needs to go crazy with the weights to build muscle, is the stress that you put on the muscle that counts.
    I was recently reading about Robby Robinson, an old time bodybuilder who at 65 yo looks phenomenal. He said that he never had any major injuries throughout his bodybuilding career simply because he used good form with controled movement and he really didnt go crazy with the weights. He was more of a shaper of his body rather than the usual pure bulk u see now days. Anyway, there is no subsitution for good form regardless if you do DBs, flat bench, dips etc still got to do them correctly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vassille View Post
    Powerlifting is way more involved than recreational lifting. Even with perfect form injury can happen because it's just a lot of weight. Just because you do squats perfectly wuth 135lbs doesnt mean you can squat 800lbs. The point is that if an exercise is done properly with good form with weights that a person can handle comfortably for around 10-12 reps most injuries can be prevented.
    Like anything else, there are ppl who just are not build to do a particular exercise and it's wise to make adjustements according to what works for you.
    Nobody needs to go crazy with the weights to build muscle, is the stress that you put on the muscle that counts.
    I was recently reading about Robby Robinson, an old time bodybuilder who at 65 yo looks phenomenal. He said that he never had any major injuries throughout his bodybuilding career simply because he used good form with controled movement and he really didnt go crazy with the weights. He was more of a shaper of his body rather than the usual pure bulk u see now days. Anyway, there is no subsitution for good form regardless if you do DBs, flat bench, dips etc still got to do them correctly.
    Flat barbell bench press just stresses the shoulders more than any other chest exercise. . Your biggest argument this whole thread was if you use proper form then you won't have shoulder problems. .Now Dave Tate who teaches people how to use proper form.. one could say a professor of proper bench form had to stop powerliftng because he totally recked his shoulders. . Why then won't you then admit a little defeat instead of trying to change your argument around?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggero View Post

    Good example, and you're absolutely right his perfect powerliftng bench press form is this the best way to prevent shoulder injuries. . Thats why his shoulders were so bad one with a torn supraspinatus, bone spurs and both so arthritic that he had to lose 50 pounds and stop powerlifting.
    He's got you on that one Rodja.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggero View Post

    Good example, and you're absolutely right his perfect powerliftng bench press form is this the best way to prevent shoulder injuries. . Thats why his shoulders were so bad one with a torn supraspinatus, bone spurs and both so arthritic that he had to lose 50 pounds and stop powerlifting.
    You mean the training injuries he incurred before he went to Westside and had his entire technique and training overhauled? His shoulders and pecs were beat to hell from doing elbows flared, BB'ing style benching.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick View Post
    I've performed ME bench press with a strained RC (possible minor tear) with no pain by performing it correctly.
    Jim claims that even with an already messed up shoulder he feels no pain at all because he's utilizing proper form.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vassille View Post
    Number one reason why bench press wrecks shoulders is bad form. I've been there and experienced it.
    I used to bench with incorrect form, had bad shoulders couldnt even bench much more then 225lbs.
    Took 6 months off to heal and I changed my form completely.I went to a power lifting style set up. Now I can normally bench 350 for reps and push over 400 for reps when Im training harder I just dont do it often. Just a note, I do deload for few months sometimes. When I diet down I usually dont bench more than 225. THis way I avoid injuries and have had no shoulder problems.
    If you bench with correct form there should be zero pressure on the shoulders or very little at most.
    As far as ego is concerned, I admit when I was younger I was into that but now is more about making progress and gains. I need to bench a certain weight to move forward it seems. If I can bench light and make gains I would but those days are gone. I have to go a bit heavier on my compound exercises to build more mass.

    If you want to research or talk about proper form look into power lifting rather than bodybuilding. I have seen many bodybuilders with bad bench form. Im not saying they all do but a good number do.
    And this whole post. He used to have bad shoulders from benching with poor form. Now with proper form his shoulders are better and he can bench 400 pounds.
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    If you learn to carry the weight in your lats as opposed to your shoulders, you will greatly reduce the chance of shoulder injury. Not eliminate it, but reduce it. I used to lose weights from shoulder pain due to flared elbows, now I don't. Tuck your elbows and touch at the xyphoid or a little lower and your shoulders will feel better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post

    You mean the training injuries he incurred before he went to Westside and had his entire technique and training overhauled? His shoulders and pecs were beat to hell from doing elbows flared, BB'ing style benching.
    Fact.
    Quote Originally Posted by jiggero View Post

    Jim claims that even with an already messed up shoulder he feels no pain at all because he's utilizing proper form.
    Yes.

    My injury (which I have no issues with currently) is from my military service and jumping out of airplanes. Not bench pressing. It's only an issue when I fail to tuck my elbows properly.
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    "A big mistake I made was that I never really left bodybuilding training behind. Despite being a "powerlifter," I was benching like a bodybuilder: elbows flared, no leg drive, and wondering why I couldn't bench for **** and blew a pec in the process."

    Dave Tate Link: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...werlifting&cr=

    Also, just another thing that came to my mind when reading this thread is there is a major difference with the powerlifting vs. bodybuilding. Powerlifting has a risk vs reward that probably goes through every powerlifter's head. A good example of this is when Donnie Thompson got a disc injury doing deficit deads with a rounded back and said "I knew better. I was pulling with a rounded back and it got me." Should we say "don't listen to him about deads? I digress.

    My main point is you can't compare the two. Saying that "you shouldn't learn to bench from Dave Tate because he hurt his shoulders" is like saying you shouldn't learn to pitch a baseball from Roy Halladay because he is having shoulder surgery, you shouldn't learn to be a running back from Adrian Peterson because he got an ACL injury, etc. I'm sure I could google many more but I hope this makes the point. You could learn from it, just don't take the risks if it isn't your sport.

    This is only in response to the "mostly ego" part. It is mostly ego if you risk form for weight. As far as hypertrophy...well you could probably look at bodybuilders with the biggest chests and their thoughts. Probably gonna be a combination of exercises including some sort or barbell and DB work as they both have their place.
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/231713-rob112-3-means.html
    "Train like a beast, think like a human"-RTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggero View Post
    Flat barbell bench press just stresses the shoulders more than any other chest exercise. . Your biggest argument this whole thread was if you use proper form then you won't have shoulder problems. .Now Dave Tate who teaches people how to use proper form.. one could say a professor of proper bench form had to stop powerliftng because he totally recked his shoulders. . Why then won't you then admit a little defeat instead of trying to change your argument around?

    Flat bench stresses the shoulder more than other chest exercises when you dont perform the exercise properly. If you build all the satelite muscles along with proper form this wont be the case. If you believe that DBs are better then go for it no need to keep rambling about it forever really!
    Im not sure who Dave Tate is to be honest so im not sure why you have a hard on for him but that's your perogative..lol
    So your argument is that if this Dave guy even with proper form had shoulder problems then it makes it ok to bench like an ass in the gym and approve your way of thinking....why not just accept the fact you dont know how to bench properly it would be the right thing to do and im sure there are folks on this forum who can give you some pointers of how to improve your bench set up
    Obviously there are some of us who do not have shoulder problems stemming from benching with a flat barbell so your theory is bogus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob112 View Post
    "A big mistake I made was that I never really left bodybuilding training behind. Despite being a "powerlifter," I was benching like a bodybuilder: elbows flared, no leg drive, and wondering why I couldn't bench for **** and blew a pec in the process."

    Dave Tate Link: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...werlifting&cr=

    Also, just another thing that came to my mind when reading this thread is there is a major difference with the powerlifting vs. bodybuilding. Powerlifting has a risk vs reward that probably goes through every powerlifter's head. A good example of this is when Donnie Thompson got a disc injury doing deficit deads with a rounded back and said "I knew better. I was pulling with a rounded back and it got me." Should we say "don't listen to him about deads? I digress.

    My main point is you can't compare the two. Saying that "you shouldn't learn to bench from Dave Tate because he hurt his shoulders" is like saying you shouldn't learn to pitch a baseball from Roy Halladay because he is having shoulder surgery, you shouldn't learn to be a running back from Adrian Peterson because he got an ACL injury, etc. I'm sure I could google many more but I hope this makes the point. You could learn from it, just don't take the risks if it isn't your sport.

    This is only in response to the "mostly ego" part. It is mostly ego if you risk form for weight. As far as hypertrophy...well you could probably look at bodybuilders with the biggest chests and their thoughts. Probably gonna be a combination of exercises including some sort or barbell and DB work as they both have their place.
    Only problem with that is the form he tries teaching people isn't optimal for bodybuilding, the OP didn't seem like he was into powerlifting. so that form doesn't sound like it's going ot be the best way to reach the goals he mentioned in the beginning.

    Again theres better exercises than the bench press for what I believe the OP is looking for, why spend countless months learning a powerlifting form when bodybuilding is the key objective....you'll waste precious months of progress for something that will be less than optimal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Young Gotti View Post
    Only problem with that is the form he tries teaching people isn't optimal for bodybuilding, the OP didn't seem like he was into powerlifting. so that form doesn't sound like it's going ot be the best way to reach the goals he mentioned in the beginning.

    Again theres better exercises than the bench press for what I believe the OP is looking for, why spend countless months learning a powerlifting form when bodybuilding is the key objective....you'll waste precious months of progress for something that will be less than optimal
    I was referring more to a post about how his shoulder issues make him unqualified. I do think if you are gonna bench, do it right. If you are not gonna, that is fine too. I personally don't know if their is a "best ever hypertrophy exercise for chest." It would make sense that DB's would be great because the greater stretch would cause more micro tears...but at the same time the overload wouldn't be as great. Interesting convo non the less.
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/231713-rob112-3-means.html
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    In terms of hypertrophy, I would imagine DBs would be a better option. Beacause of the fixed grip with a BB, I would assume there's a greater amount of horizontal flexion allowed with DBs. That's still not to say that a BB Bench is simply an ego lift what so ever and, as stated 100x, when done properly your shoulders will be spared
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob112 View Post
    I was referring more to a post about how his shoulder issues make him unqualified. I do think if you are gonna bench, do it right. If you are not gonna, that is fine too. I personally don't know if their is a "best ever hypertrophy exercise for chest." It would make sense that DB's would be great because the greater stretch would cause more micro tears...but at the same time the overload wouldn't be as great. Interesting convo non the less.
    yeah i think i read it and bolded the wrong part...my fault, but i don't know if its as easy as saying the form being discussed is the end all be all for proper bench form, like anything ppl will use different forms for specifics results and what works for one will not for everyone

    its very interesting to hear different opinions....i'm more on the side of bodybuilders as i think powerlifting form is strictly for one thing and thats the form that will lift the most weight....but i'm more into shaping my muscles and i don't believe that form works very well.... the powerlifting form is great for what it is

    i've posted this before but:

    Best For Overall Chest Mass: Dumbbell Bench PressRecent research from Las Vegas based StrengthPro Inc., headed by David Sandler, MS, CSCS, showed that the dumbbell bench press involves the front delts far less than the barbell bench press, since the arms come out to the sides more with dumbbells. Less delt involvement means more pec stimulation, which is exactly what you want for maximal chest development.
  

  
 

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