Bench Press / Smith Press

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    Bench Press / Smith Press


    What do you guys think using the smith machine for chest actually adds to your numbers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peppers View Post
    What do you guys think using the smith machine for chest actually adds to your numbers?
    Are you comparing numbers between smith press bench and barbell bench press, or are you asking will training on it provide carryover to increase your numbers in barbell bench press? Sorry, just trying to understand the question better.

    If it's the first: The two are not comparable.
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    We'll I use the smith to do decline presses because I workout solo, no spotter.

    My decline press max on the smith is about 100lbs over my barbell flat bench.

    Didn't know if it's really from using the smith, because it's decline vs flat, or a combo of both.
    I don't really have a sticking point using the smith on decline.

    Flat bench max is roughly 350
    Decline smith is 455

    I'd like to get my bench up over that 400 mark naturally.
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    pressing in the Smith is much more easier, so you can handle a lot more pounds
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    Some Smith's, have a counter weight balance in them, so the real weight on the bar, minus the counter weight.

    The thing you have to watch is, it is a dedicated straight bar par path and not a "natural essy path" of your shoulders.
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    I always assumed 30-45lbs in difference from free weight vs smith. However the 100lb gap just threw me off a bit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peppers View Post
    I always assumed 30-45lbs in difference from free weight vs smith. However the 100lb gap just threw me off a bit.
    Keep in mind, that's 100 pounds decline over flat bench - you can probably decline a little more than your flat bench, especially since the ROM is much less.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HIT4ME View Post
    Keep in mind, that's 100 pounds decline over flat bench - you can probably decline a little more than your flat bench, especially since the ROM is much less.
    True, makes sense.

    When you guys are strength training to up your numbers on the bench, do you guys use added volume or just switch excercises or what? I'm stuck around that number. Seem like no matter how I go at it.

    My other lifts are gradually increasing steady though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peppers View Post
    True, makes sense.

    When you guys are strength training to up your numbers on the bench, do you guys use added volume or just switch excercises or what? I'm stuck around that number. Seem like no matter how I go at it.

    My other lifts are gradually increasing steady though.
    Well, you bench press quite a bit more than I do, so I may not be "qualified", but in my experience there is always a point at which the gains become harder. Sometimes less volume is the answer, but it depends on a lot of factors.

    Personally, I haven't really benched at all up until this week (been back at training for 18 months after about a decade off). I focus more on dumbbell flyes, dumbbell presses, dips. I am focusing on compound exercises more now, so I've added the bench in and dropped a bunch of other stuff.

    Sometimes, you push so hard trying to increase your weights that you start to go too heavy. I have a lot of times that I've been in the 6-8 rep range with a weight, hit 8 or 9 reps and increased the weight by 5 or 10 pounds the following week only to get stuck at that weight for a LONG time. Sometimes you are just pushing too hard and you need to back off the weight and focus on the movement and the muscle a little more. Pre-exhaust techniques also help with this - do your flyes before the bench so that you HAVE to drop the weight. You know you've already fried yourself, so your ego won't be as hurt by the lighter weights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peppers View Post
    True, makes sense.

    When you guys are strength training to up your numbers on the bench, do you guys use added volume or just switch excercises or what? I'm stuck around that number. Seem like no matter how I go at it.

    My other lifts are gradually increasing steady though.
    How often are you training on the bench?
    What does a typical week look like for you (even if you just post up the chest exercises you are doing in a given week)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifting_Dad View Post
    How often are you training on the bench? What does a typical week look like for you (even if you just post up the chest exercises you are doing in a given week)?
    Chest / Back / off / Legs / Shoulders / Repeat
    Arms usually get 1-2 burnout sets at the end of sessions a few days a week, but that's it for arms, no arm day.

    Chest Example
    Flat Bench ( maybe DB also )
    Incline DB or BB
    Decline Smith
    Dips
    Flys or Pullovers

    Switch up every session between DB & BB.
    DB sets bewteen 3-4 sets for 8-12 reps.
    BB sets between 4-5 sets for 6-10 reps.
    Usually DB sets on last 2 are drop sets.
    Decline Smith would peak at 405 or so for reps 4-8 then drop to 315 for reps 15-20, 225 for 15-30 depending on what I start the session with.

    I used to train for 20-25 sets, but recently have been focusing more on intensity and drop sets for about 16 sets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peppers View Post
    Chest / Back / off / Legs / Shoulders / Repeat
    Arms usually get 1-2 burnout sets at the end of sessions a few days a week, but that's it for arms, no arm day.

    Chest Example
    Flat Bench ( maybe DB also )
    Incline DB or BB
    Decline Smith
    Dips
    Flys or Pullovers

    Switch up every session between DB & BB.
    DB sets bewteen 3-4 sets for 8-12 reps.
    BB sets between 4-5 sets for 6-10 reps.
    Usually DB sets on last 2 are drop sets.
    Decline Smith would peak at 405 or so for reps 4-8 then drop to 315 for reps 15-20, 225 for 15-30 depending on what I start the session with.

    I used to train for 20-25 sets, but recently have been focusing more on intensity and drop sets for about 16 sets.
    What is your overall goal?
    Are you a bodybuilder, Powerlifter, or a weightlifter?

    If you are a weightlifter this approach is fine. As a Powerlifter or bodybuilder I'd focus on more frequency with more intensity.
    Hit major body parts twice per week.
    One day aim for 80%+ of 1RM
    The other day aim for 60-75% 1RM.
    The lighter days will depend on how heavy you go on the heavier days.
    So if you went for 90% on heavy I'd go for 75% on the lighter day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifting_Dad View Post
    What is your overall goal? Are you a bodybuilder, Powerlifter, or a weightlifter? If you are a weightlifter this approach is fine. As a Powerlifter or bodybuilder I'd focus on more frequency with more intensity. Hit major body parts twice per week. One day aim for 80%+ of 1RM The other day aim for 60-75% 1RM. The lighter days will depend on how heavy you go on the heavier days. So if you went for 90% on heavy I'd go for 75% on the lighter day.
    Weight lifter..
    However, it may be time to take the approach of a powerlifter if my goal is to increase my numbers as I stated.

    I've always liked the 4 day split for myself personally, it's what I found best for strength and size over the years and it's easy to maintain consistency. However, my gains have slowed in this area recently.

    I'd thank you guys, but I can't, so Thanks!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peppers View Post
    Weight lifter..
    However, it may be time to take the approach of a powerlifter if my goal is to increase my numbers as I stated.

    I've always liked the 4 day split for myself personally, it's what I found best for strength and size over the years and it's easy to maintain consistency. However, my gains have slowed in this area recently.

    I'd thank you guys, but I can't, so Thanks!
    I'd definitely look into breaking things into a push/pull/chest&arms/legs/back&shoulders or something similar.
    You could do push/pull and have it 4 days per week.
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