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 Post subject: Incline vrs. Flat Bench
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:33 pm 
I'm thinking of taking a break from ordinary Barbell Bench Presses for a while to focus on Incline Barbell Presses (AKA Incline Bench Presses) and Dumbbell Bench Presses. Of course, I wouldn't be doing this if I was a competative powerlifter. Still, I can't help but wonder if flat-bench presses are really a better mass and strength excercise than inclines. Obviously, you can move more weight on a flat bench, but does that really make them a more effective movement?

Also, I used to think that Incline Barbell Presses work the front delts more than ordinary bench presses, because of the angle of the bench. However, now I'm starting to think that they actually work the front delts less. This is because the bar touches lower on my chest on regular Barbell Bench Presses, which keeps my elbows closer to my body (I use the same grip on both excercises).

Of course, I could probably take some of the emphasis off my front delts by using a somewhat wider grip on flat-bench Barbell Bench Presses. However, I'm afraid I might not be able to reach the uprights to re-rack the bar (they're not adjustable and I have short arms). Also, I'm concerned that if I go too wide it might put excess stress on my wrists.

Anyway, I'm just thinking out load here, and I'd appreciate any input you folks might have.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:36 pm 
the incline works your calvical pectoral muscles, thats what its used for, and thats why you can move more on an ordinary bench, because the pecs are much bigger and stronger

i love doing dumbell chest presses lot more stabilization needed and makes you stronger i think than the flat bench, just because its much harder to control most people i know lift alot less on the dumbell then on the flat bench


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:02 pm 
I agree that dumbbells target the pectorals more specifically than barbell presses, although they're still a compound movement.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:08 pm 
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In Memoriam: TimD
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My experience has been more overall strength with BB flat bench, But much more chest emphasis with DB flats and inclines (more ROM) and with Incline BP, but I'll clarify the incline BP. For some reason, unbeknown to me, doing them on a 30 degree incline, small of the back arched somewhat, put the bar in an intereting relationship to the chest, and I actually felt it on the whole chest, not just the upper portions, much better than a flat bench. Just my observation. My grip was also moderate, thumbs being around 3-4 inches past shoulder width, but not really flared way out. I usually don't workout to place emphasison anyone muscle, and usually do inclines with a 60 degree angle, and a clean grip, as it puts a lot of emphasis on the delts, and has great carryover to overhead pressing/jerking,but the 30degree as described, works better for me for chest development than a regular flat BP. Just my .02
Tim


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:08 pm 
Also, I'm aware that Inclines target the upper pectorals (clavicular head) more than flat-bench presses, but it's my understanding that both heads are involved to varying degrees in both movements.

PS.) My intension is to perform Incline Barbell Presses followed by Dumbbell Bench Presses and Dumbbell Flys.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:14 pm 
Makes sense. I'm actually a little concerned I might be overtraining my front delts (anterior head) between bench presses, inclines, close-grips and military presses, so I'm looking to de-emphasize them somewhat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:21 pm 
Both parts of the chest are involved in both. Incline and flat are both needed to get the whole chest properly though. You can change the flat to decline though. As for dumbbells, they seem to use just a little more muscle and are a little more difficult. I like to change it up often.

You probably are overtraining your anterior delts. I'd drop the military press down to 1 set and do more lateral raises for the lateral delts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:59 pm 
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john wrote:
the incline works your calvical pectoral muscles, thats what its used for, and thats why you can move more on an ordinary bench, because the pecs are much bigger and stronger

i love doing dumbell chest presses lot more stabilization needed and makes you stronger i think than the flat bench, just because its much harder to control most people i know lift alot less on the dumbell then on the flat bench


Isn't it 'clavicular'?
http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/PectoralisClavicular.html

And I think the second statement that dumbbell presses make you stronger is incomplete. The best way to lift alot with dumbbell presses is doing them, not doing barbells, but the point is that it doesn't take as much stabilization doing barbell. Focusing on the muscles involved in barbell bench pressing, they will respond best to... barbell bench pressing.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:21 pm 
Matt Z wrote:
I'm thinking of taking a break from ordinary Barbell Bench Presses for a while to focus on Incline Barbell Presses (AKA Incline Bench Presses) and Dumbbell Bench Presses. Of course, I wouldn't be doing this if I was a competative powerlifter. Still, I can't help but wonder if flat-bench presses are really a better mass and strength excercise than inclines. Obviously, you can move more weight on a flat bench, but does that really make them a more effective movement?

Also, I used to think that Incline Barbell Presses work the front delts more than ordinary bench presses, because of the angle of the bench. However, now I'm starting to think that they actually work the front delts less. This is because the bar touches lower on my chest on regular Barbell Bench Presses, which keeps my elbows closer to my body (I use the same grip on both excercises).

Of course, I could probably take some of the emphasis off my front delts by using a somewhat wider grip on flat-bench Barbell Bench Presses. However, I'm afraid I might not be able to reach the uprights to re-rack the bar (they're not adjustable and I have short arms). Also, I'm concerned that if I go too wide it might put excess stress on my wrists.

Anyway, I'm just thinking out load here, and I'd appreciate any input you folks might have.


Going extra wide on the flat bench also puts alot of strain on your shoulders as well...besides your wrists. For the longest time i did only flat and declines...no incline. Started maybe 3 months ago doing inclines at a (im guessing here..) 55-60 degree angle and am already noticing a pretty big difference in my upper chest.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:26 pm 
Oh..one more thing. If you are worried about overtraining your front delts, the decline bench is supposed to take the delts more out of the move than incline and flat. Maybe an incline and decline combo would work for you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:29 pm 
Actually, I'm thinking of trying close-grips on a decline bench for triceps. Has anyone here tried decline close-grips.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:33 pm 
Yep. There's actually some study i read about that says the triceps are worked more on the close grip decline than close grip flat bench.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:38 pm 
sounds good to me


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:30 am 
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Incline is generally more specific to most sports.

Also, it isnt necessarily too fat below a flat bench press. It might be below the maxes for powerlifters but that is because of the gear.

Adam Nelson, shotputter in 2004 trained up to a 500+ incline press with chains without gear. That is a lot of strength.

In short, incline is more function for just about everyone than powerlifters and even they (probably a good percentage of them) do cycles of inclines.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:35 am 
I think it's also harder to cheat on inclines. One of ther reasons, I'm thinking of taking a break from flat-bench presses (regular and close-grip), is that my form is starting to get a little iffy on these (especially close grips). I figure if I take a little time off and prioritize inclines, I can break myself of any bad habbits.

Lately I've been doing regular Barbell Bench Presses first, followed by Incline Barbell Presses and Dumbbell Flyes. In the past I've done Incline Barbell Presses first, followed by regular Barbell Bench Presses with good results, and before that I used to do Incline Dumbbell Presses, flat Dumbbell Bench Presses and Cable Crossovers (my gym has since gotten rid of their cable crossover station) which also worked well.

I'm thinking of switching to Incline Barbell Presses, Dumbbell Bench Presses (flat), and Dumbbell Flys (flat) for a while, and bringing back regular bench presses sometime later.


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