Do I HAVE to bench?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by The Colonel, May 18, 2008.

  1. The Colonel

    The Colonel Purple Belt

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    I've been doing a 5x5 program for about 6 weeks on Tue/Thur/Sat and I've been making pretty steady progress on everything BUT the flat bench press. On my push day, for 5x5 I know my numbers are pretty weak but here's what I'm doing at my bodyweight of about 190lbs:

    Bench 185lbs
    Standing Overhead Press 110
    Weighed dips w/ a 45lbs plate

    For the longest time I had been benching wrong (flaring elbows out instead of keeping them in) and I've fixed that problem about 2-3 months ago, but my bench press is still pretty stalled out. I don't think I've ever benched more than 185-190 for 5x5 ever.

    Typically when I bench what I have problems with is the mid-range, so I don't know if what is holding me back is weak triceps or maybe I just suck at bench and it just isn't for me.

    Honestly I feel like I get waaaay more out of SOHP, I've been learning to clean the weight much more effectively and I can tell that my form is getting better and that my lower back/core is getting stronger from doing them too. I've started doing a lot more rotator cuff exercises, rear delt work, and face pulls on my back days because someone on here once suggested that that would help my bench, and while my shoulders do feel a lot better, I'm seeing the progress in my SOHP, not my bench press.

    So, do I have to bench press? And if I were to cut it out and just focus on SOHP and dips, should I be doing anything else than those two? or should I add more sets to SOHP and dips? Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. the_harbinger

    the_harbinger Orange Belt

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    I supposed if you have no plans of ever competing than it's not completely necessary, but I'd think twice about completely taking it out. From my short personal experience of lifting, bench press numbers come slow for me. I am definitely not good at it. However, I try to use this shortcoming as motivation. Just stick with it, man. You'll make it.
     
  3. magicman531

    magicman531 Try Sarah Topps Banned

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    I don't do barbell bench press; mostly I do weighted push ups, dips, or dumbell bench presses.
     
  4. Revok

    Revok Brown Belt

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    Haven't done BB bench in years, just dips and gymnastic ring work. Lying down is for hookers and corpses.
     
  5. magicman531

    magicman531 Try Sarah Topps Banned

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    i kind of like the bottom
     
  6. Klotz

    Klotz Shalom

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    No. Dips and OHP are fine.
     
  7. Donut62

    Donut62 Black Belt

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    No, I don't think you have to bench, but your reasoning for doing so is flawed. You're basically using the same justification for why gym weenies quarter squat. "Well I tried going deep and using right form, but it was hard and I couldn't use much weight so..."
     
  8. magicman531

    magicman531 Try Sarah Topps Banned

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. The Colonel

    The Colonel Purple Belt

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    No, its not about ego or anything, I'm just trying to figure out why it seems like I get nothing whatsoever out of benching. I'm using the weight that I can use and I'm doing good form (not bouncing it off my chest, not going only a quarter of the way down etc.) but I'm just not getting anything out of it. I have to do some kind of pushing movements to improve, but I'm less concerned with benching big numbers than I am with simply getting stronger. What I'm wondering is either I need to do something different than what I am doing and have been doing, or I need to just say to hell with benching and focus on something else for pushing movements.
     
  10. Donut62

    Donut62 Black Belt

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    I think you can certainly focus on other movements, I personally think press performed without exessive layback is probably the best overall test of upper body strength. But unless you are an olympic lifter, I think at worst bench is a damn good assistance lift and general builder of shoulder and tricep strength and shouldn't be axed without medical reasons. If you've only been at it for 6 weeks, just give it some more time and the gains will come. Try moving your grips around a little bit too, and toy with adding pauses of verying length at the bottom. This will jack up your speed off the chest (at the cost of using less weight at first).
     
  11. omgitsrick

    omgitsrick Green Belt

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    Try doing close grip instead, see how that works.
     
  12. Mumrik

    Mumrik Silver Belt

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    Guess it depends on what you want from your lifting.

    Being able to push something off you when on your back is pretty handy when grappling.
     
  13. spirez

    spirez Purple Belt

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    I only press with dumbells. Prefer the unilateral aspect of it so that i can avoid any imbalances.

    It's safer without a spotter too.
     
  14. TheCuttlefish

    TheCuttlefish Un************ *******

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    Stop doing 5x5.

    You sound like you are doing 5x5 with the same weight for all sets. Do you never work up to a max set of 5?

    If you already do that, trying working in the three rep range.
     
  15. The Colonel

    The Colonel Purple Belt

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    Yes I do 5x5 for all my sets with the same weight. I try to add weight every lift, but typically end up adding weight (5lbs) every other week. With bench I had been doing one set of around 15 or 20 with just the bar to just warm up, then a feel set at 135lbs, then I go into my working 5x5. I've been taking two minute breaks in between sets. Sometimes when I'm feeling ambitious I'll do a one or two sets of 3 reps on my SOHP at the end of the workout, but I've never done that with bench.

    As far as lifting goes, my goal is to get stronger, period. I don't really care about getting bigger, or getting all defined or whatever, I just want to get stronger. My primary sport is jiu-jitsu though, so benching of course makes sense from a functional point of view.
     
  16. C-Dawg

    C-Dawg White Belt

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    (My first post on Sherdog!)

    1) You don't HAVE to do anything

    2) A lot of guys overdo the bench press

    3) Overhead lifting is tremendously undervalued

    4) All that said, bench pressing (with bar or DB's, or perhaps even better, horizontal pressing from a standing position with cables or elastic tubing, and/or loaded push-ups) more closely approximates striking skills and represents a primary movement pattern (horizontal pushing). You should do some form of horizontal push if you can do so safely.

    Vary your reps also. Don't be afraid to venture into the 2-3 rep bracket on a regular basis.

    Everyone has lifts that respond better than others, but don't take nonresponsiveness as a cue to cut out the movement. Hope that helps...

     
  17. gza

    gza Banned Banned

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    ha
    yeah try bench pressing a decent grappler off you and see what happens
     
  18. stylesbjj**

    stylesbjj** Banned Banned

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    when my chest got stronger, I found it easier to keep form on squats and deads and thus lift heavier.
     
  19. Mumrik

    Mumrik Silver Belt

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    Didn't say it had to be done without techniques. Having that kind of strength and recruitment does make a lot of sweeps that involve that kind of pushing easier to do.

    And if the guy has sidemounted you and gets sloppy, it is fun to force his head down, and BP his body with your other arm to end up sidemounting him.


    But really, I'm just saying that it is quite useful strength in grappling.
     
  20. OShea

    OShea Blue Belt

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    Edit - basic stuff here. Just wanted to get this site seen. It's cool. It taught me so much that I never would have touched on at Uni.

    Without actuallly seeing you I can't comment but; Train Triceps, and split days between light/er speed/power and max effort. I have tried this and it works. Also do some rotator cuff work, you could be experiencing inhibition from weak rotators. You are about to get injured if this is the case.
    TESTOSTERONE NATION | World's Largest Bodybuilding and Weight Loss Underground Nation
    This is a general training article for fighters. Interesting and not the only one.
    T-Nation Site Search
    Basically, research t-mag.com. Look for articles by Tate, Thibadeau and Waterbury among others. Try the forum also.
    A must read on periodization!!!
    T-Nation Site Search
    Approach these things carefully, ie you might want to do a couple of easy weeks with the new things you might have added. Consider a belt and knee support for your top 3 heaviest sets in leg work and for upper body and leg work make sure you have a good core and rotator cuff program.
    Charles Poliquin - Training under the Radar
    Rotator Cuff Article by Poliquin
    TESTOSTERONE NATION | World's Largest Bodybuilding and Weight Loss Underground Nation
     

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