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Brandon Enos
07-21-2007, 12:33 AM
Okay, I started a 5x5 type of program this week. On Wednesday, my press was the bench. I used to have problems with it, but I went back and worked on my form, no more shoulder problems, but thats beside the point.

I know in the 5x5 post earlier, the bench was brought up a lot. I know in Starting Strength (great book btw), it is part of the program, but when Mark Rippetoe talks about it, its almost as if he dislikes it and is including it for no other reason then its popularity.

My questin is, since I am not trying to become a powerlifter, nor am I in any kind of sport or group where the bench will be a measure of "manliness", should I just do away with it and work on dips and eventually weighted dips in its place?

What do you think?

Allen Yeh
07-21-2007, 05:49 AM
What is your goal right now?

I'd say that the dip and weighted dip seem to be more "functional" than the bench press but I personally would never completely take it out of my exercise selection.

Elliot Royce
07-21-2007, 02:24 PM
I subbed the push press (or military press or similar) for it and, while I'm probably down from my max bench press, my chest is solid enough. The vertical presses preceded the bench press anyway.

Dave Van Skike
07-21-2007, 04:47 PM
Okay, I started a 5x5 type of program this week. On Wednesday, my press was the bench. I used to have problems with it, but I went back and worked on my form, no more shoulder problems, but thats beside the point.

I know in the 5x5 post earlier, the bench was brought up a lot. I know in Starting Strength (great book btw), it is part of the program, but when Mark Rippetoe talks about it, its almost as if he dislikes it and is including it for no other reason then its popularity.

My questin is, since I am not trying to become a powerlifter, nor am I in any kind of sport or group where the bench will be a measure of "manliness", should I just do away with it and work on dips and eventually weighted dips in its place?

What do you think?
I think you're misreading Rip. the bench is certainly overdone but it is a pretty damn good exercise.

If your goal is building muscle and/or power in your upper body, pairing the bench and bench derivatives (close grip, dumbell, incline etc.) with overhead presses, rows and pull ups is hard to beat. dips are boring. I know of no strength or mass gain program built around dips. they are useful I guess, but not the best tool in the box.

Steve Liberati
07-22-2007, 06:49 AM
I wouldn't eliminate the BP from your program, yet I wouldn't make it a staple either. It has its place when strength is the goal. If anything I'd use it as one of the exercises to test your upper body strength and overall progress. Say every 3 weeks or so toss it in. In the meantime, work on the bench derivatives as Dave suggested above. Oh yeah lets not forget Ring Dips. They're bad ass.

Steven Low
07-22-2007, 07:07 PM
Contrary to Dave:

Speaking as a gymnast who has never done a bench ever, I can tell you that dips and overhead pressing (usually HSPUs) can build a high degree of strength and muscle mass. I've heard somewhere that dips are the squat of the upper body, and I tend to believe that notion.

Dave Van Skike
07-22-2007, 11:42 PM
Contrary to Dave:

Speaking as a gymnast who has never done a bench ever, I can tell you that dips and overhead pressing (usually HSPUs) can build a high degree of strength and muscle mass. I've heard somewhere that dips are the squat of the upper body, and I tend to believe that notion.

there you go Brandon, different perspectives. if you have means to progressively overload dips and HSPU then by all means give it a try instead of bench if that floats your boat. The only downside is that it might not work as well as as Rip rx'ed it in the program. hell, dips might even work better for you. I dislike dips and use bench very sparingly to assist overhead preses. I avoid it specifically for its propensity to build mass..I have no need for big man boobs. :D So, use whichever you like but keep to the guidelines of the program, 3-5 sets ending at a set 5 fairly heavy..try it for a while and see if it works for you. post a log, get back to us.

Charles Johnson
07-23-2007, 01:13 AM
Contrary to Dave:

Speaking as a gymnast who has never done a bench ever, I can tell you that dips and overhead pressing (usually HSPUs) can build a high degree of strength and muscle mass. I've heard somewhere that dips are the squat of the upper body, and I tend to believe that notion.


I think it was Mke Mentzer of HIT fame that coined that phrase,I could be wrong but Im sure it was either him or Authur Jones. As for replacing Bench with dips Id never do it but I tend to feel a sharp pain in my delts when I do dips, you can use more weight on Benches too. :D

Steven Low
07-23-2007, 03:50 AM
Nah, you can use more weight on dips (if you include pushing your bodyweight) just like pullups are stronger than rows even though you move more externally with rows. Lat and chest recruitment is a major factor in each.

Allen Yeh
07-23-2007, 07:17 AM
Nah, you can use more weight on dips (if you include pushing your bodyweight) just like pullups are stronger than rows even though you move more externally with rows. Lat and chest recruitment is a major factor in each.


Depends upon what levels you are comparing, I have serious doubts that a 200# powerlifter that can bench 500-600 can add 300-400#'s on dips?

Dave Van Skike
07-23-2007, 11:05 AM
I can't imagine a situation where a person could use more weight on dips than bench. dips are inherently unstable, relying on two small contact points balanced on long levers with the shoulder joint operating from a weak position

compared to bench, one large contact point moving a contained mass with two levers.

that said..it's a f'ing excercise, either it works for your goals or not. bench is a standby for a reason, it's easy to learn, easy to increase load, builds mass like a mother and is functional for a lot of activities.

Pat McCarthy
07-23-2007, 12:23 PM
In my opinion, this is a silly debate that comes up over and over again. Both exercises are awesome, and both can/should be included in a good strength program. Of course, your goals will shape your program, but both dips and the bench are the best exercises for developing overall upper body strength.

I think the distaste for the bench press is overdone by many serious lifters these days because of how popular it is and how badly it is misused by the pretty boy teenager group in the globo gyms. Yes, the bench can screw up your shoulders if you overdo it without developing the rest of your upper body musculature. However, if one includes pull-ups and overhead pressing in their programming, the bench is a perfect complement to developing sheer brute strength in the chest, shoulders, and arms. I think the argument that it isn't functional is flawed as well. Yes, I know, there aren't many times in nature where I will be lying on my back pressing something over my chest, but I don't often snatch things over my head either and nobody is going to convince me to take snatches out of my routine with that argument either.

As to dips, I think their biggest advantage is the range of motion they allow and the shoulder flexibility that develops as a result of this range. Ring dips accommodate this more than bar dips, but both allow a range of motion that can not be accomplished with any barbell exercise. Dips, especially ring dips, help develop coordination and body control better than barbell pressing. While I don't think they develop the same brute strength as the bench press, the ability of the dip to develop relative strength is probably only equaled by the pull-up.

Quite simply, I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The bench press is a great exercise that complements the dip and overhead pressing quite well. As balance seems to be a key part of elite fitness, rotating the exercises and developing all of them seems to be the best path unless you are a competitive powerlifter or gymnast.

Robb Wolf
07-23-2007, 03:02 PM
I just like dips and standing press more at this stage of the game...although physio ball DB press is actually kinda fun.

Here is an interesting article (http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/publications/technique/1996/8/strength-training.html)that advocates....bench press to enhance gymnastics performance. It's essentially a conjugate approach and i think the main point is to use exercises that are close enough to your "sport" to move towards your goals.

Brandon Enos
07-23-2007, 03:12 PM
Hey, sorry to post and run like that. Been kinda busy the last few days and havent had a chance to get back on.

Thanks to everyone for your responses. I think Ill just keep the bench in my routine for now, at least for a few weeks and see how it goes.

I have two more questions regarding the Starting Strength routine. First, in the book it sounds like a traditional 5x5 where you add five or ten pounds on every workout day. Last few times on here though, it sounded like your supposed to add five or ten pounds every set (ie start at 150, end at 200; next time start at 160 end at 210, and so on). Just wanted some clarrification on that.

Secondly, right now Im doing; workout 1 - squat, press, pullup; workout 2 - dead, bench, hanging knee raise. I kinda want to switch to the starting strength routine in the book, but where are the pullups and abs? Im GTG with pullups on non-workout days since my numbers are so low, but Id like to work on them from a strength focus. And what about abs? With heavy deads, shouldnt you wanna make sure that your abs are strong? Any idea as to how you could (or if you should even) add pullups and ab work to the program?

Thanks

Steven Low
07-23-2007, 04:05 PM
Shrug. I mean I like dips, and push over 100 lbs so my triceps are pretty strong. Both will get you there though.. :)

Abs are worked in the hanging knee raise... and as stabilizers for pretty much all the other exercises. You don't need any extra work for now.

The pendlay (?) rows in SS are the sub for the pullups.

I know for Bill Starr's 5x5 you're supposed to do the ladder of increasing weight. With SS IIRC you're supposed to add 5-10 lbs to ALL of your 3 work sets of 5. So if your work set was 225 squat last workout, it would be 230/235 squat for 3x5 next workout.

Brandon Enos
07-23-2007, 04:45 PM
Maybe I should clarify a little bit. I meant what was the best way to add pullups and hanging leg rasies (or any good ab exercise) into the starting strength routine?

My first thought was to stick them in after the upper body press. Ie, workout 1, squat, bench, pullup, dead; workout 2, squat, press, leg raise, power clean.

Based on exercises and workouts Ive done in the past, I think I should be able to handle this load with minimal or no problems, just always nice to get outside opinions.

Brandon Enos
07-26-2007, 06:05 AM
???

Steven Low
07-26-2007, 03:25 PM
Looks fine. Normally you'd put the deads after the squats but that's a bit much. Same with the power clean in front of squats.. but SS is a squat program so it looks good.

William Hunter
07-26-2007, 04:46 PM
From the book Rip is pretty clear that the program is Squat-Bench-Dead and Squat-Press-Power Clean. The objective is to get stronger at these lifts. He goes to mention that abs and other assistance exercises are "to be kept in their proper perspective" ie, performed after the big 3, and used to help you get stronger in the basic lifts. He never says not to do them, just not at the expense of the core program.

Mark Fenner
07-27-2007, 12:58 PM
I can't imagine a situation where a person could use more weight on dips than bench.

At 200 pounds, I can walk downstairs right now, put 50 lbs. around my waist, and do 2 or 3 reps on dips. I can't bench 250. In fact, my max bench is only around 210 right now. At bodyweight + 10 lbs, I can probably get about 12-15 dips. Note, that these are for dips on a stand; not on rings. But, even my ring dips > my bench.

People that bench with a "super arch" are essentially putting themselves in a more dip like position. The equipped style of benching is highly tricep dominant -- I think that leads to good prospects for dips. I do happen to know one person who benched 500, raw, in about 1967. His advice: dips and (overhead) press like a fiend to build your bench.

Regards,
Mark

Robb Wolf
07-27-2007, 01:34 PM
On a similar vein, check out Jim's skilz over at Beast Skills (http://beastskills.com/training.htm)
If you scroll down a bit you will get to this section:
So here at a weight of 165 lbs (~75 kg), is me doing a dip with an extra 180 lbs (~81.6 kg).

Now a 345 bench for a 165lb male is pretty damn good. 2x BW bench is pretty legit. Not spectacular in bench shirt, D-ball land but pretty damn good. Not sure what my point is other than Jim is a freaking stud.

Dave Van Skike
07-27-2007, 01:40 PM
At 200 pounds, I can walk downstairs right now, put 50 lbs. around my waist, and do 2 or 3 reps on dips. I can't bench 250. In fact, my max bench is only around 210 right now. At bodyweight + 10 lbs, I can probably get about 12-15 dips. Note, that these are for dips on a stand; not on rings. But, even my ring dips > my bench.

People that bench with a "super arch" are essentially putting themselves in a more dip like position. The equipped style of benching is highly tricep dominant -- I think that leads to good prospects for dips. I do happen to know one person who benched 500, raw, in about 1967. His advice: dips and (overhead) press like a fiend to build your bench.

Regards,
Mark


Touche' Now I can imagine a situation...

let us commence bagging on the bench press, curls in the squat rack and those silly man boys who do quarter squats.......while we're at it let's go after tricep kickbacks, "cardio" kickboxing and spin class, after that we'll burn down a bakery, sacrifice a grass fed calf at the alter of Art Devany and declare a national holiday....:)



sorry, that was uncalled for...I miss Pierre. Where is that ranting little maple leafed frog?

Also, to celabrate this thread, today I did bench press, which I haven't done in about three years. I felt oh so non-functional

Steven Low
07-27-2007, 08:44 PM
I was actually thinking about this today while I was driving to work.

Bench is higher at elite levels than dips much like squats are higher at elite levels than DLs. Usually dips and DLs are stronger than bench and squats respectively though.

Mark Joseph Limbaga
07-28-2007, 12:29 PM
Though I find both lifts fun to do... I noticed that those who bench actually develop a more round chest as compared to those who do dips...

However, those who do an OHP specialization and do dips in plac of bench develop a more 3D look wth their chest more fully developed and proportionate to their body as compared to those who bench more...

Now for the performance seeking guys..

Dips require more stabilizing and also involve a lot more indirect ab work vs benching....

so the botomline is use what lift is more relevant to your goals... Both have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Mark Fenner
07-29-2007, 08:27 PM
Touche' Now I can imagine a situation...


That's all I wanted: to expand your mind! Actually, many people I know are in the dip > bench category. Not sure what that means (about my friends, that is).


let us commence bagging on the bench press, curls in the squat rack and those silly man boys who do quarter squats.......while we're at it let's go after tricep kickbacks, "cardio" kickboxing and spin class, after that we'll burn down a bakery, sacrifice a grass fed calf at the alter of Art Devany and declare a national holiday....:)

sorry, that was uncalled for


Actually, it was grade A funny!


Also, to celabrate this thread, today I did bench press, which I haven't done in about three years. I felt oh so non-functional

Hey, you never know when an object, of mass near your 1RM, will fall on you and have to be pushed off of your chest ... or you'll **DIE**.

Best,
Mark

Brandon Enos
07-30-2007, 12:21 PM
Hey, you never know when an object, of mass near your 1RM, will fall on you and have to be pushed off of your chest ... or you'll **DIE**.

Best,
Mark

Batman Begins!

Garrett Smith
07-30-2007, 02:02 PM
Brandon, that is one fanciful situation...how hard is it to bench with broken ribs, anyway?

I personally was relatively surprised at how hard it was to slide under a loaded bar and get it into floor press/wiper position--and this was only 135#! This would not bode well for the Batman situation.

In terms of functionality, I really have a hard time justifying the bench press when there are alternative exercises like ring pushups, regular pushups, planche pushups, plyo pushups, and (nearly) all of those done with either a weighted vest or the Power Pushup (bands around the back). Besides the fact that one can do the listed exercises alone and not have to worry about potentially killing themselves with the bar.

Brian Shanks
08-03-2007, 01:57 PM
Just out of curiosity, have any of you tried single DB bench presses?
I do these occasionally, don't do any other bench pressing, and find that they add a totally different perspective to the bench press.

Cheers

Bri

Mike ODonnell
08-03-2007, 03:35 PM
Just out of curiosity, have any of you tried single DB bench presses?
I do these occasionally, don't do any other bench pressing, and find that they add a totally different perspective to the bench press.

Cheers

Bri

Chek would argue functional pushing is with both feet on the ground...taking a weighted cable and pushing it...of course he said all those BB types could bench 300 but couldnt push a 50lb cable....and he was selling the core stuff too.....

Hence why you see all those football players now loading up on the plate loaded "jammer" machines....doing the sports movement from the feet....not lying down....

Garrett Smith
08-03-2007, 05:27 PM
Other than a reverse hyper and one of those multi-angle cable machines, a jammer would be one of the few "machines" I would have in my gym.

Then again, after watching Ross Enamait's "Hardcore" video, the same movement could be done with less stability with the Landmine from EliteFTS.

Allen Yeh
08-03-2007, 07:45 PM
Just out of curiosity, have any of you tried single DB bench presses?
I do these occasionally, don't do any other bench pressing, and find that they add a totally different perspective to the bench press.

Cheers

Bri

Yep, so good.

Justin Fricke
09-18-2007, 06:24 PM
Yeah we did them under Coach Tom Cross at MNU on a swiss ball SS with bear crawls down the stairs and bear crawls up the stairs backwards. Good Stuff