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Jay Guindon
04-04-2010, 11:09 PM
Hey guys,
Would a weighted pushup or bench press be a better exercise for pushing strength in the real world? I work in a warehouse and had to push a few boxes of Cliff Bars to the back of a shelf today and wish I had a little better pushing strength.

Paul LaDuke
04-05-2010, 04:50 AM
Probably the push ups because that involves the stabilizing muscles of the posterior shoulder much more. Plus there is a core stabilizing aspect of pushups that is non-existent in the bench press.

Additionally, you may want to think about the leg involvement in pushing boxes. Pushing a sled may even yield better results.

Blair Lowe
04-06-2010, 03:00 AM
Bench Press.

It's not to say that you should leave out pushups to stabilize the shoulder but for raw strength- weighted press.

Overhead pressing still needs to involve the trunk. I think I have read something about how if the feet are planted on the ground in a BP, the trunk is involved.

The sled pushing is a good idea. I used to get a hell of a workout pushing about 9 crates of milk in the dairy freezer. It's fluid but that is an assload of fluid. That's
4608 ounces of milk besides the crates (which are almost nothing). I used to call it 290 pounds. Fun to push.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
04-06-2010, 08:28 AM
Probably the push ups because that involves the stabilizing muscles of the posterior shoulder much more. Plus there is a core stabilizing aspect of pushups that is non-existent in the bench press.

Additionally, you may want to think about the leg involvement in pushing boxes. Pushing a sled may even yield better results.
I'm afraid you don't know how to bench press.

Gant Grimes
04-06-2010, 08:32 AM
Bench press for about a googol reasons. Weighted pushups are stupid, and loading is difficult to impossible at heavier weights. If you want to do pushup progressions, fine. But let's not crossfit this thread up with ideas about functional pressing and silly progressions.

You should bench 225# at the minimum, at which point you'll have no more trouble from candy bars.

Geoffrey Thompson
04-06-2010, 09:36 AM
If your bench press is like 70kg, then, yeah, weighted pushups and the bench press will probably both help you out (squats will also help you out at that point, you're bloody weak). If your bench press is 140kg, then weighted pushups just cannot provide the same stimulus as the bench press because you cannot get remotely close in weight. I think doing some weighted pushup work may be good for scapular health and all that trendy functional jazz at that point because I recently read an article on EliteFTS from a 600# raw bencher who loves them (who am I to argue?), but, for strength, it's all about the bench press. And overhead press, that's handy, too. With a 200# overhead press, you'll have all the functional strength you'll need for most jobs.

Geoffrey Thompson
04-06-2010, 09:42 AM
Probably the push ups because that involves the stabilizing muscles of the posterior shoulder much more. Plus there is a core stabilizing aspect of pushups that is non-existent in the bench press.
Do a heavy one-armed bench press - only hand carries a load, don't have bells in both hands - and report back. It's a different type of core stabilization in the bench, but it's not absent. Ignore if your bench press isn't much more than bodyweight.

Paul LaDuke
04-06-2010, 07:49 PM
I'm afraid you don't know how to bench press.

Really? I write 53 words and you can come to the conclusion that I don't know how to bench press? HMMM. What else can't I do? I am learning a lot from your vast wisdom.

Dave Van Skike
04-06-2010, 08:08 PM
Really? I write 53 words and you can come to the conclusion that I don't know how to bench press? HMMM. What else can't I do? I am learning a lot from your vast wisdom.

I'd suggest that he's about right. if you've seen it done properly, you'd understand. despite the fact I hate the bench, when done heavy it really is a full body lift. when you pair it with heavy overhead pressing it is untouched in it's abilty to build upper body strength including wrist, forearm and upper back. benching 100k is may be NBD for you, but once you can lock out 150-200k you'll have no questions about the superiority of the bench.

and this is from an avowed hater of the bench, the incline and all versions of seated pressing. in summary, i find them awful, but very very effective. they just work. the "functional diatribe is a waste of brain cells but if you want to talk carryover between one kind of lift to another, i've never seen a big bencher who wasn't also pretty decent at lifting atlas stones, pressing logs and rope pulling.

pushups with chains on your back or ring pushups are cool too, but not the same.

Jay Guindon
04-06-2010, 08:30 PM
I seem to be very confused about functional fitness. I understood it to be movements that are found in nature...shoulder press being pushing something overhead, say to get it onto a shelf, muscle up being the way I would get myself onto some scaffolding. I have heard some people say that it is possible to do exercises that don't resemble everyday movements, say back levers (unless you're a gymnast I don't find many people need to do them for any function in daily life) and yet greatly increase their ability to do everyday tasks. Can someone explain this to me?

Secondly, how does one balance getting strong via weightlifting and keeping the ability to easily move their body through space? For example, I don't want to lose my ability to muscle up on straight bars as it is actually something I use almost on a daily basis in the warehouse where I work to get from one level to another or onto the really high shelving. Rope climbing is the same thing. Well I climb shelving supports actually, but I often find myself scaling up the supports using just my hands the same way someone would climg a rope without using their feet.
I would also like to increase my ability to move external loads, such as the 100lb bags of silica sand, to something that is easy for me instead of a challenge. It seems for that I would need some solid weight training.
Can I just combine something like starting strength with regular muscle up/rope climbing training? Should I ever add weight to muscle ups and rope climbing as it's getting easier?

Júlíus G. Magnússon
04-06-2010, 08:37 PM
Really? I write 53 words and you can come to the conclusion that I don't know how to bench press? HMMM. What else can't I do? I am learning a lot from your vast wisdom.

You didn't make absurd statements about anything but the bench press so I can't help you past that point.

Dave Van Skike
04-06-2010, 08:54 PM
functional
core
nature
metcon


things which should never be even concieved of, let alone spoken and or written.

axly, i like core. it means nothing but everyone knows exactly what it means.

Grissim Connery
04-07-2010, 10:43 AM
IMO bench if you want to get big and strong, pushups if you just want strength.

so if you want a good power to mass ratio, pushups. if you want all out strength, bench.

Gant Grimes
04-07-2010, 01:42 PM
functional
core
nature
metcon


things which should never be even concieved of, let alone spoken and or written.

axly, i like core. it means nothing but everyone knows exactly what it means.

There you went and crossfitted this thing up. Dammit.

Derek Weaver
04-07-2010, 01:47 PM
IMO bench if you want to get big and strong, pushups if you just want strength.

so if you want a good power to mass ratio, pushups. if you want all out strength, bench.

Huh? Pushups are limited by load at a certain point (who's going to have a partner load 5 45lb plates on their back before they do a rep. Benching doesn't get you big, food intake does. It does get you strong though.

Garrett Smith
04-07-2010, 03:03 PM
Weighted dips and standing BB press will give you what you need, while saving your shoulders from being sacrificed to the bench press monster too early in life.

If you want to bench for pushing strength, do it with your grip width at the same width you'd overhead press, that can save your shoulders too.

Dave Van Skike
04-07-2010, 03:59 PM
There you went and crossfitted this thing up. Dammit.


The Dude abides.

Donald Lee
04-07-2010, 04:01 PM
Weighted dips and standing BB press will give you what you need, while saving your shoulders from being sacrificed to the bench press monster too early in life.

If you want to bench for pushing strength, do it with your grip width at the same width you'd overhead press, that can save your shoulders too.

Yeah, even if you bench, you should do other pushing exercises because you're locked in scapular retraction and depression when you're benching. Weighted pushups could be useful to supplement bench pressing for this reason. I'd rather do Weighted dips though.

Paul LaDuke
04-07-2010, 06:41 PM
Hey guys,
Would a weighted pushup or bench press be a better exercise for pushing strength in the real world? I work in a warehouse and had to push a few boxes of Cliff Bars to the back of a shelf today and wish I had a little better pushing strength.

Jay,

You asked specifically what exercise you should do to help you push boxes. For your real life situation, sled pulls/pushes and push ups is all you would need to do. Benching wouldn't hurt anything, but you can always perform push ups any where, any time, any place, different hand placements, different speeds, plyometric style, slow, wide narrow, staggered, one armed, Dive bombers, etc.

Pushing boxes requires leg strength to supply the force to push with and enough stabilizing force in the core muscles and the shoulder muscles to transfer the force from the hips up the spine, through the arms to the box. You don't need to bench press a ton to do that, you need strong legs and a balanced body. The core is much more actively engaged in push ups than it is in bench press. Anyone who states otherwise is ignorant of human movement.

I did a poor job in answering your post with my first answer by not explaining my thought processes in my answer. And it seems the other posts were rather adolescent in nature and have completely missed answering your original question.

And FWIW, my PR in the bench is 145kg (raw) at a BW of 90kg. Even though I haven't trained the bench in over 5 years except for maybe 100 total reps of bench done at random intervals in 2009, I bench 130kg at the same bw. I know how to bench. I find the lift boring and limited.

Grissim Connery
04-07-2010, 07:09 PM
Huh? Pushups are limited by load at a certain point (who's going to have a partner load 5 45lb plates on their back before they do a rep. Benching doesn't get you big, food intake does. It does get you strong though.

when i said pushups, i meant that one would progress towards planche pushups. thus the ultimate goal being to move the entire body without the aid of the lower body. i was implying that his choice should just be tailored to what he wants from his body, instead of which one is better than the other.

in terms of progressions, the fastest way to get stronger at bench is to gain bodyweight while you're progressing (rippetoe and his gallon of milk a day). gaining bodyweight while trying to develop higher levels in pushup variations can make the whole deal harder.

therefore, if his goal is to get all out stronger without caring about his bodyweight, then it would be nice to bench and eat a lot. i guess you could assume that if you ate a lot while working pushup progressions, then you would actually increase your resistance just by gaining weight. therefore you might not have to increase the leverage against your joints to make it harder.

realistically speaking though, the amount of weight he would have to gain to make the strength requirement in his current pushup style significantly harder would be high. therefore moving up to the next progression would be harder cause he would weigh more, and the progression he's at might feel too easy.

if his overall goal really is just to move more cliff bars, then it would probably be worth getting bigger just to gain strength and do this. i doubt this is really his master goal in life though. judging by the amount of detail he gave us on his warehouse acrobatics, it would seem that he has fun and takes a decent level of pride in his prowess. therefore i would think that he likes bodyweight strength. i didn't want to make an outright assumption that this is what he wanted. thus i came to final conclusion and statement i said before.

Jay Guindon
04-13-2010, 09:51 PM
Grissim, Paul, excellent responses, thank you. Yes, I like to meander through the warehouse climbing things, moving stuff, etc. and moving ClifBars isn't my ultimate goal in life, but it's fun to pick out the small things I do in life everyday and wonder what kind of training would make it easier/more efficient. Right now I like the bodyweght stuff because I like to monkey around on the shelves and supports but I'm always curious as to various types of training and their transfer to evryday life stuff. Thanks to evryone who participated, it was an enjoyable thread.