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Old 12-07-2006, 05:58 PM   #1
R. Alan Hester
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In a quest to regain lost strength in my post-endurance era, I have started using “Starting Strength,” which leads to my question: would it be wise to replace the bench press with weighted dips. I hate bench pressing and don’t see the real-world utility of it.

Also, for those of you familiar with the program, where should I insert weighted pull-ups?

Thanks

Alan
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:51 PM   #2
Mark Joseph Limbaga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R. Alan Hester View Post
In a quest to regain lost strength in my post-endurance era, I have started using “Starting Strength,” which leads to my question: would it be wise to replace the bench press with weighted dips. I hate bench pressing and don’t see the real-world utility of it.

Also, for those of you familiar with the program, where should I insert weighted pull-ups?

Thanks

Alan
I think doing dips in place of bench is fine. many of the guys in our gym have been doing it and are getting great results.
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:06 PM   #3
Chris Forbis
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I'd throw the weighted pullups in on the deadlift day, but that's me.
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:08 AM   #4
Damien Thompson
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I would just exchange the bench for shoulder pressess. I think rippatoe(sp?) is the author isn't he??

Rippatoe(sp?) has written something recently on a crossfit style total with the Squat, shoulder press, deadlift combo for a more sport related strength total
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:30 AM   #5
R. Alan Hester
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Originally Posted by Mark Joseph Limbaga View Post
I think doing dips in place of bench is fine. many of the guys in our gym have been doing it and are getting great results.
Super--I was hoping there was nothing inherently wrong with doing so.

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I'd throw the weighted pullups in on the deadlift day, but that's me.
Sounds good. I guess those two go together well.

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I would just exchange the bench for shoulder pressess. I think rippatoe(sp?) is the author isn't he??
Well, Rippetoe has one doing presses on the third day and benches on the second, so presses on both may be overkill, which is why I inquired about replacing bench with dips. But if you can squat all three days, maybe pressing on the second and third day would not be counterproductive?

Thanks, Mark, Chris, and Damien, for your responses. I will post my results as I progress.
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Old 12-08-2006, 06:30 AM   #6
Steve Shafley
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Why do you hate the bench press?

There are a few classes of people who "hate" the bench press, they tend to be:

1. Those with a poor bench press, poundage-wise.
2. Those with a poor bench press, form-wise.
3. Those whom accumulate injuries when bench pressing.

Fixing #2 often fixes #3 and and lets you work on #1.

The general problem is ego, though. How hard could it be to bench press? It's the most commonly performed exercise in gyms across the U.S. So, when you get people getting injured in the bench, or not being able to do the bench well or heavily, then many just drop it and use the old "it's not functional" excuse.

Rippetoe gives you the most compelling reason to perform the bench press in Starting Strength, and that is simply that it engages the most musculature in the upper body, and is easy to add weight to.

I don't see dips having a whole lot of application in the real world, or squats, or snatches, or many other exercises.

The problem that arises when you start to talk about functionality, is that a function needs to be defined, otherwise you are just using buzzwords with no substance behind them.
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Old 12-08-2006, 09:14 AM   #7
R. Alan Hester
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For me, Steve, “function” is climbing over walls with kit and an aid-bag on (approx: 80lbs), which is mimicked most closely by the dip, not the bench press—at least, in my mind—but I am sure the bench would do me well. I know the word is overly used in fitness circles, but that is my definition.

Secondly, in my gym, the “conversationalists” hang out on the benches, discussing “Nip Tuck” and the recent Brittany Spears photos, which always frees up the dip station.

Finally, I would not say it is an ego thing, considering there are larger issues in the world about which one ought to worry than one’s bench numbers. Maybe “hate” was too strong of a word, so I shall say I dislike it, because I have a constant clicking/pop in my shoulder (an injury I sustained on a night jump some years back) that the dip and press do not elicit. The only way the bench does not elicit such a noise is when I keep my arms tight against my ribs, which turns it into a triceps press. Perhaps a professional coach could help me work through these things, but until I find one, my angry shoulder gets what it wants.

Thanks

Alan
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:04 AM   #8
Steve Shafley
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Dips: Useful for pushing yourself over walls. I can definitely see that.

There really shouldn't be any problem with subbing dips for bench, like everyone before me's already said, especially if you have the means to add resistance.
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:19 PM   #9
Neal Winkler
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I've decided to embark on Ripp's program too, but I'm replacing the benches with the sled press to make it more functional. The sled press, or what I call it anyway, is where you do pressing motion in front of you with a sled. Perhaps you have a cable machine in your own gym that allows you to do the same thing.
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:57 PM   #10
Mark Joseph Limbaga
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Some people just lose interest in the bench over time but prefer to focus on other exercises.

However, if one focuses on standing presses and dips, one may be able to get his bench up still
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