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Posted: 3/24/2009 6:04:20 AM EST
So I'm new to this whole workout thing. My wife went to Basic in February and since she left I bought a weight bench and starting cycling about 3.5 miles every day. I'm eating a lot betetr than I was - no junk food, fast food, sodas, all I drink is water. I've lost 13 lbs on it and I have gained significant muscle mass in my legs and arms. Anyhoo... onto my actual question.

What is the difference in bench pressing with the back flat vs the back inclined? I have only been benching flat, do I need to do inclined instead or should I be doing both? I do a full body workout every other day as opposed to working one part of my body every day. basically I'm looking to maximize my workout.
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 6:19:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/24/2009 6:20:15 AM EST by AGW]
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 6:21:03 AM EST
Incline targets your upper chest more and I believe also hits the front deltoids (shoulders) more.

I work all 3 planes. Decline, flat and incline. Incline is by far my weakest and decline my strongest due to the shorter range of motion.
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 6:50:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/24/2009 6:52:34 AM EST by Mountain_Snipe]
Yes, incline exercises work your upper chest. Don't incline too much, as was said above you'll be using too much of your deltoids which defeats the purpose of a chest exercise.

If you want to fully develop your pectorals, you should be doing flat, incline, and decline exercises.
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 6:56:48 AM EST
Thanks for the clarification! :)
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 7:03:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By Blackbird_Pilot:
Incline targets your upper chest more and I believe also hits the front deltoids (shoulders) more.

I work all 3 planes. Decline, flat and incline. Incline is by far my weakest and decline my strongest due to the shorter range of motion.



same here

J-
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 10:49:52 AM EST
I would say if you are working out as often as every other day with weights, alternate the flat and incline. You would most likely see some better results that way. Eventually you will want to move out to doing a different training split as your body will no longer be able to recover from all of that work, and you will hit a ceiling in your results.

I agree with the above though, you don't want too much of an incline or you will turn it into a deltoid lift instead of a chest lift. Flat targets your lower chest more, incline targets upper chest more, be careful with your range of motion on incline as well. test yourself out with light weight to gauge how far down to go without tweaking your shoulders. Some people, including myself, can't do inclines with bringing the bar all the way down to the upper chest with any substantial amount of weight.

no go work out
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 2:51:47 PM EST
Agreed that incline works the upper chest and front delts. Flat benching will also work the mid chest, delts and tris. Focus on these two lifts, alternating every other workout. Also, pay attention. You will be slightly weaker on the incline bench. Watch how your chest developes. Incline will give you a shelf- like chest. Fill in under it with flat benches.

Avoid decline pressing. Its pointless for 90% of people, yet since its the shortest range of motion, people feel strong on it and do it too much. The reason its pointless for so many is because it gives the pecs a droopy look, with more mass on the lower side of the chest. It its not filled out with a good shelf on top, it looks horrible. Now think of applied usefull ness. How often do you need a lot of strength on that plain of motion, versus pushing straight out, or up?

Good luck and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 6:14:43 PM EST
IMO, flat and incline bench are both essential to building a well developed chest.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 7:03:58 PM EST
Most of the bodybuilders I know ONLY do incline benches/movements. Building the upper chest, seems everyone has a decent mid chest, few have good upper chests.


I wouldn't do declines, gives your chest a saggy appearance once BF gets low.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 5:58:46 AM EST
Originally Posted By coltaceguy:
Most of the bodybuilders I know ONLY do incline benches/movements. Building the upper chest, seems everyone has a decent mid chest, few have good upper chests.


I wouldn't do declines, gives your chest a saggy appearance once BF gets low.


Link Posted: 3/27/2009 6:05:00 AM EST
Incline for mass, flat for strength.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 10:17:16 AM EST
Do your incline first since most are generally weaker with incline.
Lots of guys skip the incline and get real strong with flat and they can end up with a droppy chest - real full at the mid/lower chest and flat up top across the shoulders.

Also, I've found that if you want to increase your flat bench press, focus on incline for a while.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 4:13:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By Jerold:
Do your incline first since most are generally weaker with incline.
Lots of guys skip the incline and get real strong with flat and they can end up with a droppy chest - real full at the mid/lower chest and flat up top across the shoulders.

Also, I've found that if you want to increase your flat bench press, focus on incline for a while.


+1 well said, many gym rats completely quit doing inclines "because they arent as strong on them as flat" and it hurts their ego too much.

Incline for a strong looking chest.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 5:37:33 PM EST
Its simple:

Flat bench works middle chet/ general chest

Incline bench works upper chest.

Decline bench works lower chest.

An ideal work out should include all three.
I like to do my higher wieght lower reps with standard bench, and then do incline/decline with lower weights and higher reps.

Its always good to switch up what your doing though (so your body doesnt come used to your routine, you gotta shock your body.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 6:37:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By Pav56C:
Its simple:

Flat bench works middle chet/ general chest

Incline bench works upper chest.

Decline bench works lower chest.

An ideal work out should include all three.
I like to do my higher wieght lower reps with standard bench, and then do incline/decline with lower weights and higher reps.

Its always good to switch up what your doing though (so your body doesnt come used to your routine, you gotta shock your body.


Not trying to be an asshole, but what you describe, is PURE EGO lifting.

Higher weight on the flat bench and less weight on incline/declines?

I don't understand that one bit.

Link Posted: 3/28/2009 10:38:44 AM EST
Originally Posted By coltaceguy:
Originally Posted By Pav56C:
Its simple:

Flat bench works middle chet/ general chest

Incline bench works upper chest.

Decline bench works lower chest.

An ideal work out should include all three.
I like to do my higher wieght lower reps with standard bench, and then do incline/decline with lower weights and higher reps.

Its always good to switch up what your doing though (so your body doesnt come used to your routine, you gotta shock your body.


Not trying to be an asshole, but what you describe, is PURE EGO lifting.

Higher weight on the flat bench and less weight on incline/declines?

I don't understand that one bit.



It is not "pure ego lifting." I would argue its smart. Incline places a little more stress on the shoulders than flat benching. Also, flat benching is a huge compound movement. It makes sense to go heavy on the standard, and higher reps on the second exercise. My current routine is built like this on every bodypart. Flat bench 3 sets of 6 reps, incline dumbell 2 sets of 10 reps, and 1 set of cable crossovers for 20 reps. The thought behind it is to work both fast an slow muscle fibers. Its taken from the SAIS ( Specific Adaptation to Imposed Stress) routine developed by Jeff McCarell.

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