Bench pressing advantage or not

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Replies

  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    golfchess6 wrote: »
    I am benching around 150 pounds (around my actual weight) and was wondering if there is a real benefit to going even more.

    You will become stronger and more than likely add some muscle mass over time to arms, shoulders and chest.
    Whether that is what you want is up to you.

    Different people have different goals, some endurance athletes deliberately let their upper body muscles atrophy for performance in their chosen sport, not my choice though.

    In my gym I don't see a lot of people bench pressing but see loads of guys doing interminable bicep curls. As long as people's exercise choice and their goals match it's not my concern.
    More of a worry when people do bench press thinking they will build their biceps though!!


  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,097 Member
    golfchess6 wrote: »
    Chieflrg wrote: »

    I'm not sure what you mean "beyond your weight"?

    I am benching around 150 pounds (around my actual weight) and was wondering if there is a real benefit to going even more.

    Yes all the benefits I listed are real & important if the bench press and/or variations are part of your programming.

    I would never suggest governing my strength increases, bone density, & health by a body weight number that I can produce force with to perform a lift.

    Do you have to bench? Nope, unless it is specific to your goal.

    Is it a useful & efficient lift to load and perform to elicit a response towards our desired goals? Yes.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,988 Member
    golfchess6 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    That's not why most of the people in your gym do it, pretty sure. 😉

    A balance workout is important but I see a lot of people gravitating to bench pressing and not working on others. You are probably correct on your assessment in your last statement.

    Well, part of my point was that you *wouldn't* see a certain minority of us working on the others, because it happens on a river, not in a gym. 😉

    I think others are right about the more common reasons, though: Appearance goals, bro-science, etc.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 7,413 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Speaking of cross training benefits, I've found upper body strength training to be tremendously beneficial for my yoga and swimming, where otherwise my arms are way underpowered compared to my legs.

    Yup yup yup!!!!!!! I started weight training specifically to build upper body strength to help with yoga arm balances. It worked a treat.
    Some benefits I have seen for bench pressing...

    - lifts saggy boobs (or helps enhance the appearance of fullness)
    - helps you look ripped if you have saggy boobs (chest muscle striations distract from the fact that your boobs are near your waist - thanks kids)
    -

    It’s a good thing mat classes also emphasize chin to chest because I’m trying to ogle mine right now.
  • I2k4
    I2k4 Posts: 179 Member
    I'll let others opine on the PHYSICAL advantages, relative to whatever else is available for the purpose. My (very long) experience is that SOCIALLY, for decades bench press been probably the most common first-impression standard for, and question asked, about personal physical strength among like-minded enthusiasts, such that in the right company there's a definite social advantage to having a respectable bench press. B)
  • golfchess6
    golfchess6 Posts: 64 Member
    Some benefits I have seen for bench pressing...

    - lifts saggy boobs (or helps enhance the appearance of fullness)
    - bigger pecs make the belly appear smaller
    - helps if you have to push your car out of a snowbank / mud bog
    - great for when you need to shove your cranky teenager out of the house and off to school. (kidding) (sortof)
    - helpful if youre on the bottom when moving a dresser up the stairs, and then when pushing it down the hall (use towels under to prevent scratching)
    - depending on whether you engage your core and trunk during the press... helps with posture and back strength
    - helps you look ripped if you have saggy boobs (chest muscle striations distract from the fact that your boobs are near your waist - thanks kids)
    - works shoulders - I seem to be able to throw farther in baseball (not always a perk if your accuracy sucks)
    - works back muscles
    - makes you seem badass when you say "I bench 130". (just don't tell them it's in pounds).

    Those are all great insightful reasons!
  • evilokc
    evilokc Posts: 260 Member
    if you play a sport or have a job that requires pushing than benching is functional. i do not flat bench. the majority of my chest work is inclined.
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,210 Member
    golfchess6 wrote: »
    I am benching around 150 pounds (around my actual weight) and was wondering if there is a real benefit to going even more.

    It depends why you lift. If want to get bigger, you'll need to lift more. If you want to be strong for everyday tasks and weekend sports (general preparedness) or for health/bone strength, you probably have overkill strength, or at least reached the point of diminishing returns.
    - helps if you have to push your car out of a snowbank / mud bog

    That's usually more like an incline chest press. Just saying. :+1:
  • KickassAmazon76
    KickassAmazon76 Posts: 4,539 Member
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    golfchess6 wrote: »
    I am benching around 150 pounds (around my actual weight) and was wondering if there is a real benefit to going even more.

    It depends why you lift. If want to get bigger, you'll need to lift more. If you want to be strong for everyday tasks and weekend sports (general preparedness) or for health/bone strength, you probably have overkill strength, or at least reached the point of diminishing returns.
    - helps if you have to push your car out of a snowbank / mud bog

    That's usually more like an incline chest press. Just saying. :+1:

    TBH, it's more like a leg press, because you'll need more leg drive if you want to make an actual difference. But the upper body strength in that case DOES help. Regardless... I was having fun with the response. :smile:
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,876 Member
    Bench press is part of a balanced lifting routine. I do a full body routine so I press every time I'm in the gym, though I do incline far more than I do flat bench...my right shoulder gives me fits when I do flat bench for whatever reason, but incline doesn't bother it and for whatever reason it's less of an issue when I flat bench with dumbbells than with a bar.

    I don't do much in the way of supplemental lifts or isolation lifts...pretty much just compounds and call it a day.
  • ChaoticMoira
    ChaoticMoira Posts: 103 Member
    I actually find it a little odd that you pay close enough attention to other people at the gym to know how much time they are individually spending on any one particular exercise over others.. :/
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,097 Member
    evilokc wrote: »
    if you play a sport or have a job that requires pushing than benching is functional. i do not flat bench. the majority of my chest work is inclined.

    Nope. Gaining strength, increasing bone density, & experiencing a hypertrophic response through benching is just as functional as any other lift. If one is reaping benefits they are reaping benefits. Doesn't matter if you play sports or not.

    One doesnt have to flat bench nor avoid it unless preexisting injury or something along those lines.

    "Functional" is one of the worse buzzwords I've seen recently.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    I actually find it a little odd that you pay close enough attention to other people at the gym to know how much time they are individually spending on any one particular exercise over others.. :/

    Frankly there isn't any "play close enough attention" required to notice this.

    Other poster in this topic commented on what I've easily seen when I'm there working out - people waiting for the bench available.
    I've always noticed that unless it's just odd almost empty time. What, while I'm doing a rest I'm not supposed to look around and notice things?
    Sometimes I'm curious if by the time I get to a lift requiring equipment it'll be available, so ya.

    Far more often than not, and more often than ones waiting for even the squat racks or anything else.

    He didn't say, and I'd likely not notice either, specific individuals time after time unless they stood out for some reason.
    But the ability to see constant increased usage isn't hard to observe.
  • ChaoticMoira
    ChaoticMoira Posts: 103 Member
    @heybales
    He mentioned people spending a lot of energy on it. To me, the only way one can know how much energy another is spending on it, you'd have to know how long/often it is done by said person. That was my point. Rather than "there is always a lot of people doing it, I wonder why it is so popular," the focus was on "a person giving their individual energy to it," hence my reaction.

  • golfchess6
    golfchess6 Posts: 64 Member
    edited September 2021
    Thank you everybody for your insight.
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,454 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    golfchess6 wrote: »
    I went to the gym this weekend and noticed that a lot of people are busing bench pressing (either free weights or machines). Beyond the aesthetic look of bench pressing, is there another reason? Outside the gym, I enjoy playing golf and running. Is there a real benefit bench pressing beyond your weight?

    They are probably all on the same bro-schedule of 1 body part a day they read somewhere and just blindly following it.

    Hit the gym on a Mon and compare - that's an even bigger bro-scheduled day.

    As to why useful - a means to increase shoulder stability, balance to the potentially more often used back pulling muscles, aesthetics, functional.

    If you see the folks with slightly forwarded rounded shoulders - they likely need more attention the other direction probably.

    Wednesday seems to be chest/push day around these parts, but you're probably right.

    Your area is unusual, pictures on internet explaining Monday is bench press day :smiley:


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  • zzelink
    zzelink Posts: 2 Member
    These standards allow you to compare your one-rep max lift with other lifters at your body weight but do remember, the strength standard is not the strength norm, nor does it present the highest possible level of strength performance. Instead, it is merely a rough baseline of expectation for an average healthy adult.

    Chart I. bench press standards for men
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    Chart II. bench press standards for women
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    https://www.ritfitsports.com/blogs/article/how-much-should-i-be-able-to-bench
  • HoneyBadger302
    HoneyBadger302 Posts: 1,970 Member
    golfchess6 wrote: »
    I am surprised at how many people spend so much energy on bench pressing and ignoring the muscles that they would use during sports.

    Well, in my sport, that exact muscle group is actually one of the main ones that physically holds me back - so as a female, doing what I do, there is a big focus in my lifting routine on a variety of bench and core/twist exercises. Not that those are all I do by any means (I actually have a 5 day split if I'm doing it all, and several days include compound moves that work several groups), but that is more of a focus for me than other muscle groups.

    Now, as to your observations, are you really seeing the same people repeating them over and over, or the once-a-week folks showing up and hopping on the bench because that's what they know? Most of the regular lifters at the gyms I've been at might bench one day a week, and if they were all there at the same time, would typically either have a spotting buddy who they'd rotate with, or they'd arrange their workouts to avoid all of them hitting the same things on the same day (which may give the perception that someone is "always" benching).

    Some people do tend to avoid or miss leg day though - let's face it, the memes are there for a reason LOL.