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  • #31
    One could argue that weight lifting in general is "useless" because it doesn't do much to build "usable strength." I've seen my deadlift and squats shoot through the roof, but moving a couch isn't much easier today than it was a year ago. It's for aesthetics and health. Benchpressing may be a useless motion in real life, but it's a very efficient motion for engaging multiple muscle groups and encouraging a positive hormonal response. And it has come in handy a few times while drinking as I have benchpressed girls on multiple occasions. It gets a funny reaction.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.


    • #32
      As someone who has utilized weight lifting for training in different points in my life I have to respectfully disagree. The bench press is not just for building your pecs. Bench pressing is actually a compound lift utilizing your arms, shoulders, back, and yes even your pectoral muscles. I will agree that there is WAYYY too much focus on how much a person can bench press, or any type of lift for that matter. This line of thinking does lead to imbalances, but when mixed in with other compound types of lifts, the bench press can be a very useful lift. I guess my only disagreement is in calling it useless. Although if I was to have only one weight lifting movement allowed I would choose the deadlift hands down.

      ...and if you truly believe that you cannot build functional strength utilizing weight lifting than you are doing it wrong.
      Last edited by MShelby; 07-05-2012, 07:44 AM.


      • #33
        Also, I realize this is an inflammatory thread purposed to invoke arguments/discussions, but to say that the bench press is useless and base your argument on its real world application and your shoulder pain from the lift is a bit ridiculous, dude. Granted analyzing just the movement of extended arm to chest and back is hard to find applicable similarities in real world situations, but to ignore the strength growth in the involved muscle systems (which is why the exercise is performed in the first place) is basically the same as saying you’re never really going to stand vertical and lift something from head to an extended arm position so the shoulder press is useless.

        The reason the bench press is useful is because it uses a large amount of muscle groups to illicit a strength growth response. Yes, one could do dips and push ups and tricep extensions and a multitude of other exercises to mimic the gains from a bench press, but one could just as easily say those exercises are “useless” as well.

        If it makes you stronger it isn’t useless.
        I've got of one them journal thingies. One Night At McCool's


        • #34
          To me it sounds like there are two topics here:

          1. The purpose/point of building a big strong chest considering the limited functional usability compared to legs/back,shoulders..
          2. The benefits of the Bench Press itself.

          I think most of us understand there is an overemphasis on the bench press in the gym. When beginners start pushing weight, the bench press and bicep curl usually end up being the first exercises they do. The reason is probably because they are conceptually easy to understand and the connection between the exercise and the muscle worked is most obvious, visable and for beginners flashy. You can't see your back (unless you got a big one) when you stare in the mirror.

          For "1.", my opinion is simple on this. Why not build a big strong chest to go along with your big strong everything else? If you do them right, you really can't do squats/deadlifts everyday becasue you need ample recovery time so why not mix in some powerful chest work on some other day of the week? Beyond hypertrophy, think of the beneficial hormonal response of yet another opportunity to push big weight.

          For "2." my opinion is that there are better chest exercises out there than the flat bench barbell press. I think dumbbell presses are a much better option and put you less at risk of a pectoral tear. There is a greater risk of a pectoral tear with flat barbell bench presses and for that reason alone I would always suggest staying away from the bar. Pec tears are no fun at all.

          Ultimately everybody has got to do whats right for them based on their needs.