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Thread: The BENCH PRESS is USELESS!

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  1. #1
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    The BENCH PRESS is USELESS!

    I'm just wondering why we continue to use the flat bench other than to have an answer to the ubiquitous question..."hey bro... whats your bench?"

    If your answer is simply for bodybuilding, hypertrophy, or causer Rippetoe (and everyone else) says to then that is fine but just a couple of observations...

    From the standpoint of functional movement in the "wild human" I don't see many big pec hunter gatherers. When I think about their daily life I can't come up with any reason to do the bench. Seems like our exercise would be pull centric at least 2/1 with leg movements and some overhead press (carrying water or dead animals).

    Lastly I'm a bit jaded after rupturing my pec (an injury that happens almost exclusively doing bench press). I understand that its a choice and I don't HAVE to bench. I'm more wondering/hypothesizing that it is likely to produce imbalances in the shoulder and upper body and may be just hanging around cause its been made so popular.

    Oh, lastly.....as a football lineman or sumo wrestler or other sport specific exercise I may see the point. Just don't get it from an evolutionary standpoint.

  2. #2
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    How else do you get that big log, dead mammoth or pouncing tiger off your chest after they just knocked you on to your back side. ~
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  3. #3
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    Or you're in a fight (or playful wrestling match) with another human? Or you need to push a heavy rock or log out of the way?
    "Don't waste your time, or time will waste you."

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    Quote Originally Posted by skorpion317 View Post
    Or you're in a fight (or playful wrestling match) with another human? Or you need to push a heavy rock or log out of the way?
    lol...well being a wrestler for 16 years I can say that big chest muscles in my opponent never gave me pause. Your grip, how you use your hips, and pull strength are far more important. Chest...meh, good for showing off at the gym.

    I do like the scene in Batman when he asks him why the hell he does all those pushups every morning if he cant even lift a burning log off his chest.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    lol...well being a wrestler for 16 years I can say that big chest muscles in my opponent never gave me pause. Your grip, how you use your hips, and pull strength are far more important. Chest...meh, good for showing off at the gym.
    Being a wrestler for 14 years, I can think of a few situations where you'd need a specific bench press-type movement:

    1. You get taken down by your opponent, and need to push up to recover your base.
    2. Preventing your opponent from breaking your base down.
    3. Tying up with your opponent - I like to push them around a bit to get them to come back at me, setting up a throw or a shot.
    4. Blocking a shot (if you don't sprawl).
    "Don't waste your time, or time will waste you."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by skorpion317 View Post
    Or you're in a fight (or playful wrestling match) with another human? Or you need to push a heavy rock or log out of the way?
    since most of the pushing we do would be from a standing position, without a bench supporting our back, i don't see how it translates.

  7. #7
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    i totally agree that most peoples' lifting is way to focused on push exercises and remarkable light in the pull department. i'm not sure 2:1 is the exact ratio i'd look for, as i tend to keep the push/pull reps and sets about even.

    the "hey bro, whatcha bench?" mentality leads to terrible imbalances. tons of people are chest-dominant, and use terrible form on the press. this is a bad combination for shoulder health, posture, etc.

    to borrow from what you said about "not seeing too many big-pec hunter gatherers," well, you also don't see too many big-anything hunter-gatherers. they don't lift for hypertrophy and don't eat to excess. the bodies of hunter-gather tribes are perfectly suited to do their jobs as hunter-gatherers. and thats it. if they live in a region that involved lots of climbing, then they climb. if it involves running, then they run.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by not on the rug View Post
    to borrow from what you said about "not seeing too many big-pec hunter gatherers," well, you also don't see too many big-anything hunter-gatherers. they don't lift for hypertrophy and don't eat to excess. the bodies of hunter-gather tribes are perfectly suited to do their jobs as hunter-gatherers. and thats it. if they live in a region that involved lots of climbing, then they climb. if it involves running, then they run.
    Yeah, good point.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    I'm just wondering why we continue to use the flat bench other than to have an answer to the ubiquitous question..."hey bro... whats your bench?"

    If your answer is simply for bodybuilding, hypertrophy, or causer Rippetoe (and everyone else) says to then that is fine but just a couple of observations...
    it's heresy, but i hate the bench press. i do an overhead press and i do dips. lots of both. bench press completely kills my shoulders. i just don't like it, and i just don't do it. and i'm not a powerlifter, so who cares??

    plus, i actually think over-developed pecs look kinda funky. not that i'm at risk for that yet, but just saying.

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