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25

In Starting Strength, a well-known book on barbell training, Mark Rippetoe says (emphasis mine): In fact, the dumbbell version of the exercise, which actually predates the barbell version due to its less specialized equipment requirements, is probably a better exercise for most purposes other than training for a powerlifting competition. This is ...


12

Given the additional information you've posted, it sounds like you are simply hitting a wall. Those are good numbers on the squats and deadlifts, so it's possible that you're not recovering (perhaps from too little sleep?), but it doesn't sound like that's the case. I would see if switching to 3x5 instead of 5x5 allows you to progress. When I started with ...


10

Keep in mind that the bench and rows are using smaller muscles than the squats and deads. However for the rows to be that far behind the bench tells me you started the bench higher than the program would otherwise specify. In truth your rows should be another 20lbs heavier than your bench. There are usually two reasons why you can't make a lift: The ...


9

I'm sorry, but the selected answer for this question is terribly ill-informed. It doesn't even answer the OP's question of which muscles are actually utilized for each of these activities. Common myth #1: The pushup is merely an exercise for muscular endurance. Common myth #2: The bench press is far superior to the pushup for building muscle, mainly due to ...


8

I stopped benching alone because I didn't trust this method to be enough, but I used to leave off the plate clips. That way, if I get stuck, I can tip the bar to one side and slide the plates off with a huge crash. It would probably damage the floor and/or the plates, but I would be able to get up. I never had to implement this strategy. Any system that is ...


7

Bench press Can use a lot more weight, so it's ideal for the low rep anaerobic range. It's for mass building. Can be assisted by a spotter, so you can go to failure. This is good for breaking plateaus and stimulating growth. More dangerous if you don't have a spotter. The bar can fall on your chest if you have no more strength to get it back up. You can do ...


7

The two programs that are best suited for beginners are Starting Strength and StrongLifts. See this article for some more information to help choose the program. Starting Strength was put together by Mark Rippetoe who is a strength training coach since the 70s. I highly recommend his book whether you use his program or not. It is some good, no-nonsense ...


7

For any breathing under load, the best approach is to use the same technique singers, cheerleaders, and martial artists use: breath from the gut. Look at yourself in a mirror, and if your shoulders are rising and falling when you breath you are breathing from your chest. Your stomach should be moving in and out, almost as if your diaphragm is being moved ...


7

I would go with doing the bench press in a squat rack. Set the pins at the right height, even if you fail you won't get crushed by the bar.


7

"I'd rather fail a rep than have a rep be half-me, half-you, so please only help me with racking and unracking. Give me a sec if I have a hard time with a rep--I'll shout for help if I need it. Thanks, chap." Big friendly grin. If they screw it up by "helping" with a rep anyway, and I think I'm going to need their assistance again in the future, I'm the ...


6

I say "I'm going to do 5 reps. Please don't touch the bar unless I ask for help". If you're following a reasonable progression (only lifting a bit more than last time), there's always time to ask for help as you lower the bar to your chest while failing, or even after you've lowered it to your chest. The rule my regular partner and I have is that we don't ...


5

My personal preference would be to invest in a proper barbell and weights, complete with the power rack and bench. The main reason to choose barbells over Bowflex has to do with versatility and expansion. Bowflex has limited set of resistances, once you max your system out, what's next? Bowflex only supports a limited set of exercises Free weights allow ...


5

I think you answered the question by properly asking it. Don't go to failure. Should you be cautious about benching? YES, I think this is the exercise where people actually get hurt the most, by the bar dropping on them (chest or much worse the throat). I would recommend using barbell in the beginning of your routine and as you get tired, moving to ...


5

It's correct form. If your elbows are too much out, you are risking injury of front shoulder and shoulder joint. By placing elbows closer to rib cage, triceps is taking more load (from shoulders). 45° or lower is considered safe zone. If you want to try some of bench press modifications, you could try to place wrist much closer (putting load on triceps), ...


5

You're not going to like this answer, but it's a simple one. If you want to increase your bench and squat, you need to bench and squat more. That's all there is to it. Using a muscle makes it stronger. Now, if just doing more reps of Bench Press and Squat is boring, you can switch it up: incline bench press, one-legged squats, etc. But to make a muscle group ...


5

Here's a link to Ripptone explaining how much to arch the back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lBNeeeTId1M Some people have a 'big' arch, this is the person using the legs/hips to drive the bar, usually intended to push heavy weight. So, neither is wrong, it depends on what your goal is: building strength or building ego by ...


5

It's true. Exrx has good breakdown of the muscles targeted by the bench press, incline press, decline press, and military press. The "clavicular" pectoralis is your upper pec. Most of the lifters I respect make fun of decline press as a pointless exercise (because dips are better). Also, most of the lifters I respect emphasize the importance of the standing ...


4

It is a different exercise. Quoting Mark Rippetoe, "(..) the dumbbell version (..) is probably a better exercise for most purposes other than powerlifting competition." (Starting Strength, p.68) He also says that getting into position, and getting up with the dumbbells after the set "is a large part of the fun", and that they require more conscious control ...


4

I don't think it would be possible to hold your breath through a set, so I'll assume you mean whether or not to hold your breath throughout one complete rep. Keeping your lungs full of air helps create intra-abdominal pressure, which stabilizes your core and adds support for a weight above you. I find this to be most crucial when doing squats, but certainly ...


4

The best thing to do is to use a bench station with safeties. Whether those safeties are sawhorses from the hardware store, a power rack, or a squat rack with safety attachments; they will prevent the bar from trapping you on the bench. The safeties should be low enough that you can touch the bar to your chest, but high enough you can slide out from ...


4

I believe so, but unless the person in question is benching themselves, you can't expect them to stay around to spot you for more than one or possibly two sets, so your best bet is to find someone else who is benching at a similar weight and take turns.


3

Unilateral Weakness When you find a left/right discrepancy in muscle strength, the weaker side will strengthen better if you exercise that side independently of the stronger side. Doing bilateral exercises allows the stronger side to take over. So @ shadesco's suggestion to use dumbbells instead of a barbell so that you can strengthen the right side with ...


3

Instead of a bar, use dumbbells which will enforce each side of your body to push on its own (using a bar, the stronger muscles will be helping you and will be pushing more) and helps in isolating muscles Introduce body weight exercises to your routine, like burpees, pullups,pushups . These exercises develop overall muscle fibers and strength and will add ...


3

You should follow the advice in the book that describes the program you're doing. Unless you find a reputable source that describes specifically why bouncing is dangerous, don't worry about bouncing out of the bottom of squats or bench presses. It's "cheating" a little to bounce in the bench, so for optimal strength gains you would avoid that. For the ...


3

Certainly you're at the point where you have to focus on technique, and doing so will not only help you push past plateaus but also avoid injury. The following technique list is taken from Power to the People Professional, and all adds up to an explosive push. Notice the focus on deriving power through your feet and directing that through your body! The ...


3

This article might have what you are looking for. Since I can't get in, I can't be certain. There are a couple other articles that may be of interest, but not exactly what you wanted: Anatomy of a Rep Problem--Raw Bench Press--Solution--Plyometrics Muscles involved in bench press (but not by phase) That said, you may need to try a process called ...


3

When you bench press, it is very important to try and keep your wrists from bending back from the weight in your hands. In other words, you want to have your elbow inline all the way up with your knuckles. If it's too hard to do that with the weight you're using, than that's a sign that you're using too much weight. ...



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