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  1. #1
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    Can I skip bench press in starting strength?

    I am doing this ss program now and getting good results. One concern is that I used to only do flat bench press so my lower and outside chest are much stronger than my upper and inner chest, which makes it look ugly, no "two seamless flat iron", instead they are like two kettlebells ...

    so if I keep with ss which requires bench press I am afraid my chest will become more exaggeratively ugly. So I want to do pec machine fly and inclined bench fly to work only on upper and inner chest. Is this a good idea? will this cause inbalance for press and power clean? or some other bad things will happen? Thanks.
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    Overhead Press should take care of your upper chest.

    If your really that worried about it, just put the bench on a slight incline. but if aestheics is your primary goal, SS may not be for you.

    Adding pec deck or flyes etc Will be butchering the program too much.
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    Originally Posted by alextech77 View Post
    I am doing this ss program now and getting good results. One concern is that I used to only do flat bench press so my lower and outside chest are much stronger than my upper and inner chest, which makes it look ugly, no "two seamless flat iron", instead they are like two kettlebells ...

    so if I keep with ss which requires bench press I am afraid my chest will become more exaggeratively ugly. So I want to do pec machine fly and inclined bench fly to work only on upper and inner chest. Is this a good idea? will this cause inbalance for press and power clean? or some other bad things will happen? Thanks.
    How's your flat bench press in relation to your other lifts?
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    you could just do the old but forgotten barrel rolls with weights tucked into your chest.
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    Originally Posted by Engineer_Guy View Post
    How's your flat bench press in relation to your other lifts?
    I flat bench 245, squat 245, deadlift 315, press 95, I know it is imbalanced because bench is stronger than others.
    it was imbalanced worse before but since I use ss my squats and deadlifts increases fast, bench not increase fast, and I am thinking how about I squat 315, df 400, press 135 and still bench 245, is this a balance?
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    Registered User alextech77's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kais3r View Post
    you could just do the old but forgotten barrel rolls with weights tucked into your chest.
    what is this?
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    Originally Posted by alextech77 View Post
    I am doing this ss program now and getting good results. One concern is that I used to only do flat bench press so my lower and outside chest are much stronger than my upper and inner chest, which makes it look ugly, no "two seamless flat iron", instead they are like two kettlebells ...

    so if I keep with ss which requires bench press I am afraid my chest will become more exaggeratively ugly. So I want to do pec machine fly and inclined bench fly to work only on upper and inner chest. Is this a good idea? will this cause inbalance for press and power clean? or some other bad things will happen? Thanks.
    Do incline bench press and make sure u squeeze ur chest as hard as possible after each rep, that will increase the size of the upper chest and give it that "bulging look." Standing cable crossovers will target the inner chest (make sure to squeez chest on this also). Incline bench fly is a good exercise under ur circumstances but I'd stay away from the pec dec machine fly because that doesn't really increase mass in the chest that much. btw i wouldn't recommend taking flat bench press out of ur routine just do it later on in ur workout instead of the beginning. You're workout should begin with what muscles u want to target the most because you have more energy in the beginning of ur workout.

    Hope this helped man,

    Eric
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    Originally Posted by alextech77 View Post
    I am doing this ss program now and getting good results. One concern is that I used to only do flat bench press so my lower and outside chest are much stronger than my upper and inner chest, which makes it look ugly, no "two seamless flat iron", instead they are like two kettlebells ...

    so if I keep with ss which requires bench press I am afraid my chest will become more exaggeratively ugly. So I want to do pec machine fly and inclined bench fly to work only on upper and inner chest. Is this a good idea? will this cause inbalance for press and power clean? or some other bad things will happen? Thanks.
    You squat, bench, deadlift and then you squat, press, power clean.

    IOW: Just do the program. Worry about silly little things like your lower and outer chest being too big when you are no longer a novice.
    Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by EricMoritz View Post
    Do incline bench press and make sure u squeeze ur chest as hard as possible after each rep, that will increase the size of the upper chest and give it that "bulging look." Standing cable crossovers will target the inner chest (make sure to squeez chest on this also). Incline bench fly is a good exercise under ur circumstances but I'd stay away from the pec dec machine fly because that doesn't really increase mass in the chest that much. btw i wouldn't recommend taking flat bench press out of ur routine just do it later on in ur workout instead of the beginning. You're workout should begin with what muscles u want to target the most because you have more energy in the beginning of ur workout.

    Hope this helped man,

    Eric
    thanks man. inclined bench fly and cable crossover which one do u think is better for upper/inner chest? i would guess cable crossover?
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  10. #10
    Registered User EricMoritz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by alextech77 View Post
    thanks man. inclined bench fly and cable crossover which one do u think is better for upper/inner chest? i would guess cable crossover?
    I wouldn't say one is better because both exercises do different things. For example, the dumbbell inclined bench fly will develop the mass of the upper chest but not the inner chest. Cable crossovers will target the inner chest but not the upper chest. I would include both of these exercises in your workout.

    Eric
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    You should be more concerned with how to make your upper chest larger to compensate, rather than trying to make your lower chest smaller.
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    Wow. Another upper-inner chest thread.

    There are only two muscles in your chest:
    1. Pectoralis major
    2. Pectoralis minor

    If you want a bigger upper chest, work your pectoralis major = incline presses.

    Ignore the mis-information above.
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    How do you skip while bench pressing? Or do you skip between each set? Still...why would you do that? :P

    Ok, on a serious note:
    Originally Posted by alextech77 View Post
    I flat bench 245, squat 245, deadlift 315, press 95, I know it is imbalanced because bench is stronger than others.
    it was imbalanced worse before but since I use ss my squats and deadlifts increases fast, bench not increase fast, and I am thinking how about I squat 315, df 400, press 135 and still bench 245, is this a balance?
    You aren't destined for the level of linear progression SS is all about for much longer. The number you posted at the end of that quote are reasonable expectations and you can probably get there in about a month or two, unless you are pretty much about to stall/reset this week or next.

    Now, what you do is COMPLETELY up to you. Yes, you will get the 3rd degree if you say "I'm doing SS w/ flyes/pec deck instead of bench," but if that's what floats your boat, then go for it. But remember, SS is a STRENGTH program, not a BB program. Yes, you will gain muscle on it, and yes that strength will help you with any BB program you go down in the future.

    I would recommend you stick with bench and, if anything, adjust your grip within a safe (read: non-shoulder-damaging) range and see if you notice any difference. I would also recommend adding dips, weighted if possible, at the end of your bench/dl day.

    But again, it's your workout, your results you are aiming for, and 100% your choice.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by EricMoritz View Post
    I wouldn't say one is better because both exercises do different things. For example, the dumbbell inclined bench fly will develop the mass of the upper chest but not the inner chest. Cable crossovers will target the inner chest but not the upper chest. I would include both of these exercises in your workout.

    Eric
    I went to gym today and found cable cross over machine always packed with crowds in an hour, even after I finished my squats and deadlifts...

    is there any other substitute that works good on inner chest?
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    Registered User alextech77's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jaminoodlesoup View Post
    Wow. Another upper-inner chest thread.

    There are only two muscles in your chest:
    1. Pectoralis major
    2. Pectoralis minor

    If you want a bigger upper chest, work your pectoralis major = incline presses.

    Ignore the mis-information above.
    this is quite new to me. only two muscles? but why somebody's upper inner chest looks really ugly while somebody's are just like those models?

    may be even for one muscle the shape and size can be adjusted, right?
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  16. #16
    Registered User alextech77's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abg View Post
    How do you skip while bench pressing? Or do you skip between each set? Still...why would you do that? :P

    Ok, on a serious note:


    You aren't destined for the level of linear progression SS is all about for much longer. The number you posted at the end of that quote are reasonable expectations and you can probably get there in about a month or two, unless you are pretty much about to stall/reset this week or next.

    Now, what you do is COMPLETELY up to you. Yes, you will get the 3rd degree if you say "I'm doing SS w/ flyes/pec deck instead of bench," but if that's what floats your boat, then go for it. But remember, SS is a STRENGTH program, not a BB program. Yes, you will gain muscle on it, and yes that strength will help you with any BB program you go down in the future.

    I would recommend you stick with bench and, if anything, adjust your grip within a safe (read: non-shoulder-damaging) range and see if you notice any difference. I would also recommend adding dips, weighted if possible, at the end of your bench/dl day.

    But again, it's your workout, your results you are aiming for, and 100% your choice.
    thanks for the advice. when you say adjust grip, did u mean narrower grip?
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    Originally Posted by alextech77 View Post
    I went to gym today and found cable cross over machine always packed with crowds in an hour, even after I finished my squats and deadlifts...

    is there any other substitute that works good on inner chest?
    bench more. srs.
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    Originally Posted by jaminoodlesoup View Post
    Wow. Another upper-inner chest thread.

    There are only two muscles in your chest:
    1. Pectoralis major
    2. Pectoralis minor

    If you want a bigger upper chest, work your pectoralis major = incline presses.

    Ignore the mis-information above.
    My info is correct dude considering I've read books on weightlifting and my workout partners are exercise science majors. Not to mention I said do incline bench presses in my first thread.
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  19. #19
    Registered User EricMoritz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by alextech77 View Post
    I went to gym today and found cable cross over machine always packed with crowds in an hour, even after I finished my squats and deadlifts...

    is there any other substitute that works good on inner chest?
    close or medium grip incline press, make sure u squeeze the chest for a second at the top of each rep.
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    What do you flat bench?

    And yes there are only two main muscles in the chest -

    http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/PectoralisClavicular.html

    http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/PectoralisSternal.html
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  21. #21
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    Starting strength is a program for beginners/novices who want a foundation of strength to start with. Hence the name

    It isn't for someone who already has a solid foundation to pick out certain muscles to sculpt

    If you're already strong and built, trying to build certain muscles, this isn't the routine for you.


    If you're so worried about overbuilding your lower chest though, just do your dips more triceps emphasized
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    Stick with the program as it is written. You start trying to tweak things here and there and you'll have a mess of a program and end up wasting a lot of time.

    Your numbers on flat bench aren't big, you need to stick with it.

    Work with a solid program for a couple of years, then worry about tweaking. However, if you stick with it and be smart, you'll be happy by then.

    Besides, you don't build mass with things like flyes, crossovers, and that junk. Who should you listen to, a stranger on an internet message board or a former competitve lifter, who owns his gym, and trains others?

    The best exercise for building an aesthetically pleasing chest is dips, which you're doing with SS.
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    Registered User abg's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by alextech77 View Post
    thanks for the advice. when you say adjust grip, did u mean narrower grip?
    I have no clue where you are gripping, but in general narrower is a stronger tricep influence while wider is more chest. The thing to be careful on is that wider also tends to mean more shoulder stress. You'll have to play with it personally to decide where you want to hit it.
    Last edited by abg; 03-10-2011 at 10:15 AM.
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    Originally Posted by EricMoritz View Post
    My info is correct dude considering I've read books on weightlifting and my workout partners are exercise science majors. Not to mention I said do incline bench presses in my first thread.
    LMAO!!! Oh, well I've been reading Dr. Seuss and my workout partner is the President. Who cares dude?! I don't know what books you are reading, or what morons you hang out with, but any high school anatamy book (or a Google search) will confirm what I just said. Prove me wrong.
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    Originally Posted by alextech77 View Post
    I flat bench 245, squat 245, deadlift 315, press 95, I know it is imbalanced because bench is stronger than others.
    it was imbalanced worse before but since I use ss my squats and deadlifts increases fast, bench not increase fast, and I am thinking how about I squat 315, df 400, press 135 and still bench 245, is this a balance?
    Your flat bench is miles ahead of your overhead press. I am going to guess there is something wrong with your form on 1 of the 2 exercises. Either you are not touching your chest when you bench, or you have atrocious overhead press form.
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    making of a machine haree95's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by braden101 View Post
    Overhead Press should take care of your upper chest.

    If your really that worried about it, just put the bench on a slight incline. but if aestheics is your primary goal, SS may not be for you.

    Adding pec deck or flyes etc Will be butchering the program too much.
    then what is the best beginner workout for aestheics?????
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