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  1. #1
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Decline Bench > Flat Bench - Bench Monkeys GTFIH

    Disclaimer: If you're a bench monkey, you will not like this post.....but it's truly for your own good!



    Do you know someone who insists that they HAVE to flat bench press for chest gains?

    Have them consider the following points:

    1. The decline press actually activates more pec fibers than the flat press and the incline press.

    2. Strength in the decline press tends to carry over to the flat bench press very well.

    3. Also, unless you're an aspiring powerlifter, you actually have very little need to be an amazing flat bencher. Many people feel they need that movement based solely on the fact that 'everyone benches.'

    4. The decline barbell press is healthier for your shoulder joints than the flat press, which will prolong your training career. Most people eventually burn out the shoulder joints from constantly flat pressing..... Think about it; most people never cycle the flat bench press out of their routine. That's not good.

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  2. #2
    Registered User WWGlide's Avatar
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    I totally agree. I flat benched for years because that's what I thought I was 'supposed' to do. Turns out, the decline is a much more comfortable lift for me and has helped me develop my chest far better than flat
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  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    4. The decline barbell press is healthier for your shoulder joints than the flat press
    Really the truth here is that decline bench shortens the ROM which makes it easier for most people to keep their shoulders in a better position. It's quite possible to do the same with flat bench if you perform it correctly. There's really nothing inherently better for your shoulders with decline bench however.

    The key to benching and keeping healthy shoulders is to actually work your shoulders. A lot of shoulder problems from flat benching stem from people who bench too frequently and their shoulders lag behind. This isn't a problem with flat benching itself but poor programming of exercises.
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  4. #4
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    I see you presented your opinions as facts without any evidence to support them.

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  5. #5
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    meh
    Who was this love of yours?
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  6. #6
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThickAsABrick View Post
    meh
    Although you're an elitist prick, I'm still curious as to what you are 'meh'n' at.
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  7. #7
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    By that logic, wouldn't weighted dips be superior to bench presses of any kind?
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  8. #8
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IDrinkBloodLOL View Post
    By that logic, wouldn't weighted dips be superior to bench presses of any kind?
    A weighted dip, or any near parallel dip is essentially the same motion as a decline bench. This is one reason why parallel or near parallel dips smash the pecs real hard too.

    I'm not going to say superior, but I will say they're similar.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    Although you're an elitist prick, I'm still curious as to what you are 'meh'n' at.
    Posts where people proclaim an exercise as universally better than another exercise are largely a waste of time. Decline is fine for some. Flat is fine for others. Much ado about nothing.
    Who was this love of yours?
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by Engineer_Guy View Post
    Really the truth here is that decline bench shortens the ROM which makes it easier for most people to keep their shoulders in a better position. It's quite possible to do the same with flat bench if you perform it correctly. There's really nothing inherently better for your shoulders with decline bench however.

    The key to benching and keeping healthy shoulders is to actually work your shoulders. A lot of shoulder problems from flat benching stem from people who bench too frequently and their shoulders lag behind. This isn't a problem with flat benching itself but poor programming of exercises.
    I second this.
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  11. #11
    preacher of simplicity godsamurai's Avatar
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    I get better pump with flat bench personally..
    honestly I haven't done decline bench for while because I think dip and other few exercises are enough. Used to really heavy on decline in the past, but I usually get more ribcage pain compared to muscle pain even with the correct form. What I mean by ribcage pain is my muscle isn't even sore few days later but my ribcage hurts for longer period of time. Im just saying this to indicate decline bench isn't any superior than flat at least for me.

    I think it really depends on individual lvl. It's hard to define which exercise is better than other. There's even people who feel shoulder pain on the flat bench yet feels no pain at the incline bench.
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  12. #12
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThickAsABrick View Post
    Posts where people proclaim an exercise as universally better than another exercise are largely a waste of time. Decline is fine for some. Flat is fine for others. Much ado about nothing.
    Fair enough, if that were what I did in my post. The post was directed at those who feel they HAVE to have the flat bench present to make progress, which just isn't smart training.
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  13. #13
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by godsamurai View Post
    I get better pump with flat bench personally..
    honestly I haven't done decline bench for while because I think dip and other few exercises are enough. Used to really heavy on decline in the past, but I usually get more ribcage pain compared to muscle pain even with the correct form. What I mean by ribcage pain is my muscle isn't even sore few days later but my ribcage hurts for longer period of time. Im just saying this to indicate decline bench isn't any superior than flat at least for me.

    I think it really depends on individual. It's hard to define which exercise is better than other. There's even people who feel shoulder pain on the flat bench yet feels no pain at the incline bench.
    No offense, but that ribcage pain is indicating that you were going too heavy and bouncing the bar off your ribcage. Try doing it right once, without heavy/low rep sets, and see how that pump goes for you. Seriously, give it a shot.

    Thanks for the post.
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  14. #14
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Engineer_Guy View Post
    Really the truth here is that decline bench shortens the ROM which makes it easier for most people to keep their shoulders in a better position. It's quite possible to do the same with flat bench if you perform it correctly. There's really nothing inherently better for your shoulders with decline bench however.

    The key to benching and keeping healthy shoulders is to actually work your shoulders. A lot of shoulder problems from flat benching stem from people who bench too frequently and their shoulders lag behind. This isn't a problem with flat benching itself but poor programming of exercises.
    You could've stopped that sentence where the bolded words stop above.

    Quick question: how you would recommend changing up flat bench form to shorten the ROM and keep the shoulders out of harm's way?
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  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    You could've stopped that sentence where the bolded words stop above.

    Quick question: how you would recommend changing up flat bench form to shorten the ROM and keep the shoulders out of harm's way?
    Widen grip, tuck elbows, arch back.

    Powerlifters do it all the time.
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by Engineer_Guy View Post
    Widen grip, tuck elbows, arch back.

    Powerlifters do it all the time.
    This is a setup - he wants you to say "arch the back" so he can say the whole point is to make the geometry resemble a decline bench, therefore he is right.

    I for one say the answer is to do other pushing moves in your routine, of which the bench press is only one of many. Then, benching even with ass form wouldn't wear anything out.
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by Engineer_Guy View Post
    Widen grip, tuck elbows, arch back.

    Powerlifters do it all the time.
    Originally Posted by IDrinkBloodLOL View Post
    This is a setup - he wants you to say "arch the back" so he can say the whole point is to make the geometry resemble a decline bench, therefore he is right.

    I for one say the answer is to do other pushing moves in your routine, of which the bench press is only one of many. Then, benching even with ass form wouldn't wear anything out.
    It's not a set up, it's a genuine question. It just so happens that the answer, for the most part, does agree with my initial post.

    Your bolded point above agrees with my initial post, good point.
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by lee__d View Post
    in on circle jerk
    You're not my type.....I'm out.
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  20. #20
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    I see what you're saying OP, flat bench isn't necessary. I agree.

    I get tremendous chest activation from decline press and weighted dips without hurting my shoulders like I often do with flat bench, but that's just another useless personal anecdote.

    I think the important thing here is that people shouldn't bash the idea of prioritizing decline bench over flat until they've tried it. By 'bench monkey', I believe you mean people who ignorantly think flat bench is the ONLY way to develop the chest.
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    ( _)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    You're not my type.....I'm out.
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  22. #22
    Friggin' rights he did JmanTheJuiceman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThickAsABrick View Post
    Posts where people proclaim an exercise as universally better than another exercise are largely a waste of time.
    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    Fair enough, if that were what I did in my post.
    Well, the title of this thread is "Decline > Flat" .... So TECHNICALLY you kind of did proclaim "a is better than b" -- by simple definition of the '>' sign. Although That's kind of a nitpicky observation.

    I see what you're getting at though, OP. A LOT of people tend to do flat over than decline , whatever their reasoning may be. The problem is, the flat press IS a great exercise, and to say outright that decline is significantly better is a bit absurd. They're both great.

    Personally, I include both angles in my workout -- 1 w/ DBs & 1 w/ BB.
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  23. #23
    Registered User Engineer_Guy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IDrinkBloodLOL View Post
    This is a setup - he wants you to say "arch the back" so he can say the whole point is to make the geometry resemble a decline bench, therefore he is right.
    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    It's not a set up, it's a genuine question. It just so happens that the answer, for the most part, does agree with my initial post.
    Haha whether it was a set up or not doesn't matter. A flat bench is still not a decline bench even if using an arch "resembles" it. And you don't need to shorten the ROM to keep the shoulders healthy. Using a shortened ROM just makes keeping this position easier.

    Originally Posted by IDrinkBloodLOL
    I for one say the answer is to do other pushing moves in your routine, of which the bench press is only one of many.
    Definitely. I think we all agree on that. And not only pushing movements but doing the appropriate pulling movements as well.
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  24. #24
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kanis999 View Post
    I see what you're saying OP, flat bench isn't necessary. I agree.

    I get tremendous chest activation from decline press and weighted dips without hurting my shoulders like I often do with flat bench, but that's just another useless personal anecdote.

    I think the important thing here is that people shouldn't bash the idea of prioritizing decline bench over flat until they've tried it. By 'bench monkey', I believe you mean people who ignorantly think flat bench is the ONLY way to develop the chest.
    You'd be 100% correct sir.
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  25. #25
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JmanTheJuiceman View Post
    Well, the title of this thread is "Decline > Flat" .... So TECHNICALLY you kind of did proclaim "a is better than b" -- by simple definition of the '>' sign. Although That's kind of a nitpicky observation.

    I see what you're getting at though, OP. A LOT of people tend to do flat over than decline , whatever their reasoning may be. The problem is, the flat press IS a great exercise, and to say outright that decline is significantly better is a bit absurd. They're both great.

    Personally, I include both angles in my workout -- 1 w/ DBs & 1 w/ BB.
    With all due respect, I title my threads to get views, as I like to get discussions going....which is why I titled the way I did. I'll agree on the nit picking

    I honestly think their reasoning for flat benching over anything else is just because 'that's what you do.' To me, I choose to look past that group mentality and do what makes the most sense most of the time.
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  26. #26
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    a missed rep on decline could be a life-ender. no thanks...
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  27. #27
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    Originally Posted by jwagz View Post
    a missed rep on decline could be a life-ender. no thanks...
    And a miss rep on a bench can't be a life ender? Several have already died just benching.

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  28. #28
    Not even my final form NZninja101's Avatar
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    Flat and decline are both fine. I'd take what EMG studies say with a grain of salt.
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  29. #29
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    There's no leg drive in Decline Bench, which I find leads me to not being as tight in my setup as I can be with Flat Bench. I do like Decline Bench, but I don't think it's superior.
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  30. #30
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    Well, I haven't done flat or decline bench in over 12 years and I can't say that I miss either...
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