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  1. #1
    Registered User TJ2000's Avatar
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    Why is incline bench so hard?

    I mean my other benches (flat, decline, machine press etc.) aren't great by any means but when it comes to being downright weak I'd say my incline takes the cake. I understand I shouldn't be so worried about just weight, but I do want to get stronger and just sticking with the same weight forever isn't going to get me anywhere. So I've tried going heavier on incline and I can only get 115lbs up. I've heard on here about how if your shoulders, back etc are weak then your bench will be weak too so I've tried getting stronger at those as well as every body part. Thing is, my incline is still horrible! I've been told to do more barbell shoulder press then db shoulder press to help with my incline, but I like doing dbs over bb. Is there any difference? Also, when I use dbs for incline benching I can only do 100lbs (the 50s) so its even weaker then my bb incline. Any way to get past this sticking point?
    Thanks and Godbless, Tony
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  2. #2
    KNEES GO PAST TOES GoJu's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TJ2000
    I mean my other benches (flat, decline, machine press etc.) aren't great by any means but when it comes to being downright weak I'd say my incline takes the cake. I understand I shouldn't be so worried about just weight, but I do want to get stronger and just sticking with the same weight forever isn't going to get me anywhere. So I've tried going heavier on incline and I can only get 115lbs up. I've heard on here about how if your shoulders, back etc are weak then your bench will be weak too so I've tried getting stronger at those as well as every body part. Thing is, my incline is still horrible! I've been told to do more barbell shoulder press then db shoulder press to help with my incline, but I like doing dbs over bb. Is there any difference? Also, when I use dbs for incline benching I can only do 100lbs (the 50s) so its even weaker then my bb incline. Any way to get past this sticking point?
    Thanks and Godbless, Tony
    db's are a different feel because you need to stabalize more, you will get stronger overall in the shoulder girdle if you do standing militaries with BOTH barbells and dumbells. also do chinups, pullups, and/or pulldowns after doing your incline & military pressing, as these are the antagonistic movements of eachother and will help with evening out the strength.

    also work your triceps more with dips and close-grip bench presses, you also can't go wrong with the 5 sets of 5 reps lifting scheme.
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  3. #3
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    yah, my incline sucks too. I think some people were just not build for everhead pressing movements. My flat bench is 225 but my incline is only 165. Sucks.

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    my bench is 205, my incline is 185, my standing military is 155.

    **** not being built for an exercise, train hard and heavy and there's no telling how far you'll be able to go!
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  6. #6
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    incline is very hard, I think the ROM is very long with a barbell

  7. #7
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    incline uses way more delts.......what is your military press looking like?
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    I don't do so well on incline bb bench. I really only feel it in my delts. Numbers wise..

    Incline BB-185x5
    Incline DB- 85'sx8
    BB military-165x5
    DB military-60'sx8
    Flat Bench BB-235x6
    DB Bench-90-95x8

    Those are last working sets. I don't max out ****. I started switching up my routine lately. I always do incline movements before flats to try to get the strength up, but I also need to fill out my upper chest a little more. Had an awesome shoulder session today.
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    I got stuck on incline DB bench due to a weak rotator cuff. I did RC exercises with 5-15lb weights and a little more back work. I got unstuck quickly, but I still do RC exercises all the time.

  10. #10
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    Over time you will get stronger in the exercise. If you keep it in the 3 to 5 range you will definately be able to get stronger in the exercise. Just go back to the basics and use even less weight and make sure your hands are in the strongest position for you to push.
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    Registered User Sparhawk44's Avatar
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    My incline far surpasses my flat. Plus on flat I have tendency to hurt my shoulder, on the incline for some reason I have no problems. Therefore I work at it a lot. Keep at it, anything you work at will become easier with time and effort.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by Sparhawk44
    My incline far surpasses my flat. Plus on flat I have tendency to hurt my shoulder, on the incline for some reason I have no problems. Therefore I work at it a lot. Keep at it, anything you work at will become easier with time and effort.
    Yeah, same here for the most part.

    When I had first started, all I had was dumbells, but incline db's were the only way to go because of my left shoulder. When I started doing flat bench with bb's, I still wanted to go do incline db presses.. gets better after time, but you've got to watch those shoulder injuries.

  13. #13
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    Usually:

    decline > flat > incline > military/overhead pressing

    If you use "correct" form on all of them that is (e.g. no elbows flared for flat bench and the like).

    Decline uses the chest portion of the pectoralis as well as your LATS which helps take weight off your triceps which will help you move the most weight.

    Flat uses lats to a lesser degree, which will require your pecs and triceps to start taking up more of the slack. Since they are relatively smaller muscles, they will be able to put up less weight than decline. **If** you are flaring your elbows out during flat though, it puts more strain on your chest, anterior deltoids and subscapularis, which will allow you to put up less weight.. sometimes less than your incline bench.

    Incline starts recruiting more of your anterior deltoids, and the clavicular head of your pectoralis major which are both small muscles with a lot less emphasis on the chest portion of the pec. Thus, your triceps have to work harder comparitively since the deltoids can't bear all of the weight. This is why it is harder than flat.

    Overhead pressing mainly uses shoulders and triceps with little emphasis on the clavicular head of the pec. It also puts nearly as much emphasis on the deltoid as much as the triceps, which makes it very hard to put up large amounts of weight in comparison to the others. This is why it is usually the hardest.
    Last edited by braindx; 09-17-2006 at 10:02 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Sparhawk44
    My incline far surpasses my flat. Plus on flat I have tendency to hurt my shoulder, on the incline for some reason I have no problems. Therefore I work at it a lot. Keep at it, anything you work at will become easier with time and effort.

    Me three... I saw some posts a few months ago recommending incline only bench and have given that a try. Right now my incline is about 50 pounds better than flat.

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    Originally Posted by TJ2000
    I mean my other benches (flat, decline, machine press etc.) aren't great by any means but when it comes to being downright weak I'd say my incline takes the cake. I understand I shouldn't be so worried about just weight, but I do want to get stronger and just sticking with the same weight forever isn't going to get me anywhere. So I've tried going heavier on incline and I can only get 115lbs up. I've heard on here about how if your shoulders, back etc are weak then your bench will be weak too so I've tried getting stronger at those as well as every body part. Thing is, my incline is still horrible! I've been told to do more barbell shoulder press then db shoulder press to help with my incline, but I like doing dbs over bb. Is there any difference? Also, when I use dbs for incline benching I can only do 100lbs (the 50s) so its even weaker then my bb incline. Any way to get past this sticking point?
    Thanks and Godbless, Tony
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by TJ2000
    I mean my other benches (flat, decline, machine press etc.) aren't great by any means but when it comes to being downright weak I'd say my incline takes the cake. I understand I shouldn't be so worried about just weight, but I do want to get stronger and just sticking with the same weight forever isn't going to get me anywhere. So I've tried going heavier on incline and I can only get 115lbs up. I've heard on here about how if your shoulders, back etc are weak then your bench will be weak too so I've tried getting stronger at those as well as every body part. Thing is, my incline is still horrible! I've been told to do more barbell shoulder press then db shoulder press to help with my incline, but I like doing dbs over bb. Is there any difference? Also, when I use dbs for incline benching I can only do 100lbs (the 50s) so its even weaker then my bb incline. Any way to get past this sticking point?
    Thanks and Godbless, Tony

    Is there a question here? Sounds like a load of crybaby bull**** to me.

    Get your incline up to 275 for reps, and then whinge. Till then fuсk off.


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    Originally Posted by csumt76
    I don't do so well on incline bb bench. I really only feel it in my delts. Numbers wise..

    Incline BB-185x5
    Incline DB- 85'sx8
    BB military-165x5
    DB military-60'sx8
    Flat Bench BB-235x6
    DB Bench-90-95x8

    What angle is the incline at? You should feel it in your chest.
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  18. #18
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    Difficulty in incline is due to...

    Hi,
    I guess that the reason is because the incline bench press works much less the pecs and more the shoulders rather than the other two kind of benches, as the flat and decline. That's the mechanics of the incline.
    My incline bench press stands at 375lbs and my flat at 460lbs !! As you see there is a big difference in that margin between and that's because I started incline bench press on November. I do not use supplaments or any assistance equipment such as wrist wraps or belt or even magnesium chalk. I use a thumb around the bar grip although I found that using a false grip would benefit the max lift quite a lot. That's the reason I posted a "Which grip is the best" thread in the "Exercise" section some time ago. Most people use a full grip due to safety reason as they told me.
    I believe that main exercises for boosting the incline bench press is decline tricep extentions, tricep pushdowns, forearm work, shoulders work doing flyes (both front and side) and db incline presses.
    Also heavy overhead barbell presses seem to work as well but you must make sure that you leave adequate rest between incline bench press and overhead barbell press. I, for instance, do the overhead presses on Monday and incline bench press on Friday.
    My overhead press is not that much. It's 264lbs. But the way I execute the exercise is rather the most strict anybody does. I actually call it: Stiff leg barbell overhead press. Most people jerk the weight up, or even push press it and lift a ton of weight but with the stiff leg things are very different.
    In the overhead press I use a wider grip than shoulder grip but not too wide. Say about a thumbs link (and a half) than shoulder width.
    Hope I helped you
    Dinos

  19. #19
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    Try workng it at 2 differnet inclines, I am trying to to get some good groth on my upper chest, so I work it at different inclines, one is just past flat the other is around the normal angle people use for upper chest, I have seen great results, I can push around the same give or take a few kg upper and lower chest.

    Eddy

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    Incline will always be harder than flat. Incline takes away much of the lower chest, which is where most of your pecs' strength comes from. So unless you have some very peculiar proportions (which you usualy would only get if you deliberately worked for them, as in doing nothing but incline work) your incline will always be weaker than your flat.

    I personaly believe in focusing on inclines. People who neglect them end up with saggy chests that look like man boobs when relaxed. People who focus on inclines however have a much fuller-looking chest that just pops out even when relaxed.

  21. #21
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    the sad thing is I incline barbell bench more than i can flat barbell bench. Figure that one out...

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    Those numbers look fine. Best bet is to split your training between incline, normal, and military press, for building those muscles, all three with either barbell or dumbbell for variety. If stabilization is a factor then using a machine every now and then for higher weights before you try them with freeweight would be okay.

    The reason it's harder is probably because pecs are bigger than delts or something. Not sure if they are, but if they weren't then everyone would be m-pressing more than they b-pressed.

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    The incline is weak for most people because it relies more on the weaker delts (compared to the stronger pecs), the greater the decline greater the pec work will be. More incle means more delt work.
    5'11 @ 220lbs.
    Disclaimer: This is presenting fictitious opinions and does in no way, shape, or form encourage use nor condone the use of any illegal substances or the use of
    legal substances in an illegal manner. The information discussed is strictly for entertainment purposes only and shall not take the place of qualified medical advice

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    my incline is stronger as i train it more and i put it before flat stuff.

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    well my military and overhead stuff is weak...because my front delts are weak and small...almost non existent, lol

    so the more inclined it gets the weaker I get.....I mean, almost everyone should get weaker as it inclines...but mine is disproportionately weaker the steeper it gets

    my best bench last year was 322.5........earlier in the year when my bench was 290 my decline was like 300 the first or second time I tried declines...so my decline is a little stronger

    my best incline, earlier this year, was 255 I think


    by comparison....my best standing military is like 185....seated military was like 175 for 5-6 I think....or maybe 185 for 4-5


    in any case a 322 bench and a 185 military dont go together, lol


    I did a big "poll" on a PL board a while back and going by what a lot of other people did my military should be more like 225ish




    I also think that clearly explains why my front delts hurt when I bench and why my bench weakness is right off the chest or in the bottom couple inches
    "Humility comes before honor"

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    Try doing incline presses first in your workout. Do it for a while and you should become stronger in all of your chest pressing movements.

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    Originally Posted by braindx
    Usually:

    decline > flat > incline > military/overhead pressing

    If you use "correct" form on all of them that is (e.g. no elbows flared for flat bench and the like).

    Decline uses the chest portion of the pectoralis as well as your LATS which helps take weight off your triceps which will help you move the most weight.

    Flat uses lats to a lesser degree, which will require your pecs and triceps to start taking up more of the slack. Since they are relatively smaller muscles, they will be able to put up less weight than decline. **If** you are flaring your elbows out during flat though, it puts more strain on your chest, anterior deltoids and subscapularis, which will allow you to put up less weight.. sometimes less than your incline bench.

    Incline starts recruiting more of your anterior deltoids, and the clavicular head of your pectoralis major which are both small muscles with a lot less emphasis on the chest portion of the pec. Thus, your triceps have to work harder comparitively since the deltoids can't bear all of the weight. This is why it is harder than flat.

    Overhead pressing mainly uses shoulders and triceps with little emphasis on the clavicular head of the pec. It also puts nearly as much emphasis on the deltoid as much as the triceps, which makes it very hard to put up large amounts of weight in comparison to the others. This is why it is usually the hardest.
    Good explanation here. Just wanted to mention that the range of motion is increased from decline to upright also adding to the difficulty.
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    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
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    true...declines can be a short little rep if you bring it low onto the stomach etc......inclines are like the longest range of motion in the world, lol
    "Humility comes before honor"

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    Originally Posted by Morbid_Mind
    Because you touch yourself.

    I thought the exercise forum had a petition to stop allowing you to make threads.
    thank you! somebody said it.

    u guys realize TJ2000 is a troll, right? and a really whiny, annoying one at that.

  30. #30
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    give it time and focus and im sure your incline will jump up TJ.

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