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Gable
04-16-2009, 11:08 AM
Bench press has always been my best exercise - both in terms of weight lifted and muscle development. When I stall out on other things, it's always been there for me, ever since I was 14 years old. When I take time off, chest is always the body part that bounces back the fastest.

I'm now wondering if this has psychologically held me back somewhat with my other exercises and body parts. I always know that when other exercises and muscle groups stall out, I can at least focus on chest and guarantee some increases.

Which brings me to my experiment: I'm thinking of dropping bench press and all other chest exercises for a few months (I still may sneak in a few dips here and there though). I'll focus on other body parts with both compound and iso exercises and see if this change in focus and reallocation of my efforts triggers new development in other muscle groups that haven't been as successful (legs, shoulders, traps, lats).

Anybody ever try an experiment like this? Am I an idiot? Any other opinions?

bustasinclair
04-16-2009, 11:12 AM
I'm the exact same way. Dropped my bench emphasis and now I am a Squat freak :D

Gable
04-16-2009, 11:23 AM
As I get older my goals are more asthetics and overall health. I don't think bench press is the most efficient route to either of those goals; hence my inclination to focus more on back exercises and - like you - squats.

Fifty+
04-16-2009, 11:47 AM
Bench press has always been my best exercise - both in terms of weight lifted and muscle development. When I stall out on other things, it's always been there for me, ever since I was 14 years old. When I take time off, chest is always the body part that bounces back the fastest.

I'm now wondering if this has psychologically held me back somewhat with my other exercises and body parts. I always know that when other exercises and muscle groups stall out, I can at least focus on chest and guarantee some increases.

Which brings me to my experiment: I'm thinking of dropping bench press and all other chest exercises for a few months (I still may sneak in a few dips here and there though). I'll focus on other body parts with both compound and iso exercises and see if this change in focus and reallocation of my efforts triggers new development in other muscle groups that haven't been as successful (legs, shoulders, traps, lats).

Anybody ever try an experiment like this? Am I an idiot? Any other opinions?


Just my opinion; if you have lagging muscle groups it's not because another muscle group is superior. Why would you spend 24 years building a nice chest and then deglect it? I've built a nice upper body and have lagging legs. My legs are a priority. I work them first in rotation and give them a little extra work in the evenings. I do not neglect my upper body because it has developed better then my lower body. Make your lagging muscle groups a priority without neglecting other muscle groups.

bustasinclair
04-16-2009, 12:00 PM
Just my opinion; if you have lagging muscle groups it's not because another muscle group is superior. Why would you spend 24 years building a nice chest and then deglect it? I've built a nice upper body and have lagging legs. My legs are a priority. I work them first in rotation and give them a little extra work in the evenings. I do not neglect my upper body because it has developed better then my lower body. Make your lagging muscle groups a priority without neglecting other muscle groups.

Exactly! I didn't mean to sound like I don't bench press anymore; I just hit it hard as hell once a week. Nice clarification.

BergMuscle
04-16-2009, 12:06 PM
I've stopped focusing on benching bigger and bigger numbers, and getting frustrated with not progressing as fast I might like. I now do bench press for 3-4 sets of 8 reps at the beginning of my chest work, then move on to intense DB work. I've found that the DB presses and flyes are what really builds my pecs. I keep benching because it's a good compound lift, but it's not the center of my chest training any more - and I'm much happier because of that.

Barry06GT
04-16-2009, 12:07 PM
As I get older my goals are more asthetics and overall health. I don't think bench press is the most efficient route to either of those goals; hence my inclination to focus more on back exercises and - like you - squats.

Is it chest work or the bench press specifically?

If you are looking into legs and back you should look into adding deadlifts. Deadlifts followed by squats are great, visa versa also works.

LyingSac
04-16-2009, 12:58 PM
I've stopped focusing on benching bigger and bigger numbers, and getting frustrated with not progressing as fast I might like. I now do bench press for 3-4 sets of 8 reps at the beginning of my chest work, then move on to intense DB work. I've found that the DB presses and flyes are what really builds my pecs. I keep benching because it's a good compound lift, but it's not the center of my chest training any more - and I'm much happier because of that.

X 2 here...

kathyfit
04-16-2009, 01:36 PM
I know bodybuilders that don't bench at all and they look great....they do dumbell incline, decline, flies, ..... Bench can be pretty hard on your shoulder joint, too.

Good experiment!

ironwill2008
04-16-2009, 01:38 PM
You're describing Priority Training--emphasizing your lagging bodyparts, and spending less effort on your stronger bodyparts.

Of course you're not an idiot, except that maybe you should have been training like this all along. Everybody enjoys training their best/favorite bodypart; their weakest/less-developed, not so much. But working favorites all the time is a big reason why there are so many gym rats with good chest/arms, and chicken legs/no back.

Work up a routine that emphasizes your lagging bodyparts, but don't completely ignore your chest/other strong bodyparts. Be sure to do at least a few heavy sets a week to maintain them.