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  1. #1
    Registered User Marcello97's Avatar
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    Sudden drop in flat bench press

    Hi,

    Few months ago (9 months to be precise) i ve decided to stop doing flat bench press in favour of using the incline one (dont ask me why). Since the lifts on my incline were growing stronger and stronger, i ve decided to test my strength on flat bench press just to see where i stand. Results from that were shocking lol, i barely lifted 210 lbs (and my 1rm was 240 lbs before), i couldnt even lift 176 lbs 10 times which was an ease before.
    Can anyone explain to me, how? I am much stronger than before, i ve gained 11 lbs in the meantime, every lift is much more stronger than before. How did my bench press dropped so much?
    Just for a comparision, on incline my 1rm is 200 lbs while i can rep 176 lbs for at least 5 or 6 reps. Is it possible because i ve stopped doing flat bench press for an entire year? Will my flat bench press return if i put my focus on it as before?



    thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Marcello97 View Post
    Is it possible because i ve stopped doing flat bench press for an entire year? Will my flat bench press return if i put my focus on it as before?
    Yes, and yes. The BP strength will come back as you get reaccustomed to the movement. If you're happy with your results without it, you can decide if that's important to you or not. You can always have both in your program.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Yes if you focus on it.
    The incline press does not carry over well to the bench press or the other way around.
    Inclines may help your overhead press though.
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    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    You didn't do something for 9 months and are shocked you are worse at it?
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    Registered User Marcello97's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    You didn't do something for 9 months and are shocked you are worse at it?
    You re making it sound like i wasnt working out at all lol
    plus incline is harder than flat
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    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Marcello97 View Post
    You re making it sound like i wasnt working out at all lol
    plus incline is harder than flat
    It's not harder. You just use less muscalture so the weight is less.

    Strength is specific you can't expect to ignore a technical movement and not get weaker.
    If you did a very very low incline you might have been alright but I'm guessing you did a Press style incline rather than a bench
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  7. #7
    Wha? AlexSays's Avatar
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    Incline is not harder than flat. It just emphasises weaker muscles and the weaker head of the pectoral, therefore you can lift less weight. That is like saying overhead press is harder than flat bench. It isnt, it just relies more heavily on smaller muscles

    Yes if you start doing it again you will rapidly become stronger in it again.
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    Banned steve447's Avatar
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    Happened to me too. God I hate bench press so ****ing much
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    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    I've never given the incline press priority in a program, but some days I'll start with it and then do flat bench later, or give incline its own day; usually don't neglect to do it altogether though. That said, I can't really speak from experience as to why their efficiencies don't translate well into each other, but that does strike me as a little strange.

    Since the flat bench still directly utilizes the anterior deltoids, the pectoralis minor, and the triceps, why would a lift emphasizing these groups not enhance flat bench strength? Not disagreeing with people who are much more knowledgeable and experienced than I am, but I am curious.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    I've never given the incline press priority in a program, but some days I'll start with it and then do flat bench later, or give incline its own day; usually don't neglect to do it altogether though. That said, I can't really speak from experience as to why their efficiencies don't translate well into each other, but that does strike me as a little strange.

    Since the flat bench still directly utilizes the anterior deltoids, the pectoralis minor, and the triceps, why would a lift emphasizing these groups not enhance flat bench strength? Not disagreeing with people who are much more knowledgeable and experienced than I am, but I am curious.
    The same reason that training only your glutes and not squatting does not translate to increased squat strength. It can enhance your lifting capacity only if done together.

    In order to progress on flat bench you need to flat bench. Progressing on muscles that are Supportive of a lift will not increase that lift on their own
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  11. #11
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AlexSays View Post
    The same reason that training only your glutes and not squatting does not translate to increased squat strength. It can enhance your lifting capacity only if done together.

    In order to progress on flat bench you need to flat bench. Progressing on muscles that are Supportive of a lift will not increase that lift on their own
    But I mean, it is still a press? A 20 or so degree different angle of the same motion shouldn't be too different I wouldn't think. The analogy with squats would be isolation vs. compound, but the flat and incline are both bench presses.

    Decline has been a good plateau buster on the flat for me, but then, that might be because it is still heavier weight, whereas the incline is not. Maybe that has more to do with it?

    EDIT: More like a 45 degree angle difference actually, so more to your point
    Last edited by EliKoehn; 07-27-2020 at 07:27 AM.
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    Registered User Nubygaines's Avatar
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    you just lost the skill aspect. should come back quick but strength is fairly specific. in the future best to do it once every week or 2 to keep the muscle memory there
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    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    But I mean, it is still a press? A 20 or so degree different angle of the same motion shouldn't be too different I wouldn't think. The analogy with squats would be isolation vs. compound, but the flat and incline are both bench presses.

    Decline has been a good plateau buster on the flat for me, but then, that might be because it is still heavier weight, whereas the incline is not. Maybe that has more to do with it?

    EDIT: More like a 45 degree angle difference actually, so more to your point
    Low incline to flat would transfer well.
    What people normally call incline is far more a Press than a Bench, and it shows in transferance.

    The only real transfer would be tricpe hypertrophy, but since they won't be getting that much bigger over a few months you'll lose far far more neuromuscular strength than you'll gain in tricep size.
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