Some of you may be sitting in your chairs, astounded by the title.
How dare he defy the benchpress? welll.... why not? I mean, it seems to just get tossed into athlete programs like its part of the cake, often with no real reasoning beyond the fact thats its just the lift everyone does.
Ladies and gentlemen, if there is one thing olympic weightlifting has taught me, is that benching, and more specifically, benching for chest is one of the most dysfunctional silly things you can do. Chest training, is just so... dumb?
I dont like training the chest directly, as far as Im concerned benching should be done in proper powerlifting style or elbow tucked. This is simply my opinion, Im about functionality and I like snatches sitting were they are supposed to and not falling forward because my pecs are so tight. and I like my fantastic posture becuase Im not hunched over from tight pecs.
To me the pecs have on use, stabilsing a few hundered pounds overhead. old time strongmen had massive backs and sizeable chests without doing direct work on these, overhead work causes alot of chest and upper back activation, so for the football player, the chest needs to be trained as a stabiliser in hign incline and overhead motions, not as a primary mover, the chest just has o help the upper back look after the shoulders
So, football players, they all bench because its such a seemingly applicable lift for the linemen who need to push the crap out of someone.... but is it? In the grand scheme of things, do football players really need to bench?
Ok, lets look at the pushing motion itsself, benching is a stationary controlled excersises, up down, chst delts and tris, the end. Right? I dont think Ive ever seen a football player stand vertical and press an opposing player. But what I have seen is players drive from down low and explode from the legs through the body right through to the core and all the way to the arms. and the good pushers push with elbows tucked, its only natural
So in effect shouldent the wonder lift and core upper body excersise for football players be the pushpress? The pushpress seems a lot more applicable to me, push throughout the whole body, explosing upwards with a big drive by the legs.
So, why would any footballer bench elbows flared to the chest? if any benching is done it should be closegrip with little emphasis on the chest. I said, I dont like chest training. Chest training, even with good back training does things to the upperbody that the athlete just does not need.
But the bench shouldent even the central lift, it should be the pushpress.
Better yet, I can not see a more applicable lifts then squat thrusts with barbell. So stat in a deep squat stand and extend into a pushpress in one motion.
Even in an athletes centre gym, I just see the bench added in for no real reason.
now, before anyone attacks me and says 'but bench is so important for footballers!' sit back and think for a econd, what I said makes alot of sense, and that initial impulse peeople may feel is further proof just how ingrained he bench is into sports training mentality.
(and remember, Im talking from an sporting/functional point of view, if you want teh pecs0rZ for teh layd33z then frankly I dont give a crap)