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Thread: Replacing flat bench with incline/dips?

  1. #1
    Wannabebig New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Replacing flat bench with incline/dips?

    I have been training for about 1 year now, I started out at around 130lbs, and now i weigh about 165lbs at 5'11, still skinny, but not nearly as bad. However my flat bench has always sucked, I plateaued at benching 130lbs, even gaining weight my flat bench went nowhere for almost 4 month,s finally a deload and rep range change got it moving again, and though a whole lot of fighting it I got it up to a 190 easy max, 195 "good day max"

    After another 3 months with literally not a single pound of progress I ran smolov, maxed out at a easy 205 but failed at 210.

    For the moment I am happy with my 205 bench, I have been pounding flat bench and close grip bench almost exclusively for a year now.

    I have done dips, and incline before, but I always stopped because I figured my issue may be overtraining.

    However I think if its possible for a muscle to become accustomed to a lift, mine is to flat bench, Ive certainly done it enough.

    I like doing fullbody workouts as I only have a barbell, dipping and chinning station, and dumbbells with enough plates to go up to 55 each. and i have in the past done the basic the bench, row, squat, OHP with a few assistant exercises and I am thinking of replacing flat bench with incline bench and dips. I figure this will get my chest and triceps growing again. but will it maintain my flat bench? and for that matter, WILL it let me make good progress again?

    Generally up until about 180, I would stall for weeks/months, and then make 5lbs per workout strength increases for a while, so that is while I am suspecting I am just used to the exercise and need something new. Plus I want to work on my back and legs some more and just worry less about increasing flat bench
    Last edited by Dark51; 02-20-2012 at 11:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    You can experiment with incline/dips all you want, but until you gain more weight your bench will not move very much.

    Also, post your entire routine.
    Last edited by FearFactory; 02-20-2012 at 11:23 AM.

  3. #3
    Wannabebig New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Obviously I want to gain weight, though through mostly muscle, but how come you have guys benching 1.5 and 2x their bodyweight if I can't even get above 1.25? Ive seen some skinny guys hit way more then I do. heck a guy a couple threads under mine weighs 5 pounds less, is a inch taller, and benches 30 pounds more

    My routine until my first plateau was strong lifts 5x5, switched to 3x5, did no good, until I went to 5x8, and deload, went back to 3x5, got up to 170lb max. did stronglifts 3x5 with close grip bench added to B and a few misc assistant exercises to get to 190ish, then i ran smolov jr after no progress.

    New routine would be something like this

    Bench press/incline bench
    Bent over rows

    Side raises
    Tricep pushdowns

    I am not going to go overhead press, both because side raises hit my shoulders more. and because of incline bench.
    Last edited by Dark51; 02-20-2012 at 11:44 AM.

  4. #4
    Rob Schilke | GFX Designer thecityalive's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I don't think REPLACING flat bench with incline and dips is going to sove your dilemma.

    I have a pretty weak bench in comparison to my squat and deadlift, but one thing I have been working on is training my triceps and my back. Frankly, bench is a full body exercise, you might consider adding a push press/ strict press in there for some tricep/shoulder work. Weighted dips are amazing too.
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  5. #5
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    regardless whether you continue to do bench or switch to incline/dips you need to figure out what your weakness are and target those. A good starting point is Form, rear delts, back, and tris... also, change your program.
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  6. #6
    Iplan Iplan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    This is just a hunch, but you may have a situation where less bench will generate more strength.

    I had a similar situation with my bench numbers a few years back. I posted here to get some council, and was advised to deload for a week, and cut my working sets in half. After looking at my routine, they thought I was overworking the chest, and did not have enough programmed rest that would allow for growth.

    (I see you're hitting your chest every workout in your proposed workout ~ you might have a similar situation to mine.).

    When I cut back to hitting my chest 1 day per week, and only hitting it with 5 working sets, my numbers exploded from where they were previously.

    Just a thought ~ you've got nothing to lose by trying it.
    Last edited by Iplan; 02-21-2012 at 12:13 PM.
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  7. #7
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
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    Western PA
    Gain weight.
    Analyze and improve technique.
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  8. #8
    Bodybuilding Mythbuster
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Yeongsan. South Korea
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark51 View Post
    Obviously I want to gain weight, though through mostly muscle, but how come you have guys benching 1.5 and 2x their bodyweight if I can't even get above 1.25? I.

    1. Leverage factors. Some people are just built to bench. Short arms and a big chest are advantages to have (although by no means an exhaustive list).

    2. Sheer upper-body strength. Some guys are just naturally strong and after a fair amount of training can put up some pretty decent numbers (relative to BW and otherwise).

    3. Time spent at the lift. Assuming one is training properly and doesn't get injured, eventually most can expect to lift a half-decent/decent amount. Not saying that one will become a professional weightlifter just saying that building either mass or strength takes time and a lot of it.

    4. The's better than a bench shirt for adding weight.

    All of the above reasons are why you should not compare yourself to anyone else...either off or online. Measure your progress against yourself...the mirror and the weight on your lifts are a better guide than the scale.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Behemoth View Post
    Gain weight.
    Analyze and improve technique.
    have to agree here. also, is your goal strength or more size? more size will eventually lead to more strength but strength by itself doesnt necessarily immediately lead to more size. the difference between the two is largely technique and diet and they make a big difference.... rhetorical questions. you need to figure out the answers yourself and apply it in your training
    Last edited by f=ma; 02-22-2012 at 05:53 AM.

  10. #10
    Wannabebig Member tcooper's Avatar
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    May 2009
    why not change your routine? IMO i dont like full body routines to begin with. change your volume, rep ranges etc. there are a lot of things you can do to change it up to get things going again.

    by the way
    imo for pure muscle growth flat bench isnt even needed for chest developement. im at the point to where i dont even do it any more. Decline / incline is far Superior for growth imo.
    Last edited by tcooper; 02-22-2012 at 04:51 PM.
    191.5lbs 8% BF
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