The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Gibbs gibbs's Avatar
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    bench press is not hitting my chest

    When I do bench presses, it feels like most of the effort is being made by my shoulders and triceps. I've tried using a wider grip but it still doesn't make any difference. I've tried using a horizontal lever press machine but it still doesn't hit my pecs. The only exercise that seems to work is push ups and elavated push ups. Does this mean that I'm genetically pre-programmed to use my shoulders rather than my chest? If so then what should I do?

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  3. #2
    Quagmire wannabe
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    Try dumbell presses instead
    He who hesitates masturbates........

  4. #3
    Bodybuilding Mythbuster
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    Check your exercise style. Is bench press the first exercise in your regime? Try doing them with a slower cadence (do them slow and use a full ROM.) Focus on feeling your chest flex. You could also try a switch to flyes or DB's presses

  5. #4
    Banned kensterz's Avatar
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    Hold a wider grip on the bar.

  6. #5
    MACHINE
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    Depends on what his current grip is like. A wider grip may not stimulate the pecs more, but rather just limit his ROM.

    Do you tuck your elbows in close to your body during the movement, or perhaps they drift inward without you noticing?
    Last edited by gino; 03-25-2004 at 09:09 AM.
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  7. #6
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    Your form is off, check it.

  8. #7
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    Make sure you are aiming for the nipple area. If the bar is high than that, meaning torwards your head, your shoulders will take more of the load.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member GrumpyTX's Avatar
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    As mentioned, try it with DB. I never seem to get sore even though I am using proper form with the BB, but with DB, I seem to be able to get a better workout on my chest and I am usually sore for the next couple days.

  10. #9
    Equal Opportunity Offender Budiak's Avatar
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    I'd guess that your anterior delts and tris are stronger than your chest. Check your form. You are more than likely using a form that motivates the tris and delts more than the chest. It isnt uncommon.

    Something else you can do is pre-exhaust the triceps before your bench press. Do a set of skullcrushers for 8-10 reps and immediately do your benching. Make sure you either drop your weight a bit or have a good spotter because you'd be surprised how much bench strength you may lose if you get off of your crutch.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Ebu's Avatar
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    Db's
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  12. #11
    Equal Opportunity Offender Budiak's Avatar
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    Maybe his dumbell form will be worse than his bb form. I dont believe that telling him to do dumbell bench is a sufficient answer.
    Last edited by Budiak; 03-25-2004 at 10:46 PM.

  13. #12
    Equal Opportunity Offender Budiak's Avatar
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    Also, a plural does not warrant the use of an apostrophe.

  14. #13
    back at it Beast's Avatar
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    Check form as the other people suggested. I had the same problem and I switched to DBs; haven't looked back.
    Last edited by Beast; 03-25-2004 at 11:07 PM.

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  15. #14
    Gibbs gibbs's Avatar
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    thanks guys,

    I'll check my form as I probably do tuck my elbows in. I'll also try using dumbells.

  16. #15
    Senior Member GrumpyTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Budiak
    Maybe his dumbell form will be worse than his bb form. I dont believe that telling him to do dumbell bench is a sufficient answer.

    I agree to an extent but I find it harder for me to cheat on the form doing DB presses since 99% of the time I am concentrating on keeping the form as opposed to BB presses where I will catch myself ignoring form for function.

    Everyone is different, just remember to concentrate on the correct form even if you have to drop the weight down to do so.

  17. #16
    Just one last rep!
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    Check your form and try some negatives and static holds. I didn't really feel much in my chest on bb untill I started using these techniques and more weight.

    Try less or more reps/sets.

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  18. #17
    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
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    pre fatigue your chest doing flys or superset them (flys first of course)

    its very common to fail on pressing movements because of an overly fatigued front delt or tricep

  19. #18
    Gibbs gibbs's Avatar
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    what are static holds and negatives ?

  20. #19
    Wannabebig New Member
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    I would suggest do a couplesets of fly's or peck deck 1st , then bench . Go lighter at 1st to find your comfortable spot . You might not need to widen your grip either . That could give you shoulder problems in the long run .
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  21. #20
    Senior Member Ebu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gibbs
    what are static holds and negatives ?

    It's when you have someone helping you with a lot of weight, and holding it till your muscle can longer hold it. Like if you do a lat pulldown, and hold it at the bottom, thats static. Negative is having your spotter help you lift the weight for the full range of motion, and you bring it down slowly yourself. Like if you are on a hamstring curl machine, and you have the spotter help you get a lot of weight up, that you normally couldnt do yourself, and then you let it back down by yourself, that could be referred to as a negative. (if im totally off, slap me, cuz thats just what everyone at the gym i work out at referrs to those two terms as)
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  22. #21
    Bodybuilding Mythbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvDaPump
    Check your form and try some negatives and static holds. I didn't really feel much in my chest on bb untill I started using these techniques and more weight.

    Try less or more reps/sets.
    Negatives and static holds can be dangerous to perform for this exercise, unless you have a capable spotter. Make sure your spotter knows what he is doing, before you do this. If not, you could end up with a damaged shoulder, or a broken rib, or worse.

  23. #22
    still dislikes Art Atwood Hatred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Budiak
    Also, a plural does not warrant the use of an apostrophe.

    LOL
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  24. #23
    WBB's Juggernaut/Liason BigCorey75's Avatar
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    I find that bench pressing is the most popular exercise and actually very few people know how to do it properly to get the max benefits in chest size and strength.

    the bench press has to be done with the body as a whole to get max results.

    It all starts with the feet, make sure your feet are properly ground well into the floor so you can get a good drive out of your legs.

    then dig your glutes firmly into the bench to give yourself a stable base.

    then lay back, when you lay back arch your back properly. try to push your shoulders down towards your butt as far as you can without lifting your butt off the bench. This puts you at a mechanically advantageous position taking the delts out of the lift and placing all the stress on the pecs, and allowing you to use "natural leverage"

    the arch is the strongest natural structure know to man, so creating a proper arch in your back give the strongest base possible and this gives you this natural leverage.

    so now the only thing that should be touching the bench should be your butt and shoulders.

    now grasp the bar and have a spotter help you get the bar in place, make sure the bar is right over your nipples.

    when you lower the bar lower it in a straight line down to your nipples, pause for a split second, keep your body tight throughout the entire lowering process this will make your body like a spring. and once youve reached your chest get a strong drive from your legs up through your arms and explode through the weight. also try to pull the bar apart as you lift it, this will aid in the lockout.

    if you bench with this technique the stress is taken off the weaker delts and tris and placed on the more powerful muscle of the chest, and you can really pound them good.

    hope this helps
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