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Thread: Is bench press still the best option for chest growth even without a spotter?

  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Is bench press still the best option for chest growth even without a spotter?

    If you don't have a spotter, is bench press still the best way to go for chest growth? I mean i'm gonna have to stop the reps sooner and not go til failure so i have enough energy to place back the barbel back on to the rack
    Are there better ways for building mass on chest in this case? or should i just keep bench pressing?
    Last edited by heysup4; 03-31-2006 at 07:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Wannabebig New Member
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    If you are worried about not being able to re-rack the barbell, you might want to try using dumbells.

  3. #3
    ----------- J450n's Avatar
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    I'm not moaning, i'm having an opinion.

  4. #4
    ANVIL POWER Detard's Avatar
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    mabye get like a car jack or something and put it a few inches above ur chest (1 on each side) and that way if you fail you can just put the bar on the car jack.... oh wait, that could be bad outcome... mabye just raise the spotters on the bech to a few inches above ur chest so u can leave it on there if u fail
    Last edited by Detard; 03-31-2006 at 02:31 PM.

  5. #5
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    I always use dumbells because of this.

    Push comes to shove and you dont want to use dumbells go with a smith machine.

    -jordan
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    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
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  6. #6
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    I always just tried to figure out when I was 1 rep before failure. I only got pinned once or twice. Just find somebody to spot you, shouldn't be that hard.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  7. #7
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    yeah working above failure really does work well

  8. #8
    IRL my name is Trent Hazerboy's Avatar
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    I just set the "bars" or whatever just a hairline below my chest, so if I fail I can just relax, stop arching, and the bar will hit the bars (different from the pins). Though I'm assuming where you live you either don't have bars or a power rack for benching.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    I rarely go to failure even with a spotter. Working to failure isn't necessarily beneficial and can, in fact, be detrimental if done too often.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge Sanchez
    I rarely go to failure even with a spotter. Working to failure isn't necessarily beneficial and can, in fact, be detrimental if done too often.
    Really? explain...

  11. #11
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    You risk overtraining. Going to failure on every lift is extremely taxing on your CNS.

    You can search, as this has already been discussed to death.
    quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

  12. #12
    Getting Swole hoser813's Avatar
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    after barbell benching my entire life, i just recently switched to dumbbell benching and have been getting great gains. I like it a lot more over bb bench because its easier on my shoulders and it seems to hit the chest a lot better.
    "Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy ass weight!" - Ronnie Coleman

    "You've got to love what you're doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all the aches and pains, and continue to play for a long, long time." -Gordie Howe

  13. #13
    Super Human kingkrs's Avatar
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    This is the best way to make gains on the bench, and that is by not going to failure all the damn time. You know when you are not going to get the next rep, that is when you rack it. You should rarely attempt a repetion that you cannot finish.

    Just add more sets. If you are going heavy and you do say 5 or 6 reps for 3 or 4 sets, then add more sets. Start off by adding one or two sets. As you adapt you will need to either add more weight, volume, or use the same weight and volume but do the work in less time (ie decrease rest time between sets)

    Try this for awhile and see how it goes.
    The difference between the freaks and the flock is the ****ing fork!
    You wanna gain weight? Then it's time to squat!

  14. #14
    TJW Keith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkrs
    This is the best way to make gains on the bench, and that is by not going to failure all the damn time. You know when you are not going to get the next rep, that is when you rack it. You should rarely attempt a repetion that you cannot finish.

    Just add more sets. If you are going heavy and you do say 5 or 6 reps for 3 or 4 sets, then add more sets. Start off by adding one or two sets. As you adapt you will need to either add more weight, volume, or use the same weight and volume but do the work in less time (ie decrease rest time between sets)

    Try this for awhile and see how it goes.
    I think im going to disagree here in a way...
    I believe grabbing a spotter every now and then (1 of 3-4 sessions on that muscle) will simply shock that muscle. In my opinion, this will help with hypertrophy. This is only a intensity technique, therefore, it shouldn't be used that often, but should be used now and then.

    And as far as the best exercise to build the chest overall? Flat bench. Id switch up bar and dumb though. Dont worry about those cute, overrated flies people do. Stick to the compound work. Throw in a couple warm up sets...then hit it HARD with textbook form. Dont forget to get mentally ****ed b4 you go hard!

  15. #15
    Super Human kingkrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith
    I think im going to disagree here in a way...
    I believe grabbing a spotter every now and then (1 of 3-4 sessions on that muscle) will simply shock that muscle. In my opinion, this will help with hypertrophy. This is only a intensity technique, therefore, it shouldn't be used that often, but should be used now and then.

    And as far as the best exercise to build the chest overall? Flat bench. Id switch up bar and dumb though. Dont worry about those cute, overrated flies people do. Stick to the compound work. Throw in a couple warm up sets...then hit it HARD with textbook form. Dont forget to get mentally ****ed b4 you go hard!
    What are you disagreeing with? You and I basically said the same thing.
    The difference between the freaks and the flock is the ****ing fork!
    You wanna gain weight? Then it's time to squat!

  16. #16
    TJW Keith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkrs
    What are you disagreeing with? You and I basically said the same thing.
    Thats why I said in a way. You just suggest you should RARELY attemp completing a rep you cannot finish. I didnt, I suggested to do it every 3-4 times you train that muscle because I consider it to be a quality intensity technique.

  17. #17
    Super Human kingkrs's Avatar
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    I can't remember the last time I did a forced rep. I have no trouble making gains either. IMO forced reps actually take away from your work capacity. If you stop the set just before failure, you are able to squeez in another set and that is where the gains really start to come. More weight lifted = bigger stronger muscles!

    Early on in my lifting I used to go to failure all the time and do forced reps from time to time. Now by not doing them I get far better results.
    Last edited by kingkrs; 03-31-2006 at 11:35 PM.
    The difference between the freaks and the flock is the ****ing fork!
    You wanna gain weight? Then it's time to squat!

  18. #18
    TJW Keith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkrs
    I can't remember the last time I did a forced rep. I have no trouble making gains either. IMO forced reps actually take away from your work capacity. If you stop the set just before failure, you are able to squeez in another set and that is where the gains really start to come. More weight lifted = bigger stronger muscles!

    Early on in my lifting I used to go to failure all the time and do forced reps from time to time. Now by not doing them I get far better results.
    Is that right? Maybe because earlier on you were still developing? Im going but what ive been told by numerous intelligent people, this is why ive stuck with it. Ive also seen this in many bobybuilding videos and books that have suggested this. When I used to train alone without a partner, I never did this, I just went until failure. Ive made much better gains since then, but I have no proof it was because of that.

  19. #19
    Super Human kingkrs's Avatar
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    5x5 method and German Volume Training are the main reasons I have made contiuous progress on the bench. That and all the other aspects of training( diet, rest etc.)
    The difference between the freaks and the flock is the ****ing fork!
    You wanna gain weight? Then it's time to squat!

  20. #20
    TJW Keith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkrs
    5x5 method and German Volume Training are the main reasons I have made contiuous progress on the bench. That and all the other aspects of training( diet, rest etc.)
    Who else agrees with this???

    I dont know if its all in my head and I expect more of myself, but I think ive made really slow progress on my bench (especially bar) and im not too sure why. Im interested in this 5x5 because I have tried something similar to it but I couldnt stand it because my intensity wasnt even close to the same because of the same reps I would be pushing out. Have any detailed explanation to why this is more effective to, lets say..pyramid sets?

  21. #21
    Super Human kingkrs's Avatar
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    First off the amount of repetitions you choose dictates the ammount of weight used. IE lower reps using higher weight. If you are doing a routine and using lets say 8 reps but could really squeeze out one or two more reps, then you are not busting your ass enough. I posted about the 5x5 program before in other threads. Here is the routine laid out for you. none of these sets in this workout I did contained forced reps. I started only the reps I could finish on my own. I did have a spotter while using this weight, however I never needed him to help the weight at any time.

    I have just completed 5x5 routine on the bench with 295 and it took me 4 work out sessions to complete.

    Workout 1
    295 x 5
    295 x 4 18 total reps
    295 x 4
    295 x 3
    295 x 2

    Workout 2
    295 x 5
    295 x 5 20 total reps
    295 x 4
    295 x 3
    295 x 3

    Workout 3
    295 x 5
    295 x 5 23 total reps
    295 x 5
    295 x 4
    295 x 4

    Workout 4
    295 x 5
    295 x 5 25 total reps
    295 x 5
    295 x 5
    295 x 5

    All workouts had two warm up sets of 135x10 and 225x10
    with 2 min of rest between all sets. I also did one set of high reps with 225 at the end of each workout (not listed)

    You need to make sure that you do at least 14 total good working reps at your chosen weight. If you get less than 14 then your chosen weight is too high and you will not get your desired training effect. Use your 7 rep max as a good starting weight.

    This routine obeys the law of repeated efforts. As you can see that on my routine I have gotten progressively stronger each trainig session. My body was adapting to the new load and accepting it as normal. I am now going to switch it up and do something in the higher rep range for about 4 or 5 weeks, then I will come back to this routine and use 305 lbs.

    As far as how often to do this routine during the week. I do a five day split
    Day one on
    Day two on
    Day three off
    Day four on
    Day five off
    Repeat

    Meaning I will do (for example) chest and back on day one, arms and shoulders on day two, and legs on day four etc. etc. then start all over again.

    try it and watch your strength go through the roof in about a month.
    The difference between the freaks and the flock is the ****ing fork!
    You wanna gain weight? Then it's time to squat!

  22. #22
    TJW Keith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkrs
    First off the amount of repetitions you choose dictates the ammount of weight used. IE lower reps using higher weight. If you are doing a routine and using lets say 8 reps but could really squeeze out one or two more reps, then you are not busting your ass enough. I posted about the 5x5 program before in other threads. Here is the routine laid out for you. none of these sets in this workout I did contained forced reps. I started only the reps I could finish on my own. I did have a spotter while using this weight, however I never needed him to help the weight at any time.
    Thanks for the post. I like the look of that and can see why it would increase your bench. Is that your entire chest workout of the day though?

  23. #23
    Super Human kingkrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith
    Thanks for the post. I like the look of that and can see why it would increase your bench. Is that your entire chest workout of the day though?
    Yes. The 5x5 routine is primarily a strength program however you will get some size from it. The idea is to get stronger so you are able to do those high reps workouts, but with bigger weights. I was doing 275 about 6 months ago for a set of 6 (6RM) Now after working the 5x5 program I am able to use 275 for sets of 8 to 10. The higher rep workouts will yeild greater gains in mass, but that only gets you so far. With the mass you need strength. That is why you see some people that are pretty big but not as strong as they look. On the flip side, you will see someone that is smaller and strong as an ox! You have to make those newly big muscles contract harder and stronger. How do you do that? By training heavy.

    It is a continuous cycle, from strength to mass, strength to mass, and on and on. That is why I do those two programs mainly. 5x5 for strength, and German Volume Training for hypertrophy. The GVT allows me to use the lighter weights. (I don't mean Barbie type light either) More like 70% 1RM.

    Keep this in mind also. Your (or any) workout program is going to effective only as long as it takes your body to adapt to it. When that happens it is time to change it up. Roughly 6 workouts.
    The difference between the freaks and the flock is the ****ing fork!
    You wanna gain weight? Then it's time to squat!

  24. #24
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    if you're in a gym just learn to yell "spot!" loud enough for a couple guys to hear, but not loud enough to make the whole gym turn to look at you.

  25. #25
    Getting Swole hoser813's Avatar
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    i find it best to ask for a spot before the set, rather than look like an ass yelling for a spot while the weight is crushing your trachea... but thats just me.
    "Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy ass weight!" - Ronnie Coleman

    "You've got to love what you're doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all the aches and pains, and continue to play for a long, long time." -Gordie Howe

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