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Thread: Bench Press Replacement

  1. #1

    Default Bench Press Replacement

    Hi Coach.
    My schedule is somewhat inconsistent, and i don't have anyone to train with.
    I feel comfortable with the program's exercises, but i don't have anyone to spot me on the bench (not an issue for the other exercises).
    Is there an alternative you can recommend that can be done safely alone? I was thinking about maybe using dumbbells instead of the barbell.

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    SF, CA
    Posts
    4,998

    Default

    short answer: no, there's no replacement.

    short answer 2: search the damn board as this has been asked several times like here:
    http://startingstrength.com/resource...t=25006&page=1

    other answers:
    - Yeah, it's fine. You can use dumbbells if you have access to them. but microloading is harder.
    - Do you have access to a power rack ? if so just set the safeties so they just protect your neck and BP in the power-rack.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    690

    Default

    Just don't go to failure on the bench.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Richland, WA
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    1,616

    Default

    Use a power rack if at all possible. If not, dumbbells are a decent replacement. Weighted dips are also great, if they don't bother your shoulders.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you all.
    I'm still new, so i'm not yet confident in knowing my failure zone.
    I'll try the power rack with the safety pins. If that is no good, i'll try the weighted dips. If that fails, I'll go dumbbells.
    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
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    8,920

    Default

    Where are you training?

    If it is at home by yourself, just set the safeties up, and test them out before you go too heavy. Start light and slowly move up each time you bench. This should help you judge when things are getting tough.

    If you are at a gym, ask for a spot if you think you need it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham
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    7,794

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    You could also adopt a slightly higher rep range. Maybe 7 or so. This will be less catastrophic if it gets stuck, you would probably be able to have a little rest with it one your chest then heave it back up. Not ideal, and you obviously will want to avoid getting stuck at all. But fairly safe to do single work sets of 7+ yourself or 3x5 by yourself. I used to, including unracking.

    Using some form of safeties is better though. You could do dips dumb bells, but you would also being doing them in higher rep ranges so you may aswell stick to barbell bench and higher reps/less intensity.

  8. #8

    Default

    Rip mentions this on SS DVD. Just don't collar the plates and you should be fine. Just wiggle the barbell around until the weights slide off if you get stuck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Birmingham
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    Quote Originally Posted by kinski View Post
    Rip mentions this on SS DVD. Just don't collar the plates and you should be fine. Just wiggle the barbell around until the weights slide off if you get stuck.
    This is unlikely to work if you are using 2 plates or more per side, especially if you have good quality bar & plates.

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