No Bench Press Programming No Bench Press Programming

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Thread: No Bench Press Programming

  1. #1
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    Default No Bench Press Programming

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    I have chronic shoulder issues which get in the way of me bench pressing effectively. I have bone spurs which cause pinching and tearing of rotator cuff components while bench pressing. This is always the limiting factor, never strength. So I am unable to work with weights that will cause adaptation.

    It seems I have been wasting a lot of time with the bench, so I am toying with the idea of removing the bench press from my regular training. SS suggests that Dip's are the best replacement for the bench press. This is handy as my shoulders love dips, they actually feel better whenever I do them. The ROM is in a position that causes no impingement. So I am really able to push myself productively.

    I was just wondering if the same rep/set scheme is appropriate for dips?

    3x5 seems like it might not suit dips so well. Perhaps something like 3x8 might be better?

    I was just wondering if anyone else is training without barbell bench pressing and if they might have some ideas for programming.

    I am also able to do dumb bell bench pressing with no problems.

  2. #2
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    I haven't done this, but if I were replacing my bench with dips, I'd program dips like I would program bench, 3x5 weighted and adding weight each workout. If I were using dips as an assistance exercise, I'd be more likely to treat them the way SS treats chins, doing 3 sets of bodyweight to failure until that became too easy.

  3. #3
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    3x8 is good. You might also consider switching to the overhead press exclusively as well. Dips are an assistance exercise, after all.

  4. #4
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    My shoulders do not love dips, but I think you would do them with slightly higher reps due to less muscle being involved. If you can do db bench, I would do those and use dips as an assistance.

    What are your goals?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dastardly View Post
    I am also able to do dumb bell bench pressing with no problems.
    Rip did a useful video on how to rack and unrack the dumbbell bench, in case you haven't seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM5Nw_QBA9A

    Might as well keep up the dumbbell bench if it doesn't bother you the way a barbell does. I'm planning to get back into it some more once I move past linear progression; it's a useful exercise.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie J. Skibicki View Post
    My shoulders do not love dips, but I think you would do them with slightly higher reps due to less muscle being involved. If you can do db bench, I would do those and use dips as an assistance.
    Huh. I always thought it was the other way around -- i.e. dips involve more muscles. The Exrx pages seem to support this. Did I misread your post, or was I mistaken?

  7. #7
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    Ah, useful vid. I've been cleaning the dumbells up, then sitting down. Works OK, but bruises the hell out of my chest.

  8. #8
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    THe bench is dominated by the pecs, anterior deltoid and the triceps. While the pecs are involved in dips, not to the degree they are in the bench.

    ANother thing I've found between bench and dips is what happens when I add weight. THe number of reps of bench drop off while I increase the bench, where as with dips, there is a very sharp decline in the number of reps.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie J. Skibicki View Post

    What are your goals?
    My goals are to generally get big & strong. Hopefully with some transfer to athleticism. I have never entertained the idea of powerlifting, so I will not particularly miss the barbell bench press too much.

    Being able to do so some half decent olympic lifts in the future would be good.

    But my short term priority is trying to pack enough meat onto my shoulders that I not longer have the chronic instability and related injuries. I like cycling, yet my left shoulder shifts about in the socket when holding handlebars. I have to keep the shoulder "active" to prevent injury, which is tiring. I also cannot throw a ball hard. Shoulder socket gets jerked, which causes shifting, pain and occasional minor tearing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dastardly View Post
    I have chronic shoulder issues which get in the way of me bench pressing effectively.
    Let's get a video, check your form. Are you keeping your shoulders back throughout the set?

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