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Starting benching

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  • 20-07-2012 12:20am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,314 ✭✭✭


    Well I have just started benching. I started with just the bar to get the technique which is 20kg, then eventually got up to 30kg. Then I thought I'd try 40kg but good thing there was a spotter there or things would have turned nasty ;) but since I got up to 35kg. I know, I'm a tank :)

    Basically, I have threequestions.

    Is it better to bench in sets with reps or just one set or just a few reps.
    eg, 3 sets of 6 or 8 reps at a weight I can do. Just 5 or 6 reps of a higher weight or just my one rep max?
    I ask this in terms of both being able to bench higher weights and in getting bigger pecs.

    Secondly, other than benching, are there good ways of excercising the chest?
    push ups or just dumbells?

    finally, does benching do other muscles other than the chest? even a small bit? Perhaps biceps or upper back?

    Cheers, lads!


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 346 ✭✭dorkacle


    Wouldn't claim to be a expert,or even an amateur for that matter, in this department, but I remember when I joined the gym the trainer told me to do say 3 sets that were reasonably comfortable but not exactly easy and then do a final set with a tough weight i would struggle with.

    Reps are more important than the weight i think, plus you can injure yourself lifting something too heavy for yourself.

    Edit. (changed reps with sets, so ie. 3 sets of 10)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,287 ✭✭✭davyjose


    Dumbbell bench presses and cable flyes are great support exercises. If you can get a steady few sets out of dumbbells your barbell bench will take off.

    Try to keep the rep range between 6-12 for a beginner IMO. With maybe 4 sets.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,314 ✭✭✭BOHtox


    cheers lads. Anyone else?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,818 ✭✭✭Inspector Coptoor


    BOHtox wrote: »
    cheers lads. Anyone else?

    Try a simple 5 x 5 on the bench press itself. Start with 27.5/30kg.
    If you get the 5 x 5, increase by 2.5kg the next time.
    Stick at that weight til you get all 5 x 5.

    Try not to miss a rep, if you really think you won't get it, don't try.

    As you go up, it'll get harder.
    At 35kg, you might get 5,5,5,4,3. Try to beat that next time.

    As for assistance exercises:
    Inc DB bench - 3 x 10
    DB rows - 3 x 10 each side
    Do some direct triceps work like rope push downs or rolling DB extensions for 3 x 12.

    Muscles worked in bench press:
    Pecs
    Triceps

    Shoulder stability
    core stability.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,395 ✭✭✭AntiVirus


    If I where you I'd just stick with dumbells for the moment. Your gym should have dumbells from 5kg up to 35kg. There's many more advantages for using dumbells until you need to press heavier weights. You won't need a spotter, you can just drop the weight is if have a problem, works more muscles, keeps you from getting any muscle imbalance, easy for doing quick drop sets.


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  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 252 ✭✭viclemronny


    Check out the hundred press-up challenge. If you can do a hundred press-ups (which this serves as a nice program to get you to), you'll be in a good place to bench well I'd imagine.

    Link to the Program's Website


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,188 ✭✭✭Doug Cartel


    Press ups won't really help as they are too different. You won't have to deal with all the wobble and trying to figure out if you're really pressing directly upward and not off at an angle.


  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭Legits


    Press ups won't really help as they are too different. You won't have to deal with all the wobble and trying to figure out if you're really pressing directly upward and not off at an angle.

    Sorry that completelly wrong Press Ups are one of the best exercises for increasing your bench.
    A big bench press is helped by having strong Triceps and performing strict push ups elbow in will work wonders with your bench and the best thing is u need no equpment or time to do them just drop to your floor 2-3 times a week and do 5 tough sets with godd form.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,375 ✭✭✭Antisocialiser


    Legits wrote: »
    Sorry that completelly wrong Press Ups are one of the best exercises for increasing your bench.
    A big bench press is helped by having strong Triceps and performing strict push ups elbow in will work wonders with your bench and the best thing is u need no equpment or time to do them just drop to your floor 2-3 times a week and do 5 tough sets with godd form.

    Lots of press-ups never did squat for my bench. Benching and pressing seemed to do much more for my press-ups.


  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭Legits


    Lots of press-ups never did squat for my bench. Benching and pressing seemed to do much more for my press-ups.

    Benching will do more for your bench but as an accessory exercise press ups are very good.
    If you are benching over bodyweight then you need to other accessory work weighted dips.

    In this case the person is benching 35kg I would be interested in how many push ups he can do at the moment?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,115 ✭✭✭✭Nervous Wreck


    Do people still do pressups?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,314 ✭✭✭BOHtox


    Legits wrote: »
    Benching will do more for your bench but as an accessory exercise press ups are very good.
    If you are benching over bodyweight then you need to other accessory work weighted dips.

    In this case the person is benching 35kg I would be interested in how many push ups he can do at the moment?

    18, 5ft 11 - 6ft, 71 kgs, relatively high body fat to the people on here I'd imagine. Around 14/15% if online tests can be trusted not sure if that's accurate though. Apparently they over estimate it slightly.

    Anyway, if well warmed up I could probably only do 3-4, at best, proper ones and then I'd start losing form.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,504 ✭✭✭runawaybishop


    BOHtox wrote: »
    Well I have just started benching. I started with just the bar to get the technique which is 20kg, then eventually got up to 30kg. Then I thought I'd try 40kg but good thing there was a spotter there or things would have turned nasty ;) but since I got up to 35kg. I know, I'm a tank :)

    Basically, I have threequestions.

    Is it better to bench in sets with reps or just one set or just a few reps.
    eg, 3 sets of 6 or 8 reps at a weight I can do. Just 5 or 6 reps of a higher weight or just my one rep max?
    I ask this in terms of both being able to bench higher weights and in getting bigger pecs.
    Do 4 sets of 6-10 reps. If you can do more than 10 the weight is too low, less than 6 and its too high. You can also vary your routine by starting with a lowish weight for rep 1, increasing it for repsets 2-3 and dropping it back to the initial weight and really going for it in set 4.
    BOHtox wrote: »
    Secondly, other than benching, are there good ways of excercising the chest?
    push ups or just dumbells?
    deep press-ups (where you use a dumbell in each hand so you can drop lower), incline press-ups (where your legs are lifted up off the ground) and dumbbell flys are good. Bench press is a winner though.
    BOHtox wrote: »
    finally, does benching do other muscles other than the chest? even a small bit? Perhaps biceps or upper back?

    Cheers, lads!

    Bench press works your chest primarily and your shoulders and triceps secondarily.


  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭Legits


    I personally would not bother doing bench press until you could confortably do 25 press ups. Ideally 4 sets of 25.

    You will be able to push yourself a bit harder with the push ups than you would with the bench.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,188 ✭✭✭Doug Cartel


    OK when I said press-ups wouldn't help I probably should have said doing 100+ press-ups wouldn't help. If you can't knock out 15-20 of them relatively easily, it's probably not yet time to start benching.


    EDIT: sorry, didn't see the post above me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,504 ✭✭✭runawaybishop


    Legits wrote: »
    I personally would not bother doing bench press until you could confortably do 25 press ups. Ideally 4 sets of 25.

    You will be able to push yourself a bit harder with the push ups than you would with the bench.

    Why wouldn't you do both :/


  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭Legits


    Why wouldn't you do both :/

    Just the effort time spent getting to the gym getting a free bench is a bit of a waste, when you can push yourself just as hard from home.

    I personnaly got my bench up from 110kg to 135kg by benching just once a week and doing strict sets of 40 push ups on other days.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,504 ✭✭✭runawaybishop


    Legits wrote: »
    Just the effort time spent getting to the gym getting a free bench is a bit of a waste, when you can push yourself just as hard from home.

    I personnaly got my bench up from 110kg to 135kg by benching just once a week and doing strict sets of 40 push ups on other days.

    That's just logistics, technically there should be no reason you don't do both. Pushups for core, bench for strength.


  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭Legits


    That's just logistics, technically there should be no reason you don't do both. Pushups for core, bench for strength.

    I am confused by our last comment. The push ups do create strenght particularly if you go from 3-4 to 25? his bench will be up at maybe 50-60kg. By starting simple it makes it easier to keep going.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,188 ✭✭✭Doug Cartel


    That's just logistics, technically there should be no reason you don't do both. Pushups for core, bench for strength.
    Logistics are a big part of training. Why make things more complicated than they need to be?

    It won't take long to get to doing a decent amount of pushups, once he's there he can start worrying about the bench-press.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,504 ✭✭✭runawaybishop


    Legits wrote: »
    I am confused by our last comment. The push ups do create strenght particularly if you go from 3-4 to 25? his bench will be up at maybe 50-60kg. By starting simple it makes it easier to keep going.

    In general, pushups are better for your core than benching is. You tend to get better strength results via benching. Since a better core leads to better benching, it makes sense to do both. Moving to benching 60 kg from only pushups seems a bit optimistic though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 davidson fitness


    As you can see from the replies so far, there's no simple answer! If you want to improve your bench press, do bench press. Keep reps high (10-12) for the time being - as a beginner you'll get to perfect your form and you'll see progress in that rep range. I'd leave lower rep-sets until you feel your form is nailed. The 'how many sets' debate has been going for decades, from a High Intensity Training approach of 1 single work-set, to high volume 4-5 x 10 reps - it comes down to a balance between volume, weight and rest - the harder you train the more rest you need to recover (and grow).
    Dumbbells will work the pecs and shoulders, but as you don't have the fixed plane of movement that a barbell (or chest press machine) provides, various stabiliser muscles get worked at the same time - for overall strength this is good, however you may find the pecs don't get worked as much as another muscle gives out before they do with a dumbbell bench press.
    For a good chest workout I would recommend 3 x 10/12 barbell bench and Incline dumbbell bench press at the same reps/sets - this covers all your bases.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,314 ✭✭✭BOHtox


    I'm considering taking a supplement too.

    Would Whey be good? No side affects, just protein to take after workouts to assist repair and get bigger...


  • Registered Users Posts: 659 ✭✭✭Katunga


    BOHtox wrote: »
    I'm considering taking a supplement too.

    Would Whey be good? No side affects, just protein to take after workouts to assist repair and get bigger...

    Kinetica but most Whey is very similar. Just I like the taste of Kinetica Mint Choc


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,480 ✭✭✭Chancer3001


    youre only 71kg and can only do 3-4 push ups?

    Then youre at the stage where everything will help.

    Pushups will help.

    more benching will help.

    Just stick.with.it.

    dont lose motivation if you dont make huge gains.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,314 ✭✭✭BOHtox


    Cheers lads, anything else to say on that supplement or advice?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,639 ✭✭✭Sugar Free


    No harm at all using protein shakes but they alone won't make up for a poor diet, if that was the case.

    Focus should be on eating enough cals, enough protein and the right balance of everything else. Shakes should just be as a post training aid and to supplement your protein intake.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,314 ✭✭✭BOHtox


    Would you recommend something like Kinetica?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,639 ✭✭✭Sugar Free


    Never used them but they're supposed to be fine.

    Tbh I wouldn't get too bogged down in what brand of whey to use. For the most part it's all the one.

    A lot of regular posters here seem to use myprotein and bulkpowders. I've also used both and would recommend them.


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