Comparing the Different Bench Press Angles- Flat vs Decline vs Incline

Discussion in 'Training Forum' started by Custom, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Docd187123

    Docd187123 Member

    Not quite bc whomever wrote that doesn't understand the limitations of EMG research. You can have higher EMG readings with a maximal isometric hold on any lift vs let's say 75% of your max on the same lift through an entire range of motion. Point being, EMG readings are not the be all end all of hypertrophy. TUT, ROM, etc play significant roles and you can't throw them out solely to favor EMG. Coincidentally, decline press has a shorter ROM, and thus shorter TUT given the same parameters, than either flat or incline.
  2. gr8whitetrukker

    gr8whitetrukker Member Supporter

    The ROM of a decline is the shortest. The ROM of inclines is the greatest. Then the awkward position of a decline...i cant even manage much more than a couple inches of ROM on a decline bench before it reaches my sternum. Dumbbells is another story but again...that awkward decline angle laying down with 200lb dumbbells? Count me out
    MindlessWork and Docd187123 like this.
  3. gr8whitetrukker

    gr8whitetrukker Member Supporter

    Good points i didnt consider
    Docd187123 likes this.
  4. Docd187123

    Docd187123 Member

    This ^^^

    Decline is 100% not a longer ROM. That's like saying I can ass to grass squat more than I can quarter squat. Not possible.
    gr8whitetrukker likes this.
  5. Mayne

    Mayne Member

    One look at incline picture in the study linked can tell you why the shoulder involvement is that exaggerated, if they performed it like that it will cause unwanted tension on the delt obviously, funny in one of these studies it is the guillotine that is top1 chest exercise, even if that is the case I think it is unwise to sacrifice health for a few % more, it is up to risk and reward
    MindlessWork likes this.
  6. MindlessWork

    MindlessWork Member Supporter

    Thanks and now I see what you meant and I will try them the way you suggest so as to feel it more in my traps.
    Marcus likes this.
  7. Arnold Strong

    Arnold Strong Member

    However, decline lends itself to varying ROMs, by simply moving the bar closer to the neck you gain ROM, the opposite happens with incline and no change in ROM happens with flat. You can argue if the bar is always positioned above the nipples then the decline bench has the shortest ROM, but there's no real reason to perform the decline that way instead of positioning the bar higher in the chest, or all the way up to the neck, which leads us to...

    ... the guillotine press. Not exactly the safest exercise, but I've also seen that study. For chest activation it's the the best bench variant overall.
  8. Marcus

    Marcus Member

    Can't say I have tried it closer to the neck, but wouldn't that put just a ton of pressure on the anterior delts and kill your rotator cuffs? I am just trying to picture how it would really work the lower pec and it seems minor
  9. Docd187123

    Docd187123 Member

    Two real reasons no to perform decline bench that way:

    1) safety. You drop the bar on an incline bench, it drops on your chest then rolls down. You drop it on a flat bench it lands on your chest or sternum. You drop it on a decline bench and it rolls onto your neck. Have your rom going closer than normal to your neck on decline and you have no reaction time whatsoever to try and save yourself.

    2) joint health. That kind of will add torsion to either your elbows or shoulders.

    I don't waste my training time doing decline bench press. Haven done them since I was a teenager. Don't ever plan on doing them. They offer no benefit, only increased risk of injury, over flat and incline.
    gr8whitetrukker likes this.
  10. SteroidsBro

    SteroidsBro Member

    Blah blah blah go do some dips.
  11. Arnold Strong

    Arnold Strong Member

    All bench variants are unsafe and should be done with a spotter, and with safety equipment in place to prevent the bar from ever landing on you.

    But here's a tip, so you don't have to do the roll of shame: Never put collars when benching, if you cannot press the weight drop one side, the plates will fall to the floor and you'll live to tell the tale.

    One of the main reasons I do not advocate benching is precisely all variants seem to cause elbow and shoulder injuries. Pushups variants, dip variants and dumbell work all are great to develop upper body strength and muscle. As far as I am concerned all benching is, at best, accessory work.

    A respectable opinion, but just an opinion nevertheless.
  12. gr8whitetrukker

    gr8whitetrukker Member Supporter

    Pretty much...wasted gym space
    Docd187123 likes this.
  13. JC456

    JC456 Member

    Had a guy at my old gym think he was the man for doing 2 plates a side on the decline. This was hilarious for two reasons:

    1) 2 plates a side is nothing.
    2) No-one gives a shit what you decline.

    This became a running joke with him for well over a year. That year long joke is probably the most use I've ever gotten out of a decline bench.
  14. Arnold Strong

    Arnold Strong Member

    Depends on how much you weight. I once saw a featherweight (that's 126 lbs) fall 5 pounds short of a 2 plates (flat) bench... on his first day benching. Not bad for a guy whose primarily strength training was hitting the heavy bag and the occasional push up.

    On the other hand, I'm quite certain the world is full of guys who started using steroids long before they got even close to benching two plates.
    -vegeta- likes this.
  15. -vegeta-

    -vegeta- Member

    3/4 of the people on these boards
  16. gr8whitetrukker

    gr8whitetrukker Member Supporter

    Thats quite a statement. Where did you find that statistic? For referencing purposes of course
    Perrin Aybara and JC456 like this.
  17. Docd187123

    Docd187123 Member

    All Bench variants are unsafe so the answer to that is to take the least effective one and make it even more unsafe just to try and make it as effective as the others.... Can you please direct me to what kind of logic you used to get to that conclusion?

    Here's an even better tip: don't make a minimally effective lift more dangerous.

    Also, even with collars on, someone when in their right mind, can drop the bar over to the side if they find they can't press it up again on a flat bench. On an incline bench it's not even needed. Simply let it roll to your hips and stand up. Now on a decline bench, the bar hits and rolls to your neck. Do you have superman like reflexes and wherewithal to dump the bar when 225+lbs came crashing down on your neck?

    Dips and dumbells are a great way to build muscle sure but neither of those is as time efficient or cost efficient as a bench press with a barbell.

    Yes benching is notorious for causing elbow and shoulder issues but here's another pro tip:

    Work on mobility and form issues and they go away.

    It's a bit more than opinion since your failed attempt at showing the decline is most effective variant.
    Marcus, gr8whitetrukker and JC456 like this.
  18. gr8whitetrukker

    gr8whitetrukker Member Supporter

    Docd is getting spicy in hur...i like it
    Docd187123 and Marcus like this.
  19. Arnold Strong

    Arnold Strong Member

    It's not the least effective one, it's at least better than incline based on the IEMG study cited before, which, with all its limitations, is far more solid evidence than forum lore.

    I have not suggested anything that makes benching unsafer, quite the opposite, so I fail to see what you are talking about.

    Good tip, then why the hell do you proceed to describe a situation that can only occur when lifting without safety equipment? No barbell will crash down on your neck if the safety bars catch them first, and that holds for any bench variant.

    Because you say so? Should have signed up for the premium plan at my gym which includes dumbell access and not just a barbell.

    Or just do exercises that work just as well if not better and are less likely to injure you even if performed with a form that's not 100% textbook-correct. As a bonus you won't need safety equipment nor a spotter.

    More weight on the bar, so more muscle is being used. More activation of the lower pecs and equal upper pecs activation to the incline bench. Multiple ROMs to choose from. It's also harder to cheat on, since your feet never touch the ground.

    Quite frankly I haven't seen in this thread any evidence the decline bench is not the least worst variant of what is, all in all, a very skipable exercise. So some people find the position awkward, and others don't think the benefits outweigh the costs, but those are preferences, or opinions, if you don't think you can perform it safely or that is a waste of time then don't do it. For me training is a form of recreation, do the exercises you enjoy to do, not what others say you must do.
    Custom likes this.
  20. gr8whitetrukker

    gr8whitetrukker Member Supporter

    You know were all fukked when we come on the internet to argue to the death over the effectiveness of the various bench pressing exercises.

    Fuckin dorks:cool: