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Old 06-05-2011, 06:12 PM   #1
Peter Bernardin
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Any point to bench press instead of military press?

Practically speaking, is there any point to bench press if I'm doing military press anyway? I heard that military press is way more practical than bench press. Just to be clear, I'm not doing crossfit atm, I'm doing an A/B starting-strength style workout. But instead of bench one day, press another, should I just press both days? I really don't care about big pecs, it's all about practicality for me.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:30 PM   #2
Nathan Kulas
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Re: Any point to bench press instead of military press?

Here's the thing:
Expand SS and then read the second word. Strength.

Your Bench Press is always going to be more than your press (100# even). Whats that mean? More strength.

I would not mess the program up by doing just the press, and here's why:
Press is the exercise you will stall out most quickly on. By doing it twice a week you are either: a) not going to go up every exercise or b) stall out faster.

You will not make additional gains in the press by doing it twice a week. The BP will still help with your press by working some of the muscles invloved; and the BP is a much more strength focused exercuse.

Keep em both, don't mess with the program.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:11 PM   #3
Andrew James
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Re: Any point to bench press instead of military press?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Bernardin View Post
Practically speaking, is there any point to bench press if I'm doing military press anyway? I heard that military press is way more practical than bench press. Just to be clear, I'm not doing crossfit atm, I'm doing an A/B starting-strength style workout. But instead of bench one day, press another, should I just press both days? I really don't care about big pecs, it's all about practicality for me.
There's reason why nearly every elite athlete in the world benches. Keep doing it.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:26 PM   #4
Shane Skowron
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Re: Any point to bench press instead of military press?

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Originally Posted by Peter Bernardin View Post
Practically speaking, is there any point to bench press if I'm doing military press anyway? I heard that military press is way more practical than bench press. Just to be clear, I'm not doing crossfit atm, I'm doing an A/B starting-strength style workout. But instead of bench one day, press another, should I just press both days? I really don't care about big pecs, it's all about practicality for me.
Press has better transfer to jerk and snatch if you care about that sort of thing.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:17 PM   #5
Aaron Gainer
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Re: Any point to bench press instead of military press?

Bench press is an assistance to all the overhead lifts. Having said that, it COULD have a negative impact on your shoulder flexibility(tightens the pectoral muscles specifically the minor) if done too often.

On your bench days, just remember to do some band or pvc dislocates between your sets. This will prevent you from losing any shoulder mobility.


So if your doing the A/B workouts from SS, then doing bench every other workout is fine as long as you remember to work on shoulder mobility.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:57 AM   #6
Jon Gregory
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Re: Any point to bench press instead of military press?

I really don't see how the shoulder press is more functional than the bench.
You should train both. As was pointed out, the BP will help increase the SP but the reverse is not so true once past novice levels.
I am also a huge fan of dislocates for mobility work - integral part of my warmup every session.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:38 AM   #7
adam adkins
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Re: Any point to bench press instead of military press?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Bernardin View Post
Practically speaking, is there any point to bench press if I'm doing military press anyway? I heard that military press is way more practical than bench press. Just to be clear, I'm not doing crossfit atm, I'm doing an A/B starting-strength style workout. But instead of bench one day, press another, should I just press both days? I really don't care about big pecs, it's all about practicality for me.
Step 1: Stop using words like "practical" or "functional" to describe movements. Nothing can be "functional" or "practical" without context.

Step 2: Pick movements that will help you accomplish your goals.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:22 AM   #8
Peter Bernardin
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Re: Any point to bench press instead of military press?

I'm still not sure, I mean, bench press just seems very unnatural to me. I'd like to learn more about it. I read SS last year so my memory is vague, perhaps I'll pick it up again and learn why the BP is so important. I'm considering switching a BP to weighted dips.

The reason I want to switch around SS is to sacrifice size and progressive accuracy for practicability.

Thanks for the responses guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Kulas View Post
Here's the thing:
Expand SS and then read the second word. Strength.

Your Bench Press is always going to be more than your press (100# even). Whats that mean? More strength.

I would not mess the program up by doing just the press, and here's why:
Press is the exercise you will stall out most quickly on. By doing it twice a week you are either: a) not going to go up every exercise or b) stall out faster.

You will not make additional gains in the press by doing it twice a week. The BP will still help with your press by working some of the muscles invloved; and the BP is a much more strength focused exercuse.

Keep em both, don't mess with the program.
I heard somewhere (don't remember where) that people who start out training have equal military press and bench press, and that the obvious reason why many people have much higher bench presses is because they actually do bench presses, could be BS though I wouldn't know.

During my 4 months of SS, I only gained about 20# on the press, maybe less, while I gained #80 on the squat. I thought maybe doing it more often (instead of BP) would be beneficial, I guess that's not true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Gainer View Post
On your bench days, just remember to do some band or pvc dislocates between your sets. This will prevent you from losing any shoulder mobility.
Will do! Thanks

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Originally Posted by Jon Gregory View Post
I really don't see how the shoulder press is more functional than the bench.
You should train both. As was pointed out, the BP will help increase the SP but the reverse is not so true once past novice levels.
I think it's because whenever you're actually pushing something (besides yourself off the ground, or some heavy object while you're trapped on the ground) you're not actually using much pec strength, you're leaning forward using press strength.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam adkins View Post
Step 1: Stop using words like "practical" or "functional" to describe movements. Nothing can be "functional" or "practical" without context.

Step 2: Pick movements that will help you accomplish your goals.
Well I guess my goal would be to maximize my gains according to my genetics (similar to the paleo diet's philosophy). In other words, if I were born in 30,000 BC, whatever exercise I would do to get food, survive, etc I would like to repeat here in 2011. That way my body fits its genetic profile - and that's healthy. I just can't really picture a situation a situation that mimics a bench press, that occurs often at least.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:40 AM   #9
John A. Smith
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Re: Any point to bench press instead of military press?

OP, two of the best assistive exercises for the military press are the close grip bench press and the incline bench press. You will not develop a significantly strong MP without bench pressing. IMO

Elite level strongman competitors and powerlifters will tell you the same thing.

Last edited by John A. Smith : 06-06-2011 at 10:45 AM. Reason: last sentence
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:37 AM   #10
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Any point to bench press instead of military press?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Bernardin View Post
I'm still not sure, I mean, bench press just seems very unnatural to me. I'd like to learn more about it. I read SS last year so my memory is vague, perhaps I'll pick it up again and learn why the BP is so important. I'm considering switching a BP to weighted dips.

The reason I want to switch around SS is to sacrifice size and progressive accuracy for practicability.

This sentence makes no sense. What are you really trying to accomplish here?

Thanks for the responses guys



I heard somewhere (don't remember where) that people who start out training have equal military press and bench press, and that the obvious reason why many people have much higher bench presses is because they actually do bench presses, could be BS though I wouldn't know.

Not true in any way. People bench more than they press because of better leverage, more large muscle groups involved, and the fact that the bench supports your body.

During my 4 months of SS, I only gained about 20# on the press, maybe less, while I gained #80 on the squat. I thought maybe doing it more often (instead of BP) would be beneficial, I guess that's not true.

That's not too out of line. Squats can continue on 5lb gains per workout for almost an indefinite basis for beginner lifters, particularly ones who come in without much squatting experience. In addition to getting stronger, your squat form probably got better. Press is a lot less technique dependent so you probably didn't see much in terms of gains from your form getting better. 5lb gains aren't going to last long on press because it doesn't involve as many large muscle groups as the squat...plus, adding 5lbs to a press of 135lbs represents twice as large of a proportion of the weight as adding 5lbs to a squat of 270lbs. That's why people recommend microloading on press.


Will do! Thanks



I think it's because whenever you're actually pushing something (besides yourself off the ground, or some heavy object while you're trapped on the ground) you're not actually using much pec strength, you're leaning forward using press strength.



Well I guess my goal would be to maximize my gains according to my genetics (similar to the paleo diet's philosophy). In other words, if I were born in 30,000 BC, whatever exercise I would do to get food, survive, etc I would like to repeat here in 2011. That way my body fits its genetic profile - and that's healthy. I just can't really picture a situation a situation that mimics a bench press, that occurs often at least.

That's a little bit of silliness. 30,000 years ago you wouldn't have had access to all the foods you currently do year-round. You also wouldn't have been able to get stronger by lifting perfectly balanced bars with spinning sleeves that have plates that are exactly 450mm in diameter and that were adjustable by the pound or kilo. That doesn't mean we should stop using barbells because they aren't "Paleo."

The bench press is pretty much the king of upper body exercises, despite most globogymmers' overreliance on it and most CFers' disdain for it, and getting stronger at it will carry over to all kinds of stuff. That's why SS and any other strength program I can think of includes it.
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