Is it possible to increase your bench without benching?

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  1. #1
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    Is it possible to increase your bench without benching?

    As I've said before, I don't have a spotter, so I can't really bench. I do DB presses and flies for my chest, though, which I love doing and have had nice gains in. Can I add more to my max bench (I max when I occasionally get a spotter) without actually benching? I know the best way to gain strength is to go heavy with low reps, but since I can't, would it help to go light with a lot of reps, or would I not gain much strength? Or if I continue to do DB presses and flies - going heavy on those - will that alone make me bench more? Thanks in advance.

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    what does not having a spotter have to do with anything ?

    you simply don't train to eccentric or coccentric failure. I've benched w/o a spotter for the past 15 years...
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    Well considering I've almost not been able to get the weight up before, I wouldn't like to try it again. So not having a spotter means you can die... Anyways, will presses and flies help with benching?

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    not having a spotter just means you shouldn't use the collars so you can dump the weight if you fail. You can also do cumulative fatigue stuff, for example 90% of your 1RM for 4-5 sets of singles/doubles/triples whatever, you just need to figure out what weight to use, but that is just trial and error.
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    You can die? If you drop it in your face sure, but you dont bench to your face.

    I've done a situp with 225 from a decline position, and I've stood up with 225 on an incline bench. If I got stuck under 405 I'd figure something out.

    If you bench in the 3-5 rep range instead of trying for singles you shouldn't have that problem, does your bench only have one area to hold the bar? I can do a quarter rep and still rack the bar at my gym. Then just use your favorite max calc if you need that ego boost.

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    So long as you don't 1rm you should be able to bench without a spotter. Don't use clamps (or collars or whatever) so you can let gravity take the weight off.
    "in the howling bleeding nights, the dogs plunge into the Volga and swim desperately to gain the other bank. The nights of Stalingrad are a terror for them. Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure."

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    Yes, you can die. You bench below your face, but then on the way up the bar crosses above your neck and head, correct? So if you were to drop it on your neck or head, I'd say there's little chance of survival...

    Plus, I can't really just drop the weight off because there is a wall pretty close to where the weights are (it's in my basement and I don't think my dad would be too happy about that ). Although if it really were a life or death situation, I'm sure it wouldn't matter that much, but anyways, let's just pretend I don't even have a barbell. Will the DB presses and flies still help since the presses are pretty close to the movement of the bench?

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    I bench to failure every single set without a spotter. When I run out of steam, I slowly lower the bar to my chest. Then I situp, moving the bar to my lap. Then I get up and simply remount the bar.

    The key is to not drop the bar.

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    What if your abs are not strong enough for you to do a sit up with a lot of weight?

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    As Duncan said, do not use clips. If you fail, leave it on your chest, and tilt one end down. Thatll dump the weight, and you might just live.

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    Well, thanks for the advice. I think I'll give it a try. My max bench is about 180, so how many sets and reps would you suggest for gaining strength? I do five sets of five reps for all my other exercises, so maybe I should keep the same amount and adjust the weight accordingly. Should I do benching before or after my DB presses, or on a different day altogether (such as a Mon/Thurs split or something, I currently don't do anything on Thursdays)?

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    One set to failure will work for improving strength
    "in the howling bleeding nights, the dogs plunge into the Volga and swim desperately to gain the other bank. The nights of Stalingrad are a terror for them. Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squaggleboggin
    Yes, you can die. You bench below your face, but then on the way up the bar crosses above your neck and head, correct? So if you were to drop it on your neck or head, I'd say there's little chance of survival...
    If that is your technique to do so. I have hit complete failure only once and that was my arms with dumbells, but I still hit my chest, not my face.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squaggleboggin
    Well, thanks for the advice. I think I'll give it a try. My max bench is about 180, so how many sets and reps would you suggest for gaining strength? I do five sets of five reps for all my other exercises, so maybe I should keep the same amount and adjust the weight accordingly. Should I do benching before or after my DB presses, or on a different day altogether (such as a Mon/Thurs split or something, I currently don't do anything on Thursdays)?
    You sound like you need a bit of direction. In terms of movements close grip bench presses and board presses are likely to have the best carryover to the barbell bench press. Flies are a waste of energy in comparison imo. Need strong triceps for a big bench.

    My advice. Look in great detail at how Westside Barbell structures their bench press training. It is for the most part regarded as the most effective overall program for increasing bench strength. I am thinking long term it likely has the highest success rate. You might want to start with a simpler setup but the reading will teach you a great deal beyond what you can get elsewhere. Elite fitness systems is where the articles are located.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squaggleboggin
    What if your abs are not strong enough for you to do a sit up with a lot of weight?
    Start training your damn abs.

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