Last Saturday my man Jay and i made a quick video why the barbell bench press simply isnt a great chest exercise since it simply does not engage many fibers.
On the bright side, we got 1 million views. On the other hand, we got a lot of hateful comments. granted this is social media where everyone is Arnold Schwarzenegger, Albert Einstein and Bill Gates all at once.
But why do people react so strongly? The bench press has a quasi religious standing in the fitness world. Tell anyone you are training and he will ask:” What do you bench?”.
My issue with this?
Simple. Deductive reasoning is off, in the sense that the athlete fails to determine what he wants to do.
A. bench more. Then stay the course and bench.
B. Build my chest. In this case the bench is suboptimal at best since it does not allow the arms to adduct toward the sternum.
One of the main issues with fitness is that coaching relies on stories ” This big guy benches henceforth I must do so as well” as opposed to consulting science.
Then there is also an unwillingness to change since we always did X . Yes, and X was always stupid.
When setting up a workout or an exercise, ask yourself/
1. Which muscle do I want to train?
2. How do I shorten it?
3. How do I create stability so no other muscles get involved .
4. Am I activating said muscle from the start?
5. Do I keep the tension all the way through?
By sticking to these five points, you will make more progress while minimizing the risk of injury.