Every guy in the gym is most concerned with how much he can Bench Press. It has always been the determining factor of whether u can lift or not. Any discussion involving lifting weights is abruptly interrupted with “How much do you bench?” Even though the bench press is the most spotlighted lift there is, the most recent studies have been showing that its Cons outweigh the Pros. Many reputable strength coaches have shunned the bench press, and to be frank, i agree.Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the exercise however its rarely performed correctly, causing shoulder discomfort, rotator cuff injuries and so forth.
There are countless exercises you can do for each muscle group. Lets take the chest muscle for example since it’s the macho muscle (It’s a guy thing). Matter of fact, I stopped bench pressing a long time ago, I have never been able to push my bench up past a certain weight no matter how much I tried, the weight wouldn’t budge and I would just plateau. After a year of being stubborn and goin balls out, I checked my ego at the door and realized when it comes to pushing movements I am a shoulder dominant presser. In lay man terms, most of my pushing movements are dominated by my anterior delts and triceps, the more weight id add to the bar, the more id feel it in my shoulder and triceps but no different in my chest. Ive moved to movements where I can alter the plane of movement like dumbbell chest press, dumbbell flys and cable flys among others better allowing me to place emphasis on the chest. Since then, my pecs have grown at a far better rate and my shoulder doesn’t irritate me as much. Having said that, what works for me may and may not work for you.
The take home message is, just coz one thing works for someone doesn’t necessarily mean itll work for you. Keep an open mind and experiment to find what works for you while at the same time giving each attempt the time it deserves to come to a conclusion, it takes more than two weeks to see and validate progress on a diet and a month or even two at times to get results from a workout routine. This can be said for other muscle groups and exercises. Another instance where I changed the macho move for a different exercise with less weight is the squat. I naturally have short & tight hamstrings and have always found it very uncomfortable to cross my legs, sit on the ground and any particular movement involving the stretching of the leg muscles. Performing the back squat, it was never an easy movement for me and I dreaded my leg day for the longest time. I alternated it for the front squat and have never looked back, yes theres less weight on the bar, but its definitely more of a challenge since it engages more of your core muscles and concentrates on your quad involvement, want an even more challenging workout out, try the overhead squats, you’ll be screaming like a little girl with no added weight on the bar.
- Don’t just do an exercise because it’s said to be done
- Have an open mind and try new things while giving every attempt the time it needs to reach a conclusion
- Listen to your body and get to know what works and what doesn’t
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