I hate it when I start talking to people about health, fitness and weight loss and of course we get on the subject about lifting weights and the first thing they ask me is, “how much do lift?"
In guy talk that usually means how much do you bench press, at least that's what it means here on the east coast. But if you dissect the question, you could easily answer, “lift what?" or “what do you mean?" This is because the question is so generic. So the next time somebody asks you that question tell them how much you bench press. Ok that is my rant for now.
I wanted to focus in on today the bench press and why it is a great exercise for the pectoral (chest) muscles. It is without a doubt one of the most popular exercises at the gym. I can only think of arm curls as possibly being a more popular exercise but I highly doubt it.
All you need to do is walk into a LA Fitness or Bally's and count the number of benches and see that they are always full to know what I mean. However did you know that there are other variations of the flat bench press? Most people only do them on a flat bench, but with a really good bench you can add angles to your routine.
As a side note there are two ways of doing the bench press and that is you could do the regular bench press routine with a single bar or Olympic style bar or with dumbbells. I prefer dumbbells since you also work the stabilizers as well.
If you belong to a gym then you already have the varying benches there. These are the benches that you can set to an incline or decline position. If you are looking to add a bench to your home gym, make sure you get a bench that you can change its position as opposed to one that is only a flat bench.
By setting your bench to an incline or decline position you are working your chest muscles from different angles. Chances are unless you work in weird angles at your job, you have never worked your chest muscles this way before.
These different variations are a great way to optimize your chest workout. Most benches have a variety of levels, ranging from a slight change in angle to a severe change. Obviously the closer you move towards severe the harder your work, similar to raising the incline on a treadmill.
The next time you are doing your bench press alter the angles a bit and work them differently to really get those muscles pumping.
About the Author:
Mr. Tucker is the senior editor for Weight Loss Nation , an online resource where you can learn various tips and tricks on weight loss, fitness and nutrition.
Mr. Tucker is also a regular contributor on Mike's How-To Blog , an online resource that explains a step by step approach on How to do just about anything.