Monday, July 18, 2011

The Bench Press Trap

There are several exercises that seem to measure the strength of a person and some believe it shows dominance at the gym, like a peacock and its feathers.  The bench press exercise always turns heads when the plates are stacked and the reps are being cranked out; the allure of lifting that much weight can be very enticing.  This “beast” can never get enough and will not stop until it breaks you.  Don’t get me wrong, the bench press is a very effective exercise and depending on your profession or goals, bench pressing heavy weight might work for you.   Just be aware of the pros and cons regarding this effective exercise and joining the “peacock club.”

Back when I first started my fitness journey, I fell into this trap and it took me several years before I realized I was in the lair of the beast.  No matter how much weight I lifted it never seemed to be enough, of course my chest was increasing in size and I was getting stronger, but at what cost.  There comes a point when the tendons and the joints just can’t handle the amount of weight, therefore risking injury and leaving you with a hungry mass of muscle.

The Point:

Because this exercise is so effective you may want to keep a close eye on how much mass it’s putting on you.  If you’re young mass might not be an issue, but remember, as you age preventing that mass from sagging might be a problem.  Always try to look towards the future when it comes to body shaping and try to find your balance between the size, look and strength you want.

Alternative Chest Exercise: 

If bench pressing is still your thing, but you don’t want to too much mass, then try high reps until failure, rest 15-30 seconds and do another set. Try push-ups and dips as well, use different hand positions and angles to provide better muscle targeting.  Try using dumbbells; this will force you to use lighter weight.  Machines are also a good alternative, just be aware they are not as flexible when it comes to targeted muscle shaping.

When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no "I'll start tomorrow."  Tomorrow is disease. 

~Terri Guillemets

How do you use the bench press exercise, heavy or light weight?

Feel free to contact me.

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