Yes, we know, the bench press is regarded as the best exercise for the chest. But there are reasons why you should stop bench pressing and, to help you even further, we have added 3 exercises that will grow your pecs more.
The bench press is, overall, the greatest exercise for the chest. It hits all areas of the muscle and you can easily apply progressive overload to keep making gains.
But being the best overall doesn’t mean it is the best for you to keep doing every time you hit the gym. Check out why you should stop bench pressing and the 3 exercises that will help you reach peak performance.
Why You Should Stop Bench Pressing
Well, to quote Dr. Mike Israetel from Renaissance Periodization, there isn’t a single exercise in the entire fitness menu that is a “must do.” That means, although seen as a holy grail for the vast majority of bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts, you don’t necessarily need to do one exercise if you want to build muscle. Israetel specifically talked about the squat, bench press and deadlift.
Is that it? That’s why you should stop bench pressing? Because it is not necessary to build the most muscle? Yes, and no.
You should stop bench pressing to add variety to your training. One of the less used ways of applying progressive overload to overcome plateaus and continue gaining muscle is to change the exercise selection while hitting the same muscle group.
If your body gets used to doing bench presses, you get less and less strong by doing them, no matter how much and how often you are lifting.
One person that is advocating for you to stop bench pressing is Troy Adashun, co-founder of the fitness lifestyle company Alpha Lion and creator of a gigantic YouTube following with his gym tips and workouts.
He is the one who decided to share 3 exercises that activate peak tension on your pecs and why you should stop bench pressing.
1. Komodo Chest Flyes
Using a cable machine, go from a slightly high to low trajectory and to make use of peak activation you want to cross your hands in front of your body and squeeze your chest muscles for a full second at the end of the movement.
Perform 3 sets of 30 seconds time under tension and in the 4th set increase the weight and perform 8-10 reps with perfect form.
This exercise should target your inner chest and lower chest.
2. Low Flyes
This exercise mimics the dips and will target your lower chest tremendously.
It is very similar to the previous exercise, but you should aim to “punch down” towards the floor instead of inclined to the floor as you did in the Komodo chest flyes.
Do the same trick of squeezing your muscles at the top of the movement and keeping it under tension for a second. Apply the same sets and reps technique from before with 3 sets of 30 and one set of 8-10 reps with heavier load.
3. Wolverine Low Cable Fly
The last in this list will target your upper chest. Again, use peak activation and cross your arms in front of your body. Also, the same idea of sets and reps with 3 sets of 30 and one set of 8-10 reps.
This exercise above is very similar to other cable crossovers that you’ve probably seen before, but with different names because Troy Adashun uses what he calls peak activation. To know exactly how to do these exercises, see the video below.
Now you know why you should stop bench pressing. However, this is not a good idea for beginners. If you are just starting out, you definitely should do bench presses, just begin with a lightweight to understand the movement mechanics and add weight as you progress further and further.
To hear more about why you should stop bench pressing and to understand fully how to perform each exercise with Adashun’s peak activation little trick, click on the video below.
VIDEO – Why You Should Stop Bench Pressing
If you are serious about targeting your chest, always remember to do exercises that feel comfortable for you and that do not put your body at risk of injury.
To add even more variety to your training and fuel your body properly, click on the links below that interests you the most and keep adding information to your knowledge and make the best informed decisions to get to the fitness level you want.
How to Increase Chest Size and Strength
Best Way to Train the Chest for Hypertrophy (Muscle Mass)
Upper Chest Exercises Ranked (Best to Worst)
8 Unorthodox Exercises to Force Chest Muscle Growth
Ultimate Guide On How to Get Shredded – Steps to Lower Your Body Fat Percentage Every Time
How to Keep Making Gains in the Gym as a Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced Lifter
The Ultimate Guide to Drop Sets
How to Adapt a 6 Week Hypertrophy Program for a Garage Gym and Home Use
How to Eat for Performance Vs Health Vs Looks?
- Reverse-Grip-Bench-Press-Athlete: Philip Myrtorp on Unsplash
- Chest Exercises: Calibra / Pixabay
- Superman: Pixabay