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  1. #1
    Registered User AndyBendy's Avatar
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    Main chest press exercise for hypertrophy?

    I'm looking for some advice picking a chest press movement for my second push day.

    1st push day I'm doing barbell bench press, focusing more on strength (3 sets, 5-6 reps), followed by incline dumbbell bench press (favorite incline bench variant, 3x8-10) and pec deck, 3x8-10

    I wanna do the incline DB press and pec deck on 2nd push day too, but I dunno which main chest press movement I should do before them. I am doing dumbbells right now (also 3x8-10), but given that I also do shoulder press in the same day, I noticed a little bit of pain in my shoulders, just during the workout tho. Would the machine press give me the same results? (Tried it and I also feel my chest stretching a little bit more, so I guess thats a good sign)

    It's a similar movement pattern, so I suppose it's not very different, but what do you think?

    P.S.: If my goal is purely bodybuilding, is the 3x5-6 bench press for strength wise? Or is it better to lower the weight to an 8-10 rep range? If it matters, I have 1 year in the gym and bench 115kg for the 5-6 rep range. 90 kg bodyweight , but 25% body fat, so that's a bummer tho lol.
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  2. #2
    Registered User jaxqen's Avatar
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    Machine press is OK, especially if you like it and since you use free weights in every chest workout (barbell, dumbell)
    Some may argue that "stabilizer muscles are missing", some may say it it emphasizes the chest more.
    Maybe go for 8-10 reps on the machine, though.

    I don't know if someone made a study where he took 20 beginners, split them in two groups, one worked ony barbell bench press and the other only machine press (same sets, same reps) and see the chest results after 6 months. Probably not! And even so, genetics, recovery and nutrition would came into play.


    Again, some may argue that 5-6 reps are better because it's easier for a progressive overload, others might say to do 8-10 because time under tension.
    I don't think it matters in the end, do what you like more.
    And again, let's say you take identical twins. One does 5-6 reps, the other 8-10 reps. Both work hard, both recover well, both eat enough, both do same number of reps, both use progressive overload and so on. After 1 year, do you think one of them will have a bigger chest than the other and you would see a clear difference?
    "Reminds me of the good ol' days back in 03-04 when ripptoes/5 by 5/hit/doggcrap reigned supreme and you did not need direct arm work for big biceps. Rows and chins were it. "Ever see a guy rowing 300+lbs with chicken arms?". Ah yes those were the days. God bless amusclehead and his twisted one dimensional views along with the rest of the former flock."
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  3. #3
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AndyBendy View Post
    Would the machine press give me the same results? (Tried it and I also feel my chest stretching a little bit more, so I guess thats a good sign)

    It's a similar movement pattern, so I suppose it's not very different, but what do you think?
    Not all chest press machines are the same. I like the plate-loaded Hammer Strength seated BP machine (where the separate arms come closer together when you press them), but hate the weight-stack machines with arms that come down from the top. But you might feel differently - depending on your body dimensions you might find diff machines do or don't feel right for you or could put diff pressures on your joints.

    You won't get the exact same results doing two different exercises of any kind, but as far as your chest is concerned you'd have to try it out and see. You're not locked into to it for life. You could also consider doing a decline BP or incline BP at the smallest incline for the 2nd Push day, perhaps at a diff rep range than the BP on the 1st day.
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  4. #4
    Registered User AndyBendy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Not all chest press machines are the same. I like the plate-loaded Hammer Strength seated BP machine (where the separate arms come closer together when you press them), but hate the weight-stack machines with arms that come down from the top. But you might feel differently - depending on your body dimensions you might find diff machines do or don't feel right for you or could put diff pressures on your joints.

    You won't get the exact same results doing two different exercises of any kind, but as far as your chest is concerned you'd have to try it out and see. You're not locked into to it for life. You could also consider doing a decline BP or incline BP at the smallest incline for the 2nd Push day, perhaps at a diff rep range than the BP on the 1st day.
    My gym has 2 presses. Forgot the brands, but none of them has the handles coming from the top thankfully, hate them too. I got one with grips that go slightly outwards as u push, and the other one as you like, where you push and the handles end up closer (very similar pattern to a flat dumbbell bench press), which I like.
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  5. #5
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    barbell or DB, doesn't matter too much (bar has slightly higher tricep activation - but it's very similar for pecs)

    BUT watch this video on ROM for pecs:

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    Machine press would be fine, as mentioned above you are already doing 2 compound free weight presses. I also personally prefer the hammer strength machines as opposed to the weight stack cable machines.

    Other options could be:

    Decline bench press
    Dips
    Neutral grip dumbbell press
    Weighted pressups

    If I were using a machine though I would personally make the incline dumbbell bench my 'main' chest pressing movement for push day and any machine movement more of an accessory
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  7. #7
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    On most chest movements especially heavy you shouldn't go much past a 90 degree angle with the upper arms to protect the shoulder and possible pec tears.
    The best movements are ones where you keep getting tension/contraction all or most of the way with upper arm moving across the pecs.
    The pec deck should work this as you mentioned you use one,also some type of cable fly.
    A cross over cable fly where the lower arms cross each other at the end of the movement for maximum contraction.
    This is easier said than done technique is very important.
    Most people will collapse the chest or drop the arms lower to make it easier.
    You need to be "hugging a tree"with chest up throughout the movement same goes with using dumbbells.

    The nice thing about using a BP machine is there is no balance involved so you can focus on the chest pushing much more.
    Good luck.
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  8. #8
    CEO 10k/year Ironface's Avatar
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    If pure chest hypertrophy was the goal, I’d say a low incline DB press would probably be the best option.
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