Why Don’t We Bench Press More?
Written by C.J. Martin

Editor’s Note: This question came to us from one of our local group coaching members, so they typically follow our Performance & Fitness programming and sometimes Motor & Muscle

The BIG Question…

Why don’t we bench press more?

It’s not that we don’t bench press (we were on the day this was asked!)…But my guess is that this person’s larger question is why we don’t do more throughout the year, and I would push back on that a bit to say that we do a fair amount of bench press…just not as much as a typical “bro” program. 

We do a minimum of two bench press cycles per year (and we’ve normally started or are finishing a third), each of which are typically 8-week cycles with a testing week. So that’s at least 16 bench press workouts in 52 weeks. In addition to those cycles, bench press is included at least once – and sometimes twice – as a maintenance lift during other 8-week cycles. That typically means there will be an additional 8-12 bench press sessions per year. 

All totaled, there is a bench press session included in the weekly program at least half of the weeks per year. The other half of the weeks are dedicated to other pressing strength…mostly vertical pressing or strict gymnastics based pressing (like dips). 

How much should you bench press?

The next logical question is whether that is enough? The answer is totally subjective, but my argument for not including more is that the VAST MAJORITY of our members come in with some signs of upper cross syndrome, and most exacerbate a forward head posture and slouched posture with regular computer work. The horizontal pressing runs the risk of further tightening the anterior structure, so it’s a tricky balance as to whether we stick to that pattern (where many members can move “safely” in the moment) versus prioritizing an overhead vertical pattern that both requires and helps to strengthen proper posture. 

I have been writing programs for 15 years and I am still not sure that I am firm on an answer, so would love to hear other perspectives of the pros and cons of more bench press or vertical pressing patterns. 

Do you want to bench press more?

You can do just that by doing a cycle of the Invictus 8-Week Strength Program with Coach Hunter Britt. Sign up for the 8-week Strength Cycle that starts September 12! You will have dedicated bench press days – including important supplemental work needed – and also focus your squat, deadlift and overhead press. The program is 5-days a week and is now on Fitr for the first time!  and includes video review and feedback from Coach Hunter. 

We are super excited about our move to Fitr because it allows you to… 

Direct message your coachPost a video for your coach to review, give you some feedback & provide coaching Post a picture for review or for fun!Record your PR lifts – Fitr does the math on the prescribed % each day for you!Record your daily workout resultsComment at the bottom of your workout or on someone else’s workoutJoin the discussion on the leaderboard with the rest of the Strength members from around the globe!

As you can tell, there are lots of ways for you to connect with Coach Hunter and get coached up throughout the cycle. We look forward to having you in this cycle of the 8-Week Strength Program!