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5 months of progress. Mentor wants me to switch to DB bench for a month. Watch

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    Basically I have been lifting for 5 months. My routine is a 5x5 one and my bench is now up to 70kg where today I got 4,5,5,5,3 reps. I started lifting 5 months ago with the bar only. However, whilst my form is not bad my mentor (qualified to coach pro olympic lifting) today was around and he has noticed my rotator cuff (past injury from tennis) causing a muscular imbalance. He says that this imbalance issue will eventually cause a sharp pain/more serious injury. Needless to say, I am not as strong on my right hand side. Also, whilst my form in general is good, I have the bar too far up, when it has to be in line with the nipple. So it becomes a sort of upper chest lift even though I am flat benching.

    He wants me to switch to db's for a few weeks/a month to focus on bringing up the db's at the same time in a consistent form-focused manner. I can go as heavy as I can on these. In these same sessions, I am then to work on form on the barbell and some lighter weights. However, I do not know how heavy I should be going on the dumbbells or if they are transferrable in strength gains to the barbell bench press when I eventually go back to just barbell bench pressing.

    Has anyone had any experience with this type of thing before? I.e. switching to db's for a month to solve an imbalance problem out.


    Overall, the bench is what frustrates me. I feel like I am behind a bit with it, in terms of where I should be.

    Programme: ICF 5X5

    Workout A
    Squat 5x5
    Bench Press 5x5
    Barbell Row 5x5
    Barbell Shrug 3x8
    Skullcrusher 3x8
    Chins 3x5-8
    or Striaght Bar/Incline Curl 3x8
    Hyperextention 2x10
    Kneeling Cable Crunch 3x10-20

    Workout B
    Squat 5x5
    Deadlift 1x5
    Standing Press 5x5
    Barbell Row 5x5 -10%
    CGBP 3x8
    Straight Bar or Incline Curl 3x8
    Kneeling Cable Crunch 3x10-20



    Before and after pics so far:

    Before: http://postimg.org/image/hlensx2xp/
    After: http://postimg.org/image/4cdlvlpqx/http://postimg.org/image/yso47h0nt/
    http://postimg.org/image/uegjydnwz/ (Legs)
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      If he is a qualified and reputable coach, I would be inclined to listen to him rather than randomers over a forum.

      Bench is a crappy exercise anyway. It's good to be able to say "I can bench X" but that's about it. You will see better hypertrophy from DB pressing. You are less likely to pick up an injury through DB pressing.

      Just start off with some light DBs, warm up and work your way up through the weights. If you can do X for 12-15 reps, go for about 2.5-5kg more and you'll probably then get 6-10reps. Stick with that weight then.

      It is somewhat transferable, but not to a large extent. People usually find that it takes a little while to get used to the difference.
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      It will probably take more than a month to sort out properly, but then again, do you really want to risk serious injury down the road that could potentially stop you training for a long time?

      Also as commandant said, bench press as an exercise has a pretty poor risk-reward ratio and to do it in its safest form (elbows kept within 45 degrees of torso) drastically reduces how much you will feel it in the chest for most people.

      Dumbbells are a lot safer and allow more RoM, though I personally find heavy dumbbells a pain to get in place and up for the first rep!
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      (Original post by In One Ear)
      It will probably take more than a month to sort out properly, but then again, do you really want to risk serious injury down the road that could potentially stop you training for a long time?

      Also as commandant said, bench press as an exercise has a pretty poor risk-reward ratio and to do it in its safest form (elbows kept within 45 degrees of torso) drastically reduces how much you will feel it in the chest for most people.

      Dumbbells are a lot safer and allow more RoM, though I personally find heavy dumbbells a pain to get in place and up for the first rep!

      Yeah, I am going to have to really work on that form with the BB bench press to ingrain the motor pattern in my mind. Too many people getting injured even with good form to risk it.

      However for me it is an ego thing to do with strength, I want to be able to BB bench 100kg + . I doubt it is necessarily the best exercise for muscle building because of the elbows/ROM point.


      With db's however, the jumps seem a bit big for me. It's like 5kg jumps for the next set of db's when the ones you are using become too light.

      I just want to have a big BB bench so I can look like a traditional golden age bodybuilder in the gym .
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      (Original post by Tom_Ford)
      I just want to have a big BB bench so I can look like a traditional golden age bodybuilder in the gym .
      This suggests you lift for the wrong reasons.
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      (Original post by illusionz)
      This suggests you lift for the wrong reasons.
      Bodybuilding? I don't do it for sports, I want to compete in bodybuilding. Not necessarily win, but just want to go up on stage one day. I loved the whole lifestyle depicted on "Pumping iron" and want that reality.
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      (Original post by Tom_Ford)
      Bodybuilding? I don't do it for sports, I want to compete in bodybuilding. Not necessarily win, but just want to go up on stage one day. I loved the whole lifestyle depicted on "Pumping iron" and want that reality.
      Unless you have absolutely amazing genetics (we're talking in the top 0.001% of the population) and prepared to take a lot of drugs (steroids, HGH, synthol), then you stand no chance of making it as a professional bodybuilder.
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      (Original post by snowman77)
      Unless you have absolutely amazing genetics (we're talking in the top 0.001% of the population) and prepared to take a lot of drugs (steroids, HGH, synthol), then you stand no chance of making it as a professional bodybuilder.
      Nahh, natural bodybuilding/physique competitions. It's not pro level. I am not going to do the drugs lol, not worth it in terms of risk/reward.
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      (Original post by Tom_Ford)
      Nahh, natural bodybuilding/physique competitions. It's not pro level. I am not going to do the drugs lol, not worth it in terms of risk/reward.
      Do you have elite genetics? Then you stand no chance.
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      (Original post by snowman77)
      Do you have elite genetics? Then you stand no chance.
      It just takes many years of training before I am even able to answer that question. Natural bodybuilding is not a short process. According to a mentor that has competed he thinks I can compete. However, the caveat is that I am 23 and that it would take more than a decade to get there. This is just being realistic. People just say "genetics" and don't realise it takes time to even work out whether you can compete when you have hit your genetic limit (at which point, you can decide whether to compete or not if you're pleased with the physique) and are literally training just to add one or two pounds of muscle in a year naturally. Also keep in mind that those who do compete have quite a bit of fat (for a natural bodybuilder this is normal) all year round but cut down for the competitions.
     
     
     
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