Benching: Machine or Freeweights?

Okay, the answer is obvious: Freeweights


What if I don't have a spotter? Am I still better off using freeweights, where I can't push myself too hard because I might get trapped under the bar and die? Or am I better off on a machine where I can push myself as hard as I possibly can?

you don't have to push yourself as hard as you possibly can to get a good lift in...

"This is a myth my most dedicated athletes still have a tough time dismissing. Most hard-working individuals equate a good workout with being exhausted and sore. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had athletes say, "You didn’t even make me puke" after a workout. My response is usually, "I didn’t make you puke because I didn’t want to make you puke. Making you puke would be easy. Getting you stronger, faster and more flexible actually takes some work."
-Joe DeFranco

(Myth# 3)

That's great, SquirrelStyle, but I still feel it would be unsafe to do alone. I have a habit of biting off more than I can chew sometimes.

BajaBryan, that's a good idea. I'm pretty sure my gym has a few of those. I'll give it a shot. Thanks.

Failing on a bench is not the end of the world, You can roll the weight down to your hips then lift it off

Dumbells are a good alternative. If you have a wooden floor ( like an aerobics room ), grab some towels or put socks on your hands and do sliding push ups. The pecs not only help extend the arms ( or stabilize the extension ), they also pull your shoulders together.

THe exercise: Low friction surface. As you push up, adduct or slide your hands together in the rizing part of the push up, reverse on the negative.

I do a lot of heavy lifting, and this was a killer supplemental exercise. Chain push ups are a killer as well, just not everyone has the set up.

You can also lean to one side so the plates slide off. The bar will kind of fly to the other side, but as long as nobody is standing there, you'll be ok. This is why you never use cuffs when benchpressing :P

Have you cot access to a power rack?

You can set the saftey pins at just above chest level so if you get stuck you can put the weight down.


"take two chairs, spread them a little more than shoulder width apart and put your feet up on a chair a few feet back of the two and do push ups like that...gurantee youll build strength quicker than with a bar"

Just tried the above. I've done pushup with my feet elevated before, but never with the combination of both feet and torso elevated.

Pushups with the chairs requires a larger range of motion.


Do weighted dips instead.

"Pushups with the chairs requires a larger range of motion."

True, so very true.


Heh, ya Wiggy has the best idea :P