A Rambling History of the Incline Bench Press | Art of Health with Alexander Juan Cortes

Key Takeaways

  • Around 2014, AJAC started to experiment with the incline press and found that he was getting a great pump from it and it didn’t hurt his shoulders
  • Bill Starr, the author of The Strongest Shall Survive: Strength Training for Football, made the bench press the precedent lift
    • However, he didn’t consider it to be the most effective upper-body lift because it doesn’t truly mimic athletic movement
    • The problem in the 1970-80s was that barely any schools or gyms had incline benches so Bill made a compromise and told people to do the bench press
  • The incline bench also works out your shoulders”It actually builds your shoulders and upper-chest very effectively” – AJAC

Introduction

Host:  Alexander Juan Cortes (@AJA_Cortes)

Books Mentioned

History of the Bench Press

  • The rise of strongmen started around the 1900s and consisted of mostly men from the circus
  • The barbell was created around the 1910s by companies such as York Barbell
    • However, the bench press still didn’t exist nor did weight-lifting machines like the leg press
  • Around the 1930s and 1940s, bodybuilding started to become a thing
  • George Hackenschmidt was one of the first people to popular the floor press (laying on the floor and pressing the barbell up)
    • Slowly, other bodybuilders started to experiment with different workouts, such as padding a crate and laying on it to bench press
  • Around the 1950s, bench pressing became a common lift
  • Reg Park was the figure in the bodybuilding work who put a lot of emphasis on benching
    • Reg Park later mentored Arnold Schwarzenegger

AJAC & The Incline Press

  • AJAC no longer bench presses because it caused him to separate his shoulder twice
    • He prefers to do a dumbbell press
  • Around 2014, AJAC started to experiment with the incline press and found that he was getting a great pump from it and it didn’t hurt his shoulders
  • Bill Starr, the author of The Strongest Shall Survive: Strength Training for Football, made the bench press the precedent lift
    • However, he didn’t consider it to be the most effective upper-body lift because it doesn’t truly mimic athletic movement
    • The problem in the 1970-80s was that barely any schools or gyms had incline benches so Bill made a compromise and told people to do the bench press
  • The incline bench also works out your shoulders
    • “It actually builds your shoulders and upper-chest very effectively” – AJAC
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Notes By Alex Wiec

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