PNBA athlete Luke Francis Trainor shares barbell incline bench press tips to build a well-developed chest.
The barbell bench press is the king of all upper body exercises. And although the barbell bench press should be a staple exercise in anyone’s bodybuilding routine, the barbell incline bench press is a chest movement that will give you a fuller, more muscular chest. That’s because bench pressing at an incline targets your upper chest–a muscle men neglect–which will add mass to your chest. Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) athlete Luke Francis Trainor dives into full detail on performing the barbell incline bench press to build a muscular chest.
Trainor competes in the PNBA Men’s Physique and the Classic Physique divisions. He has high hopes for 2022 and plans to win seven titles to bring his total gold medal count to 50, matching the age he’ll turn in August–50. Luke Francis Trainor said this about the incline barbell press:
“If you want a nice full developed chest stop neglecting the upper chest when you train.
For me I make sure the bar always touches my chest for maximum stretch and i never lockout at the top. I also prefer i wider grip for me as I feel the pecs do a lot more of the work during the set. Grip too close together and locking out at the top involves way too my shoulder and triceps.
Only going down half way with the bar by clearly going way too heavy not only again uses too much shoulders and tri but you are also getting half the load at best in your pecs.
Stop doing all this core Bull. hit [sic] and having your legs up in the air or on the bench its a bloody chest exercise if you want to train your core do it elsewhere.
Focus on continuous tension throughout the pecs by getting that full stretch and stopping short of a lockout and your pecs will explode with strength and gains.”
You can see a clip of Luke Francis Trainor performing the barbell incline bench press below, along with his complete statement.
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Barbell Bench Press Vs. Barbell Incline Bench Press
The barbell bench press and barbell incline bench press both target your chest muscles. The barbell bench press targets your mid-chest, and the barbell incline bench press engages more of your upper chest muscles. Because of the incline of the flat bench, you won’t be able to use as much weight on the barbell incline bench press. However, the barbell incline bench press will work more of your shoulder muscles.
And many experts and athletes say the barbell incline bench press is the safer movement. Professional bodybuilder Dorian Yates asserted, “I don’t even include flat benching in my pec routine because I think it stresses the front deltoids far too much to be an effective exercise for building the chest. Also, the angle of the flat bench press puts the pec tendons in a vulnerable position. Most shoulder injuries and overuse injuries can be stemmed from flat benching. Many torn pecs in bodybuilding have been the results of heavy flat bench presses.”