1. Less ego, more honesty
The vicious looks directed towards a poverty bench can crush the fragile soul of almost any natural. The insecurity runs so deep that even men who have built tremendous bench presses still carry traces of previous trauma within the deepest layers of their being and continue to witness vivid images from the times when they were barely benching a plate. What a nightmare!!!
The modern councilor called the Internet does not help. It has its own army of extraterrestrial mutants who have been monsters on the bench for a long time. Also, don’t forget that everybody on the Internet has a mythical uncle who is extremely thick and capable of benching 300lbs and deadlifting 500lbs without knowing the difference between a barbell and a sandwich.
The factors above have collectively destroyed many egos fighting for greatness in the gym. The embarrassment is so strong that most people choose to put their shoulders and even lives on the line in order to push heavier barbells above their faces. You see it every time – uneven extension, protracting scapula, bouncing off the chest, excessive arching, inflamed and torn rotator cuffs..etc. The image is sad and even grotesque.
The drama never stops. Every year the idiot kid trying to become Arnold is replaced by another one. And since this world never runs out of idiots, the cycle continues until the end of times. Nothing will ever change. The bench press will continue to produce those feelings and social repercussions.
The push-up can fix this problem to an extent. Push-up rivalry exists, but since there is no barbell comparison, the effect is smaller.
The collective awareness is on the push-up side too. Most non-playable characters don’t really know how a proper bench press looks like. Only the enlightened ones can see the details. Yet people would call you out when you start pumping banana push-ups.
2. Healthier for your shoulders
Unless you go full retard, you will not hurt your shoulders benching. But let’s face it – we all go full retard sooner or later.
The bench has destroyed many rotator cuffs property of imbeciles trying to become human forklifts. The primary demons are the heavy weights, improper technique, poor programming and the very nature of the lift – a proper bench press does not allow the scapula to move. This causes shoulder impingement and other nasty processes in the area.
The push-up wins again because it allows the scapula to move freely and strengthens the serratus anterior muscle.
3. Easier set-up
Bench pressing is not complicated once you get the basics down. Sure, there are scholars like Dave Tate who will leave you with the impression that you have a better chance to fly in space than to perform a proper bench press, but in reality, it’s not that hard. Still, the bench press is high tech compared to the push-up which almost anyone can learn in a few minutes.
If you don’t want to enter the realm of powerlifting voodoo, the push-up is a simpler, safer and a quick-to-learn alternative.
4. Solid gains with minimal equipment
Complexity creates a feeling of superiority and effectiveness within the natty soul. When we arm ourselves with scientific data and tech, we start to think that we are doing something.
An over-engineered routine can easily capture a bleeding heart in need of thick muscle fibers. Complex equations convince the kids that they are about to experience titan growth.
That’s not true. You don’t need the latest powerlifting routine and a bench to get them natty chest gains. Push-ups, elevated push-ups and push-up on rings done a few times a week with some idea of progression can stimulate growth in the same areas that the bench works.
What do you think will happen to the chest of a beginner who goes from 10 regular push-ups to 20 push-ups on rings? It will get stronger and bigger (within the natty limits of course).
Moreover, push-ups make it fairly easy to maintain your muscularity. You don’t have to chain yourself to a gym. You can just get creative and do more reps than usual.
5. Push-ups do not encourage bulking.
The heavier you are, the more you bench. That’s a fact of life. This lift hates skinny dudes. Nothing wrong with that except when natties get the wrong idea and start eating one cake a day as advised by some mental experts who secretly take steroids in-between writing articles for the natty-for-life column.
Even if the weight added to your frame is primarily lard, it’s still going to help with benching. This can result in troubling imagery – naturals who are 20% body fat and yet still bulking to make mom Bench happy. I am almost sorry to inform you, but bulking is a major waste of time if you are natural who does not envision a career in sumo.
The push-up works on the opposite principle – it hates fat dudes. This eliminates the incentive to gain weight for the sake of it and keeps you leaner. A leaner natural is a happier natural.
6. You don’t have to wait for the chemists to finish their sets.
Few things in life are more annoying and dehumanizing than benching after one of the chemists who occupy the bench for hours and never unload the barbell. As a bonus, you get to see the impression of their Humpty Dumpty head and diabetic neck on the bench.
As a natty bro, you are more likely to be on the receiving end of this freak show. Respect in the gym is earned with size. The chemists always win in that regard. Regardless of how polite bodybuilders are on camera – they will always see naturals as insects.
7. Push-ups are less likely to cause depression.
Inability to satisfy the bench press expectations of the world can result in painful depression. People want to bench press X number before Christmas or their birthday in order to feel like something is actually happening in their life. When this does not happen, the ego and the reality of the lifter are crushed and require a long time to recover.
Since the push-up is a lot less competitive, it rarely results in the same type of pain. Nonetheless, that quickly changes when the natty tries to become a bodyweight lord doing planches and front levers. Luckily for you, I am here to tell you that planches and front levers are largely inferior to exercises such as push-ups, dips and pull-ups when the goal is to stimulate growth and build basic strength.
8. Less Paralysis by Analysis
The fake natties of this world really love their programming. They can spend days talking about tips and tweaks meant to produce unheard of gains, but if we have to be honest with ourselves most of it is pure overthinking. If you want to be a Sheiko bot be my guest. But don’t be surprised if one day you wake and had a crazy realization – the formulas don’t work for one simple reason – you are natty.
Pushups are upper body squats. I stopped benching and squatting with weights years ago and replaced those exercises with pushups and bodyweight squats and my chest and legs are better than ever with no shoulder or back pain. For me weights are reserved for shoulder presses, rows and curls all done with dumbbells. I lift at home so don’t have to deal with the whole stupid gym scene.
Thanks for the article. It’s very good written.
I experience the bench press much harder than pushups.
A coach once told me that the bench press has the benefit that you can increase weight when you have progress.
Isn’t that a reason for doing the bench?
Pushups along with any body weight exercise can be made more difficult without adding weight. Pistol Squats, Panache Pushups, muscle ups, one arm pushups, one arm pull ups, etc… Basically just like with barbell training, when you can rep out 10 or more reps you add weight, but with body weight you just change it up to make it harder where you do less the 10 reps again and have to build the strength to do 10 or more. The downside to the variations of bodyweight exercise is that they can be dramatically more difficult and can take up to 6 months to learn such as the Panache Pushups. It is much easier to add weight to a barbell.
The main problem with the pushup for me is being hard to do it with added weight, because of this i tend to prefer dips over pushups.
I fully agree with the ego part. Being an exercise i’m not suited for combined with being an exercise that have this ego/competition aspect lead me to a few injuries. I have dropped the flat bench because of that, doing it with dumbells, or even barbell incline, is enough to take me out of this mindset besides hitting the muscles better and more safely.
weighted push ups – look it up. People use weights on their back, bands, or weighted vests to add progression.
Just add weight to your pushups either from loading weights in a backpack using a weighted vest or even picking up a contractor bag off the side of the road and loading it on your back. Once you can do 3 sets of 10 with 25 lbs then try 30 lbs then 35 then 40 etc etc. Make them weighted diamonds or weighted decline ring pushups instead of floor regulars. The progression is infinite. You are only limited by your creativity
So true about bench press, I have been working out consistently for about 8 years and I had an injury with my elbow, couldn’t make my arm straight completely and because of it I couldn’t do any bench press movements it simply hurt then instead I tried doing push ups and that time I still had that stupid mentality that in this way I’ll lose all my chest gains 😀 but after 3 months I didn’t even notice a slightest change in a bad way about my chest. Also I think push ups greatly eliminate possibility to get injured badly, if it gets too easy you can always use weighted vest or such and probably the worst that can happen is you fall flat on the floor but I guess that’s a lot better than letting a barbell to fall on you.
As always, great articles with realistic and practical information which until this day internet lacks a lot.
I’m having bad scapula pain right now. I think once this heals I’m going back to push ups and pull ups for my upper body. Bench press and weighted chin ups have crippled my scapula along with deadlifts. From now on once I’m healed I’m going to do a day of push ups, pull ups, and bw squats then barbell complexes the following day and alternate like that. Any thoughts??
This site is a DRUG. Always feel inclined to comment on its gloriousness, so here I am. Good stuff!
push ups are real easy, bench press is harder and you can progressively get stronger with that. I did push ups for like a year before i started to do bench and got much stronger and bigger once bench press became the core of my workout
I prefer to combine dumbell presses with ring pushups. The best of both worlds.
Go get a decent backpack from Walmart or wherever you like. Now go to the outdoor living area and buy a bag of playground sand. They are usually in the neighborhood of 40-50lbs. Go home and put the bag of sand (leave it in the bag it came in, even double wrap it with a trash bag) in the backpack. Now put it on and do push ups. You will never need to bench again unless your goal is to die slow in the gym looking at hot girls in spandex. 🙂
You can also try pull ups with it. Prepare to be humbled.
Pushups are not “better” than bench presses, nor are bench presses better than pushups. Even if you prefer one to the other, there’s no reason not to do both and get all the benefits.
True fat dude! Use what you want.
I was just looking at a clip from a UFO conspiracist, Dr. Steven Greer, who stated that he’s 60 and still benches 410 !!!
I disagree if you want a big chest. I’ve been doing pushups my whole life. Started as my first real exercise while training for hockey, then continued on through the military. I was doing hundreds sometimes thousands a week. Yet my chest was always my weakest part. Barbell benching didn’t really help either. Finally in my 30’s no less I started using dumbells at home because I was sick of the gym. No more ego lifting, no more pain, and 15 years after trying, I finally have an ok chest.
‘The chemists’ … Haha .. Briliant expression Truth seeker 🙂