I used to be a globo-gym guy at 24 hour fitness that would hit bench once a week on Monday just like everyone else, but that was B.C. (Before Crossfit). Now I have probably done bench only about 2 times in the last few months which is pretty much just like everyone else in my box except for a handful of people. I don’t know if it is like this at most boxes but one of the reasons why most Crossfitters don’t do bench is because it is not a movement that ever shows up in competition.
Intuitively it doesn’t make sense to spend valuable time on a movement that has never been seen in competition when you can be using that time to work on things that “actually matter” such as thrusters or pull-ups. Although it is not something you have to incorporate into your daily training there are still reasons to throw in some bench press every once in a while.
Why You Should Add Bench
The best reason why we in Crossfit should add more bench to our training is purely because we don’t do it. Even though Crossfit is already extremely varied through it’s many movements, skills, and work/time domains, our bodies still get used to those factors and adjust accordingly. We’re not hitting a plateau, but we’re definitely past the golden days of beginner gains.
Incorporating a movement like the bench press will shock our bodies and allow us to use our muscles in a different way. We have to shock our bodies with new workouts and movements every once in a while to make progress in our training.
We should look at the bench press as a new sort of adversity for our body and our body loves adversity. Adversity is a great stimulator of change and our muscles are no different.
The bench is also a great way to keep training when you’ve injured your back.
Other Benefits Of The Bench For Crossfit
Increase pushing strength
This will help primarily with pushups and sled-pushes
Build tricep strength
Although we build tricep strength through many of the movements we perform in Crossfit, this is another way to attack the muscle with heavy weights. Stronger triceps will help with all types of handstand pushups and pull-ups.
Increase raw strength
By doing bench you will increase your overall raw strength that will carry into many other aspects of your fitness. Raw strength benefits your strict movements such as strict handstand pushups, strict pullups, strict muscle ups, and weighted pushups.
It’s a compound exercise
While doing bench you are working chest, triceps, lats, delts, and even core. This is one of the best compound movements you can do to work multiple muscle groups at once.
It’s constantly varied
One of the great things about the bench press is that its highly customizable and thus can be constantly varied. Depending on what you want to focus on, you can adjust the movement accordingly. You can do regular, incline, decline, banded, chained, with dumbbells, narrow grip, wide grip, etc.
Crossfit bench workouts to try
Bench Press 185/135#
50 Double Unders
9 Overhead Squats 115/75#
1 Legless Rope Climb (15ft from seated position)
12 Bench Presses 115/75#
Doing bench press is not going to all of a sudden dramatically increase your metcon performances for most people, but it’s a great accessory movement to use on days when you’re looking for something extra to do.
If you’re one of the few Crossfit athletes that already consistently incorporate bench into your training, please leave a comment and let us know how it has been working for you.
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