This question has been asked of me so many times I can’t possibly count. My answer has always been, “I never bench press.” This statement would invariably be followed by an incredulous look. “Are you kidding?” my questioner would ask just to be sure he heard right. Bench press tonnage is supposed to be some benchmark for guys who work out at the gym. At the top of my form, looking contest-ready, questioners who looked like they’d never seen the inside of a gym before would then lecture me on my mistake of not bench pressing. Few wanted to hear that the bench press is the number one exercise responsible for injuries that put an end to countless guys’ attempts to get in shape. Or that challenging yourself with extreme poundages is called Power Lifting, not Bodybuilding.
I’m a bodybuilder. My goal is to sculpt and hone and strengthen my muscles into an esthetically pleasing form, safely. I still want to be doing this on my 100th birthday. Power Lifters challenge themselves to move the greatest amount of weight possible, and then some.
Knowing the difference will not only keep you safe, but will bring a better result. The two are not interchangeable.
Choose one or the other, because trying to combine the two means cheating yourself out of reaching your ultimate goal.