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You’ll find combination exercises in plenty of our workout routines because we’re big fans of efficient workouts that maximize muscle gain and fat loss in a timely manner. When performed with an appropriate amount of weight, good combination moves—take the hammer curl to press, dumbbell squat to curl and press, or the reverse lunge to press, for example—target multiple muscle groups in one movement and help you get out of the gym quicker.
Perhaps that’s the idea Armz Korleone had when he combined a 100kg (220-pound) bench press with situps for five reps. The internet bodybuilder, who has 20,000 YouTube subscribers, managed to do this by keeping his feet grounded with heavy dumbbells.
Watch him hit chest and abs simultaneously here:
100kg bench press into sit ups…
Summa round da corner gotta get my abs and chest ready ? pic.twitter.com/BtpTb7KVFN
— A.K ☥ (@ArmzKorleone) February 28, 2020
Outlets such as ESPN picked up the video, and thousands have applauded Korleone for the feat of strength. Others, though, have warned he’s only putting himself at risk for serious injuries and aren’t overly impressed.
Count personal trainer Gareth Sapstead, CSCS, among the latter. The UK-based “Fitness Maverick” says the combination does nothing other than drive up Korleone’s views.
“Neither your bench press nor your abdominal strength would benefit from such an exercise, largely because you’re under-loading one portion of the movement while struggling with the other,” Sapstead notes. Plus, he adds, lifting the bar to an overhead sit-up is “just plain stupidity.”
Korleone states he’s trying to hit chest and abs with “summa” right around the corner, but Sapstead fears the lifter will only get an injury if he keeps this up. “Sorry to say, but what you might think will give you six pack abs, will more than likely give you a bad back and meaty hip flexors,” he says. “It might impress your gym buddies, but it’s neither a safe nor useful way to use the bench press.”
Instead, Sapstead recommends implementing more traditional supersets to hit abs and chest in the same workout. Just pick a go-to ab move (we have plenty to choose from here) to rep out immediately finishing your set of bench presses, then take a short break and repeat for as many sets as the workout calls for.
“You can sufficiently load and improve your bench press, while the abdominal exercise won’t interfere with the weight you’re pressing,” he says. “It’s a great way to keep your workout intensity high, burn some extra calories, and save on time too.”