Max, as you note, what you lose if you do bench presses rather than pushups is the full-body aspect of pushups. Pushups train core strength (front and back), because you’re essentially holding yourself in plank position, and they also require that you hold correct form in the mid and upper back around the shoulders and shoulder blades.
Does that help?
I tried searching for this question on the site but didn’t have any luck, so please redirect me if this has been discussed!
Is it ok to substitute bench press for pushups, especially in the max strength phase (anywhere pushups are involved, but specifically for mountaineering/climbing training)?
I haven’t seen any mention of bench presses as a pushup progression/alternative on this site or in the books. My naive guesses are that pushups are more useful since they engage more of your body, and that pushups alone fulfill the pushing strength required by uphill athletes.
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