The bench press shouldn't be your only exercise routine if you want to lose weight.
When it comes to upper body exercises, the bench press is a great once. Since it's a compound movement, you're working several muscles at once. Your triceps, pectoral muscles, and deltoids get a great workout, and even your lats put a bit of work in.
While the bench press is a great way to tone - or grow - your upper body, it's not a great fat burner. You'll only burn a small number of calories when you do the bench press. You can, however, still lose weight by following a well-rounded workout routine that includes bench presses.
Bench pressing won't help you lose significant stomach fat, but it can give you a toned chest.
Burn Some Calories
If you're looking to slim down your stomach, you need to burn more calories than you eat. When you take in fewer calories than your body needs - a state called a calorie deficit - you'll start burning stored fat tissue for energy, which will help you slim down.
Each pound of weight loss requires burning around 3,500 calories more than you ate - so at 500-calorie deficit per day, you'd lose about a pound a week. A 5-minute session of bench pressing burns a measly 37 calories if you weigh 150 pounds. That means that if you did 5 minutes' worth of bench presses 3 times a week, it would take you more than six months to lose a pound.
Weigh 200 pounds? Your calorie burn jumps to a whopping 49 calories. Doing bench presses three times each week would add up to a pound of weight loss after about five and a half months.
Up the Burn
Clearly, simply bench pressing won't slim you down - but lifting weights can be a great strategy for weight loss. A 155-pound person will burn about 223 calories in a 30-minute session of vigorous weightlifting. If you did that three times a week, you'd burn enough calories to lose about 10 pounds in a year - that's without any extra cardio or making changes to your diet.
Perform bench presses as one of several compound movements in your workout. Squats, lunges, push-ups, rows and deadlifts all work multiple muscles to help you burn calories.
Arrange your workout as a circuit, moving from one exercise to another to another without any rest in between. This minimizes your "down time" and keeps you active and burning calories.
And, of course, alternate strength workouts with cardiovascular fitness to torch more calories. The 466 calories you might burn from 30 minutes' vigorous stationary cycling, for instance, will help you slim down - so you can see more and more of your toned upper body when you lose stomach fat.