I was originally going to make a joke about "mismatched couples" here, but when I set the image to "medium" it was HUGE and that made me laugh, so here you go
This style of thinking fails on a variety of levels, and primarily hinges on the false notion that one must be married to one movement, never willing to deviate, change, falter or in any way show infidelity to their decision. This is a lack of long term thinking and vision, fixating on the present and ignoring the reality of the future. We forget that we can train pretty much any movements we want, we just must understand that we can’t train them all at once.
What this means for a trainee is that there is no need to decide between incline bench, flat bench, dips, dumbbell press, or floor press when it comes to horizontal pressing. These are all great movements, and they all hold a tremendous amount of value, which means that they all have some worth in training. All a trainee needs to do is cycle these movements into their training when the time is appropriate, which is generally once their currently selected movement is no longer meeting their goals. Getting stronger from a variety of angles and with a variety of movements is never a negative thing, and time spent training a variety of movements is typically very beneficial.
Some exceptions apply
When it comes to the initial selection of one movement, we once again witness an analysis by paralysis that is entirely unnecessary, as the big picture has been lost. A trainee who is fretting about this decision is most likely in such an untrained or undertrained state that they will get stronger from ANY movement, as long as they execute it violently and with purpose. Specific exercise selection is only necessary when one’s goals are specific, while general movement patterns are more than sufficient for general goals. A trainee whose concern is growing bigger and stronger will do well to simply follow Dan John’s 5 movement approach
5. Loaded Carry
If they want to get slightly more specific, they can include “vertical” and “horizontal” for the push and pull, but as long as they are moving weight within these directions, they will grow bigger and stronger. A need for a more specific exercise develops as one develops specific needs. If the bench press lockout is lagging, one may need to engage in something more tricep heavy, like a close grip bench or a board press, while a weakness off the chest may require some dumbbell pressing or wider grip benching. However, the answers to these questions should become evident to the trainee as the problems arise. Our issue is attempting to problem solve the problems we don’t have, not understanding the blessing that is having only a general goal. As long as our problems are not specific, we need not waste the time worrying about the pros and cons of all movements, but instead just commit to A movement and grow bigger and stronger.