Very easy to think something without it being the case. The number of people that will swear that cutting dairy out of their diet was responsible for their weight loss and not the fact that they were now watching what they ate I've heard of is amazing. The small amount of milk they were consuming (and the SFA amount of fat in that) wasn't really significant.
I pursued inclines for a good couple or years because I wanted to fill in my upper chest. What a waste of time. If I had just read that article first I would have realised why.
You would need to know your 1RM on both exercises. You would then need to pick your working weight based upon a % of these (say 70% of the individual 1RM's). You would then do the exact same number of sets and reps using the chosen weights for each exercise. You would perform one exercise at one session then the other at a latter session
Ideally you would have exactly the same conditions for each session, including sleep, nutrition, stress levels, hydration, etc. Also ideally you wouldn't be using a subjective measure like "how you feel" but would actually be using an actual measurement. The experiment used EMG, but could have used a couple of other methods.
The reason you do all of this is to make sure that what you are "feeling" is actually happening. What happens when you have a crap nights sleep and are dehydrated? Poor workout. So what happens when you do an incline bench and "feel more upper chest" than the day that you flat benched could have been more about having had a good workout than anything else. What you may actually be "feeling" might actually just be your shoulders (the warm pump feeling can radiate). People swear that there is an inner chest that can be targeted with flyes and they can "feel" it, reality is that they are just straining the insertion at the sternum. This is why science seeks to measure and understand things, because objective observation is actually tangible, not a subjective feeling that lacks definition.
Thank you for posting that study Tim, That was good stuff.
I am so tired of reading Flex and have them say, do this chest exercise for this part of chest, etc. It's so fucking annoying. It comes down to genetics, and if you are actually stimulating the muscle at all.
I saw in the study that the decline press added stress to the triceps. I've heard this before, so I think im going to add in a close grip decline bench for my triceps. Thoughts?