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Discuss here all about strength, the science, and physiology about muscle strength and hypertrophy.

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Postby Canuck Singh » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:33 pm

Many lifters and power athletes train incessantly to increase their bench press. One highly effective method to improve strength is ‘eccentric’ training. The eccentric phase of the bench press is where the weight is lowered before it is pushed to the starting position. Lowering a heavy weight in a slow, controlled fashion still requires muscle contraction. This eccentric contraction is the strongest type of muscle contraction we produce. Most athletes can use more weight in the eccentric phase of a bench press than they can push for one normal repetition.

However, the problem with eccentric-only training in the bench press is that you need at least three good spotters to help lift the weight up! As this type of training isn’t very specific to many athletic movements, many strength athletes often overlook this training technique.

A group of strength coaches in the US have developed a simple apparatus that allows the athlete to incorporate maximal eccentric loads within the normal barbell bench press exercise. The study measured the effects of adding weight during the eccentric phase on bench press.

Eight experienced weight training subjects volunteered to use this apparatus during their bench press training. The device used to create extra resistance involved two simple detachable hooks that hung from the barbell. These steel, detachable hooks held the extra weight. The “detaching hooks” would release from the bar at the bottom of the lift, reducing the weight lifted during the concentric phase of the lift. The athletes could lower 110% of their 1-repetition maximum (RM) and push 100% of their 1-RM.

All eight subjects who used the hooks increased their 1-RMs by 5 to 15-pounds! The use of additional eccentric loading significantly increased the weight that could be lifted on the subsequent concentric phase, and therefore improved 1-RM performance. This enhanced training effect was a result of improving the stretch-shortening muscular reflex cycle.

Athletes interested in optimizing their strength in the bench press may benefit from the use of additional eccentric loading. The weight-release device used in this study was developed by Power Recruit Inc., Hautzdale, PA. The data obtained from this investigation indicate that athletes will increase their bench press 1-RM simply by applying additional load on the eccentric phase of the lift.

Ref: Strength and Conditioning J. Jan. 2002.
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Re: -||||--Bench --||||-

Postby Putt_Punjabi » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:46 pm

Other then using any fancy machines, and loweing your weight slow and then pushing up slow, is there any other way to increase the growth of your bench press?

Should one switch between barbell bench press and dumbell bench press from time to time? Does it make a difference?

Following is my chest workout, how can I improve this?

Cardio for 15 mins
Stretch for 10 mins
1 set max for Pushups to warm up

BENCH PRESS - FLAT BENCH BARBELL (weights include the bar weight, cause im weak :D )
1X8 only the bar
1X8 85 Lbs
1X4 175Lbs
3X8 145Lbs

INCLINE BENCH PRESS - DUMBELL PRESS (This is the weight of only one dumbell)
1X8 40LBS
3X8 55LBS - Iincrease the bench incline every set from low to high

Lever Seated Fly
1X8 145 Lbs
3X8 210 Lbs

After these I usually workout my triceps and much as I can.
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Re: -||||--Bench --||||-

Postby Canuck Singh » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:05 pm

Hello and welcome Mr Putt Punjabi,
Other then using any fancy machines, and loweing your weight slow and then pushing up slow, is there any other way to increase the growth of your bench press?

There are many ways to increase bench press strength, and to induce muscle hypertrophy. Machine's will not allow you to maximize either of these variables over the long term...
Should one switch between barbell bench press and dumbell bench press from time to time?

If you are an experienced trainer I would highly recommend incorporating bumbell bench pressing into your exercise regime. Dumbells provide a significant amount of overload stimulus to the muscles, with the added need to balance and control the weight, stimulating even more muscles to work. One must be careful with them however, in that if you don't give DBs the respect they deserve they can lead to injury very quickly.
Does it make a difference?

For optimal gains, consider using the Barbell (BB) and Dumbells (DB) in your programme, but if all you have is a BB bench, then that is still fine.
Following is my chest workout, how can I improve this?

Cardio for 15 mins
Stretch for 10 mins
1 set max for Pushups to warm up

Firstly as I have mentioned to others here already, consider moving your cardio to the back of your workout. And consider cutting out static stretching. If you can decrease the cardio and make it into a low intensity warm up this will improve blood circulation and body temperature. Static stretching has been repeatedly shown in studies to reduce force output of the working muscles. Finally that warm up for the push ups is perhaps not as valuable as you may think. The push up is a peripheral closed chain exercise, while the bench press is an open chain exercise. It will not maximally warm up the muscles for the barbell bench press. For this reason I recommend you add the following...
BENCH PRESS - FLAT BENCH BARBELL (weights include the bar weight, cause im weak :D )
1X8 only the bar :arrow: 1x12 with bar nice and slow (bar = 45lbs?)
1x10 65lbs
1x8 115lbs
1x6 135lbs

1X8 85 Lbs :arrow: 1x4 155lbs
1X4 175Lbs Double up this set as your main working sets
3X8 145Lbs Drop this set

INCLINE BENCH PRESS - DUMBELL PRESS (This is the weight of only one dumbell)
1X8 40LBS Is this a warm up?
3X8 55LBS - Iincrease the bench incline every set from low to high I like this idea, but be sure not to go higher than 45deg, you want to make sure the stimulus remains on the pecs

Lever Seated Fly
1X8 145 Lbs
3X8 210 Lbs
I would drop this completely
After these I usually workout my triceps and much as I can.
???


Please read the above responses and tell me what you think :D

The key things are:
- move your cardio and static stretching to after the workout
- before the workout do warm up cardio and dynamic stretching
- complete a better warm up routine that will enhance your muscle building sets
- stick to the key muscle building exercises if you want 'your chest to grow'
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Re: -||||--Bench --||||-

Postby Putt_Punjabi » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:37 pm

Did you include these weights with the bar weight (45 or 35? I’m guessing 45).
1X12 Bar weight
1x10 65lbs – Isn’t a little too low? can i drop this set
1x8 115lbs – 20’s plate Can I add 10 to make it even 25 lb plates, I will feel even more weaker putting 2 10's on each side :D
1x6 135lbs – 45’s plate
1x4 155lbs – 55’s plate
2X4 175Lbs - 65’s plate

INCLINE BENCH PRESS - DUMBELL PRESS (This is the weight of only one dumbell)
1X8 40LBS Is this a warm up? *Yes it is a warm up set.
3X8 55LBS - Increase the bench incline every set from low to high I like this idea, but be sure not to go higher than 45deg, you want to make sure the stimulus remains on the pecs


** So what would I do to workout the Pecs? Flies using dumbbells on a bench?

Lever Seated Fly
1X8 145 Lbs
3X8 210 Lbs
I would drop this completely
After these I usually workout my triceps and much as I can. I try to do them as well.
???

Question – What are your thoughts on Decline bench press?


Thanks for all the help bud.
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Posts: 1187

Re: -||||--Bench --||||-

Postby Canuck Singh » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:47 pm

 Also, did you include these weights with the bar weight (45 or 35? I’m guessing 35).

The standard Olympic bar is normally 20kg = 44lbs. The standard gym bar in most north american gyms is 45lbs. The smith machine bar is variable, but there are other bars that can be 55lbs or 25kg, or smaller bars like in the UK where people are smaller that are 15kg. I reckon if yours is standard olympic size its 44 or 45lbs.

1X12 Bar weight
1x10 65lbs – Isn’t a little too low?
1x8 115lbs – 20’s plate
1x6 135lbs – 45’s plate
1x4 155lbs – 55’s plate
2X4 175Lbs - 65’s plate

The reason I placed the warm up as such is because you want to recruit the muscle fibres in an appropriate manner. Your body has stabilisers and mobilisers. If you jump into the heavy sets your compound large movers will become stabilisers, and you will have poor joint protection. Setting yourself up for injury over the long term. THe first few sets should be slow and controlled with a light weight. Stick to what I have provided if you can.

INCLINE BENCH PRESS - DUMBELL PRESS (This is the weight of only one dumbell)
1X8 40LBS Is this a warm up? *Yes it is a warm up set.
3X8 55LBS - Increase the bench incline every set from low to high I like this idea, but be sure not to go higher than 45deg, you want to make sure the stimulus remains on the pecs

Looks good

** So what would I do to workout the Pecs? Flies using dumbbells on a bench?
Lever Seated Fly
1X8 145 Lbs
3X8 210 Lbs
I would drop this completely
After these I usually workout my triceps and much as I can.
???

Question – What are your thoughts on Decline bench press?

Your pecs have been stimulated significantly from the first two exercises. You can add a set or two of decline if you wish. If you wish to complete the flies at the end of the workout, try using cables and hit them at various angles, but don't complete too many sets. But I highly recommend staying away from the Lever Seated Fly, at the weights you have said, and If i think it is the machine that I think it is, I am almost 100% sure you are doing it in a 'cheat' manner and not stimulating maximum muscle (maximus) growth.

Thanks for all the help bud.[/quote]

No problem, feel free to continue posting on the site, and begin a journal if you wish, you will be able to fine tune things that way, and it helps a lot for motivation and keeping track of your progrees
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Re: -||||--Bench --||||-

Postby Putt_Punjabi » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:11 pm

I will start a journal. I am finding a lot of mistakes in my workouts by talking to different people, no wonder I’m not seeing any gains – strength wise.

Thank you again, Sir.
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