Velocity Training: Double Your Bench Press
by: Robbie Durand
Looking to almost double your strength in the bench press? Than you need to train explosively on the bench press, in other words, attempting to move the bar as fast as possible during the lifting phase of an exercise. Doing so can provide some significant improvements to strength and power simultaneously. A new study reported in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reports that lifting with maximal velocity is the key to jacking up your bench press. Researchers had twenty participants were assigned to a study in which they benched with a maximum velocity or movement at half of the maximum velocity and trained 3 times per week for 6 weeks. Repetition velocity was controlled a timer.
So in one group the subjects were told to lift in a explosive manner while the other group was told to life in a controlled manner that was approximately half the lifting speed of their 1 repetition maximum. The researchers will also looking at acute metabolic (blood lactate and ammonia) and mechanical response (velocity loss) was different between the movement velocity (i.e. Max and Half) protocols used. At the end of the six week study, both groups improved strength performance from pre- to post-training, but maximal velocity bench press training resulted in significantly greater strength gains than half velocity training in all variables analyzed. One rep max improved by 18.2% in the max velocity group versus only 9.7% in the half-maximal velocity group, a difference of nearly 50%. The researchers stated that the velocity at which loads are lifted largely determine the subsequent training effect. They conclude that bench press strength gains can be maximized by lifting with maximal intended velocity.The interesting finding of the study was that even though time under tension was greater for the half lifting speed group, the maximal velocity training group had greater increases in bench press at the end of the study. Lactate tended to be significantly higher for explosive lifting group vs. the half of the maximum velocity group, with no differences observed for ammonia which was within resting values. Movement velocity can be considered a fundamental component of resistance training intensity, since, for a given %1 repetition maximum, the velocity at which loads are lifted largely determines the resulting training effect. Bench Press strength gains can be maximized when repetitions are performed at maximal intended velocity. Consider experimenting with bangs and chains to work on your explosive bench press strength.
González-Badillo JJ, Rodríguez-Rosell D, Sánchez-Medina L, Gorostiaga EM, Pareja-Blanco F. Maximal intended velocity training induces greater gains in bench press performance than deliberately slower half-velocity training. Eur J Sport Sci. 2014;14(8):772-81.
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