The Effect of Bands on Bench Press Power and Speed: A Brief Review
Bands are used to increase the difficulty level of your bench press. They work as a substitute for heavy weights when performing the exercise properly.
However, they have been known to cause some problems if not done correctly or at all. The problem is that bands do not allow you to use proper form while pressing the weight up with them attached. Therefore, it is best to avoid using bands when performing the bench press.
When you perform the barbell bench press, you need to keep your elbows close together and straight throughout the movement. You must maintain good posture during the whole set.
If you don’t keep these three things in mind while doing the exercise properly, then your performance will suffer because of improper technique.
The other thing you need to remember is that you cannot go too high with the bands. When you start going higher than shoulder width apart, your shoulders will get sore and strain from holding the weight overhead.
You may even tear something in your rotator cuff muscles if you try to lift the weight above shoulder height without proper form.
In addition, there are several exercises which require less muscle mass but produce greater force output such as dips and pull ups. They should be incorporated into your routines as well.
Finally, you should concentrate on maintaining proper form while doing the bench press with bands. The more you use proper form the better your technique will be and in turn lead to greater performance.
The above are some things to remember when using resistance bands for your bench press sets. When used properly they can be a good addition to your routine.
However, if you don’t follow the rules of lifting with proper form you may injure yourself.
Exercise bands can be an excellent training tool for resistance training. If you already own a set of exercise bands be sure to look up some good exercises for them online.
When using them, remember these pointers:
Use a full range of motion when lifting the weight
Keep your elbows close together and straight throughout the movement
Maintain good posture at all times Good luck and start pumping those iron!
The following is some of the knowledge I have gathered from my experience with resistance bands over the years.
This section consists of different things to try out when using resistance bands for your bench press. Try to remember everything in this article when performing your exercises.
Exercise Bands and Chest Training:
We will be discussing how exercise bands affect your bench press and other chest workouts. For instance, exercise bands can help you build a massive chest.
In addition, they can be used as a way to prevent muscle pull.
The following are a list of things you should remember when using bands for your chest workouts:
For those people that want to get big pecs, then tension must be kept on the muscles at all times during the bench press.
If you use resistance bands properly, they can help prevent muscle pull by maintaining tension on the muscles being worked.
You can incorporate intensity techniques such as drop sets, super-setting, and forced reps to hit your chest from all angles.
Focusing on the negative portion of the movement can help enhance your strength by as much as 30%.
Workout bands allow you to move some heavy weight while still maintaining proper form.
They are a great tool for developing power and speed.
The bands can be used to help increase speed on the bench press by providing assistance as you push the weight up.
A Word of Caution:
If you are a beginner then I would not recommend using bands until you have a good foundation of strength. The resistance bands can be hard on the joints if not used properly.
They can provide too much assistance to inexperienced lifters causing them to use improper form. Always keep this in mind when performing exercises with this tool.
Always remember to stretch properly before and after your workout. This will help prevent injury and allow you to achieve your goals in the safest manner possible.
If you have never used bands before then I would suggest that you perform only the first four techniques listed above until your form is perfect. After a month of using these techniques, if you feel comfortable with them, then you can move on to the intensity techniques.
Good luck and happy training.
Beginners Bench Press Program
This is a very simple routine that allows even the most inexperienced of lifters to gain a lot of strength in a short period of time. We use this program at least once a year at my gym with our beginners class.
Exercise Sets Reps Barbell Bench Press Warm-up, then 2 x 5 45 lb.
After you have warmed up, decide how heavy you would like to go for your first official set of five. This is the set that you should be aiming to increase when you repeat this program.
Try to increase the weight at each session by 5-10 lbs.
Once you can do two sets of five with the same weight, then add ten pounds to the bar and begin again with the 2 x 5 routine.
This program is simple and it works. Make sure to pay close attention to your form.
Watch yourself in the mirror or get a trainer to make sure you are doing each exercise correctly. If you see an exercise specialist, he will most likely use this routine as the basis of your strength training program.
Good luck and train hard!
In-Season Bench Press Program
This routine will work best for high school football players and other athletes that have a demanding schedule of games and practices during the week. It is an easy program to fit into your schedule and should not interfere with your games or practices.
Exercise Sets Reps Heavy Bench Press Warm-up, then 2 x 5 65% of Estimated Max 180 lbs. 1 x 3 80% of Estimated Max 225 lbs.
1 x 2 90% of Estimated Max 270 lbs.
After your warm-up set, pick a weight that you could lift five times before reaching failure. This would be your 65% of your one rep max.
Perform sets of five reps until you reach failure or you feel you couldn’t perform another good rep. Rest three to four minutes between sets.
Add ten pounds to the bar and perform sets of five again until you reach failure. Again, if at any time you feel like you can’t do good form, then stop the set.
Now increase the weight by ten pounds and perform as many good reps as you can.
The next day, add five pounds to each of these three weights and then perform the same routine (until you reach failure on your fifth rep).
The next day, add five more pounds to each of these three weights and then perform the same routine (until you reach failure on your fifth rep).
Continue in this manner until you can no longer perform five reps with good form. Then increase all of these weights by ten pounds and start over.
For the first week, take a day off between each workout. The second week you should rest every other day for a whole day (ie.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday). The third week, take two days off in between each workout.
During the season you will have to adjust this program to fit your needs. You may need to increase your rest periods during the weeks before big games and you may not have as much time to train.
At these times sacrifice some strength gains for increased recovery so that you are at your best on game day. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself and increase the weight so much that form begins to suffer.
This can lead to injury.
See Part II of this article for a program for in-season lifting routines.
Off-Season & In-Season Eating Guide: Part I
The biggest problem most athletes have with their diets is that they don’t eat. In order to gain size and strength, you have to be able to train heavily and eat enough food.
Most people will make the mistake of eating junk food or fast food because it’s quick and easy.
There is nothing wrong with eating at a burger joint every once in awhile but if that’s all you’re eating, then you’re only doing yourself a disservice. The off-season is the best time to eat whatever you want with little concern about your diet.
However, there are still some things you should try to stay away from.
The first is sugar. Sugar will cause problems with your energy levels and really doesn’t provide much nutrition.
The second is alcohol. Your body can’t digest alcohol so when you consume it, it sits in your stomach and intestines and acts as a diuretic causing you to lose electrolytes and water that you need.
The third thing to avoid is milk. Most people assume that they need to consume a lot of milk in order to get enough calcium but this isn’t necessarily true.
If you are eating a well-balanced diet, then you should be getting enough calcium.
In addition, the hormones in cows can affect your own hormone production and too much can lead to health problems in the future. Stay away from it.
As far as food is concerned, anything you want is allowed. You just have to watch the portion sizes.
The most important part of your diet is your carbohydrate intake. You need to be consuming a lot of carbs.
Most of your calories should come from carbs. The type of carb that you should be eating is the complex type such as oats, brown rice, and whole grain bread.
The second most important part of the diet is protein. Eat a lot of it but not too much.
Your main source of protein should be meat but you can also get it from eggs, milk and cheese.
The last part of your diet is fat. Fat is good for you but most people consume way more than they need.
Eat foods high in fat in limited quantities.
A list of high fat foods would include: nuts, peanut butter, olive oil, and fish oil. Some low fat foods would include: most vegetables, chicken, and fish.
Make sure that you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals because this is what keeps your body performing at its best. The only thing you have to watch is your sodium intake.
Most people consume way more sodium than they need so it is important that you cut down on the packaged and canned foods you are eating. Finally, drink a lot of water.
Your muscles are made up of mostly water so you need to keep them hydrated in order for them to function properly.
The difference between being thirsty and not thirsty is immense when it comes to how your body performs during your workouts. Instead of drinking soda, energy and sports drinks all the time, simply increase your water intake.
You will feel a lot better and most likely sustain better energy levels in the long run. Use these tips to get through the month of hell that is coming at you in just a few short weeks.
Photo Credit: MikeLane45
Sources & references used in this article:
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Effect of different pushing speeds on bench press by J Padulo, P Mignogna, S Mignardi, F Tonni… – Int J Sports …, 2012 – researchgate.net
Effect of kinetically altering a repetition via the use of chain resistance on velocity during the bench press by DG Baker, RU Newton – The Journal of Strength & Conditioning …, 2009 – journals.lww.com
Increases in bench throw power output when combined with heavier bench press plus accommodating chains resistance during complex training by D Baker – J Aust Strength Cond, 2009 – researchgate.net
Alterations in speed of squat movement and the use of accommodated resistance among college athletes training for power by MR Rhea, JG Kenn, BM Dermody – The Journal of Strength & …, 2009 – journals.lww.com
Variable resistance training promotes greater strength and power adaptations than traditional resistance training in elite youth rugby league players by M Rivière, L Louit, A Strokosch… – Journal of strength and …, 2017 – ingentaconnect.com