Monday, January 25, 2010


One of the most efficient ways to increase poundage in any movement is to increase your ability to accelerate the weight. Bench press is no different. Learning to stimulate your central nervous system will allow you to fire muscles faster and stronger.

Speed Bench: This is a relatively simple yet effective concept that has been utilized by powerlifters for years and years. Start by determining your 1 RM for bench press. Take 50-55% of that weight and yo are now ready to start your speed bench work. I have always used a 8 sets of 3 reps method with 30sec between reps as the blueprint to my speed work. There are other blueprints, but this is one that I found effective for me. Lower the weight in a controlled yet quick cadence. As soon as you feel the weight touch down on your chest explode the weight up stopping just short of lockout and repeat 2 more times. Take 30 sec rest and repeat for the 8 sets. Speed work is also extremely efficient when combined with the use of stretch release bands.

Tricep Throws: This is about the only time I have ever seen a smith machine that is useful. Set your bench up so that you are in a close grip bench press body position and at the bottom of the movement your elbows are directly under the bar. In this movement you will lower the weight under control and when you feel the weight touch your chest, just as in speed bench, you will explode up. At the top of the movement you will continue to explode letting go of the weight and essentially throwing it up in the air. Ensure you have a spotter and the safety pegs are set as this is a dangerous exercise to do. Catch the weight as it comes back down on the smith guides, lower and explode again. I like to do this movement in 5 sets of 10 reps. Try not to go outside of the 50 total rep range or you run the risk of burning out your CNS and over time becoming over trained.

5 Rounds for Time
7 Bodyweight Deadlift
21 Knees to Elbows