Utilizing Tempo In The Bench Press

 

Understanding and using the different portions of the lift to your advantage can be a great way to improve strength and size

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Eccentric: This is often referred to as the negative portion of the lift which is where you lower the weight in the bench press. The eccentric portion is where most of the muscle damage that happens during lifting takes place, making it critical for muscle growth. If you’ve hit a bench press plateau try mixing in some eccentric focused reps where you lower the bar for 2-3 seconds and control it then perform the rest of the lift like you normally would. 4 sets of 5 reps would work well for this.
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Bottom Position: If you’re looking to build strength off the chest in the bench press, throw in some paused reps. Simply pause at the bottom of the lift where the bar is at your chest for 1-2 seconds and then perform the rest of the lift normally. Also, paused reps are great for learning how to stay tight during the bench press. 5 sets of 3 reps would be good for these paused reps.
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Concentric: Whenever you perform the bench press, or any lift, always move the bar as fast as you can during the concentric portion. This will help with maximizing neural drive, strength, and power in the lift. The only time you shouldn’t move the bar as fast as possible is if you’re doing controlled reps on purpose. Otherwise, lift it as fast as possible!


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