Maybe we need another catatory on this board, "Cool Training Toys."
One of the coolest that I have is Weight Releasers
. I have had them for four years. [http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?SearchPhrase=weight+releasers&m=SR]
The weight releasers allow you to overload the eccentric part of an exercise. You attach them to the bar so thay fall off at a certain level. Thus, you can lower a heavier load without getting trapped under the bar.
They also allow you to increase 1RM bench press, squat, etc.
[Effects of Increased Eccentric Loading On Bench Press 1RM. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 9–13.]
"The use of additional eccentric loading significantly increased the weight that could be lifted on the subsequent concentric phase and therefore 1RM performance. This phenomenon was a result of the enhancement of stretch-shortening cycle performance by the increased eccentric load. Athletes who are interested in developing 1RM strength in the bench press may benefit from the use of additional eccentric loading. [
http://nsca.allenpress.com/nscaonline/? ... -4287(2002