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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:57 am 
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20512067

I ran across this looking for poly's oft quoted study, thought it was pretty interesting to see. I'm not that great at telling the flaws of studies (the reason I subscribed to AARR) but this seemed pretty interesting as pretty much all powerlifters do band-assisted bench at some point in their program.

Maybe I should invest in some, since I seem to have trouble with bench improvements.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:16 am 
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The way I understand it, the reason bands work is because of the increased resistance provided. Most people that I see have problems with transitioning between the chest and the delts. Bands allow you to work on speed getting the bar off of the chest providing increased resistance through the delt sticking point and even more resistance when the tris take over. You get the same effect from using chains but chains are cooler.

IMO, the key to increasing your bench, after you fix your form, is to analyze where your sticking point is and then work on it. For example, geared power lifters like to use boards because they get the most response from their gear at the bottom of the bench. Using boards helps them with the tris and delts.

Sorry for digressing, but one exercise that seems to help most benchers is the floor press. If done correctly it can really help with the transition between the chest and the delts.

I don't use bands, but that is because I have a set of chains. I routinely rotate them in as auxillary work. The best I can tell, for myself, I now have a pretty good balance and I don't have much of a sticking point. Which sucks because now I don't get very many big gains.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:19 am 
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I've always had trouble coming off the chest, myself. I can close grip bench 315 while my max normal-grip bench is only about 320-325 currently (Dieting sucks).

That made me think the major thing holding back my bench has got to be my chest if my triceps are that strong - it's another reason I've switched to DBs as I don't feel much in the 'chest' on regular bb bench.

However, until my college's new facilities finish in a month or so, I only have access to a maximum of 105s on DB, that's why I thought maybe bands (or even chains) would be good in helping me get more chest involvement on my bb bench press.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:03 am 
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Thanks for posting that. Quite interesting.

hoosegow wrote:
Sorry for digressing, but one exercise that seems to help most benchers is the floor press. If done correctly it can really help with the transition between the chest and the delts.


Floor press really helps me. Infact since I stopped doing it for *5-3-1 my bench has regressed. My theory is that I must get loads of leg drive in my bench.

My bench pretty much floats around 300 mark. Really struggle to get over this. The few months before xmas I done a westside style split with a speed day and using exercises like floor press and 1-2 board press and it was going up nice and constantly. That's when I hit a "clean" 300. I think I would struggle for 290 at the moment!

My weakness was always off the chest but the speed work seemed to change this to about 2 inches above the chest. 1-2 board presses seem to put me right at my sticking point. When I floor press my chest is about 2 inches from the bar - 3 at the most. Floor press is deffinitly a good exercise for me, though, and i'm sure it's lack of leg drive that does it for me. I also think a close grip incline press will help. I trained with a PL 2 weeks ago and we done this and I was weak as hell on it. I'm going back on to the westside style split with a speed day. I'll work up to a heavy 1-3RM every 3rd week or so. On ME day i'll rotate between floor press, close grip incline, and 1-2 board press with a pause (I use pipes so it's like a 1.5boad press!).

I'm never 100% sure about 'sticking points'. Is the sticking point a representation of your weak point (more of a muscular problem) or is your weak point really a couple of inches before this (more of speed problem). I think the westside method just takes car of both. Hopefully...

I'll also get a chance to train with bands and chains soon so it will be interesting to see what happens...

*5-3-1 never got a fair trial as I started doing it when I began working 2 jobs equating to 13-14hours 5 days per week plus about 8 on a Satuday and the occasional Sunday shift. Diet and sleep has suffered. Just pointing this out as me saying my bench regressed on it isn't a fair assessment. It's worth noting that my squat went UP.

OK so i went off on a half rant, half brainstorm there but it seems kinda relevant.

How are you guys training your bench at the moment?

KPj


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:28 am 
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KPj wrote:
Thanks for posting that. Quite interesting.


I'm never 100% sure about 'sticking points'. Is the sticking point a representation of your weak point (more of a muscular problem) or is your weak point really a couple of inches before this (more of speed problem). I think the westside method just takes car of both. Hopefully...

KPj


That is a very interesting question and I don't have a good answer.

Right now I'm doing 531 and have had good success. I'm hoping to push 420 at my next meet in September. I hit a triple at 390 my last cycle but since haven't equaled that and I have a theory as to why which I'll expand on later. My auxillary work for the bench cycles between floor presses, chains, boards (a combination of 1, 2, and 3 board presses or one cycle with a 2 or three board press), and incline bench doing usually 5 sets of 10. The last two sets are brutal.

As to why I think my bench hasn't increased like it was, I blame deadlifting. I'm a terrible deadlifter. I blame my physiological make up and lack of flexibility. Anyway, I dropped a pure axillary day to pick up routinely deadlifting. On that auxillary day, I was doing speed work with throw presses and focussing a bit more on tris. This day was a really fun day for me. To reitterate, since dropping that day, I haven't hit any PRs. I have to work on DL, though so my bench may suffer.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:04 am 
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Man, my bench sucks! Good going on the triple @ 390!

hoosegow wrote:
As to why I think my bench hasn't increased like it was, I blame deadlifting. I'm a terrible deadlifter. I blame my physiological make up and lack of flexibility. Anyway, I dropped a pure axillary day to pick up routinely deadlifting. On that auxillary day, I was doing speed work with throw presses and focussing a bit more on tris. This day was a really fun day for me. To reitterate, since dropping that day, I haven't hit any PRs. I have to work on DL, though so my bench may suffer.


This is an interesting point. I kind of 'realised' recently that i've never gave bench priority. It's always been the last thing I trained in the week, on a Sat, and I normally do heavy DL/Squat on a Friday night. This is strange because when I focus on DL, it's the first thing in the week, same with squat. I'm riding a wave of progress with my squat just now so, when that stops i'm going to put bench first.

I think i'm the other way around from you then. My Squat is a real struggle in comparison to DL. Been through the wars with it, actually. However when I started 5-3-1, one thing I done was, train squat first in the week. On top of that I lowered my percentages way down on DL and never went for max reps so effectively held it back. I think this is a significant factor for my squat going up (holding back DL).

KPj


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:18 pm 
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damn hoose, a triple at 390? You're an animal


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:24 pm 
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robertscott wrote:
damn hoose, a triple at 390? You're an animal


But he cheats. He eats twizzlers.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:52 pm 
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KPj wrote:
I'm never 100% sure about 'sticking points'. Is the sticking point a representation of your weak point (more of a muscular problem) or is your weak point really a couple of inches before this (more of speed problem).

KPj,

Your sticking point is "a couple of inches below" where the bar stops or slows down.

It is like driving along in your car. You run out of gas.

Does you car stop exactly where you ran out of gas?

Once you car runs out of gas, it will coast to a stop. So, where you end up stopping isn't where you ran out of gas.

It is the same with your sticking point. Thus, your sticking point training needs to place the bar "a couple of inches below" (as you mentioned)...

A large part of the sticking point problem is you are in a weaker biomechanical strength position. Somewhat like putting the fulcrum in the wrong place.

Hoosegow makes a good point. The transition point between muscle groups in a movement cause some problems.

Transition between muscle groups is similar to a relay race in track. The "transtion" of the baton between sprinters (muscle groups) is often a place where things go wrong.

By increasing your strength in the sticking point area and increasing your power, you more likely to make it through your sticking point (that mud hole).

Quote:
How are you guys training your bench at the moment?


I am a proponent of Complex Training and use it in training my squat, bench press and my "no deadlift, deadlift training".

I employ heavy partial rack presses and dips to build strength. I "superset" one of those strength movement with a speed/power bench press with bands attached to the bar.

Speed benches are a bit of a misnomer, it is more of a power bench (Power = Strength X Speed)

For squats, I perform heavy belt squats that eliminate the lower back, placing the work on the legs as a strength movement. I "superset" heavy belt squats with speed/power squat with bands.

My year round deadlift training is good mornings for strength training "supersetted" with Olympic pulls.

Kenny Croxdale


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:21 pm 
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I wonder if the impact of the bands is to allow more total inroad into the target muscles. essentially creating a more intense workout. As for example a 2-set program with a heaviest possible first set, followed by a drop set, would created higher inroads, than a 2-set straight across program.

Also, wonder if the trainees would eventually come closer in progrress with more time. And perhaps with time, the group that was gaining faster would slow down and the other catch up (as for example might happen with programs of different intensity), as people near limits.

I'm not sure that "whatever helps an untrained person get strongest, fastest in 3 or 6 weeks" is indicative of the program everyone should use for longer periods of time. Remember these are untrained people, so the lessons here may not transfer as well to guys doing 300#+s. This isn't to say it might NOT be the best program for everyone. Just a caution.

Note: I haven't read the study, just the abstract. Sounds like good and intersting work and I commmend the authors.

Were, I bench obsessed, I would certainly mix in some 15% banded work just on the likelihood that it would help...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:16 pm 
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I would guess two things with the bands, personally.

One, it makes acceleration more difficult and obviously acceleration is huge when trying to put up bigger numbers (as stated, helps push through weaker points).

Two, probably makes it harder near the triceps - if that's a weak point, that's obviously a plus, as you can put more emphasis on it.

I want to get some, for sure, i just have to figure out how to set them up on my gym's equipment.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Kenny,

Out of curiosity more than anything else, when you compete, is it raw or geared?

Do you think banded lifting has a place in training for raw PLers, or for non-PLers looking to increase their athletic strength?

Jim Wendler has recommended in the past that only geared PLers really benefit from banded resistance because for non-geared applications the strength curve is different (heavier at the bottom, lighter at the top). I've only ever done band benching once or twice, but I've used accommodating resistance (bands) for lots of other exercises.

Hmmm...this may inadvertently turn into an interview of Kenny Croxdale. If it does I can bring it to another thread...

Peter


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:48 pm 
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NightFaLL wrote:
I would guess two things with the bands, personally.

One, it makes acceleration more difficult and obviously acceleration is huge when trying to put up bigger numbers (as stated, helps push through weaker points).


NightFaLL,

Research (Ariel) show that approximately 30% of an exercise is worked, overloaded. The remaning 70% is underloaded, very little work is elicited.

Research (McLaughlin) determined that in the bench press, the first 30% of the bench press involves the greatest amount of work. Once you get past that point, less work is involved.

Adding bands or chains to the bar is accomodating resistance. As the bar goes down the bands or chains deload. As the bar goes up, the bar load more resistance to the bar. Thus, allowing the muscle to be overloaded moreso through the entire range of the movement when heavy load are used.

When performing speed work, a misnomer. It really power work, the band or chains allow you to continue to accelerate moreso throughout the entire range of the movement.

Researh indicates that as much as 75% of a movement can be devoted to slowing the bar down in a movement in which lighter load are used, with no bands or chains attached. The braking process is a natural reponse to insure that to protect the joints. That means you don't get a whiplash effect.

"Elliot et al. (1989) revealed that during 1-RM bench presses, the bar decelerates for the final 24 % of the range of motion. At 81% of 1-RM, the bar deceleration occurs during the final 52% of the range of motion."
Plyometric Bench Press Training For More Strength and Power

So, as the load lightens, less acceleration takes place and MORE deceleration occurs.

Quote:
Two, probably makes it harder near the triceps - if that's a weak point, that's obviously a plus, as you can put more emphasis on it.


The triceps are primarly the weak point with powerlifters using bench shirts. Lifters performing the lift in a T-shirt primarily experience the weak/sticking point 3-4 inches off the chest. (McLaughlin)

Summary:

1) Band and chain allow you to overload the muscle groups involed in an exercise moreso throughout the entire range of the movement when using heavy loads.

2) Bands and chains allow you to accelerate tmoreso hroughout the entire range of the movement when lighter load are employed.

Kenny Croxdale


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:56 pm 
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ApolytonGP wrote:
I wonder if the impact of the bands is to allow more total inroad into the target muscles. essentially creating a more intense workout. As for example a 2-set program with a heaviest possible first set, followed by a drop set, would created higher inroads, than a 2-set straight across program.


ApolytonGP,

"Allows more inroads?" You have been hanging out with the Super Slow Protocol group.

As I stated in a previous post, bands and chains create an overload moreso throughout the entire range of the movement.

I am more of a proponent of performing one set as heavy as possible. However, a "Flat Pyramid" of two sets with the same load can be effective.

Quote:
Also, wonder if the trainees would eventually come closer in progrress with more time.

I'm not sure that "whatever helps an untrained person get strongest,


Anything and everything works for an untrained person.

Kenny Croxdale


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:37 pm 
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Quote:
pdellorto wrote:
Kenny,

Out of curiosity more than anything else, when you compete, is it raw or geared?


Peter,

Geared...which has become ridiculeous. They keep inventing new bench shirt and squat suits that increase you lifts.

Primarily, the bench shirts are the product that keep being reinvented. And the price on the bench shirts, squat suites and deadlift suits keep going up.

Ironically, no one has figured out a deadlift suit that will increase the deadlift more than about 10 lbs.

Quote:
Do you think banded lifting has a place in training for raw PLers, or for non-PLers looking to increase their athletic strength?


Absoluely. By attaching bands or chains to the bar you overload the muscles involve moreso throughout the entire range of the movement.

When you don't attach band or chain, you overload the movement only in 30% of the movement. That means 70% of the movmennt is underloaded.

Why not maximize your workouts by overloading all of the muslce goups in the movement. That was the premise behind the Nautilus Cam weight machines.

Quote:
Jim Wendler has recommended in the past that only geared PLers really benefit from banded resistance because for non-geared applications the strength curve is different (heavier at the bottom, lighter at the top). I've only ever done band benching once or twice, but I've used accommodating resistance (bands) for lots of other exercises.


Wendler's correct to a certain extent. My post have noted the differnce in the strength curves with no gear and with gear.

However, overloading the overload in a movement appears to elicit a prositive strength response in the cerntral nervous system. That is one of the primary theory as to why Complex Training is effective.

Complex Training involving a heavy movement followed by a speed or powr movement. Basically, you superset a heavy movement with a moderate to light movement.

The heavy loaded movement has been show to enable an athlete to perform their speed exercise with more speed and the power exercise with more power. I am sure there is a better way of saying that.

So, I believe that Wendler may not be completely correct in his assessment.

Also, your question above to me was in regard to "increasing athletic strength". I assumed you mean, increasing overall strength.

Quote:
Hmmm...this may inadvertently turn into an interview of Kenny Croxdale.


Like everyone hear, I enjoy exchanging information.

Kenny Croxdale


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