bouncing the bar off your chest

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drummaniac
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bouncing the bar off your chest

Post by drummaniac » Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:29 am

Ok so i here a lot of people say things about bouncing the bar off your chest while benching. I'm just wondering who here believes this? Also does anyone have any proof that the bar actually bounces?

The way i look at it is when i'm benching and i'm getting towards the end of my set i do let it hit my chest harder and my chest bumps in a little. Then once i feel it hit my chest i explode and push as hard as i can which might make it look like a bounce. But this is your bodys "built in self defense" if you want to call it that. your chest and rib cage does push in so that if heavy weight does hit it you don't die. While it does look like it bounces i really don't think it does. Basically i don't think its possible to bounce 205 lbs or so off your chest it would just crush you. Now i do avoid this as much as possible so i have control but to maybe get 1 or 2 more out i will do this if i have to.

So i'm just wondering what other peoples point of view might be on this?


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Stephen Johnson
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:56 am

I don't bounce the bar off my chest when I bench press. The possible benefits don't measure up well against the risks. Not having full control of a bar positioned over your viceral organs is serious stuff.

Ballistic or explosive training is best done with lighter weights at quicker speeds. EDIT: But regardless of the weight or speed, you should have control of the bar at all times.
Last edited by Stephen Johnson on Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by KPj » Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:25 am

I agree with Stephen.

I've trained with a Rugby player who benched like this, for some reason In my opinon it's cheating and potentially dangerous.

In powerlifting, you'll get dissqualified if you bounce off the chest. Some federations make you pause on the chest until your instructed to 'press'...

KPj

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Post by amivan » Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:02 am

Yeah, the chest bounce doesn't mean anything to me. At my college's gym I'll see scrawny kids that around 150 bouncing 225 off their chest a couple times and think they've accomplished something, meanwhile, I'm watching with my cellphone in my hand ready on the campus emergency #. You're not doing anything by bouncing it off your chest, not to mention that even if you're not using a weight heavy enough to cause any fx you can still strain/bruise your cartilage, and thats no fun, ask a fighter. Basically like everyone has said. Risks outweigh the "benefits".

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Post by drummaniac » Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:30 am

Ok maybe i didn't ask my question clearly enough. I'm not supporting doing this or telling anyone else to. I avoid it as much as possible the only time i may do it is if i go for that extra rep that maybe i shouldn't have.

All i was wondering is if you actually think the bar bounces off your chest. I can't imagine that much weight (like 150+) bouncing off anything really it would just stick and crush you. now it may add some momentum to help you lift it, but bounce? I don't know.


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Post by KPj » Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:56 am

It definitely bounces and gives you momentum. When I trained with the Rugby player I mentioned (a close friend), I benched the same way and it definitely helps. This was a couple of years ago, I would never do this now. It's like bouncing the bar off the floor when dead lifting, only, your bouncing it off your upper body.

Remember for each reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction - part of that 'reaction' is going to be absorbed through your chest (and may cause bruising), and part of it will be responsible for a slight bounce in the opposite direction, and also helped by your pushing strength.

I'm sure there is a weight that your upper body couldn't handle and it would just crush you, but the human body is surprisingly tough. When I benched with the rugby player, he was 'pulling' 250lbs onto his chest and bouncing it off and back up. I was doing it with 230lbs.

It's probably worth noting that I ended with a chronic shoulder injury shortly after that (largely from benching like an idiot). The rugby player actually done well for years after that, getting into a team that now pays him to play. He's in the off season now and injured with shoulder trouble...

KPj

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Re: bouncing the bar off your chest

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:17 am

Ok so i here a lot of people say things about bouncing the bar off your chest while benching. I'm just wondering who here believes this? Also does anyone have any proof that the bar actually bounces?


Yes, the bar can bounce, rebound off the chest, when you are benching.
Doing so evokes a different training effect. It evokes the stretch reflex.

Research show that by eliciting the stretch reflex, up to 18% more power can be developed.

Bouncing the bar off the chest in the bench press is similar to dipping down into a quater squat position before you jump. You drop down in the quater squat position quickly and BOUNCE out of the hole. By doing so, you will jump higher.

By training the bounce in a bench press, quater squat, etc, you more fully develop this reflex reaction.
The way i look at it is when i'm benching and i'm getting towards the end of my set i do let it hit my chest harder and my chest bumps in a little. Then once i feel it hit my chest i explode and push as hard as i can which might make it look like a bounce
.

It "looks like a bounce" because IT IS A BOUNCE. That is exactly what you want to do if your goal is to train the stretch reflex to train for power.
While it does look like it bounces i really don't think it does.
It is a BOUNCE.
Basically i don't think its possible to bounce 205 lbs or so off your chest it would just crush you.


People bouonce much more weight off their chest than 205, every day and have no problem.

The key is when to allow the weight to accelerate (drop) on the way down. With heavy loads, you need to ride the brakes when lowering the weight until an inch or two from you chest, then allow it to acclerate/drop.

The reason for controling heavy loads on the way down it to minimize the impart/reversal force needed to drive the weight back up.

The lighter the load, the higher you can allow it to accelerate/drop down from.

Now i do avoid this as much as possible so i have control but to maybe get 1 or 2 more out i will do this if i have to.

Again, if you want to develop the stretch reflex, it is mandaory that you perform the bench press with a bounce.

Developing the stretch reflex also carries over when performing the bench press with pause on the chest. As Dr Tom McLaughlin noted in his research book on the bench press (Bench Press More Now):

"Regarding training for the pause, it seems much safer to not use pauses extensively in bench press training. If done, the ability to store elastic energy will not be trained, and consequently it may end up that on a “shorter” pause in competition someday you’ll miss out on what could have possibly been a successful lift if “touch and go” style bench pressing was mainly done in training."

McLaughlin's reference was in ragard to powerlifters in competition who must pause the weight on the chest. However, it also applies to the rest of the training population.
So i'm just wondering what other peoples point of view might be on this?
Some "bounce" training is an effective training tool.

Kenny Croxdale
Last edited by Kenny Croxdale on Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:25 am

Stephen Johnson wrote:I don't bounce the bar off my chest when I bench press. The possible benefits don't measure up well against the risks. Not having full control of a bar positioned over your viceral organs is serious stuff.
Stephen there are some benefits to bouncing the bar off the chest in the bench press. People train the bench press with a bounce everyday in the gym with no problem.

As with everything there is a risk to beneift ratio. What one want to do is maximize the benefit while minimizing the rsik factor.
Ballistic or explosive training is best done with lighter weights at quicker speeds. EDIT: But regardless of the weight or speed, you should have control of the bar at all times.
Many lifters perform the bounce with heavy loads. As I noted in a previous post, to minimize the impact/reversal force (thus minimizing the risk), one need to ride the brake on the bar on the way down.

Doing so, drastically decreases the impact force. So, with a heavy load, the bar should be allowed to accelerate/drop, but only in the last 1-2 inches.

By allowing the bar to drop this 1-2 inches, the stretch reflex is called into play. It also, minimizes the impact force.

Kenny Croxdale

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Post by KPj » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:13 pm

Good info, as always Kenny. I had no idea that bouncing the bar off your chest could be a benefit.

I'm tempted to try it, as I am a good example of someone who needs work in that portion of the lift, but i am a little hesitant.

What I don't understand, is that I always thought that in order to get the benefits of the stretch reflex, there had to be tension in the muscles during the eccentric phase. If this is the case, wouldn't you lose tension by 'relaxing' the muscles at the point where you let the bar drop?

It seems to contradict the theory behind box squatting when you pause on the box, to lose benefits of the stretch reflex and rely purely on rate of force development.

Would that 'bounce' theory also apply to dead lifts i.e. bouncing the bar off the floor?

KPj

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:23 pm

It's like bouncing the bar off the floor when dead lifting, only, your bouncing it off your upper body.
There ars some benefits from boucing the bar off the floor in the deadlift, bench press and squat.

Hatfield address this in Power: A Scientific Approach

Page 39/Ballistic Training Techniques
Bounce Bench Presses: Lower the weight to within a few inches of your chest, then let it free-fall onto your chest and explode it upward again. Repeat for the required reps and sets (usually about 4-5 reps and 4-5 sets)

Bounce Squats: Follow precisely the same procedure as described above for bounce benches. However, much care must be taken not to free-fall into the rock-bottom position too severely, as your knees are fragile.

Bounce Deadlifts: Again, the same procedure is followed while performing deadlifts as used in benches and squats.

Tendon Jerks: Simply reach down and grab the bar, and without lifting it from the floor repeatedly jerk at it as if attempting to lift it.

The ballistic shock being absorbed by your connective tissue will, over time, induce new growth to the tendons, thereby making them thicker. Just be sure to use these techniques in moderation.
Remember for each reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction - part of that 'reaction' is going to be absorbed through your chest (and may cause bruising), and part of it will be responsible for a slight bounce in the opposite direction, and also helped by your pushing strength.
No bruising or problems will occur in bouncing the bar off one's chest in the bench press, as long as one performs it correctly.
the human body is surprisingly tough. When I benched with the rugby player, he was 'pulling' 250lbs onto his chest and bouncing it off and back up. I was doing it with 230lbs.

It's probably worth noting that I ended with a chronic shoulder injury shortly after that (largely from benching like an idiot).


The majority of injuries are cause by doing something stupid. I can attsst to that, as well.

However, the majority of individuals peform blame the exericse, something or someone else.
The rugby player actually done well for years after that, getting into a team that now pays him to play. He's in the off season now and injured with shoulder trouble...
The impact force in Rugy is much more devastating than bouncing 230-250 lbs off your chest in the bench press.

So, your friend's and perhaps your is due to injuries are more than likely cause by Rugby or Rugby certainly contributed to the problem. Let's make a impact force comparison.

Sports Science http://youtube.com/watch?v=W7tGY-VDx3o demonstrates that the impact force of a hit in Rugby is 1596 lbs of force.

The hit is delivered with the shoulder, with no equipment protection. Also, the hit is delivered with one shoulder...so, the force is absorbed more by one shoulder than both.

Research on the impact force by Dr Tom McLaughlin's research book, Bench Press More Now, shows that when one allows the bar to drop too quckly in a bench press, the force of the weight is magnified to to 149% more than the bar weight.

Thus, if you allowing the bar to drop too quickly with a 230 lbs bench press, that would produce 342.7 lbs of force.

If your friend allowed the bar in the bench press to drop too quickly, that would equate to a force of 372.5 lbs of force.

Thus, the there is NO comparison of the force developed of one repetition in the bench press vs one hit in Rugby.

The average number of hits in Rugby during a game are 18. Thus, 18 X 1596 lbs of impact force equals to 28,728 of force that a Ruby player is exposed to in a game. (Sports Science).

To experience that same amount of force (28,728) from performing a 250 lbe bench press with a bounce, your friend would need to perform appoximately 76 repetitions X 250 lbs in one workout.

You would have perform approximately 83 repetitions with 230 lbs during a workout to produce 28,728 pounds of force in one workout.

Interesting stuff.

kenny Croxdale

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Post by drummaniac » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:27 pm

Wow great info Kenny that really helped thanks a lot.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:10 pm

Kenny Croxdale wrote:Many lifters perform the bounce with heavy loads. As I noted in a previous post, to minimize the impact/reversal force (thus minimizing the risk), one need to ride the brake on the bar on the way down.

Doing so, drastically decreases the impact force. So, with a heavy load, the bar should be allowed to accelerate/drop, but only in the last 1-2 inches.

By allowing the bar to drop this 1-2 inches, the stretch reflex is called into play. It also, minimizes the impact force.
The moral of the story is that an experienced lifter can benefit from techniques that are potentially harmful to inexperienced lifters. No doubt that inexperienced lifters see this thread as a green light to continue bouncing the bar off their chests. Cool. Hopefully, they'll learn the technique correctly before they hurt themselves.

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Post by KPj » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:10 am

Kenny Croxdale wrote: So, your friend's and perhaps your is due to injuries are more than likely cause by Rugby or Rugby certainly contributed to the problem. Let's make a impact force comparison.
I think your right. The info you have provided, again, is very helpful and interesting.

Since I started learning about having a balanced program, which in the Rugby players case, would essentially bring the stress induced by rugby into consideration, I have tried to convince him that his typical body building approach (i.e. a Shoulder day) to training isn't exactly optimal.

I will definitely relay this info back to him.

Thanks

KPj

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:05 am

The moral of the story is that an experienced lifter can benefit from techniques that are potentially harmful to inexperienced lifters.
The moral to the story is that developing the stretch reflex is a beneficial method of developing power. It is necessary if one want to excel in the most sports.

The majority of individuals who start bench pressing perform some type of touch and go, bounce off the chest. Very few peform the bench press with a pause on the chest.

It's the same with the squat. Very few individuals perform "Pause Squats." The majority of individuals get some type of bounce.

The body is designed perform plyometric movement. Running, jumping, skipping, etc are all plyometric movements. Even walking utilizes the stretch reflex.
No doubt that inexperienced lifters see this thread as a green light to continue bouncing the bar off their chests. Cool. Hopefully, they'll learn the technique correctly before they hurt themselves.
Yes, it a GREEN light to bounce the bar in the bench pressing.

If you really want to save inexperienced individuals from harm, have them STOP running. Running creates impact forces that are 3-5 times one's body weight.

A 200 lb individual will experience 600-1000 lbs of force upon landing. That landing is on one leg and is absorbed in the legs and lower back.

There are potential risk with everything. The key is to maximize the benefits while minimizing the risk.

Kenny Croxdale

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Post by amivan » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:12 am

Kenny Croxdale wrote:
The moral of the story is that an experienced lifter can benefit from techniques that are potentially harmful to inexperienced lifters.
The moral to the story is that developing the stretch reflex is a beneficial method of developing power. It is necessary if one want to excel in the most sports.

The majority of individuals who start bench pressing perform some type of touch and go, bounce off the chest. Very few peform the bench press with a pause on the chest.

It's the same with the squat. Very few individuals perform "Pause Squats." The majority of individuals get some type of bounce.

The body is designed perform plyometric movement. Running, jumping, skipping, etc are all plyometric movements. Even walking utilizes the stretch reflex.

Kenny Croxdale
Medicine balls are a great way of developing that stretch reflex, I know athletes who have supplemented or totally substituted (but only for a short time) their workout regiment with medicine ball exercises and it works for them, when they go back to regular weight training they're a lot stronger. I'll try to find an article on this.


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