A Pressing Issue

Mar 18, 2011
A Pressing Issue

Get Out of your Bench Press Plateau

A Pressing Issue

The Bench Press is one of the most beneficial and of course one of  the most popular exercises that are used and performed in the gym. Because of its many benefits and popularity, many are all too familiar with the "Sticking point" that comes while pushing the bar back up from when you touch the chest during the down phase of the bench press.

Defining the Point

The Sticking point is due to the muscle becoming weaker as you descend downward. In the bench press like with many exercises as you let the barbell come downward the muscle (Pectoralis major) becomes stretched. When a muscle becomes stretched it is weaker than when the muscle is contracting. In the case of the bench press the downward phase is known as Eccentric motion. Once the barbell touches the chest and you press upward this is known as Concentric Motion. The last 6 inches of Eccentric Motion from the barbell touching the chest and the 6 inches pressing up are the when your pec's are at their weakest. This point is known as the "Sticking Point".

My Favorite

To push through this barrier there are many different methods that can be used. One in particular that is a personal favorite was published by Norwegian Researchers. To Maximize your strength in this particlar point of the bench press, take a power rack and place the safety bars at a level just about 1-3 inches from where your chest would be while lying on a bench. Place a barbell UNDER the safety racks while lying on the bench. Press the empty barbell up against the safety bars and keep pressing as hard as possible for 7-10 seconds.

Perform these types of isometric exercises for 3 sets BEFORE a regular scheduled program.


This same concept also can be used for other exercises such as a Military Press.

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