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dirtyd
12-02-2008, 08:30 PM
On my ME Bench days, when the weight gets within 5% of my max (i.e. 315), the bar comes down agonizingly slow. It just feels so damn heavy that I have to control it perfectly, especially to stay in the groove. I know this must be taking away from my power on the way up.

Does anyone have some good advice for this?

Painzer
12-02-2008, 08:38 PM
I do the same thing... Wish I could fix it.

Travis Bell
12-02-2008, 09:22 PM
Its mental. No tricks, no special techniques, just bring the bar down faster. I'm not trying to be smart, its just thats all there is to it.

Trust me, the faster you bring it down, the better its going to go up

BigTallOx
12-02-2008, 09:28 PM
LOL, I posted the EXACT same post maybe two months ago.

I agree with Travis. I've talked to several people I lift with about this, and to some degree it's something everybody struggles with. It's mental, a defense mechanism of your brain. I'm struggling with getting over it, but I must say that doing reverse bands have helped somewhat.

MPB
12-02-2008, 09:57 PM
Board presses have helped me tremendously. Once your body is used to handling heavier loads than your 1rm, your max attempt without boards will no longer feel that heavy.

Captain_Crunch
12-02-2008, 10:07 PM
I agree with Travis as well. I always brought max weights down super slow but when I started concentrating on lowering the bar faster while still holding the weight with my back my bench went up.

SELK
12-02-2008, 10:42 PM
i had this problem for quite a while. using my shirt more, as well as reverse bands and boards have all helped due to handling heavier weights every session.

dirtyd
12-02-2008, 11:34 PM
i had this problem for quite a while. using my shirt more, as well as reverse bands and boards have all helped due to handling heavier weights every session.

I dont want this to be something that keeps holding me back. Im gonna work on the mental aspect with some lighter weight (225-275) for speed. Definitely I will add in some board press or pin press as well to get acclimated to some serious weight.

Im gonna get some 65-75lb bands. My rig will have to be something like this for band press (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQvhSzV4sO4)
and for reverse band I can just use the top of the rack or put the pins up high.

What are the highest quality bands I can get for this?

Kenny Croxdale
12-03-2008, 05:57 AM
On my ME Bench days, when the weight gets within 5% of my max (i.e. 315), the bar comes down agonizingly slow. It just feels so damn heavy that I have to control it perfectly, especially to stay in the groove. I know this must be taking away from my power on the way up.

Does anyone have some good advice for this?

If you are benching without a Supershirt with heavy loads, you want to take the bar down slow. Allowing the bar to drop too fast increased the force you have to exert when coming off the chest to push the bar back up.

That meaning the bar weight is magnified beyond it true resting weight, when sitting in the rack.

Research examined elite and novice/intermediate bench pressers. Elite bench pressers lowered the bar much slower than the novice/intermediate lifters.

The data showed that elite bench pressers who lowered the bar slowly only had to exert 12% more force in reversing the downward (eccentric) to the upward (concentric) movement.

Novice/intemediate lifters in lowering the bar too fast, magnified the bar weight 49%.

Thus, in bench pressing 300 lbs, elite bencher had to exert 336 lbs of force (strength) vs novice/intermediate lifters who had to exert 447 lbs of force.

With that said, when benching without a Supershirt with maximum loads, you need to lower the bar slowly.

Kenny Croxdale

drew
12-03-2008, 06:39 AM
Pull your shoulders in and get your lats really tight. Make sure you are using your lats as a base to press from. Now bring the bar down fast. It's heavier, it should be easy to bring it down faster. As long as you keep tight then you should be able to control the weight. It really helps to have a training partner yelling at you to get it down.

Athos
12-03-2008, 06:50 AM
Great post Kenny, being shirted vs. unequipped has seemed to dictate my bar speed to an extent. I can bring it down fast while wearing a shirt, but raw, it just doesn't work the same for me. It was trial and error (mostly error) for me, I didn't know there was a study on it. I seem to remember JM Blakely saying something similar years ago. Appreciate the info.

EatMyWay2TheTop
12-03-2008, 08:25 AM
Its mental. No tricks, no special techniques, just bring the bar down faster. I'm not trying to be smart, its just thats all there is to it.

Trust me, the faster you bring it down, the better its going to go up


Even If Im far from being as strong as Travis I can tell you it made a world of difference for me to lower it quickly (44 pounds to be exact)
Try to practice speed with lower weights than give it another shot. Just make sure you're not lowering it slowly because its too heavy for you, some of my training partners do that and failure results everytime.

Kenny Croxdale
12-03-2008, 08:50 AM
Great post Kenny, being shirted vs. unequipped has seemed to dictate my bar speed to an extent. I can bring it down fast while wearing a shirt, but raw, it just doesn't work the same for me. It was trial and error (mostly error) for me, I didn't know there was a study on it. I seem to remember JM Blakely saying something similar years ago. Appreciate the info.

Bench Press More Now by Tom McLaughlin (former powerlifter and PhD in biomechanics) provides some great reseach on it.

Charles Poliuqin states that, "The best powerlifters in the world for the bench press have been found to lower the bar slower than their lesser-ranked colleagues. For a great analysis of bench press technique, read "Bench Press More, Now" from biomechanics expert Tom McLaughlin." https://www.t-nation.com/article/bodybuilding/question_of_strength_10&cr=

McLaughlin also presented information on it in a Powerlifting USA article years ago, "Speed Kills".

Think of it driving a car in which you hit a brick wall. Would you rather hit the brick wall going 60 mph or 30 mph?

Obviously, you'd rather hit it going 30 mph than 60 mph.

Eccentially, that is exactly what occurs if you lower the bar too fast, "raw" (no bench shirt). You hit the wall going 60 mph...or as the example of lowering 300 lbs noted in the previous post, loweing bar too fast created 447 lbs of force for novice lifters vs 336 lbs of force or elite lifters.

Which would you rather try and push back up in the bench press, 447 lbs or 336 lbs?

However, there are exceptions to the rules when it come to lowering (eccentric) the bar in the bench press in training. Which can make this confusing.

"Plyometric Bench Press Training For More Strength and Power" provides some guidelines on this. http://www.strengthcats.com/plyobenchpress.htm

Chris Thibaudeau (Strength Coach) touches on this in High Threshold Muscle Building. "How to take advantage of the eccentric portion of an exercise."/page 23.

Kenny Croxdale

Kenny Croxdale
12-03-2008, 09:02 AM
Even If Im far from being as strong as Travis I can tell you it made a world of difference for me to lower it quickly (44 pounds to be exact)
Try to practice speed with lower weights than give it another shot. Just make sure you're not lowering it slowly because its too heavy for you, some of my training partners do that and failure results everytime.

Yes, you want to lower a lighter weight quickly. Doing so is plyometric training in which you elicit the stretch reflex and developes it.

When lowering a maximum load in the bench press, "raw" (no Supershirt), you want to "ride the brakes" on the way down. This minimizes the reversal force you need to produce to drive weight back up.

However, once the bar is within a couple of inches from you chest with a maximal load, you allow the downward speed of the bar (eccentric) to accelerate. Doing so, preload the stretch reflex.

Thus, you get a "sling shot" effect coming off the chest.

Kenny Croxdale

Kenny Croxdale
12-03-2008, 09:06 AM
Great post Kenny, being shirted vs. unequipped has seemed to dictate my bar speed to an extent. I can bring it down fast while wearing a shirt, but raw, it just doesn't work the same for me. It was trial and error (mostly error) for me, I didn't know there was a study on it. I seem to remember JM Blakely saying something similar years ago. Appreciate the info.

Bench Press More Now by Tom McLaughlin (former powerlifter and PhD in biomechanics) provides some great reseach on it.

Charles Poliuqin states that, "The best powerlifters in the world for the bench press have been found to lower the bar slower than their lesser-ranked colleagues. For a great analysis of bench press technique, read "Bench Press More, Now" from biomechanics expert Tom McLaughlin." https://www.t-nation.com/article/bodybuilding/question_of_strength_10&cr=

McLaughlin also presented information on it in a Powerlifting USA article years ago, "Speed Kills".

Think of it driving a car in which you hit a brick wall. Would you rather hit the brick wall going 60 mph or 30 mph?

Obviously, you'd rather hit it going 30 mph than 60 mph.

Eccentially, that is exactly what occurs if you lower the bar too fast "raw" (no bench shirt). You hit the wall going 60 mph...or as the example of lowering 300 lbs noted in the previous post, loweing bar too fast created 447 lbs of force for novice lifters vs 336 lbs of force or elite lifters.

However, there are exceptions to the rules when it come to lowering (eccentric) the bar in the bench press in training. Which can make this confusing.

"Plyometric Bench Press Training For More Strength and Power" provides some guidelines on this. http://www.strengthcats.com/plyobenchpress.htm

Chris Thibaudeau (Strength Coach) touches on this in High Threshold Muscle Building. "How to take advantage of the eccentric portion of an exercise."/page 23.

Kenny Croxdale

drew
12-03-2008, 09:43 AM
Yes, you want to lower a lighter weight quickly. Doing so is plyometric training in which you elicit the stretch reflex and developes it.

When lowering a maximum load in the bench press, "raw" (no Supershirt), you want to "ride the brakes" on the way down. This minimizes the reversal force you need to produce to drive weight back up.

However, once the bar is within a couple of inches from you chest with a maximal load, you allow the downward speed of the bar (eccentric) to accelerate. Doing so, preload the stretch reflex.

Thus, you get a "sling shot" effect coming off the chest.

Kenny Croxdale

I don't buy it.

There's a difference between lowering the bar quickly and dropping the bar on your chest. If you are in control and lower the bar quickly, you exert less energy and should have an easier time driving the bar to lockout. It should be like loading a spring.

If you just drop the bar as fast as you can, then your percentages and science comes into play and you're just going to get stapled.

dirtyd
12-03-2008, 10:14 AM
Even If Im far from being as strong as Travis I can tell you it made a world of difference for me to lower it quickly (44 pounds to be exact)
Try to practice speed with lower weights than give it another shot. Just make sure you're not lowering it slowly because its too heavy for you, some of my training partners do that and failure results everytime.

I am getting the weight, but I can tell that a decent amount of energy is being wasted. I understand that it should come down somewhat slow, but my speed is ridiculous. Sometimes, in fact, I push the weight up faster than it comes down. Also, if I'm working on doubles or triples, the first rep will be terribly slow then the rest of the reps will be an acceptable speed.

Kenny Croxdale
12-03-2008, 10:49 AM
I don't buy it.

There's a difference between lowering the bar quickly and dropping the bar on your chest. If you are in control and lower the bar quickly, you exert less energy and should have an easier time driving the bar to lockout. It should be like loading a spring.

If you just drop the bar as fast as you can, then your percentages and science comes into play and you're just going to get stapled.

I realize that it is hard to buy what you don't understand it.

Let's address some of your statements in regard to a max effort bench press.

1) Research shows that very little energy is used in eccentric and isometric actions.

Adding to that, you eccentric strength level can be up to 40% greater than you concentric strength level. Thus, if the most you could push up were 300 lbs, that would mean you could lower 420 lbs.

That would mean in lower the bar in a max effort 300 lb bench press, you'd only be using approximately 70% of you max eccentric strength.

Anther way of looking at it would be how much energy would you use if you were to bench 70% of your 300 lb max bench pressfor one rep? Seventy percent of your max 300 lb bench press being 210 lbs.

2) If you lower a max load too quickly, you overload the spring, it breaks. That is what happens, so to speak, with the muscle spindles and Golgi Tendon Organ.

It is a reactive response meant to prevent mechanism. It is similar to the circuit breaker at your house.

Circuit breakers are programmed to shut the electricity off if an overload occurs. The same thing happens with the Golgi Tendon Organ.

Kenny Croxdale

Kenny Croxdale
12-03-2008, 10:57 AM
I am getting the weight, but I can tell that a decent amount of energy is being wasted. I understand that it should come down somewhat slow, but my speed is ridiculous. Sometimes, in fact, I push the weight up faster than it comes down. Also, if I'm working on doubles or triples, the first rep will be terribly slow then the rest of the reps will be an acceptable speed.

As I stated in a previous post, very little energy is used in an eccentric or isometric action compared to a concentric contraction.

However, if you feel that way, performing some eccentric only work will address your issue.

Pushing the weight up faster than it comes down in a maximum "raw" bench press, tell me you are utilizing the eccentric action correctly.

Kenny Croxdale

Travis Bell
12-03-2008, 11:07 AM
With that said, when benching without a Supershirt with maximum loads, you need to lower the bar slowly

No you don't. I bench 530lbs without my shirt (not sure why you call them supershirts) and I don't lower the bar slowly. I guess it depends on your definition of slow, but some of the stuff I've seen in the gym, guys are lowering it ridiculously slow.

In fact, I bring the bar down slower in my shirt in comparison to when I'm lifting raw

Kenny Croxdale
12-03-2008, 11:25 AM
No you don't. I bench 530lbs without my shirt (not sure why you call them supershirts) and I don't lower the bar slowly. I guess it depends on your definition of slow, but some of the stuff I've seen in the gym, guys are lowering it ridiculously slow.

In fact, I bring the bar down slower in my shirt in comparison to when I'm lifting raw

Travis,

Yes, you do need to lower the bar heavy when using not using a "Bench Shirt."

We could go with the data from McLaughlin in what he determined to be fast vs slow. If so, I can provided that information.

A good example of how to lower the bar slowly is Doug Young's bench press. This video of Young at the World's defines good eccentric bar speed is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlmS1porR7E

Some individuals, perhaps youself, are able to break the rules in the speed in which the bar is lowering in the bench press and squat.

Shane Hammon is one an example of individual who would drop like a rock in the squat with 1000 lbs and then get back up with it.

Kenny Croxdale

Travis Bell
12-03-2008, 11:53 AM
Kenny,

I tend to go with the study of What Works Better

Doug Young was a cool dude. I lower it faster than that without bouncing it off my chest.

It works very well and works better than lowering it slowly.

Travis Bell

drew
12-03-2008, 12:09 PM
Research has its place, but I still believe that lowering the bar fast is better than lowering it slowly. I know this from doing it. I want to hold the weight for the shortest time possible. The longer the weight is in my hands, the more opportunity I have to miss the lift.

I've never hit a PR by slowly lowering the bar. When I learned to lower the bar fast, I began making a lot of progress. This isn't individual, I've seen it work for many people. I have never seen anyone add weight to the bar by slowing down in any direction.

Kenny Croxdale
12-03-2008, 12:09 PM
Kenny,

I tend to go with the study of What Works Better


Travis,

I agree.

Kenny

Kenny Croxdale
12-03-2008, 12:27 PM
Research has its place, but I still believe that lowering the bar fast is better than lowering it slowly. I know this from doing it. I want to hold the weight for the shortest time possible. The longer the weight is in my hands, the more opportunity I have to miss the lift.

I've never hit a PR by slowly lowering the bar. When I learned to lower the bar fast, I began making a lot of progress. This isn't individual, I've seen it work for many people. I have never seen anyone add weight to the bar by slowing down in any direction.

Drew,

McLaughlin's research involved Mike Bridges, Bill Kazmaier, etc. Thus, the data is based on real lifers pushing world record poundage (empirical data).

McLaughlin then examined why elite lifters were able to bench so much more than novice/inermediate lfiters. This counters your, "I have never seen anyone add weight to the bar by slowing down in any direction."

I even provide a video clip of Doug Young's bench press as an real world example. Did you view it? If not, take a look.

As an engineer, you moreso than anyone else, realize that the laws of physics don't change. And the data clearly show that the impact force is magnified when you allow the bar to be lowered to quickly in a max effort, "raw" bench press.

So, the information I presented is based on empirical and scientific data.

If you have information that counter what I have presented, I would enjoy reading it.

Kenny Croxdale

Brad08
12-03-2008, 01:07 PM
And the data clearly show that the impact force is magnified when you allow the bar to be lowered to quickly in a max effort, "raw" bench press.



The "impact force" may be increased, but couldn't it be limited or perhaps cancelled out by an increased stretch reflex caused by the fast eccentric?

Painzer
12-03-2008, 01:07 PM
Pull your shoulders in and get your lats really tight. Make sure you are using your lats as a base to press from. Now bring the bar down fast. It's heavier, it should be easy to bring it down faster. As long as you keep tight then you should be able to control the weight. It really helps to have a training partner yelling at you to get it down.

Drew, I think one of my issues is that I can't get tight enough on my set up because of where the bar is racked. There are three levels where the bar can be racked. The top one is too high, I need a lift off even with lower weights because of my short arms, and the next level down seems too damn low... it's like half a bench press down... it's really hard to stay tight when your arms are fully extended and you're arching just to unrack the bar....

any suggestions?

Painzer
12-03-2008, 01:09 PM
Also, I just watched the video of Doug Young. My descent is about like his, or maybe even slower...

drew
12-03-2008, 01:22 PM
Drew, I think one of my issues is that I can't get tight enough on my set up because of where the bar is racked. There are three levels where the bar can be racked. The top one is too high, I need a lift off even with lower weights because of my short arms, and the next level down seems too damn low... it's like half a bench press down... it's really hard to stay tight when your arms are fully extended and you're arching just to unrack the bar....

any suggestions?

It's always going to be hard to keep your back tight and shoulders tucked if you don't have a lift-off. You should be getting a lift-off every time. If you can't do this, then you're going to limit the amount of weight you will be able to press.

thewicked
12-03-2008, 01:34 PM
Its mental. No tricks, no special techniques, just bring the bar down faster. I'm not trying to be smart, its just thats all there is to it.

Trust me, the faster you bring it down, the better its going to go up

agreed.. you've got to learn to "pull" the bar down and squeeze your back adn not "fight" i.e. push against the bar on teh way down to conserve energy. Squeeze those lats hard on the way down and you'll have plenty of control without wasting energy and explode up out of the hole once you get the touch. It does take some time.. but so does everything in this sport. Practice with reverse band pulldowns and light weights on DE days and you'll quickly see the progress.

Painzer
12-03-2008, 02:02 PM
It's always going to be hard to keep your back tight and shoulders tucked if you don't have a lift-off. You should be getting a lift-off every time. If you can't do this, then you're going to limit the amount of weight you will be able to press.

I always get a lift off... but even getting a grip on the bar my arms are almost fully extended and locked (with my shoulders forward) I can't even get my hands on the bar without throwing my shoulder blades forward...

dirtyd
12-03-2008, 04:22 PM
agreed.. you've got to learn to "pull" the bar down and squeeze your back adn not "fight" i.e. push against the bar on teh way down to conserve energy. Squeeze those lats hard on the way down and you'll have plenty of control without wasting energy and explode up out of the hole once you get the touch. It does take some time.. but so does everything in this sport. Practice with reverse band pulldowns and light weights on DE days and you'll quickly see the progress.

excellent. I can relate to "pushing" the bar on the way down. This is what my problem is. I understand to lower slow, but I'm definitely not ideal right now.

Where online can I get the best bands??

Buccos1
12-03-2008, 06:00 PM
I find the conflicting views on this very interesting and informative. I always bring the bar down slow when I get close to my max, but have been trying to speed the descent up recently after having read some of the previous threads about this. At the current time, I am still experimenting with my set up and tempo due to not having benched competively for very long.

Travis Bell
12-03-2008, 08:14 PM
Travis,

I agree.

Kenny

haha Kenny, you're an alright dude. Have a good one pal

drew
12-04-2008, 06:32 AM
I always get a lift off... but even getting a grip on the bar my arms are almost fully extended and locked (with my shoulders forward) I can't even get my hands on the bar without throwing my shoulder blades forward...

Start from the lower pins and get a good handoff. Make sure your elbows are locked when you take the bar, it will be hard to figure out.

Otherwise get a better bench. You could put a bench in the power rack and then adjust the rack to wherever you need it. It's funny because I'm 5'6" and I like the rack at the same height as pretty much everyone else I bench with. Another one of our guys is about the same height and weight as I am and he absolutely needs the rack much lower than I do.

Kenny Croxdale
12-04-2008, 07:44 AM
The "impact force" may be increased, but couldn't it be limited or perhaps cancelled out by an increased stretch reflex caused by the fast eccentric?

Brad,

Great point.

The eccentric movement, as you basically stated, preloads the stretch reflex. You want to use the right amount of force to load the stretch reflex.

If too little force is use, you don't get as much recoil as you should. If too much force is used, you get no recoil. The bar crashes down to you chest.

With 1RM (max benches), you do that by "riding the bakes" on as you lower the bar. However, in the last couple of inches you allow the eccentric speed to increase. Doing so, preload the stretch reflex.

Finding the right eccentric speed and when to allow the eccentric speed to increase in a 1RM bench press comes down to experimentation.

Doug Young (video in other post) was one of the master of bench pressing. Young's bench press was basically a "legal touch and go."

Young anticipated the "Press" signal, much like a sprinter anticipates the gun signal in a sprint.

Kenny Croxdale

notlef70
12-05-2008, 03:24 PM
Thanks. THis helps alot.

Pook600
12-06-2008, 09:38 PM
I learned that flexing my lats prior to lowering the weight and using those to act as the "brakes" enabled me to handle the 450+ weights much easier and allowed for the explosion off of the chest. Lowering too fast with the heavy weight just created that much more weight I had to press when you consider the effort of reversing the course of travel away from you.

KarstenDD
12-06-2008, 11:29 PM
Drew,

McLaughlin's research involved Mike Bridges, Bill Kazmaier, etc. Thus, the data is based on real lifers pushing world record poundage (empirical data).

McLaughlin then examined why elite lifters were able to bench so much more than novice/inermediate lfiters. This counters your, "I have never seen anyone add weight to the bar by slowing down in any direction."

I even provide a video clip of Doug Young's bench press as an real world example. Did you view it? If not, take a look.

As an engineer, you moreso than anyone else, realize that the laws of physics don't change. And the data clearly show that the impact force is magnified when you allow the bar to be lowered to quickly in a max effort, "raw" bench press.

So, the information I presented is based on empirical and scientific data.

If you have information that counter what I have presented, I would enjoy reading it.

Kenny Croxdale

I'll take this one Drew.

Kenny,
you are very well read. I'm sure all of the sources you give us are excellent. On the other hand, actions speak louder than words.

G7LjtMZRTZ0

EDIT: I would venture that this video is empirical evidence as well.

WillNoble
12-06-2008, 11:40 PM
Drew,

McLaughlin's research involved Mike Bridges, Bill Kazmaier, etc. Thus, the data is based on real lifers pushing world record poundage (empirical data).

McLaughlin then examined why elite lifters were able to bench so much more than novice/inermediate lfiters. This counters your, "I have never seen anyone add weight to the bar by slowing down in any direction."

I even provide a video clip of Doug Young's bench press as an real world example. Did you view it? If not, take a look.

As an engineer, you moreso than anyone else, realize that the laws of physics don't change. And the data clearly show that the impact force is magnified when you allow the bar to be lowered to quickly in a max effort, "raw" bench press.

So, the information I presented is based on empirical and scientific data.

If you have information that counter what I have presented, I would enjoy reading it.

Kenny Croxdale


Kenny, can I get a copy of that study please?

It would be appreciated...

Kenny Croxdale
12-07-2008, 06:08 AM
I'll take this one Drew.

Kenny,
you are very well read. I'm sure all of the sources you give us are excellent. On the other hand, actions speak louder than words.

G7LjtMZRTZ0

EDIT: I would venture that this video is empirical evidence as well.

Karsten,

The foundation of science is based numbers. The greater the number of subjects you have in study, the more accuracte you conclusion.

McLaughlin's research is based on large numbers of powerlifters such as Bridges, Kazmaier,etc over time.

You provide a "snap shot" of one individual. Making a judgement off one "snap shot" can lead the wrong conclusion.

It's like the aliens who come down to earth and see a basketball game. They then report back that playing basketball makes you tall and sitting in the bleachers make you short. So, a "snap shot" often does not give you the whole picture.

As I stated in a pevious post, there are exceptions to every rule. Shane Hamman was an exception to the rule in the squat. Hammon would drop like a rock and then rebound back up.

Ted Haridman, one of the great benchers of the late 1970s and early 1980s, benched much like the video in your post. Hardiman would drop the bar to his chest and drive it back up.

If you have any research on this, I would enjoy reading it. I am sure the rest of the group would, too.

Kenny Croxdale

Kenny Croxdale
12-07-2008, 06:42 AM
Kenny, can I get a copy of that study please?

It would be appreciated...

Will,

Bench Press Now is out of print. However, I have a data bank of information on strength training. I will email you that information at your WBB big email address in the next couple of days.

Until then, here is some additional information on eccentric bar speed in the squat. Just as in the bench press, the eccentric bar speed in a heqvy squat needs to be slow.

"The Last Word On Squats"
(Men's Fitness/Sept 1998/Jeff O'Connel)

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1608/is_n9_v14/ai_21099904
Mclaughlin article

McLaughlin isn't surprised; all the great squatters he's observed favor the slow, controlled descent used by Ray and Karwoski. "You want to lower the weight slowly, even during the first six inches of the descent," says McLaughlin. "Too many lifters start the squat very quickly and think they'll slow down halfway, but the momentum of the bar increases very quickly, and they end up effectively lifting more than the actual weight. The top lifters have velocity and acceleration patterns that are uniquely geared this way compared to beginners and intermediates."

An overlooked aspect of the squat is the transition between descent and ascent. "You don't want to bounce, but you don't want to stop, either," says McLaughlin. "You want a slight recoil - enough that the change in direction utilizes some of the energy transfer in your body."

As for the ascent, all three men use the same word to describe it: explosion. Where you avoided momentum on the way down, use it to your advantage on the way up. An explosive drive will provide enough impetus to help you finish the move.

Kenny Croxdale

vdizenzo
12-07-2008, 07:03 AM
I recommend trying things both ways and finding out what works best for you. Apply the SFW method.