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Thread: What should i take for raw bench press speed work?

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    Senior Member Erik 23's Avatar
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    What should i take for raw bench press speed work?

    I read a lot of articles lately about speed work. some people say for the bench press you should use 60% of your raw max bench. i know you either use 50 55 or 60% which is better. also i read that a wide grip is best for speed work but when i go wide with the bands i get a lot of pain kind of in the joint between my shoulder and chest. oh also since bands place a lot of stress on tendons. would it be a good idea to do speed work down to like a one or 2 board to eliminate joint pain or damage? thanx for the help.

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    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    we rotate between 50, 55 and 60, but thats total weight including the band tension.

    we also don't use comp grip, we use index on the smooth, thumb length from the smooth and pinkie on the ring.

    We don't use boards, but if you find that bands are that hard on your joints, switch to chain for a couple weeks then come back to the bands


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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik 23 View Post
    I read a lot of articles lately about speed work. some people say for the bench press you should use 60% of your raw max bench. i know you either use 50 55 or 60% which is better. also i read that a wide grip is best for speed work but when i go wide with the bands i get a lot of pain kind of in the joint between my shoulder and chest. oh also since bands place a lot of stress on tendons. would it be a good idea to do speed work down to like a one or 2 board to eliminate joint pain or damage? thanx for the help.
    If your shoulders are hurting you, you can do speed floor press to take the pressure of your shoulders.

    IHN,

    Addison K.

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    Senior Member jtteg_x's Avatar
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    which bands are you using?
    i do 1 finger in more than normal/comp grip.
    if your feeling pain on speed days (light day), its best to avoid benching in general and get it taken care of. if its just the band tension thats getting you, go straight weight @50%.



    edit: also invest into some elbow sleeves. they help a lot for bench/triceps!
    Last edited by jtteg_x; 05-15-2008 at 02:43 AM.

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    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Most people do speed work way too heavy in humble opinion. When I trained speed bench years ago my joints would kill me. I eventually changed to Metal Militia training where there was no speed work. When I decided to chase down 600 without a shirt I went back to speed work. I used three grips from comp to middle finger on the ring to pinky on the ring. I originally started with 225. I found that the bar was not moving as fast as I wanted it to. So I brought it down to 185. After a week or two I did half the sets with 225. Each week I would try to bump the weight up on a few sets (however, make sure your muscles are warm before speed work, just jumping into speed work cold is brutal on the body). By the end of the cycle I was doing 365 for all sets. There were a few times when I made jumps and they did not feel as fast as they should so I would drop it back down to the previous weight. Let's just say I am not a huge fan of percentages. Listen to your body, the answers are not always in black and white. We all respond a little differently.

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    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtteg_x View Post


    edit: also invest into some elbow sleeves. they help a lot for bench/triceps!
    It is my experience and the opinion of many physical therapists that elbow sleeves will reduce the circulation to the area hence being counterproductive. I put heat on my elbows and then where the sleeves while doing my preworkout warm ups. Once my elbows and biceps are hot and sweaty I take them off to train.

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    Wannabebig Member David_HoffWSBB's Avatar
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    i use linement on my elbows before i bench sometimes that has helped me with elbow pain , just get good and warmed up

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    Senior Member Erik 23's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the Responses for speed day i use either a monster mini or a mini and i have george halberts bench tape and i thought he said to use like 60% so lets say if your max is 500 he says to times it by 60% so your speed work is around 300 lbs. But like you said Vince i think it is best to listen to your body cause i feel sometimes i dont move fast enough on speed day i mean the weights not important right? i mean i thought it was just how fast your moving. and the bands really kill my elbows so i have to wrap them just for speed. but in your guys opinion would it be counter productive if i benched down to a board or 2 board because the band tension snapping that much weight back at you seems to be very painful on the joins.I have about 45-50 lbs of chain also i need to buy some more maybe ill just use that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    It is my experience and the opinion of many physical therapists that elbow sleeves will reduce the circulation to the area hence being counterproductive. I put heat on my elbows and then where the sleeves while doing my preworkout warm ups. Once my elbows and biceps are hot and sweaty I take them off to train.
    how tight are the sleeves? the ones i use aren't very tight, so they wouldnt cut circulation, but just keep the elbows warm, since i have been using them i havent had any elbow pain from pressing.

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    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    Most people do speed work way too heavy in humble opinion. When I trained speed bench years ago my joints would kill me. I eventually changed to Metal Militia training where there was no speed work. When I decided to chase down 600 without a shirt I went back to speed work. I used three grips from comp to middle finger on the ring to pinky on the ring. I originally started with 225. I found that the bar was not moving as fast as I wanted it to. So I brought it down to 185. After a week or two I did half the sets with 225. Each week I would try to bump the weight up on a few sets (however, make sure your muscles are warm before speed work, just jumping into speed work cold is brutal on the body). By the end of the cycle I was doing 365 for all sets. There were a few times when I made jumps and they did not feel as fast as they should so I would drop it back down to the previous weight. Let's just say I am not a huge fan of percentages. Listen to your body, the answers are not always in black and white. We all respond a little differently.

    This is the best principle to focus on for DE work. Somtimes a person could be working with even 50% and not be moving it fast enough. I agree with Vin, most people do it too heavy because they don't "feel" the workout if they go lighter. they are missing the point of DE work.

    As for the elbows, I put liniment on them like Dave and then occasionally on ME days will wear elbow sleeves for the first couple sets


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    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokinHawk View Post
    how tight are the sleeves? the ones i use aren't very tight, so they wouldnt cut circulation, but just keep the elbows warm, since i have been using them i havent had any elbow pain from pressing.
    Are they neoprene becuase if they are and stay up by themselves then they are tight enough to cut off circulation. Try warming your elbows with a topical heat and the sleeves prior to training. After a few warm up sets try them without.

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    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik 23 View Post
    Thank you all for the Responses for speed day i use either a monster mini or a mini and i have george halberts bench tape and i thought he said to use like 60% so lets say if your max is 500 he says to times it by 60% so your speed work is around 300 lbs. But like you said Vince i think it is best to listen to your body cause i feel sometimes i dont move fast enough on speed day i mean the weights not important right? i mean i thought it was just how fast your moving. and the bands really kill my elbows so i have to wrap them just for speed. but in your guys opinion would it be counter productive if i benched down to a board or 2 board because the band tension snapping that much weight back at you seems to be very painful on the joins.I have about 45-50 lbs of chain also i need to buy some more maybe ill just use that.
    Lose the bands and chains for now. They are nice tools to have in your bag when you need to make a change or have hit a plateau, but they are not a necessity. The bands are most likely what are beating up your joints. Keep it full range.

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    What % people decide to use also generally depends on limb lengths.

    You'll see one guy in the gym who is doing reps and then BAM, fails. You'll see another guy in the gym who is doing reps and they begin to just barely get the press...but they'll do another one and grind it out. The 1st guy generally has long limbs...the 2nd, short limbs. This affects your speed benching.

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    THE FRIDGE! thewicked's Avatar
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    i wouldn't so much pick a percentage as i would pick a weight you can get up FAST!

    3 seconds total for 3 reps.. I mean BLOWING IT THE HELL UP!

    50% for me with bands was just too slow.. I was using 215 and wasn't making progress.. i dropped down to 135 and i'm seeing HUGE results!
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    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    often a mistake when people choose percentages is not adding in the weight of the bands or chain (if they use them)


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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    One other point, you could move your grip in a bit.

    I agree with Vinny, just skip them for now. There have been and are a lot of BIG benchers who have never done speed work.

    Chris


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    GreenG mickyjune26's Avatar
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    I have to admit that I tend to move up too quickly. [EDIT] - didn't see the post on how fast is fast.


    Anyone know how much weight Green bands strapped underneath the bench would add?
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    Senior Member Erik 23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    often a mistake when people choose percentages is not adding in the weight of the bands or chain (if they use them)
    Travis you say to add the weight of the chain or bands. i talked to louie simmons over the phone before and he said that for speed bench that you guys always use either a mini band or monster mini and i know a mini adds 90 lbs at the top and 40 in the bottom im not sure about the monsters. okay so like lets say my max bench is 500 lbs then for speed day lets say i use 60% which is 300lbs and i have 50 pounds of chain, then would i use 300 lbs of weight including the bar ?or is it. 300 lbs of weight and bar and includin chain or band which ever one i use chains or bands .?

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    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    you would use 250lbs on the bar and then add on the 50lbs of chain.

    I'd hazard a guess though that would be too much weight right now.

    The majority of our lifters do use minis and monster minis. Monster minis add 110lbs at the top if I'm not mistaken, but alot depends on how you have them set up.

    Several of us do rotate chain in there though as well


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    I dont have a raw full rom max...but i can do 600 or so ff a 2 brd. I use 230-250 + a mm(which for me adds 50#'s). I stretch a band from one end of the bar to the other..passing the band under the bench.

    If u max at 500..i would say that 250+ a mm or 50# chain is too heavy....thats what i use.

    a lot of people miss the idea of speed work IMO. Not only should speed work be done in the traditional manner(full rom with 60% weight), but also done with percentages in the 80%+ range off high brds raw. You have to feel heavier weight and move it fast also to get the full effect...its easy to mve light weight fast, but the whole idea is to mve heavy weight fast. Some people say I cheat and bounce off the brds...but I like to think I am pretty fast. ...I slam the **** out of the high brds to gain speed.

    to the other poster....1 green band stretched under the bench is 150#.

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    Senior Member Erik 23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    you would use 250lbs on the bar and then add on the 50lbs of chain.

    I'd hazard a guess though that would be too much weight right now.

    The majority of our lifters do use minis and monster minis. Monster minis add 110lbs at the top if I'm not mistaken, but alot depends on how you have them set up.

    Several of us do rotate chain in there though as well
    Okay travis thanx for explaining this to me so if i was to use a monster mini then if that's 110 then i would use 190 lbs of weight is that how it goes? do you think that is to heavy since i am just starting speedwork is that what you mean? what do you think maybe 225 or so to get accostumed to it?
    Oh also when i slam the weight down into my chest it feels like ima pull something in my shoulder tendon. but only with bands when using bands should you still slam it or is it okay to go slower on the way down.Thanx again For the advice

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    If you are a beginner listen to Vincent! Trust me he has been in the game for a long time and has given a lot of great advice over the years. And just to show his age I have picked his brain many times when I was just starting out and I have been in the sport for 15 years.

    Speed is about one thing speed. To many guys get caught up in moving more weight rather than concentrating on speed. I am just as guilty as the next guy.

    Bands and Chanins are good once you are more exsperienced but they will also beat you up quite a bit. Avoid them as much as possible while you are starting out.
    Last edited by Rob Luyando; 05-16-2008 at 07:26 AM.

  23. #23
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik 23 View Post
    Okay travis thanx for explaining this to me so if i was to use a monster mini then if that's 110 then i would use 190 lbs of weight is that how it goes? do you think that is to heavy since i am just starting speedwork is that what you mean? what do you think maybe 225 or so to get accostumed to it?
    Oh also when i slam the weight down into my chest it feels like ima pull something in my shoulder tendon. but only with bands when using bands should you still slam it or is it okay to go slower on the way down.Thanx again For the advice
    I really can't tell, best idea is to get some video of your speed benching and that would give a better idea


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    Senior Member Erik 23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Luyando View Post
    If you are a beginner listen to Vincent! Trust me he has been in the game for a long time and has given a lot of great advice over the years. And just to show his age I have picked his brain many times when I was just starting out and I have been in the sport for 15 years.

    Speed is about one thing speed. To many guys get caught up in moving more weight rather than concentrating on speed. I am just as guilty as the next guy.

    Bands and Chanins are good once you are more exsperienced but they will also beat you up quite a bit. Avoid them as much as possible while you are starting out.
    Thanx for the reply rob you are right the bands and chains do beat you up i really am just starting to use them and now i have all of this pain on the inside of my elbows i think primarily from the bands and i use the minis for benching, doubled at each end so i dont think im using to much band tension.Oh and thanx for the advice Vince i read about your goal to 600 lbs raw bench and that was and incredible feet in itself i think i will try what you are saying and dont even use the bands or chains for a while just to get accostumed to speed benching. I appreciate all the advice you guys gave me you and rob are living legends of the game.

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    we usually do a mix of things, usually either chains, doubled bands, or hanging kettlebells, we also do alot of speed singles.

    for example, today i used 95 lbs of bar weight with doubled light bands, thats around 185 pounds. i did 12 sets of speed singles with different grips. almost the same thing would be 135 and 50 lbs of chain weight, this is for someone using around 185 total weight (my raw bench is 380ish)

    tough to explain, sorry man.
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