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Thread: Plyometric Bench Press Training

  1. #1
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Plyometric Bench Press Training

    Originally posted at

    From: Mcsiff@a...
    Date: Wed Apr 24, 2002 7:06 am
    Subject: Plyometric Bench Press Training

    Kenny Croxdale:

    <<....there is a bench press article coming out in the May Powerlifting USA
    that will help you with your bench. The article is "Plyometric Bench Press
    Training for More Strength and Power".>>

    Mel Siff:

    <Note, when you read the above recommended article that true 'plyometric'
    ("shock method") bench pressing is not possible with anything but very small
    loads, because the coupling time between eccentric and concentric phases
    becomes too long with loads that are even as small as 25% of 1RM. >

    Kenny Croxdale:

    <<You are correct, smaller load needs to be used. Research in the article
    places the loading at 30% of 1RM.>>

    Mel Siff:

    *** Even then the range of joint action has to be very small and not at joint
    angles where torque production tends to be much lower (as in the so-called
    "sticking points"). This means that different loads have to be applied at
    different angles over different ranges of joint action.

    <Would you be able to quote extracts of that article for some analysis here? >

    Kenny Croxdale:

    ** Ebben, Blandard and Jensen's Quantification of Medicine Ball Vertical
    Impact Forces: Estimating Effective Training Loads. J Strength and
    Conditioning Res. 13 (3):271-274 1999, recommended medicine ball training
    loads of approximately 30% of 1RM for biomechanically comparable weight
    training exercises. The plyometric bench press in the May Powerlifing USA
    will go into how to calculate impact forces based on the Ebben, Blandard and
    Jensen's research.

    The plyometric bench press notes that the training percentages Simmons
    Westside Program uses are right on the money. Baker, Nance and Moore's "The
    Load that Maximizes The Average Power Output During Explosive Bench Press
    Throws In Highly Trained Athletes', J of Strength & Conditioning Research
    15(1):20-24, 2001 shows bench press training percentages are best kept
    between 46-62%, with 55% being the most effective.>

    *** It is invalid and often misleading to liken any exercises to one another
    on the simple basis of the peak forces or biomechanical factors being similar
    or equal, because the training effects of a given load depend to a major
    extent on the nature and pattern of neural and metabolic activation involved
    in each case. Just because a ballistic bench press produces the same force
    as a much slower 1RM bench press does not mean that it will have the same
    training effects or even be very effective in enhancing performance.

    In particular, it is grossly misleading to compare the non-ballistic training
    percentages used by Louie Simmons and Co with the forces produced under
    ballistic or plyometric conditions in which a load is dropped or propelled
    onto the lifter's hands. We carried out plyometric bench presses many years
    ago like that in the School of Mechanical Engineering at my former university
    using a specially made ballistic bench press device and that error was the
    very first one which we deliberately avoided in our research (see our machine
    on p219 of my "Supertraining" textbook).

    Equivalence of force in exercise methods A, B and C as measured by a force
    plate or any other biomechanical means does NOT that the training effects
    will be the same, because the neural and metabolic processes involved in each
    case may be very different. Quite frankly, it does not matter even if that
    sort of comparison was accepted in any scientific journals - all that means
    is that the reviewers were less than thorough and should have rejected those
    articles or insisted on a very careful revision of the scope and limitations
    of those studies. I know that this can be very disconcerting for any author
    who may rely on such references, but that is why one needs to consult as many
    painfully difficult colleagues as possible before one submits any article.
    Maybe those article indeed did stress the scope of their findings - if so,
    the authors did not validate their application taken out of context.

    Kenny Croxdale:

    <Training the bench press with these percentages will increase power output.
    However, there are some inherent problems in only using this training
    method. It only develops power in a very small range of motion. Plyometric
    bench press training will enhance one's power on the bench.

    Mel Siff:

    *** Any method of training, even HIT or limited range isometrics or
    quasi-isometrics, will enhance power in the bench press. What needs to be
    shown is that any given method offers a superior or comparable method of
    enhancing peak power, mean power and instantaneous power at crucial phases
    during the entire movement. Does "plyometric" bench pressing enhance all of
    these measures of power or is the measured increase in functional (movement
    specific) performance a result of the combination of several different forms
    of strength training, as was shown by the research of Verkhoshansky and
    others? (this issue is discussed at length in "Supertraining"). Unless we
    have compared volume- and intensity- matched bench pressing programs with and
    without "plyometric" methods, we are not entitled to conclude that plyometric
    bench pressing categorically offers any special benefits on its own compared
    with more conventional methods.

    Kenny Croxdale:

    <The plyometric bench press article that will be out in the May Powerlifting
    USA cites some additional studies and research. The article also looks at
    how Jay Schroeder (strength coach with Evo-Fit/Mesa, Arizona) has used this
    method...we look at the practical application of plyometric bench press

    Schroeder's claim to fame is his most impressive student, Adam Archuleta.
    Archuleta was a starter in his first year with the St Louis Rams.>

    Mel Siff:

    *** Unfortunately, in the world of football, we find similar claims being
    made for Superslow and HIT methods
    in producing several other top American footballers, so that this sort of
    testimonial is often of little consequence. This is why I will never
    dogmatically state that any specific training method is always superior to
    all other methods. The human body is notoriously uncooperative in reacting
    in exactly the same way to the same stimulus and what suits one at any given
    time and under certain conditions will not necessarily apply at other times
    and under different conditions.

    Note that, as someone who has used, researched and written for many years
    about ballistic ("plyometric") and explosive methods of training which the
    Schroeders and other coaches of the world are now beginning to apply, I am
    not implying that such methods are useless - all that I wish to stress in
    this critique is that coaches must not even begin to entertain the belief
    that so-called "plyometric" bench pressing on its own is going to magically
    enhance performance. It will not - it must be part of a whole training
    complex to have any value at all.

    I have written several articles during the past 18 months on this list on the
    use of ballistic, oscillating or bar-striking methods of training during the
    bench press and some other exercises, so there is plenty of material to
    stimulate the creativity of coaches among us in this respect. We have also
    discussed at some length the methods being used by Jay Schroeder, so do look
    in our archives for that information. For those who have access to my
    "Supertraining" book, you will find all the necessary theory and several
    practical methods for using "plyometric" methods of training in all sports,
    as Louie Simmons and Dave Tate often point out.

    While we are on the topic of anecdotal evidence, let us consider what the
    performances of Archuleta really means to other athletes. Archuleta may
    appear to produce a very respectable bench press via the use of such methods
    (and I would be delighted to bench as much as he!), most of the Westside lads
    make him look almost like a sheer beginner to powerlifting, yet they do not
    use "plyometric" bench presses in their routines. Maybe they would improve
    their performance with such methods, but I would be the last to suggest that
    they radically alter their current winning formula because a few footballers
    or other non-powerlifting athletes currently are benching more than some of
    their colleagues in the gym.

    So, for what it's worth, on the basis of competition and empirical evidence,
    the bench pressing routines being used by Westside Barbell undoubtedly
    produce far better results than the plyometric methods used by Schroeder et
    al. And we all know from experience that this observation is going to carry
    far more weight than any article extolling the bench pressing methods of a
    few competent footballers whose performances by no means outshine those of
    many other athletes and certainly no powerlifters of comparable bodymass.
    Interestingly enough, the methods being used by Simmons and Schroeder all
    rely on theory and methods presented in "Supertraining" - does the evidence
    imply that Simmons is using that selfsame information more effectively or is
    this just a coincidence?

    Dr Mel C Siff
    Denver, USA
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  2. #2
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Man, I miss Dr Siff.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Manveet's Avatar
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    "the bench pressing routines being used by Westside Barbell undoubtedly
    produce far better results than the plyometric methods used by Schroeder et

    Another good read.
    "It is often said, mainly by the "no-contests", that although there is no positive evidence for the existence of God, nor is there evidence against his existence. So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal's wager. But on second thought it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?"

    Richard Dawkins

    "Out of all of the sects in the world, we notice an uncanny coincidence: the overwhelming majority just happen to choose the one that their parents belong to. Not the sect that has the best evidence in its favour, the best miracles, the best moral code, the best cathedral, the best stained glass, the best music: when it comes to choosing from the smorgasbord of available religions, their potential virtues seem to count for nothing, compared to the matter of heredity. This is an unmistakable fact; nobody could seriously deny it. Yet people with full knowledge of the arbitrary nature of this heredity, somehow manage to go on believing in their religion, often with such fanaticism that they are prepared to murder people who follow a different one."

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  4. #4
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I would love to see how much improvement would be made using westside without a shirt. In other words, compare raw bench pressing power with a set of untrained identical triplets one using westside, one HIT, and one a moderate volume short of failure type of routine for a period of 3 months.

    I am curious.
    Last edited by chris mason; 07-01-2003 at 11:59 AM.

  5. #5
    Wannabebig Member
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    What about plyometric push-ups?

  6. #6
    Senior Member benchmonster's Avatar
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    Chris, that would be very interesting, but I know for certain that Patterson and Halbert are both over 500 RAW (no shirt).

    Anyone that knows some triplets holler at me, and we will start this scientific experiment.


  7. #7
    Wannabebig Member
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    numerous peoploe have gotten great results as raw benchers using wsb methods

    it isn't that much different for raw benchers, you just need more bottom work

    ive always used westside so i cant compare my results, but i wouldn't even really know where to look if i wanted to start another routine.

    what are some other popular routines for raw benchers?
    Last edited by john26; 07-02-2003 at 10:43 PM.

  8. #8
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    You might want to check out the book Designing Resistance Training Programs: 2nd Edition by Fleck and Kraemer. In their book they reference and describe several studies. Off the top of my head, I remember they compared in untrained individuals of similar fiber type etc. that those using multi-set protocol improved explosivity and vertical leap whilst those who used single or double-set failure protocol gained strength, and mass, but did not improve their force output. Don't quote me though, I am not sure that I am 100% correct, as I have only read the book in the bookstore (I'm not ready to drop 42.00 on it quite yet).

  9. #9
    Tearing **** Up FortifiedIron's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maki Riddington
    Man, I miss Dr Siff.


    As for plyometric Push ups, i personally like doing them better then plyo benching.

    Last edited by FortifiedIron; 07-04-2003 at 10:57 PM.


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