The bench press is one of the most useful and also very popular exercises, and we can say it is one of the best exercises for building power and strength.
It targets your triceps, delts, lats and pecs and also improves the overall upper body strength while improving your overall growth.
The chest makes one of the most difficult body parts to build for many bodybuilders and that’s another reason why the bench press is the best exercise for building your pecs and improving your strength in every other muscle group.
The bench press should provide amazing results, since it’s not so hard to perform. All you need to do is lie flat and push the weight away from your body.
But the progress is not always visible and many bodybuilders are often stuck in the same place. So you need to know that in order to get the best results you need to do a bit more than lie down and lift.
Many studies conducted in the last decade say you induce greater muscle cell activities if you increase the intensity of the workout by using heavy weights. And recent research shows that if you increase the speed of a movement in a controlled way, you can gain great power and strength results.
Another recent research has shown that explosive bench pressing provides a 10% higher increase in strength compared to slower bench press.
And there is even more. Keep reading to find out 3 more reasons why high speed bench press helps you get the best results in a short time!
1. Speed up your bench press at the sticking point
The sticking point is the drop of speed of the bar when decreasing the force production and a biomechanical positon of the targeted muscles.
This unwanted event usually impedes your capability to finish the movement and negatively affects your performance, which is the reason why many programs include ways to minimize its effects, and of the best ones is increasing the speed of movement.
A research by Sakamoto has shown that subjects who did fast bench pressing had better and bigger muscle activity. These results show that increased speed of a movement decreases the negative effect of the sticking point.
2. Explosive chest exercises increase muscle activity
A lot of research has shown that explosive movements increase muscle strength through the stimulation of the post activation potentiation (PAP), i.e. through the increase the muscles are actually forcing a production which generates from the activation of the muscles.
A research by Wilcox has shown that the explosiveness of the bench press leads to an improved strength by activating PAP.
The study was conducted on two groups, one performed high speed pushups before doing the 1RM bench press, and the other group performed regular pushups. The results showed that the first group which performed the high speed pushups, increased the 1RM and the second group didn’t show any increase in power or strength.
3. Increase Fast-Twitch Fiber Levels
Muscle fibers can be fast or slow twitch, based on the rate at which they are contracting.
Fast – twitch fiber contract 4 times faster than the slow – twitch ones, these fibers have a bigger capacity to produce force. This makes them vital for increasing muscle growth and strength gain.
A while ago, studies have opposed to the idea that resistance exercises can make fibers go from slow to fast, but recent research has shown that specific methods and techniques can stimulate that kind of conversion.
A study by Liu et al. consisting of two groups, one performing regular speed bench press on the first day and high speed bench press the next workout, showed that the second workout has increased the fast twitch fiber for 15% and decreased the slow twitch fiber for 15%.