Power Output - Bench Press

    • Weightroom

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    If anyone has problems with the registration process or activation after the registration, please use "The Ring" chat function or use our contact form (check link on the bottom left).

    Throwholics gently suggests folks use their real name rather than an anonymous handle. People like to know who they're talking to. But either works. Also, you can use spaces for your username.

    • Power Output - Bench Press

      This is an offshoot of the thread "Do you have to bench 200 kg to throw 20 meters? "
      @ShaunPickering made some great points:

      ShaunP wrote:

      ... In general a useful rule of thumb is the highest load you can move 5 reps in 6 seconds is a pretty good indicator of power, and this holds true for bench and squats. Olympic lifts you are pretty much performing at hight power any way if you are performing them right. I did change more towards hang snatch as my main source of power as this generated highest relative outputs, and then hang cleans.

      The other over-riding principle that came out of this is to always have the intent to move the bar as fast as possible in all lifts and all sets. This way you will develop fast twitch fibres at all stages of the programme. This has been applied with great effect by Vesteinn Hafsteinsson and his athletes over the past 6-8 years, and you can see the examples of this in the lifting films on the Global Throwing website. Kim Christensen performing 215kg x 6 reps fast in Bench is very impressive. Vesteinn does not use the machine, only the principles that he has got from my use of the machine, and this has been the biggest change in his training methods in recent years.I hope this helps with this discussion. It is not about how much you Bench but in how you do it as Speed is King here always. If you want to throw 20m you have to have a release speed approaching 13m/s so this is the most important factor. It is much more important to have people move reasonable loads fast (peak of power curve for Bench Press is around 50% 1RM) than just a big slow maximum bench. As Dr Bondarchuk notes in his book, the correlation between 1RM Bench Press and max distance thrown in Shot Putt is 0.39 so you should not spend a great deal of time worrying about it. Once you have reasonable strength levels you can throw far.
      @ShaunP
    • So I tested my better throwers today. We took 50% or single rep max and timed 6 reps.

      VIDEO - POWER OUTPUT
      THROWER 1
      6' 1 240 lbs. Senior 18.00 Shot ( 59' 10 ) 340 Bench ( 155 kg )
      5 reps with 170 = 4.60 sec.

      THROWER 2
      6' 2 235 lbs. Freshman 17.15 ( 56' 3 ) 315 Bench ( 145 kg )
      5 reps with 157.5 = 4.78

      THROWER 3
      6' 1 215 lbs. Senior 16.25 ( 53' 4 ) 290 Bench ( 132.5 kg )
      5 reps with 145 = 4.19

      THROWER 4 6' 260 lbs. Sophomore 13.75 ( 45' )290 Bench ( 132.5 kg )
      5 reps with 145 = 3.95

      Observations and Questions:
      - The weakest thrower had the fastest time ( probably greatest power output since their max is
      not that far apart ) so obviously many other factors are involved in their distance.
      - Their arm speed is still slower appearing to me than a throw so should I go to 40% ?
      - I know a lot of elite throwers do a pad bench bouncing the bar off a thick pad. Is this how the
      measurement is usually made?
      - The value I see at this point is in using this number as a base to compare. We are 4 weeks into a six week cycle. We will go into Realization phase soon ( if I'm using the term correctly ). AT
      week six their output should be improved. If not something is wrong and I'll have t figre out
      what.
      I welcome any comments. I want to know more about utilizing this.
    • As @ShaunP said: 'the highest load you can move 5 reps in 6 seconds is a pretty good indicator of power'. Nothing more as an good indicator of power if you measure with a stop watch. Without a device who measures speed and distance you cannot say a lot about the power output.

      The bar didn't travel the same distance. One thrower has shorter arms as the other one. I've seen your freshmen the other day, probably he has the longest arm span of your throwers. So comparing times with different throwers doesn't say alot. That they stayed in 'the 6 seconds rule', says they produced a good amount of power today. Which is good.
      You can use the times individually. See if they improve the next couple of weeks. Stick to the same weight with that. I see you used around 50% of their 1RM. That is a good weight.
    • Coach @Bill Pendleton , @Rutger Smith is correct in the fact that arm length and therefore distance travelled plays an important role in Power output. Remember Power is Work (Force x Distance) divided by time taken to perform the movement.
      What I said in my previous post was that training with the highest load with which you can achieve 5 reps in 6 seconds is a good way of training for power, which is not what you did with your athletes, as they were all inside the six seconds comfortably. Again this is a method of training that applies similar principles to the MuscleLab.
      What you did with your athletes was take the 50% 1RM value as a training load, which is approximately what an athlete will find their peak power output in the Bench Press, although this could vary from 40-60% depending on their particular characteristics, which is why we used the machine to measure to determine the "optimum" load. This is then the best load to train with in order to develop power and to move the Force/Power curve to the right.
      This is also a training methodology, and so you would need to train like this and see what results come after a certain period of training. Typically we would do as many reps as you could while maintaining speed, as when you drop below 90% max power you are no longer developing fast twitch.
      I might combine these two methods and train your athletes at this 50% 1RM for a while, but do not set the Reps, but rather look for the speed to drop and quit at that point. For some this may be 4 reps and other 7 reps. Then I would look at the other "test" methodology after say a 4 week period of this training and then look for the highest load that the athlete could complete 5 reps in 6 seconds, and see if this load moves up significantly as I think it will.
      Interestingly 1RM also seems to improve significantly with this type of training because you have developed the ability to accelerate a load, so you are able to overcome the dead weight of a 1RM easier.
      The most important thing however is to see how the throwing distance responds to this type of training.
    • Since we are talking about the bench press I have a question. When I was throwing in college, there were 2 of us at similar strength levels. I was a 1-5 rep max athlete. The other thrower was a 10 rep max athlete, so his best max out was at 10 reps. I grew up lifting low reps and high weight. The other thrower did higher reps lower weight. My questions is how do you measure tendon strength in an athlete or is there a difference? I always assumed, do to using heavy weights alot, my tendons may have been able to handle the heavier weights. I benched 465 lbs. at my best, but I could drive 500 within 4 inches of lockout but couldn't get it.
    • As I try and digest @ShaunP's most valuable commentary, I have a question for the meantime. I know I have seen throwers training with a pad on the chest. I assumed this was to get a very dynamic bounce with great weight. Anyone who has done this, please tell us about it.

      Shaun, my background was power lifting and Olympic lifting and I have cycled throwers though progressive resistance down to a peak as if they were attempting single rep lifting maxes. In general it worked pretty well. I’ve had several peak at the optimum time ( Mark Parlin threw a lifetime shot pr at the high school national championship ( Keebler ) and my son threw a lifetime discus pr at the state championships, but I know that a lot of variables are involved and that the weight training we were doing wasn’t necessarily a case of cause/effect. I want to understand your post, so if you don’t mind, please answer my questions so I can tell if I am on the right track. Here is your post with my questions.

      Coach P, Rutger is correct in the fact that arm length and therefore distance travelled plays an important role in Power output. Remember Power is Work (Force x Distance) divided by time taken to perform the movement.What I said in my previous post was that training with the highest load with which you can achieve 5 reps in 6 seconds is a good way of training for power, which is not what you did with your athletes, as they were all inside the six seconds comfortably.

      ( So it would be preferable if we found what the highest percentage they could hit 5 reps in 6 seconds with ?)

      Again this is a method of training that applies similar principles to the MuscleLab. What you did with your athletes was take the 50% 1RM value as a training load, which is approximately what an athlete will find their peak power output in the Bench Press, although this could vary from 40-60% depending on their particular characteristics, which is why we used the machine to measure to determine the "optimum" load. This is then the best load to train with in order to develop power and to move the Force/Power curve to the right.

      ( So the percentage would vary with the longer armed thrower using a lighter percentage but probably generating equivalent power because he is traveling a greater distance )
      Would you be doing this only during the Realization phase ( last few weeks before
      a meet you wanted to peak at ) or an entire 6 or so week cycle?


      This is also a training methodology, and so you would need to train like this and see what results come after a certain period of training. Typically we would do as many reps as you could while maintaining speed, as when you drop below 90% max power you are no longer developing fast twitch.

      ( Would this 90% be judged by the 6 seconds time limit? )

      I might combine these two methods and train your athletes at this 50% 1RM for a while, but do not set the Reps, but rather look for the speed to drop and quit at that point.

      ( How many sets of this would you suggest ? I assume when their 50% required over 6 seconds their speed has dropped.
      What do you think about this assuming they can do 5 reps at 60% at 6 seconds:
      60% 5 reps at/under 6 seconds x 2
      55% 5 reps at/under 6 seconds x 2
      50% 5 reps at/under 6 seconds x 2
      Or
      55% 5 reps at/under 6 seconds 5 or 6 sets.


      For some this may be 4 reps and other 7 reps. Then I would look at the other "test" methodology after say a 4 week period of this training

      ( What is the other “test methodology ? )

      and then look for the highest load that the athlete could complete 5 reps in 6 seconds, and see if this load moves up significantly as I think it will.Interestingly 1RM also seems to improve significantly with this type of training because you have developed the ability to accelerate a load, so you are able to overcome the dead weight of a 1RM easier.

      ( This makes me wonder if any Olympic lifters have tried training this way but since they aren’t trying to move a static weight faster like a shot but lift a greater weight it might not apply )

      The most important thing however is to see how the throwing distance responds to this type of training.

      ( I know Olympic lifting is inherently more fast twitch oriented and explosive than bench, but squats are also slower so have you trained squat the same way ? )

      Thanks and I appreciate you sharing your expertise.
    • Wow, if this were over-thought anymore, I think we just may have a group aneurism. :cursing: So, Bill, what's your vO2 max in a vacuum decelerating at the standard rate of gravitation?
      I'm 6'3", my wingspan is 6'9", flat barbell bench is ~565lb max effort, my optimum release angle is 37deg, let's dice that up...I'll bet the speed of my first few reps of my 8x495 aren't even close to my hand speed of a 21m throw and those reps are considerably faster than your 5reps in 6sec. Biometric analysis, although very revealing, is so multifactorial it's misleading, Bill. Kudos, though, a noble effort.

      Coach, you can't derive an equation and, thus, build the best program for your kids. The good news is that you can still build ONE of the best programs for them. It'd be nice, but it just doesn't work that way. It's piles and piles of WORK. And it has to be force-fed...and forced to be loved. Although I don't necessarily recommend the latter, I'm quite sure people serve prison time for that. =O

      Personally, I'm lucky enough to have 24hrs/day to myself to live and breath the shot put. Oh, and that goofy question... you wouldn't have one, none of that happens in a vacuum, not that anyone really cares...unless they're in that vacuum
    • Update Last week 3 of my throwers were on a Realization phase week of Close Grip Snatch, Hang Clean to immediate jerk, squat and double jumps and speed bench we discussed. Two of the 3 had season prs in the shot last week. Also oddly enough because these guys are also football players today we started in the weight room and got a single rep max in the bench, then went out and threw and then came back in to do the Realization week work. All 3 guys got bench maxes ( 405, 350, and 300 ) after doing a week of 5 sets of 5 speed bench. ( 5 reps under 6 seconds ) Generally about 2 sets at 50 %, 2 at 55% and one at 60%.
    • Great feedback, Bill. Impressive, you have a senior flat benching 405? Impressive, If I recall my heaviest HS BP was only 375, although my 1rep max calc (from a triple) is currently 565. Back then I wish I had a coach to tell me to angle the elbows(bench), pinch my scaps(bench), and go past parallel(ass-to-the-grass squats). important thing is that they learn form properly so when the weights get heavy they aren't straining backs/collapsing wrists/feeling the 'rotator cuff pinch' during execution. Good to hear they have someone really cares about their attaining maximum performance and staying healthy in doing so.

      Have you tried utilizing a standing push-press? In my opinion, it's the closest 'quasi-olympic lift' that mimics a standing shot throw. It's explosive, requires balance and stabilization, and involves the entire body as a compound movement, very much like the clean-and-jerk, although different. After warming up for 3sets(priming the CNS), I knock out 5sets of 3, then a much lighter burnout set. Give it a try, you may be surprised. Just make sure they're cognizant of their head movement, they probably want to keep those pearly whites : )
    • The kid that does 405 is a high school junior. We have had 10 kids do 400 - 420 in the past 38 years but 375 is still a big time bench. Unfortunately that kid throws 43 because he is slow. If you saw him clean 285 with horrible technique you'd know why. We do the Neider press ( standing push press ) and the other throwing related work on the page below before school.
      Bondarchuk-SDE-Work

      I did a little powerlifting and have a couple certifications in olympic lifting so we spend a lot of time on technique. Most have good technique but some will always clean/squat/bench like no one worked with them. I post videos every max week at the end of the cycle. We had a 302, 286, and a couple 250 cleans I posted yesterday. If you're on FB search for my name and you'll see them. My senior 60' thrower benches 350, cleans 355, snatches 250, and full squats 522.
    • I agree, Bill, I too put speed well ahead of strength in my drills...hit the positions with maximum efficiency yet don't sacrifice the power positions; it's that old cliche of maintaining that delicate balance for maximum output.

      Have you tried the Keiser hydrolic strength machines? They're akin to the old Leapers back in the 80s (great for all sports involving explosive leg work and improving core stability) only they utilize pressurized hydrolic chambers for their resistance. The neat thing about these guys is they can be built with a secondary chamber (custom built) that the users partner can add or take away 10/20/30/40/50 of resistance from rep to rep. The advantage is if you have an athlete who benches 440, he can do his triple at 400, then immediately go down to 350 for some reps, in the same set, without missing a beat. The advantage of this is that strength can and WILL be built in a shorter timeframe than the old method, I've seen it work, tried them myself for a month at a university athletic facility, I saw gains of 30lb in one month on my BB flat bench, and 65lb on my raw ass-to-the-grass squat. And that was during a maintenance phase(was focussing more on speed and technique)!! They work.

      Also, if they're the (once again, custom built) machines with the freely rotating olympic grip bar, in my opinion, the range of motion perfectly mimics that of any lift your athletes perform(still get the proprioceptor-stabilizing benefit of the free weights).

      Now I wouldn't recommend moving out the old stuff(that's our foundation), but these could be a great addition to your program's facilities. The downside is they come with a pretty hefty price tag and have to be maintained about every week(nothing's easy, I know). They don't even offer these on the open market, they're built (for the most part)specifically for ncaa and professional facilities, so you have to call the reps directly. They have a website Keiser.com, check it out. But the best machines I've used are those with the aforementioned specs.

      Just a note: make sure you and the athletes are well-versed on their operation. We're talking several hundred pounds of pressure compressed into small hydrolic chambers, haven't seen it happen, but I hear they can 'misfire' lol...don't run that compressor too long.

      Catch ya later, Bill
    • It sounds awesome once you added the information about stabilization. I always tell them the most important lifts are the ones you could fall down doing because they require stabilization and athleticism. But you're way above my pay grade. I was happy the head coach spent money on getting us more variable weight shots and discs. We have a very good weight room in terms of standard equipment but nothing that technologically advanced. We're somewhere between Rocky walking up snow covered hills with logs on our back and you. Where do you coach at?
    • Aghh, was only coaching for a few weeks,Bill; have been having some legal issues that have dominated the last year-and-a-half. Received some lovely false allegations and had my civil rights violated, after beating the state once in court, now I've gotta do it again in a civil action to shut them up(make a pretty chunk 'o change too). People love picking on the big guy.

      I actually only recently bounced back into competition after a 10yr layoff(primarily due to the8yrs active duty I did for the ARMY, I'm 33) and hit 20.93m after my first 6months back as an unattached thrower, that was in Dec. But I only took 2 throws, also threw under a pseudonym bc I don't want ppl to know who I am til I decide to pop the cork : ) Probably looking to pick up an open comp later this spring just for a reality check. If I'm consistently 21m+, I'm going for it all, publicity, sponsorship, the whole 9. But I'll see where things stand. Believe it or not there are people at this level with personal issues so extensive that this crap-ola happens. And there's always someone to answer to.

      And yes, I agree, the old way is the best way. Nothin' wrong w Rocky...guts is where it starts. Hell, in ranger school our weightroom was a sandpit with a king's ransom of bags to be filled, hauled, thrown, emptied, filled again; hell, I'm still chafed : ) The High School was Ithaca in upstate NY, graduated from there. Interesting tidbit: got cheated senior year at states, threw a 59'8-1/2" at the state final, was called a foul, later dubbed a 'shoestring foul'... My SHOESTRING touched the top of the toeboard. The blue-shirts(usatf officials) had to look up the rule, but it was too late...the other kids already had their medals and the meet was already scored. Would've won that year, coach didn't contest it, it was his school/conference record I would've broken. But then again, he's a convicted felon that they're allowing to work with kids, so, ya go figure... I actually confronted him about it earlier that year bc he'd lie to other staff and teachers...I told him I knew who he was and what he did and what I thought of him. He just laughed at me; what a chump. This is one reason I say I blamed bad coaching or simply the lack thereof for my mediocre/sub-par performance in HS.

      Coulda' been more back then, but I'm on the verge of something much bigger now. And that, sir, is gonna be a banner day. Thanks Bill, talk to ya soon.