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There are plenty of strategies for increasing the amount of weight you can bench press. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine offers an easy to use tip for upping your bench by as much as 10% in just 3 weeks.
Researchers recruited 20 experienced lifters and had half the group bench at a rep rate they were comfortable using. The rest were told to push the bar up about as quickly as they could. This turned out to be an average of 80% to 100% of their maximal speed. Both groups trained twice a week for 3 weeks using a load equal to 85% of their one rep max. Those practicing fast lifts increased their maximum load by 10.2% while increasing their maximum rep speed by 2.2%.
True Strength Moment: This strategy represents a great way to change up a tired resistance training routine, and might help you develop greater power while upping your bench. Remember that the speed of the lift is only applied on the pushing part. You can take it a little slower and be more careful bringing the barbell back down to your chest.
If your regular workout time is a couple of hours after dinner, here’s a suggestion for your pre-workout meal that might help reduce the potentially damaging effects of free radicals. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests consuming watercress, the aquatic perennial member of the cabbage family of leafy green vegetables, can maximize the benefits of high-intensity exercise.
Researchers assigned healthy men in their early 20s to a demanding 8-week exercise program. Some ate 85 grams (equivalent to a small bag) of watercress 2 hours before training while other didn’t. Increased energy demand can unleash free radicals that have the potential to damage DNA, but the watercress protected these subjects allowing them to get the full benefit from each exercise session.
True Strength Moment: The antioxidant qualities of the oldest known green leafy vegetable are impressive. 85 grams provides 36 mg of vitamin C and 2712 IU of vitamin A. When eating a salad before training isn’t practical, consider ON’s Essential Amino Energy Chewables. A 3-piece serving dishes out 100 mg of vitamin C along with a strong cup of coffee’s worth of caffeinated energy. Check today’s Performance Blog for a muscle building alternative to heavy resistance low rep lifting.