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The Effects of Combined Elastic- and Free-Weight Tension vs. Free-Weight Tension on One-Repetition Maximum Strength in the Bench Press

Bellar, David M1; Muller, Matthew D2; Barkley, Jacob E2; Kim, Chul-Ho2; Ida, Keisuke2; Ryan, Edward J2; Bliss, Mathew V2; Glickman, Ellen L2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c1f8b6
Original Research
Abstract

Bellar, DM, Muller, MD, Barkley, JE, Kim, C-H, Ida, K, Ryan, EJ, Bliss, MV, and Glickman, EL. The effects of combined elastic- and free-weight tension vs. free-weight tension on one-repetition maximum strength in the bench press J Strength Cond Res 25(2): 459-463, 2011-The present study investigated the effects of training combining elastic tension, free weights, and the bench press. Eleven college-aged men (untrained) in the bench press participated in the 13-week study. The participants were first given instructions and then practiced the bench press, followed by a one-repetition maximum (1RM) test of baseline strength. Subjects were then trained in the bench press for 3 weeks to allow for the beginning of neural adaptation. After another 1RM test, participants were assigned to 1 of 2 conditions for the next 3 weeks of training: 85% Free-Weight Tension, 15% Elastic Tension (BAND), or 100% Free-Weight Tension (STAND). After 3 weeks of training and a third 1RM max test, participants switched treatments, under which they completed the final 3 weeks of training and the fourth 1RM test. Analysis via analysis of covariance revealed a significant (p ≤ 0.05) main effect for time and interaction effect for Treatment (BAND vs. STAND). Subsequent analysis via paired-samples t-test revealed the BAND condition was significantly better (p = 0.05) at producing raw gains in 1RM strength. (BAND 9.95 ± 3.7 kg vs. STAND 7.56 ± 2.8 kg). These results suggest that the addition of elastic tension to the bench press may be an effective method of increasing strength.

Author Information

1Department of Kinesiology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana; and 2School of Exercise, Leisure, and Sport, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Address correspondence to Dr. David Bellar, davidbellar@mac.com.

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association