T Nation

Ballistic Bench Press?


What do you say to the trainer at the commerical gym that says, "You are going to snap the cable on the smith machine!" When you have 65 lbs. on the bar and exploding? Honestly.


No one should be touching the smith machine.


If you lurk here enough you should have an idea of what the general community thinks about personal trainers.

The general consensus is that they are ill educated and often moronic, with some exceptions.

With that said, tell him to piss off.

The ballistic movement on the smith machine is the one where you throw the weight up and actually release your hands on the bar, and subsequently catch it right?

If so, then a smith machine is the only place one could accomplish that. The smith isn't completely worthless, you just shouldn't be doing everything on it.


I think a ballistic bench is one of the few exercises that should be done in the Smith machine. If you try to do that with a free bar and you miss that catch you're going to be in a world of hurt. As for what to say to the trainer...


They're great for incline pushups (height adjusted for those who can't perform a pushup). And great for recline pulls as well.

but yeah, good amount of money wasted


I agree that the ballistic bench is one of the few exercises where the smith machine comes in handy (and it's the only place where you can do it).

Just explain to the trainer what you are doing the exercise for and what the exercise does, and that the smith machine is the only place to do it.

Also let him know that it's an exercise that has been recommended by coaches who train Olympic athletes, and you're surprised he (the trainer) doesn't know about it.


Thanks for the response. Totally agree that the Smith Machine is the only place to do it. But, his (the trainer's point)was the stress put on the cable that they could snap.


I highly doubt the force anyone can put on the cables doing that exercise would be more than what the cables can take.

If it goes too far, you can talk to the owner and ask if it's okay to do those exercises (he/she might not agree with the trainer). If not, ask for that month's membership to be refunded and to cancel your membership with no early cancellation penalties.


Ballistic benching on smith machine??? Just go do some speed work 8 sets of 3 with 50-55% of your 1RM.


My relationship to the trainers at my gym is pretty good; they leave me alone :stuck_out_tongue:

Now that I think about it; I'm the only guy I've ever seen doing ballistic work at the gym. Get strange looks from the newbs but oh well.
Same when I do the OH squats :stuck_out_tongue:

Gotta love this site for the exercises that leave people scratching their heads LOL


Thanks for the responses. A little off topic but, it is great to make people scratch their heads.