Bench Press or Incline Bench Press from Pins for Activation Means?

Hi Coach, hope all is well with you and the family. Can the Bench Press or Incline Press from pins be used for activation purposes? If so how many sets and what percentage of your 1RM or 3RM would you use?

If you use it for activation purpose I would recommend doing partials. Like 1/2 or 1/3 reps from pins. The overload will have two effects:

  1. Greater neurological activation
  2. Will make the “normal” sets feel lighter by contrast, giving you a psychological boost.

The key if you use it for activation purpose is to avoid fatigue which would hinder the benefits from the activation.

So I’d do it like this:

  1. Do your regular warm-up for the “normal” lift, right until you are about to start your heavy sets.

  2. Do 2-3 sets of ONE rep of partials from pins. I would use a weight that is 105-115% of your 1RM on the full range lift depending on the range you pick. Only do one rep but hold the lockout for 6 seconds.

  3. Rest 3-4 minutes

  4. Start your heavy sets