T Nation

Hammer Strength Bench Presses

Hey guys, I’ve been lifting for some time now. The thing is, I use the hammer strength machines at the gym- I like to lift alone, so I don’t have a partner to spot me on free weights. My shoulder joints are blown to pieces it feels like from doing heavy bench when I was early on in high school (I’m 23 now), so I primarily do declines to build my chest on the hammer strength (declines make my shoulders comfortable). I found my 1-rep max to be 380. But it’s on the hammer strength. On the decline. For those of you guys who go from hammer to free, what can I expect my real bench to be? This is important to my ego, I guess, and also when I decide to go back to free weights. Let me know if you guys know anything to calculate the difference between the Hammer and free weights.

there is only one way to find out. use free weights. it will be much lower.

From my experiences (using much lower weight then you) when I switched back to free weights because of a shoulder injury, I did about 80-85% of the weight. So you looking at about 300-320 freeweight. Just an estimate. It definitely could be more or less.

As Mike and Pete said, there is no formula
that really gives an equivalence.

But, for the sake of interest rather than
exact prediction, you need to account
for two things: the “tare” weight of
the Hammer Strength machine, and the
leverage factor.

The tare weight is that weight, as measured
by pulling straight up on the loading arms,
of the unloaded machine. I’ve estimated
15 lb each side for the Hammer Strength Bench
that has you lying nearly flat, but never
actually measured it.

Second, you’d need to measure the distance
the handles move (a larger distance) vs.
the vertical distance the weights move.
Say this is a 2:1 ratio, and say that the
30 lb total tare weight is correct.

In that case, 380 lb of plates is 410 lb
of total weight, and if the leverage is
2:1, the work required is equivalent to
lifting 205.