this has been a problem for some time, so I am reaching out for some help...
During the eccentric portion of the bench press, I am lowering the bar too slowly, and losing a lot of energy on the descent. I am trying to bring it down faster but I feel like I can't. It is worse on the first rep, but then gets somewhat better.
I thought that perhaps adding a set of negatives will help me.. what do you think? Has anyone experienced this? What would help?
I only have this problem on pressing movements and only when I'm up around 95% of my 1 RM or trying to break my previous 1 RM. I think mine is a mental block.
A few things that have helped me:
1.) Squeezing the bar absolutely as hard as I can. 2.) When I'm warming up, I make sure not to over-emphasize the negative portion. Personally I've found than when I warm up using pause-reps / slow-negative reps, etc -- then it carries over and I find myself trying to do the same thing with my working sets. 3.) Turning up the music and trying not to think about how much weight is on the bar.
Personally I don't think negatives will help the issue, I think it will actually make it worse.
How is your bicep/lat/upper back strength doing? Those muscles have a big play in controlling the bar on the way down. Aside from it being a confidence issue (speed sets help), then strengthening these might help as well.
Do it with a spotter or use the Smith press to build up some cadence confidence. I've found that getting guys to use the Smith when going heavy gets them to keep their more natural tempo on the eccentric rather than strangling the bar and taking forever to get the weight down.