T Nation

Plyometric Bench Pressing

I am currently using a dynamic bench day in my workouts. I am looking into incorporating a Plyometric Bench activity. I could use partner medicine ball drops, Smith machine ploymetric press and catch, and or the free weight variation. Has anyone incorporated PBP this into their programs? Thanks,
Darren Garland
Springfield, VA

A while ago Christian Thibaudeau posted a video clip link of I think St Louis’ Adam Archuleta performing some death-defying plyo bench catches. Cool stuff… I’m sure Christain might have some tips for you.

Check out this link:
www.strengthcats.com/plyobenchpress.htm

Does anybody have any rep schemes using these techniques. Could you follow Westsides schemes but use the PLyo Bench activity.

Chris,
Thanks for the link.

I’m currently working on a bench press article and the program in the article includes Plyometric press and catch and a host of other advanced techniques.

Christian,
I am looking forward to reading your article.

Plyometric bench pressing has been shown to be very effective. I use a version called accelerated eccentrics. This gives me pretty much the same working effect as plyometric benching w/o letting the bar go. Take a light weight and from the top of the benching position pull it down fast. Stop before you crash it into your chest and immediately reverse it back up to a normal starting position. Remember to hold on to it and pull it down. Dont drop it! Tremendous shock in your upper body from haulting the weight fast. You will turn on muscles you never thought you had to stop it. I like to work in about 3-4 hard fast reps within about 2 sets. Very taxing on the body.
Hope that helps
Dan Fichter
Wannagetfast Power/Speed training

You could definitely use the Westside ideas and apply them to plyo benches. In terms of choosing the method, I’d say it depends on what your goals actually are. If you’re a powerlifter, then perhaps training on the smith machine or with free weight (I like Mr. Fichter’s idea) would be the most specific. However, if you’re training for applying force in an athletic setting, perhaps plyo pushups would be a better choice due to the increased demands on the upper back musculature (i.e. no support from a bench). You can use benches of various heights to do plyo pushups off of, and use a scale to find the exact weight you are pushing at each bench height (to correspond to whatever %1RM you’re supposed to be training at). Plus, plyo pushups are much less likely to get you kicked out of your gym (or killed) than free weight plyo benches. Good luck.

Another great exercise to do a long the same lines is this:
attatch a medicine ball to a net like bag
get a rope and hang it from a beam
what you have is a swing
now, swing the medicine ball away from you and when it comes back stop it!
Then propell it back. A plyometric swing. Added benefit? You are standing! it becomes more sport specific

Contact me through coach Davies site for more info.

Dan Fichter
wannagetfast power /speed training

Another variation you could do is using a small box assume the pushup position with one hand on the box the other on the floor. Explosively press-up and simultaneously move the torso to the other side of the box catching yourself with the other hand.

Darren,
If you haven’t already, check out my “Push-up Your Explosive Strength” article from the spring of this year. Good Luck!

Hey Dan, how about writing an article yourself- there’s some great ideas there. (Or can I find stuff on the website already?) Thanks

Chad,
I had read the article but I have a better understanding off my goals and will incorporate this lift to program. I have seen people pushup to steps and then lower themselves down to explode back up. Do this is exercise have a value? I assume it does as one could raise the steps gradually, which would force the person to produce more power to explode to higher steps.
Thanks,
Darren

Darren,
Pushing up to a step offers no value whatsoever. It just turns the exercise into a circus act that requires more coordination. Think about it - the part of the movement you are benefitting from is the actual “pushing” phase, not the time spent in the air. I don’t care if someone lands on a step, a car, or their grandmother. It doesn’t change the fact that explosive strength levels are being trained during the pushing phase. The only aspect that changes when landing on a step/box is the eccentric component of the landing phase which isn’t that beneficial anyway - if you are trying to improve explosive strength levels. Stick to doing bench press-type plyometrics on the ground. BTW, ditch the idea of using the smith machine.