Advanced Bench Press Training – Pre-Exhaustion and High-Tension Training
Advanced Bench Press Training
Pre-Exhaustion and High-Tension Training
In a recent workout I started experimenting with combining different protocols. I was tired of the same old workout and I was in a rut. After a few sets, I came up with something that felt like I was ripping the muscle off the bone.
I used two unique protocols together in the same set; pre-exhaustion and high-tension training.
Pre-exhaustion training is a protocol where you fatigue the primary muscle groups by performing an isolation or compound exercise prior to the main lift. For example, if you are performing a set of dumbbell military press, you could perform a set of banded tricep extensions prior to the set.
For pre-exhaustion training you should hit a moderate to high rep range, somewhere in the 12-15 rep area. The pace should also be moderate with a controlled eccentric/concentric flow.
I combined this protocol with a high-tension training protocol. High-tension training is just a method where you focus on the contraction and time under tension (TUT) of the movement. The pace slows down and you focus on contracting hard throughout the range of motion for each rep. If you’ve ever tried to slow the tempo down for ANY movement, you’ll know that the lowering (eccentric) isn’t the bad part, it is the raising (concentric) phase. When you start slowing down the drive, that is when you want to get some warm milk and have Mommy tuck you in.
For this phase of the set, I used a rarely known exercise – the crush dumbbell bench. It is perfect for what we’re doing. You perform the exercise by taking the same dumbbells and pressing the ends against each other. This causing a serious irradiation effect across the pecs, shoulders, triceps and your upper back. Combine that with the slower tempo and you have the recipe for muscle building and serious mental toughness. The slower tempo is also amazing for building stability into the shoulders and improving your reversal strength potential (see POWER!).
If you listen to the video closely, I think you can hear me whimper and cry a little bit. I actually had to take a rest between the 3rd and 4th reps so that I could wipe the blood from my eyes.
Here is how it looked:
Attempt this protocol at your own risk. It is not for everyone, just those looking to get results, take their training to the next level and be a man.
By Smitty on February 10th, 2012
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