During a recent upper body workout, I wanted to get into some of the old Diesel innovation and do something different. I was tired of the same exercises and because of the upcoming SEALFit challenge in September, my training has been getting more intense.
I thought about how many times athletes and coaches get caught up on how much weight they’re lifting instead of the actual adaptation they’re looking to achieve. They miss the whole point of serious muscle contraction and motor unit recruitment. So the reps are ‘lazy’ and they’re just trying to get through the set.
Of course you can lower the weight and increase the speed to recruit more high threshold motor units (compensatory acceleration or CAT training, Hatfield) to work on speed of movement. You can load up to a max effort and create a ton of force by grinding out sets of 1-5 reps. Or you could even ‘rep out’ with some sub-maximal weights to build some muscle mass or hypertrophy.
“Max Effort, Dynamic Effort, Sub-Maximal Effort” – Zatsiorsky, Science and Practice of Strength Training, 2nd Edition
But you have to think ‘outside of the box’ and go beyond just the load and tempo.
Here is what I came up with.
Band Resisted DB Bench Variations
When I say band resisted dumbbell bench you’re probably thinking about this? Man, will you check out all of that cool hair? I am one handsome guy.
Here, I use the same ‘band-behind-the-back’ technique for elevated push-ups. This cool exercise is really for not only upper body strength but core stability as well.
Original Article: (this one is awesome)
Here is another cool way we’ve used bands in the past to overload a horizontal pressing movement. With this one, the band is anchored around the power cage and you perform ring push-ups against the band resistance.
Original Article: (this one is tough)
Insane Band Resisted DB Bench
Finally, the cool exercise you’ve been waiting for.
Think about what happens with the conventional dumbbell bench press. The pec major acts against the weight to adduct the humerus to the midline. The load, or weight of each dumbbell acts vertically across the system (intermuscular coordination) of the chest, triceps and shoulders.
What happens if we take and add a force vector to the system that acts diagonally driving the arms and dumbbells laterally away from the midline? You can imagine it will force the athlete to fight just to keep the dumbbells on their intended vertical path and creates an insane muscular contraction just to push the dumbbells together at the peak of the movement.
You get one of the best dumbbell bench variations we’ve ever done.
In this video, we change the band tension – 1-2 bands – and change the weight of the dumbbells. At one point, I called for the 80′s and 2 bands and got crushed with just 4 reps. When that happened, I just did a few drop sets to make sure I got the total reps I wanted.
Try this out and let me know in the comments what you think of the new exercise. I know you’ll love it because even though I have a pretty good base of strength, these absolutely crushed me. And I loved every minute of it.
Additional References: How to Bench Press
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