You can INCREASE your bench press pretty much straight away by implementing one little “trick”.
I believe that proponents of super-slow lifts are doing you a disservice, and a new study would suggest that it is faster concentric/lifting movements that produces better results.
Could pushing a weight at almost maximal speed produce a better stimulus for changes in strength and size?
This study  would suggest so.
How To Improve Your Bench Press
Basically the researchers found that subjects that pushed the weight at 80%-100% of maximal speed, then lowered the bar more slowly, increased their strength by more than the control group.
The control group, who used a self-selected lifting speed, increased their strength by less than 1% in 3 weeks! So basically nothing.
The faster lifters increased their strength by 10.2% over the same period.
To be more exact, it took the experimental group 0.8 seconds to perform the upward, concentric movement. The downward, eccentric part took 2 seconds to perform.
Those of you who have been Muscle Hacking for some time now know that on many lifts I have recommended a 1 second lift, 1-2 seconds lowering for years now.
You can use slightly heavier weights with this kind of cadence, but furthermore I theorized that it also would lead to better muscle fiber recruitment.
The researchers said,
“This study shows that the speed execution of an exercise leads to a specific muscle recruitment during the whole period”
That means that a faster lift and slower lowering sends a more POWERFUL signal from the nervous system to the muscle to recruit fibers. And the more fibers involved in a lift, the GREATER the potential growth stimulation!
I can already hear some readers say that they just created extra momentum by pushing faster. Not so.
This is someting that I’ve been saying for years: if it is even possible for you to create momentum by pushing a weight at near maximal speed, then the weight itself is too light. That’s your problem, not the speed of execution.
If you select a weight that forces failure by the 10th rep for example, you just can’t generate momentum with a 1 second lifting speed. Get your weights right, then do this!
Furthermore, if you come here to read the articles and STILL aren’t training THT style – get on it. Read all about THT training here and/or add your name and email into the box at the top-right for your FREE workout program.
So on your next bench, try a 1 second lift and 1-2 second lowering cadence.
Then report back to me! I want to know how you get on. Leave a comment below if you’re benching today or tomorrow!
Train With Intensity!
Reference:  Effect of different pushing speeds on bench press. Padulo J, Mignogna P, Mignardi S, Tonni F, D’Ottavio S. Int J Sports Med. 2012 May;33(5):376-80. Epub 2012 Feb 8.
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