The Development of a Repetition-Load Scheme for the Eccentric- Only Bench Press Exercise

Open access


The purpose of the present study was to develop a repetition-load scheme for the eccentric-only bench press exercise. Nine resistance trained men (age: 21.6 ± 1.0 years; 1-repetition maximum [RM] bench press: 137.7 ± 30.4 kg) attended four testing sessions during a four week period. During the first session each subject’s 1-RM bench press load utilizing the stretch-shortening cycle was determined. During the remaining sessions they performed eccentric-only repetitions to failure using supra-maximal loads equivalent to 110%, 120% and 130% of their 1-RM value with a constant cadence (30 reps·min-1). Force plates and a three dimensional motion analysis system were used during these final three sessions in order to evaluate kinematic and kinetic variables. More repetitions were completed during the 110% 1-RM condition compared to the 130% 1-RM condition (p=0.01). Mean total work (p=0.046) as well as vertical force (p=0.049), vertical work (p=0.017), and vertical power output (p=0.05) were significantly greater during the 130% 1-RM condition compared to the 110% 1-RM condition. A linear function was fitted to the number of repetitions completed under each load condition that allowed the determination of the maximum number of repetitions that could be completed under other supra-maximal loads. This linear function predicted an eccentric-only 1-RM in the bench press with a load equivalent to 164.8% 1-RM, producing a load of 227.0 ± 50.0 kg. The repetition-load scheme presented here should provide a starting point for researchers to investigate the kinematic, kinetic and metabolic responses to eccentric-only bench press workouts.

Baechle TR, Earle RW, Wathen D. Resistance training. In: Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. TR Baechle, RW Earle, eds. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 381-412; 2008

Crewther B, Cronin J, Keogh J. Possible stimuli for strength and power adaptation: acute mechanical responses. Sports Med, 2005; 35: 967-989

Crewther B, Cronin J, Keogh J. Possible stimuli for strength and power adaptation: acute metabolic responses. Sports Med, 2006; 36: 65-78

Dudley GA, Harris RT, Duvoisin MR, Hather BM, Buchanan P. Effect of voluntary vs. artificial activation on the relationship of muscle torque and speed. J Appl Physiol, 1990; 69: 2215-2221

Earle RW, Baechle TR. Resistance training and spotting techniques. In: Essentials of Strength Training andConditioning. TR Baechle, RW Earle, eds. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 325-376; 2008

Harry JD, Ward AW, Heglund NC, Morgan DL, McMahon TA. Cross-bridge cycling theories cannot explain high-speed lengthening behavior in frog muscle. Biophys J, 1990; 57: 201-208

Hoeger W, Hopkins DR, Barette SL, Hale DF. Relationship between repetitions and selected percentages of one repetition maximum: A comparison between untrained and trained males and females. J ApplSport Sci Res, 1990; 4: 47-54

Hollander DB, Kraemer RR, Kilpatrick MW, Ramadan ZG, Reeves GV, Francois M, Hebert EP, Tryniecki JL. Maximal eccentric and concentric strength discrepancies between young men and women for dynamic resistance exercise. J Strength Cond Res, 2007; 21: 34-40

Jaric S. Muscle strength testing: use of normalisation for body size. Sports Med, 2002; 32: 615-631

LaChance PF, Hortobaygi T. Influence of cadence on muscular performance during push-up and pull-up exercises. J Strength Cond Res, 1994; 8: 76-79

LeSuer DA, McCormick JH, Mayhew JL, Wasserstein RL, Arnold MD. The accuracy of predicting equations for estimating 1RM performance in the bench press, squat, and deadlift. J Strength Cond Res, 1997; 11: 211-213

McHugh MP. Recent advances in the understanding of the repeated bout effect: The protective effect against muscle damage from a single bout of eccentric exercise. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 2003; 13: 88-97

Mullaney MJ, McHugh MP. Concentric and eccentric muscle fatigue of the shoulder rotators. Int J SportsMed, 2006; 27: 725-729

Murphy AJ, Wilson GJ, Pryor JF. Use of the iso-inertial force mass relationship in the prediction of dynamic human performance. Eur J Appl Physiol, 1994; 69: 250-257

Nosaka K, Clarkson PM, McGuiggin ME, Byrne JM. Time course of muscle adaptation after high force eccentric exercise. Euro J Appl Physiol, 1991; 63: 70-76

Piitulainen H, Botter A, Merletti R, Avela J. Muscle fiber conduction velocity is more affected after eccentric then concentric exercise. Euro J Appl Physiol, 2011; 111: 261-273

Ratamess NA, Alvar BA, Evetoch TK, Housh TJ, Kibler WB, Kraemer WJ, Triplett NT. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2009; 41: 687-708

Roig M, O’Brien K, Kirk G, Murray R, McKinnon P, Shadgan B, Reid WD. The effects of eccentric versus concentric resistance training on muscle strength and mass in healthy adults: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med, 2009; 43: 556-568

Schoenfeld BJ. The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. J StrengthCond Res, 2010; 24: 2857-2872

Stauber WT. Eccentric action of muscle: Physiology, injury, and adaptation. Exerc Sport Sci Rev, 1989; 17: 157-185

Webber S, Kriellaars D. Neuromuscular factors contributing to in vivo eccentric moment generation. J ApplPhysiol, 1997; 83: 40-45

Wilson GJ, Elliott BC, Wood GA. The effect on performance of imposing a delay during a stretch-shortening cycle movement. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 1991; 23: 364-370

Worrell T, Perrin D, Gansneder B, Glieck J. Comparison of isokinetic strength and flexibility measures between hamstring-injured and non-injured athletes. J Orthop Sports Ther, 1991; 13: 118-125

Journal of Human Kinetics

The Journal of Academy of Physical Education in Katowice

Journal Information

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.174
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.634

CiteScore 2017: 1.31

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.516
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.906

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 84 84 11
PDF Downloads 31 31 3