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Old 05-17-2012, 09:05 AM   #1
Brian Garcia
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Suspension strap training improved my bench press...how??

Back in Feb. I started working out primarily with Vital Straps attached to my home pull-up bar. I figured I could save time and workout at home a couple days a week. Anyway, a few weeks ago I went to gym and was surprised by how much my bench press improved. I was working out with 225 for the first time ever.

I spoke with a guy at the gym who is an exercise science professor, and he said that conventional wisdom is that your bench press will only improve with suspension training if your max bench is less than your body weight, since the most resistance suspension training can produce is your own body weight. But I've been benching significantly more than my body weight for 20 years...so why the improvement after suspension training?

Has anyone else experienced this?
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:48 AM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Suspension strap training improved my bench press...how??

I can think of 2 thinks, one is that the suspension straps work in an unsteady plane, so it helped build stabilization and this transferred over to making your barbell bench more stable so you could lift more weight.

The other is that you can take your bench only so far by benching, unless you are biomechanically made to bench. So the straps might have hit the region in a way that helped your weakness. It fits in with the benefits of "constantly varied."

Other factors could be how the overall training volume trained with straps. Did you drop a bench workout to do strap work? Or was it just added on?
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:23 PM   #3
Brian Garcia
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Re: Suspension strap training improved my bench press...how??

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Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
I can think of 2 thinks, one is that the suspension straps work in an unsteady plane, so it helped build stabilization and this transferred over to making your barbell bench more stable so you could lift more weight.

The other is that you can take your bench only so far by benching, unless you are biomechanically made to bench. So the straps might have hit the region in a way that helped your weakness. It fits in with the benefits of "constantly varied."

Other factors could be how the overall training volume trained with straps. Did you drop a bench workout to do strap work? Or was it just added on?

Thanks Robert. I bet you're right. The strap workouts built up stabilization which then transferred to barbell bench.

I did not add strap works to my normal routine. I completely (almost) replaced traditional gym workouts with strap workouts. So it must be the stronger stabilizing muscles. Thanks again.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:52 PM   #4
David Meverden
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Re: Suspension strap training improved my bench press...how??

Stability might be the right answer, but it also might have to do with what you were doing with the straps. The conventional wisdom of: "your bench press will only improve with suspension training if your max bench is less than your body weight" is not really true since, like gymnastic ring exercises, strap exercises can be adjusted in difficulty by changing the leverages associated with various movements. Many exercises can be far more difficult and require far stronger muscular contractions than a bodyweight bench press. If you worked on those more difficult varieties and it happened to hit muscle groups that were holding back your bench press then your bench would go up.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:05 AM   #5
Robert Walsh
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Re: Suspension strap training improved my bench press...how??

Did u gain any weight?
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
Chris Mason
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Re: Suspension strap training improved my bench press...how??

This is NOT meant to be harsh, it is just the reality of the situation. You got stronger at benching from the strap training ultimately because you are relatively weak. You are nowhere near your potential and thus any reasonable form of similar resistance training can enhance your performance.

Now, with the above said, the strap training CAN be a nice special exercise to serve as an adjunct to your heavy pressing. The above is in reference to it improving your benching while not benching at all.
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