Chest Exercises

Master the Smith Machine Negative Overload Bench Press

Use this closely-guarded, eccentric overload technique for maximum chest growth.

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Mindset is everything; a positive one can literally help you bust through growth plateaus in almost every area of your life. If one of those plateaus is chest development you need to transform your mindset to a negative one! What do I mean by a negative mindset? I mean training with negative or eccentric overloads! 

Bodybuilding legend and training guru, Dorian Yates, has stated that the biggest mistake most bodybuilders make is not focusing on the negative portion of a lift. When the legend speaks—I listen and so should you!

SEE ALSO: Legendary Bodybuilder Dorian Yates

There is no doubt, with correct application, eccentric muscle action catalyzes muscle growth. Did you know that some folks can do 170 percent on a negative of what they could with positive? Neglecting this leaves an empty seat at the muscle-building table.

There are so many reasons why eccentric training has been shown, in numerous studies, to be superior for muscle growth; the reasons range from preferential fast-twitch muscle fiber recruitment, increased muscle tension, increased ability to do work, greater amounts of muscle damage and the list goes on. I suggest if you want to know the ins and outs scientifically do a pub med search or just corner a doctor next time you are at a cocktail party.

How to correctly perform a Smith Machine negative overload bench press

  • Lie flat on a bench placed under a Smith Machine (the bar should be directly above your chest).
  • Load the bar with 10–25 percent extra weight on the outside of the bar sleeves.
  • Lower the weight to your chest.
  • At chest level, have a partner on each side pull the extra weight off the bar.
  • Forcefully press the weight back to starting position.
  • Then have the partners add the weight back to the bar.
  • Repeat for necessary reps.

Important note: This exercise works best drawing out eccentrics, so take 5–6 seconds to lower the bar, then forcefully press it back up.

This is a highly-advanced technique and should be used only with caution. Like other intense eccentric and accommodated resistance techniques, avoid them on deloads or light weeks.

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