Workout Tips

Bench Press Seminar 8: Band Training

Build explosive lockout power using this strength-building technique.


Dyed-in-the-wool strongmen have been using them for decades. It is only recently that the rest of the fitness world has caught on to the benefits of training with bands. When training vertical movements like the squat or bench press, bands can help you produce a tremendous amount of power on non-banded benches.

Amping Up The Resistance

Training with bands on the bench overloads the movement throughout the entire range of motion. Your muscles work like rubber bands. Bands pull down as you lower the weight intensifying the eccentric. On the concentric, the bands pull tighter as you approach lockout, providing more and more resistance so you have to produce higher amounts of force for a longer time to complete the rep.

Most people are capable of doing much more on the partial bench press than they can on bench press with a full range of motion. Bands allow the top portion to overloaded, similar to a partial, where lifters are the strongest.

Sticking points result where you produce less force, so you need to push the barbell with as much force as possible to avoid sticking points. Bands amplify this effect. You have no choice but to hit the gas. If you lay on the cruise control, the lift will fail (and your sternum will end up totaled).