"Psyching-up" enhances force production during the bench press exercise

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science




Originally published as: Tod, D. A., Iredale, K. F., McGuigan, M. R., Strange, D. E., & Gill, N. (2005). " psyching-up" enhances force production during the bench press exercise. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 19(3), 599. Original article available here


We investigated the effect of "psyching-up" on force production during the bench press. Twelve men (mean age +/- SD: 27.4 +/- 11.2 years) and 8 women (20.9 +/- 2.5 years) with strength-training experience performed 5 bench press repetitions on a modified Biodex isokinetic dynamometer during 3 interventions. The interventions were counterbalanced and included a free-choice psych-up, a cognitive distraction, and an attention-placebo. Peak force recorded after psyching-up (mean +/- SD: 764 +/- 269 N.m) was significantly different from both distraction (703 +/- 282 N.m, p = 0.003) and attention-placebo (708 +/- 248 N.m, p = 0.01). The mean percentage increase in peak force from distraction to psyching-up was 11.8% (6 to 18%, 95% confidence interval [CI]) and 8.1% from placebo to psyching-up (3 to 13%, 95% CI). The results of the present study indicate that psyching-up may increase force production during the bench press exercise in participants with at least 1 year strength-training experience.