"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




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. 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.