Power output in traditional and ballistic bench press in elite athletes: Influence of training background
Journal of Sports Sciences
Taylor & Francis
School of Medical and Health Sciences
This study aimed to compare the power production in traditional bench-press (TBP) and ballistic bench-throw (BBT) exercises. Furthermore, we assessed the differences in velocity, force, and power outputs between TBP and BBT. Finally, we tested the differences between the loads used to optimize power (optimum power load; OPL) in both exercises, using three distinct power-variables: mean power (MP), mean propulsive power (MPP), and peak power (PP). Sixty athletes from different sports were divided into two groups, according to their training characteristics: hypertrophy-based trained athletes (HTA), thirty-one athletes performing hypertrophy training programmes for (at least) 12-weeks; and power-based trained athletes (PTA), twenty-nine athletes performing power-oriented training sessions for (at least) 12-weeks. Magnitude-based inferences were used to test for differences between groups. Independent of the variable analyzed (MP, MPP, or PP), the PTA produced greater power values in BBT, whereas the HTA generated higher outputs during TBP. The OPL in the HTA was likely heavier in TBP than in BBT, whereas no differences related to this variable were found in the PTA. Despite the apparent superiority of ballistics to produce power, it seems that in elite athletes, the strength-power training routine might affect the ability to apply high forces at very-high velocities.