Differences in the one-repetition maximum and load-velocity profile between the flat and arched bench press in competitive powerlifters

Garcia-Ramos, Amador; Perez-Castilla, Alejandro; Villar Macias, Francisco Javier; Latorre-Roman, Pedro A.; Parraga, Juan A.; Garcia-Pinillos, Felipe

VL / 20 - BP / 261 - EP / 273
This study aimed to compare the one-repetition maximum (1RM) and the velocity outcomes obtained against the same absolute and relative (%1RM) loads between the flat and arched bench press (BP) variants. Eleven competitive male powerlifters were evaluated in one session with the flat BP (natural lumbar arch and moderate scapular retraction) and in another session with the arched BP (pronounced lumbar arch and scapular retraction). An incremental loading test was used to determine the 1RM as well as the barbell's velocity against the different external loads. The main findings revealed that the 1RM did not significantly differ between the flat (115.9 +/- 17.9 kg) and arched (115.7 +/- 18.4 kg) BP variants (p = 0.942, effect size = 0.01), while there were no significant differences between BP variants either for the velocity outcomes obtained against the individual loads nor for the velocities associated with each %1RM (p > 0.05). These results suggest that competitive powerlifters do not necessarily present their higher 1RM performance using the arched BP variant. Finally, both BP variants could be used interchangeably when using movement velocity for testing upper-body strength as well as for prescribing the load during velocity-based resistance training routines.

Access level