The purpose of this study was to determine the relative load (% of one-repetition maximum [1RM]) at which the concentric action becomes entirely propulsive in the bench-press (BP) exercise and verify whether this relative load varies between athletes with different strength levels. Twenty-eight professional athletes (Olympic boxers, professional mixed martial arts fighters, and elite rugby players) performed a progressive loading test up to their 1RM in the BP exercise (BP-1RM). Athletes were ordered according to their relative strength values and equally divided into two different groups: “low” (≤1.34) and “high” (≥1.38) strength levels. An independent t-test was used to compare the variables between groups. Significance level was set at P< 0.05. No significant differences were observed between the groups for the mean propulsive velocity attained at 1RM and for the maximum load that required braking action during the execution of the traditional BP exercise (ES = 0.27 and 0.15, respectively; P> 0.05). Our results revealed that at 80% 1RM the concentric action can already be considered as 100% propulsive in the BP exercise. Importantly, this occurrence was independent of strength level. Therefore, this relative strength measure (i.e., 80% BP-1RM) may be used as a reference for the 1RM in the BP throw.
Fonte: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, in press, 2020