The Reverse Band Bench Press By Mike Westerdal of CriticalBench.com
This exercise is often used as a max effort exercise training the chest, shoulders and triceps. It has become very popular because for equipped powerlifters because the lift mimics to an extent the use of a bench press shirt.
The barbell is placed inside of the bands which are attached to the top of a power rack.
By using these bands you feel the most weight at the top of the movement. As you lower the weight to your chest the bands stretch and the tension is decreased.
How much weight does the band take off the weight you're lifting? This depends on what kind of bands you're using and how high you have them set up on your particular power rack. To figure it out exactly put enough weight inside the bands and let the bar hoover right at chest level. However much weight you have on the bar is how much weight you can subtract from the total at the bottom when you are performing working sets.
The reverse band bench press is a good variation to throw in once or twice a training cycle so you don't do straight weight every week.
It's also a great exercise to do if you have trouble touching in a shirt. You have to practice pulling the weight to your chest and the bands allow you to do this in a more controlled fashion without as much risk of dumping it on your chest. Performing this exercise can also help break in a new shirt, making it easier to touch in when you go back to the regular bench press without bands.
You'll be able to bench press a lot more than usual, but do not be fooled. People always try to do the math and project their true one rep max. Just because you benched 700 pounds for one rep with the bands off your chest and the bands take off 200 pounds in your case does not mean you can bench 500 of your chest. You can bench 500 off your chest when you bench 500 off your chest. However you do now have a new PR in the reverse band bench press if that means anything.
Most people perform this exercise for 1-3 reps for 5 or 6 sets, but his varies.
Use the lift for variation, to strengthen the top end of your bench press, to shock your nervous system and to practice the grove of your bench press shirt.
Here's a video of Big Bench Presser Joey Smith demonstrating his reverse band bench press workout.