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Effect of rest on Power in the Bench Press

It is known that the length of time between sets allows for a certain amount of muscle recovery, creating a greater potential for the subsequent set. During the rest interval, there are several functions which occur in the muscle as it prepares for another bout. One of these is an increased sensitivity to Ca+ which activates the muscle contraction. Researchers at two universities in Sao Paulo, Brazil came together to determine how the postactivation potentiation effects 1RM results using the bench press as a sample. The researchers recruited 11 male participants about 25 years of age. They were involved in 6 sessions; 2 of these were control sessions which helped to determine 1 RM in the bench press and power. With a benchmark to base the experimental sessions on, the participants were then randomly assigned the 4 subsequent sessions. These sessions were composed of a 1RM followed by a random number of rest periods, lasting 1, 3, 5, or 7 minutes. Power values were measured using Peak Power equipment, and conditions were accounted for using the Turkish Test. The most significant rest period compared to the 1 minute rest was the 7 minute rest for PAP. The participants were best able to contract with the most force during this interval for the concentric phase. The researchers suggest the effect of rest consideration could be an alternative way of approaching improvements in the bench press and other upper body strength/ power movements. A drawback to this study was the small study group and lack of stable variables to be accounted for. Things such as diet, level of activity/ training outside of the experiment and level of experience were not accounted for. Source Ferreira, SLA, Panissa, VLG, Miarka, B, and Franchini, E. "Post-activation potentiation: effect of various recovery intervals on bench press power performance." Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 26(3). 739-744. 2012.

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