Bench Press Speed


I understood from reading your material that Ben lifted very quickly on the bench press. Did he do that through both the concentric and eccentric portions of the lift or was it just a fast concentric lift?

Would that be an approach to take for all the weightlifting for sprinting or just the high-intensity lifts?



Where did you read that? He lifted at a rate like anyone with a heavy load. Nothing different.

It might be my misreading. Page 50 of The Charlie Francis Training System:

“As an example, when Ben is performing 2 sets of 5 repetitions in either bench press or squat he is moving a heavy weight as fast as he can. The CNS stimulation/activation is optimal. He is maximally imvolving his nervous system via maximum recruitment of motor neurons. He is challenging his organism. However the actual lifting speed of a maximal weight is moderate to slow.”

Yes, you’re TRYING to move under the load quickly but that’s impossible because of the weight, so the speed is not very fast at all.
Maximal recruitment of fibre under a light load would, of course move quickly but we never lifted for speed. I hope that makes sense.

Thanks for the explanation. Is it safe to assume that the eccentric speed is not a concern in these lifts?

We never did timed eccentrics, like 1/3 counts or anything like that.

One of the most misunderstood and misquoted ideas around is that the weight must move fast. As you say, its the athletes attempt to accelerate the bar at at the maximum rate possible on the concentric phase, not the absolute speed the bar moves.