Czapla, R., Sforzo, G., & King, D. (2010). Optimizing power output by varying repetition tempo. Presentation 801 at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; June 2-5.

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This study investigated how varying inter-repetition rest and eccentric velocity affect power output and the number of repetitions performed during a set of bench presses. Resistance trained males (N = 24) completed one repetition maximum (1 RM) testing and six sets of bench press at 80% 1 RM until failure. Each set of bench press was at a different tempo involving varying eccentric phases, bottom rest, and inter-repetition rest intervals. A reflective marker on the bar tracked positional data to measure repetitions and power variables.

Tempos with short eccentric phases and no bottom rest produced significantly greater repetitions and power than all other tempos. Inter-repetition rest did not significantly affect any variable.

Implication. The combination of greater repetitions and higher power suggests that a greater volume of work can be completed with tempos containing short eccentric phases and no bottom rest intervals. This may lead to greater strength and power gains during resistance training. Training devices and exercises that restrict or alter movements will not produce as much gain as is possible with fluid natural movements.

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