Heard of this?: Single Arm Dumbbell Bench Press with Accommodating Resistance

Hiiiiiiiiii!  Sorry, I got really excited there- sorry about that!  So it has been a killer week at Beyond Strength Performance.  The blog has been on fire with posts, and I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get my turn. 

I received too many emails to even count over the last few days… and the theme was oddly the same all around: “Chris, where was the ‘Heard of this?’ post this week?”  Well, I hear you world, and here it is.

[disclaimer: I may have fabricated some of the above info... but it was provocative, got the people going!]

So this week we are going to take the good ol’ boring single arm dumbbell bench press and… well, pimp it.  I had a client ask me if there were any options to make single arm presses harder without heavier dumbbells (he was using his apartments gym and they only went up to 50#).  Of course the first thing I told him to do was address me as “Sir Handsome Chris,” and then I dropped this knowledge bomb on him. 

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Is that ideal for his situation?  No.  But, if he wasn’t going to talk the property manager into purchasing heavier dumbbells, it was a pretty cool option.  You’ve probably seen band deads, squats, bench presses, etc…  I’ve seen dumbbell presses done with bands before, but the band was usually passed underneat the bench and held in both hands.  I knew there’d be a way to perform it with one arm, and after a few moments of experimentation I rigged up the set-up you just saw in that video. 

Unfamiliar with accommodating resistance?  Well it’s one of those awesome things that, after you get down with the basics, you’ve got to throw into your programs from time to time.  The basic idea is that the weight is lightest at the bottom (where you are weakest) and the resistance increases at the top (where you are the strongest).  It can also be used to increase the speed into a stretch at the bottom of an exercise, like a bench press, during dynamic effort speed work.  So what am I trying to say?  Bands can make you stronger, faster, irresistable to the opposite sex, and feared by the same sex- kind of like a red beard (Chuck Norris anybody?)

Now go.




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Chris Merritt

Strength Coach/ B.S. Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University/ FMS/ Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist/ Certified Kettlebell Instructor/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance and Beyond Strength Performance NOVA

1 Comment on Heard of this?: Single Arm Dumbbell Bench Press with Accommodating Resistance

  1. hi,

    I’ve been reading through your blog and I’m wondering if these exercises are safe for a lady. I’m trying to get back into shape now that my kids are older and off my lap!! I need exercises that deliver results and yes I am working on my eating habits! Thanks for sharing. The videos make it easy to see the move.

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