Int J Sports Med 2014; 35(03): 209-216
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1351252
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Velocity- and Power-Load Relationships of the Bench Pull vs. Bench Press Exercises

L. Sánchez-Medina
1   Studies, Research and Sports Medicine Centre, Instituto Navarro de Deporte y Juventud (INDJ), Pamplona, Spain
J. J. González-Badillo
2   Faculty of Sport, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain
C. E. Pérez
3   Sports Medicine Centre, University of Murcia, Spain
J. G. Pallarés
4   Exercise Physiology Laboratory, University of Castilla La Mancha, Toledo, Spain
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 21 June 2013

Publication Date:
30 July 2013 (online)


This study compared the velocity- and power-load relationships of the antagonistic upper-body exercises of prone bench pull (PBP) and bench press (BP). 75 resistance-trained athletes performed a progressive loading test in each exercise up to the one-repetition maximum (1RM) in random order. Velocity and power output across the 30–100% 1RM were significantly higher for PBP, whereas 1RM strength was greater for BP. A very close relationship was observed between relative load and mean propulsive velocity for both BP (R2=0.97) and PBP (R2=0.94) which enables us to estimate %1RM from velocity using the obtained prediction equations. Important differences in the load that maximizes power output (Pmax) and the power profiles of both exercises were found according to the outcome variable used: mean (MP), peak (PP) or mean propulsive power (MPP). When MP was considered, the Pmax load was higher (56% BP, 70% PBP) than when PP (37% BP, 41% PBP) or MPP (37% BP, 46% PBP) were used. For each variable there was a broad range of loads at which power output was not significantly different. The differing velocity- and power-load relationships between PBP and BP seem attributable to the distinct muscle architecture and moment arm levers involved in these exercises.