Accentuated Eccentric Loading and Cluster Set Configurations in the Bench Press

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



This study was designed to examine the kinetic and kinematic differences between an Accentuated eccentric loading (AEL), traditional loading, and cluster sets in trained male subjects (age: 23.7 ± 4.0 years, height: 176.4 ± 2.8 cm, mass: 93.6 ± 7.0 kg) with lifting experience (training age: 7.2 ± 2.4 years, 1-repetition maximum (1RM) bench press: 125.0 ± 14.8 kg, relative strength ratio: 1.3 ± 0.1) in the bench press. Subjects reported for a total of 5 sessions which consisted of a 1RM testing session and 4 experimental trials. The 4 experimental conditions consisted of a traditional load (TRAD), traditional load with inter-repetition rest (TRDC), accentuated eccentric loading with inter-repetition rest (AELC), and Accentuated eccentric loading for the first repetition only (AEL1). Concentric load was 80% of subjects' 1RM for all conditions. An eccentric overload of 105% of 1RM was applied using weight-releasing hooks during the AEL conditions. TRDC demonstrated superior concentric outputs for mean velocity and mean power compared with TRAD, AELC, and AEL1 (p < 0.001). In addition, AEL1 produced significantly greater effects for rate of force development compared with TRDC (p < 0.001). These findings suggest that inter-repetition rest had an influence on concentric performance, specifically mean power and mean velocity, and may be favorable when using higher loads and when sustained power outputs are desired. In addition, AEL1 may provide a unique eccentric stimulus that alters loading parameters compared with traditional loading conditions.






Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research


Wolters Kluwer