The Bench Press Grip Width Does Not Affect the Number of Repetitions Performed at Different Velocity Loss Thresholds.


Pérez-Castilla A(1), Jukic I(2), Haff GG(3)(4), García-Ramos A(1)(5).
Author information:
(1)Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, 18010 Granada, Spain.
(2)Sport Performance Research Institute New Zealand
(SPRINZ), Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.
(3)School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA 6065, Australia.
(4)Directorate of Psychology and Sport, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT, Greater Manchester, UK.
(5)Department of Sports Sciences and Physical Conditioning, Faculty of Education, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Concepción 2850, Chile.


This study aimed (I) to compare the number of repetitions that can be completed to failure (XRM) and before reaching a 15%, 30%, or 45% velocity loss threshold (XVLT) in the bench press exercise performed using different grip widths, and (II) to examine the inter-individual variability in the percentage of completed repetitions with respect to the XRM when the set volume is prescribed based on a fixed number of repetitions (FNR) and several velocity loss thresholds (VLT). Nineteen men performed four separate sessions in a random order where there was a single set of repetitions completed to failure against 75% of the one-repetition maximum during the Smith machine bench press exercise using a narrow, medium, wide, or self-selected grip widths. The XRM (p = 0.545) and XVLTs (p ≥ 0.682) were not significantly affected by grip width. A high and comparable inter-individual variability in the percentage of completed repetitions with respect to the XRM was observed when using both an FNR (median CV = 24.3%) and VLTs (median CV = 23.5%). These results indicate that Smith machine bench press training volume is not influenced by the grip width and that VLTs do not allow a more homogeneous prescription of the set volume with respect to the XRM than the traditional FNR.