Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science




Sandor Dorgo


For powerlifters, bench press performance is directly related to success in competitions since it is one of the three main lifts performed during a powerlifting competition. For a powerlifter to be competitive, they must train efficiently, building strength as quickly and safely as possible. Research has shown that eccentric training elicits greater strength increases when compared to concentric training. Furthermore, previous research observed that eccentric overload training for the lower limbs resulted in not only significantly improved strength, but it also takes place at a faster rate than traditional training. However, there is a lack of research on whether the same form of training provides the same results for the upper body. The purpose of this research is to investigate 1) effects of incorporating eccentric overload training to the bench press on 1-repetition maximum (1RM) performance and surface electromyography (EMG) activity; 2) determine at which percent of overload is EMG activity the greatest; and 3) determine if a 4-week eccentric overload training intervention is beneficial for strength and rate of force development improvements. Results showed that 1RM performance increased significantly from pre to post test (116.62 ± 27.48 kg to 124.28 ± 26.96 kg, respectively) (p = 0.001). Additionally, electromyography of the pectoralis major significantly decreased to 0.60 ± 0.15 % of Maximum Voluntary Contraction (MVC) at the 125% condition (p = 0.049). Furthermore, bar velocity of baseline 1RM increased significantly from pre to post test (p = 0.02). The data from this study suggests that incorporating eccentric overload bench press training into a resistance training program may improve 1RM performance.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

65 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Lance Dakota Gruber