I'll tell you right up front
a BIG fan of partial training.
training has the potential to add
poundage to your lifts, build the
strength of your connective tissue,
enhance nervous system efficiency
and condition your body for the
use of heavier weights.
people look upon partial training
as cheating. They believe that because
you're not doing a "full"
range of motion, partial training
is somehow not doing anything beneficial
for your body.
could be further from the truth.
of it this way...when you're climbing
stairs, do you naturally take 4
stairs at a time to get a "full
range of motion" or do you
take one step at a time. If you
had to push a car, would you drop
down into a full squat by the bumper
to start pushing or would you push
as much as you could in a position
where you can get maximum power
rather than a full range of motion.
body, when you think about it, rarely
wants to operate in a full range
of motion and rarely does. Avoiding
partial training completely means
shortchanging your results.
And that's where RepBoards come
are a unique product from the UK
that help you do a very beneficial
form of partial training specific
to the bench press, known as board
pressing is a technique for doing
partial range training on the bench
"normal" board pressing,
you have a partner hold short boards
on your chest (if more than one
is used, they're fastened together)
to shorten the range of motion of
the exercise. The bar touches the
boards, then you press back up.
works differently than rack pressing
in that it doesn't take the weight
away from you at the bottom (which
happens in the rack when you set
the bar on the rails between reps).
yes, when pressing in the rack,
you COULD just stop the range of
motion partway down and reverse
it. Board pressing better mimics
actual bench pressing where you
touch the bar to your chest then
reverse the movement, though. Also,
by using a board(s), you can be
sure you're lowering to the exact
some point each time.
pressing is a secret weapon of powerlifters
for increasing strength in the bench
press fast. Powerlifters don't care
about being politically correct
about range of motion. If it gets
them stronger, it'll get used and
board pressing definitely gets used.
are designed to allow you to do
board pressing without a partner
to hold a board on your chest, giving
you the benefits of this powerful
technique without having to have
somebody else around to assist.
important thing to note is that
I still HIGHLY recommend performing
RepBoard pressing in a power rack.
Even though the equipment shortens
the range of motion, it doesn't
act as a safety device. If you train
alone, this is a MUST, especially
because you'll be using supra-maximal
weights in that shorter range of
motion. If you train with a partner,
you'll be able to get away with
not doing these in the rack, but
make sure your partner is paying
full attention while doing your
So What ARE RepBoards?
it's an adjustable strap that goes
around your torso. This strap has
a Velcro fastener that you slide
around to place on your lower chest
when you go to bench press.
"boards" themselves are
made of high-density foam and, while
being very light, are actually quite
durable. These foam pads also have
Velcro on them to affix to the Velcro
on your chest, holding the boards
come with a set of 5 foam pads are
easily adjustable just by adding
and removing these boards.
Do RepBoards Work?
when I first saw RepBoards I immediately
could see the benefits of this piece
of equipment. I had used board pressing
in my own training previously and,
not having a training partner, had
resorted to using training bands
to strap boards onto my chest!
were exactly what I was looking
for to fix this problem and make
full use of board pressing, so from
a functional perspective, they absolutely
they have the potential to help
you increase your bench press?
been using the RepBoards for a number
of training sessions and the more
I use them, the better I like them.
I've noticed a positive difference
in how I'm able to handle heavier
weight when doing full-range pressing
because the board pressing better
mimics actual bench pressing than
normal rack pressing.
my experience, this translates directly
into increased bench press numbers.
range training just on its own is
I've been using
rack pressing for more than 17 years.
being said, since I've started using
RepBoards, I've gravitated towards
using them rather than normal lockout
rack pressing (even though I can
use almost DOUBLE the weight on
rack lockouts) simply because I've
found them to have more carryover
to my full-range bench press. When
using board presses, you don't press
off the rails
you unrack the
bar (like you normally would) then
lower the bar (like you normally
would) then press up. Your body
gets no break and the overload on
your muscles and connective tissue
is actually greater, even though
the weight is significantly less.
Things to Improve
on the RepBoards
I really like the feel of this piece
of equipment. I wouldn't mind having
more Velcro both on the chest strap
and the boards themselves, in order
to have the boards feel more solid
on the chest. That being said, I
never once found the boards moving
around, so it's probably just more
a matter of personal preference.
other thing I was going to suggest
to improve has actually already
been improved by the maker :) so
it doesn't really count
RepBoards that I have, once you
start using more than 350 lbs or
so with them, may start to show
signs of cracking. I never experienced
this myself, but a few other users
of the RepBoards did, once they
started getting into the heavier
response to this feedback, the maker
of the RepBoards has made available
a "Pro" version that has
even stronger, higher-density foam.
If you're currently benching 300
lbs or aim to bench more than 300
lbs, I would suggest picking up
nothing here that should prevent
you from picking this up, if you're
interested in it.
are an excellent piece of training
equipment that really DO have the
potential to help you increase your
bench press FAST. Obviously nothing
is going to work if you don't put
in the effort in your training,
so just getting this won't guarantee
you DO put it into use in your training
and work hard at, you WILL see the
benefits in terms of increased maximum
bench press, greater confidence
under the bar, and better connective
my opinion, if you're really serious
about increasing your bench, this
is a "must have" piece
of equipment (and especially if
you train alone!).
learn more about RepBoards and to
get some for yourself, please click
to Fitness Equipment Reviews Index