Background: The bench press (BP) is a complex exercise of the upper body in which great external loads can be lifted, requiring high neuromuscular activity. Electromyography (EMG) is the study of muscle function through the inquiry of the electrical signal the muscles emanate. Material/Methods: The aim of the present study was to analyze changes in the EMG activity of the prime movers during 10 sets of the flat bench press. 10 male athletes representing different sport disciplines, experienced in resistance training took part in the study. Results: In the first set all of the tested muscles increased their tension from the first 3 repetitions to the last 3 repetitions. The tension of these muscles increased in successive repetitions and reached significantly greater values in the last repetitions of the set. In the 10th final set of the BP exercise protocol the athletes performed only 8-9 repetitions and the activity of all studied muscles decreased significantly from the first 3 to the last 3 repetitions of the set. Conclusions: It seems that peripheral fatigue limits the number of repetitions in the first set of the BP, while central fatigue accumulates with each set, causing a very significant drop in the EMG activity and the load lifted in the 10th, last set of the exercise protocol.



Author ORCID Identifier

Artur Gołaś https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6656-6993; Adam Maszczyk https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9139-9747; Adam Zając https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4374-4822