6 Cool Training Tools I Saw at The IPF Bench Press World Championships In Japan

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6 Cool Training Tools I Saw at The IPF Bench Press World Championships In Japan

This year I had the opportunity to Coach and compete at the 1st ever Classic & Equipped Bench Press World Championships in Tokyo Japan.

With literally over 1000+ lifters from all over the world it was a crazy site to see.

Jen Thompson Japan     

A full long week event with bench teams from all across the world. Teams from Russia, USA, Canada, Japan, Lithuania, Great Britain, Mongolia, Denmark, Iceland, Australia, Germany, France and so many more countries.

Some of the strongest classic and equipped benchers in the world were there competing at this event.  Top lifters such as Daiki Kodama, Yusuke Sazuki, Eddie Berglund, Jennifer Thompson, Anna Birzhevaia and countless other top benchers from across the world.



As a Coach and lifter I am always watching what other teams are doing to improve their lifting and coaching.

Here are a few cool things I saw at Bench Worlds in Japan.

Overload Tools

Overload tools have numerous benefits for both classic and equipped lifting.

They allow you to lift heavier weights, reduce chance of injury and damage to the body and joints.

As well they help get the nervous system “aroused” to get you ready to lift heavy weights.

There were Sling Shots, homemade versions, bands and more. But a big portion of the benchers used overload tools.

Arch Tools

Another thing I saw where “Arch tools”.

These are designed to help maximize your bench arch and improve back mobility.

I saw everything from foam rollers, home made customized pieces of wood, rolled up t-shirts and sweaters and more.

Jennifer Thompson was even walking around with her trusty football that she uses to improve her arch.

Bench Boards & Knee Wraps 

I saw a lot of bench boards this year.

All shapes and sizes ranging from 3 boards down to a half board.

Some had home made boards with multiple heights ranging from half board to 3 board that can be changed in seconds.

As well a lot of people were using knee wraps like they were bench boards. You fold the wraps to get a distance.  

This makes it easy to travel with, and also teaches you to have a “soft touch” on the wraps.

Rhaea & Ryan Stinn use this one a lot (from Blaine Sumner I believe). 


Heavy Holds 

Heavy holds are nothing new but they still work and I see them at meets and at Worlds.

With a heavy hold you take anywhere from 10%-30% more than your PR and hold it for 10+ seconds

Like a set you want to work your way up, don’t just jump to say 30%, not a smart call.

Important point, be sure to have spotters, ideally 3 point spot.

Heavy Negatives 

I saw a few of these this year at Worlds, not a lot, but a few.

For classic bench a heavy negative can get your nervous system up and also give you a feel for something you may bench, or heavier nustfor the eccentric.

Do not push the bar up, just do the negative. As well don’t make the negative too long, this will cut into strength and recovery.

2-5 seconds should be fine for a heavy eccentric.

Important Note : This can be very risky for classic lifters.

You see heavy negatives more with equipped lifters in a few ways.

I saw some lifters breaking in new tight shirts just trying to “touch” without the press.

I also saw some lifters take their last warm ups and just “touch” followed by a lift from the spotter and slight press from the lifter.

This lets the lifter know they can “touch” on the open, which is a big thing when trying to find the right weight to as your opening attempt


Being around the best benchers and coaches in the world was an incredible experience.

But no matter how strong we are, we are always looking for anything to give us an edge or extra kilo.

It’s one of the things that make our sport great.


About Coach Rob

Rob King is Head Coach for Team Canada PowerLifting.

He is a competive PowerLifter.

5X Worlds Medalist, 3X CommonWealths Champion, 5X NAPF Champion, Pan Am Champion & 5X National Champion.

You can connect with Coach Rob here

Facebook - www.Facebook.com/Robking1

Instagram - www.Instagram.com/Robkingfitness_hw

Email robkingfitness@gmail.com


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