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Today, we’re going to investigate whether ingesting beetroot can add 19% to your bench press.


If you’re unfamiliar with this claim, it was stated on the Netflix documentary ‘Game Changers’ that this is possible…

Well, in short…yes and no.

When we think of this statement, we think that it can add slabs of beef onto each side of the bar to rep a new max weight. Well, not so fast, because it can’t.

In a 2016 study by Mosher and colleagues, they looked to see whether consuming a 70mL Beet It shot for six consecutive days before performing 3 sets of bench to failure at 60% 1RM, with 2 minutes rest between sets produced greater results.

What they were measuring is the total weight lifted over a number of sets, i.e. volume and their ability to tolerate more reps, not their 1RM (plus, it was smith machine bench, not old skool bench. yolo).

What they found is that consuming beet it shots for 6 days prior to testing did in fact improve their bench press. The supplement group lifted a total of 2582kg over 3 sets to failure, where the placebo group only lifted 2171kg.

Which in agreement, is a 19% increase in bench press performance, but not your 1RM.

It’s been well established that supplementing with foods high in nitrate increases nitric oxide production and subsequently improves exercise performance.

Essentially, it helps you to become more fatigue resistant through increased oxygen availability to the working muscles.

I think it’s safe to say that I’m renowned to be the worst bench presser in Leeds, so if something could add 19% onto my bench, I’d be all over it…but it’s simply not the case.

I think you can agree that it’s just very disappointing to see how they shared the results as it’s very misleading. Plus, as far as I’m aware, you don’t have to be vegan to take a Beet It shot. Awks…

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