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You should know I don’t get down like that. So Mark Bell is famous for being one really strong bloke! In fact his a pretty interesting character too, as I’ve listened to a fair few recent podcast interviews his been on. He also has a multi-million dollar business empire of the back of his impressive powerlifting career. Furthermore, he holds world records and ranks in the top 10 power lifters of all time, with a total of 2,628 lbs! Yup, 2,628lbs, which is roughly 980kg, which is 1.08 short tons, which is HEAVY!
But you would think I’d have known all this prior to buying the original slingshot above right? Wrong. In fact, it was an older university friend of mine who recommended I get one of these 5 years ago, as he was a bodybuilding enthusiast.
I needed it..
Now at that time it made perfect sense. I had a relatively decent squat and dead lift average and despite a small frame my legs and back looked okay. However, my toddler like chest never seemed to grow, nor did it look like I was able to pick up any serious weight on it. So hearing from my friend, that this almost replaces a spotter (those people, who basically help you lift the whole weight up, yelling “it’s all you”) I thought I’d give it a try.
Plus at this time, I had my own personal gym in my garage which I would often train alone in so this made perfect sense. Now given I weighed circa 70kg when I purchased this and couldn’t really boast large biceps I opted for the medium size. This was actually a good idea, as when your blood starts pumping it can get tight. Plus you want it tight!
Yup, those were my first few words when I first tried to put it on. I had my headphones in a jam, and sliding the hole sleeves up my arm was a slight workout in itself. But once it was on it felt secure. The slingshot rested across my chest and tight on my biceps. I could lift my arms forwards (front raise) and it would feel tight across the arms.
So initially it was a bit awkward to get things moving as there was an elastic band reaction to the barbell coming off your chest. It felt relatively stable, on the descending phase, but the moment you get to the bottom of the movement, it literally shoots up.
This got me excited! Yes, a bit of momentum is being used and its technically not really a pause stop (something if I am being completely honest I never really trained much using the slingshot.
But I continued to play around with it. Now strangely enough as I wrote this I remember I even recorded some YouTube videos of it (they may make you cringe, but at least it proves I actually used it!)
Back in my YouTube Days
So in case you aren’t interested in the video the results were pretty outstanding. I was able to add 4-5 comfortable reps to my bench press on my maximum lifts. I was also able to add about 10% onto my bench press when I initially started. Pretty impressive to be honest. As a result over time too, it allowed my bench without the slingshot to improve due to my body being used to holding more weight and progressive overload kicking in!
However, there was a few things I need to warn you about. You may have a tendency to move weight quicker than usual, which can disrupt your technique practice and in effect make it a completely different type of movement. If you are anything like me, I focus mainly on technique and always try to have some consistency. But again this could have just been my ego kicking in to blast out some weight.
It will also come at a price. It is not the cheapest accessory, but it massively works! Amazon is where I actually purchased it from.
But other than the price of the slingshot, it was very well-made. I have had it now for over 4 years and it hasn’t worn or torn in any places. It has been part of a house move too and stayed intact. It also hasn’t stretched as the material used is of good quality.
My favourite part of this however, was not that I was able to ego lift, or add loads of weight. It was the fact that it protected my shoulders. Far too often many of us injure our shoulders, when we bench press. Either due to a lack of form or not fully developing our muscles holistically. The slingshot, indirectly, although it could have been purposely made this way, will force your shoulders to stay back and intact. Or at the very least remain in a fixed position. This is hugely importantly for longevity and injury prevention.
So the question you have to ask yourself, is “do I need this accessory? Do I need the Mark Bell Slingshot?” Is it going to serve a purpose for me and will I gain value from it. I personally did or else I would be offering alternatives. Our circumstances could be entirely different.
Who it works for:
- Someone who trains alone
- Anyone wanting to increase the overall load safely
- Someone looking to protect their shoulder muscles, or overcoming an injury
Who it doesn’t work for:
- Someone wanting to not spend £50+ on an accessory
- Anyone who has a regular gym partner
If you do try this however, please let me know your experience with it. For me like I said, it helped me lift more weight than I was use too and over time allowed me to handle weights that I would normally struggle on. It also allowed me to stop getting regular injuries.
Have an awesome day and don’t forget to stay subscribed or come back for my regular weekly blogs!
Also, for full transparency, the affiliate link for Mark Bells slingshot attached, means you pay the exact same price but I may earn a few pennies off the back of it. You will also benefit from a new best friend, me!