Hit the Bench for Gridiron Power


“Even though the 225 pound bench press test is an endurance strength test, I recommend that an athlete must also become an overall stronger bencher to improve his performance in the drill. For example, there should be days where the focus is solely on improving the athlete’s one repetition max.”

— How to master the 225 pound bench press*


There is reason the National Football League uses the Bench Press to determine upper body strength and endurance in the evaluation of athletes is based in hard bio-mechanical and physical science. The Bench Press is the upper-body-dominant exercise in which we can display the greatest force and hence develop the greatest upper body strength.

The NFL uses a test which determines the athlete’s repetition maximum 225 pounds (102.5 KG). The NFL strength experts determined that this gives a very good picture of an athlete’s upper body maximum strength and muscular endurance. The National Basketball association uses a similar rep test with 185 pounds (84 KG) and the National Hockey League uses one with a certain percentage of the athlete’s body weight.

If you are an athlete in one of these or any other sports, increasing your bench press skill and ability will pay huge dividends when it comes to impressing coaches and scouts, as well as directly improving performance on the field, court, ice, ring, or cage. The power with which you can execute all sports movements are dependent on the maximum force capability of the body.

Heavy Squats and deadlift for the lower body-trunk system and the bench press for the upper body are the only means for fast and long term maximum strength improvement. The standing press is then the most efficient movement for converting max strength gained through the bench press into total body kinematic force from foot to hand.

The key to increasing all bench press rep maxes lies in increasing your 1 rep maximum. All the rep max weights are obviously percentages of your 1 RM. If you increase your 1 RM all other weights feel lighter to you. This immediately increases all other performance potentials. No matter what you training goal is, the bench press will be one of your foundational means.

*For quoted article, please visit: NFL | News

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