With the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine getting underway, draft hopefuls will be put through a number of drills to test their speed, agility, explosiveness, and strength. Inside the Pylon is publishing a special set of glossary terms to define some of the drills these players face in Indianapolis.
The bench press is a strength drill that prospects participate in at the scouting combine. The athlete lies down on a flat bench and lowers a barbell to his chest, then drives it upward while keeping the bar centered over his chest. This lowering and raising to full extension counts for one repetition. In Indianapolis, the players are tasked with performing the maximum number of repetitions they can with a weight of 225 pounds.
From the 2011 Scouting Combine, here is defensive end Stephen Paea putting up one of the highest totals in combine history, a whopping 49 reps:
As with some of the combine drills, there is uncertainty over what the bench press truly tests. It does measure an athlete’s chest strength, but similar to the 40 yard dash and speed, it is not a movement that players duplicate often on the football field. Some other weight-training exercises, such as the hang clean, might be a truer test of strength over multiple muscle groups, as well as explosiveness. Some scouts and evaluators believe that the bench press is a good measure of how an athlete works in the weight room, away from the field. Regardless of how teams utilize the event, the bench press remains one of the core combine drills.