The bench press is the only upper body strength test at the NFL Combine. Athletes will bench press 225 pounds for as many reps as they can execute. This event is not a powerlifting competition; it is a matter of moving the bar as quickly and efficiently as possible. Most prospective NFL quarterbacks (excluding Brady Quinn) opt out of the bench press, but if you’re on either side of the interior of the line, the event is a requirement. 

What to know

You will get one attempt at the bench press test. Your hips must stay on the bench, and you must perform a complete lock-out with each rep. Bouncing the weight off your torso is allowed – as is being on the balls of your feet.

What is Being Tested?

The bench press tests upper body endurance for bigger athletes, and it tests upper body strength for lighter ones.

Training Focus

Bench press training focuses on two components: muscular endurance and strength. Training couples this approach with a strategy creating a path specific to each rep goal. Once you have established a rep goal, you will create a path to that goal.  Even though every rep goal has a different path, each has a basement – or the foundation to hit that number. Breathing control and patience are needed to be successful, and you should constantly hone these factors. At times, endurance training can be unorthodox, but the test itself is unconventional.  

Historical Performance

Quinten Lawrence (WR McNeese State) – 20 Reps

Sometimes it’s not the accomplishment but who is executing the movement that sticks out. “Q,” as Quinten was referred to, was an all-state high jumper who, to my knowledge, cleared 7’. Not sure how many people can boast of accomplishing both feats; my guess is that he might be the only one. 


Interested in this type of training for the NFL Combine or an upcoming Pro Day? Contact Rich Sadiv: 

Phone: 201-966-4441