You can have an opinion on the bench press but it has its purpose, people will keep doing it in the gym and it is an important measure of performance in sport, especially American football.
I have a guest article from Chandler Marchman on common mistakes people make when performing the bench press test.
Every self-respecting man knows about the 1 Rep Max Bench Test.
You go to the gym, you warm up (if you’re one of the smart ones), you pick a weight that will challenge every ounce of your grit and pride, and then you push it to lock out. It’s the simplest and most popular test of strength that every blue – collar lifter puts himself through on a regular basis.
It’s not the ONLY bench press test out there though. It might be an accurate test of maximal strength, but does it test ones ability to see how long they can produce force though a prolonged state?
There is a test that does though.
A variation of it has been made popular by the NFL and for good reason.
It doesn’t just gauge ones ability to produce force, it also measures the ability to do so over time.
I’m talking about the Bodyweight Bench Test.
This is the best way to measure ones muscular endurance and strength at the same time. And as with any test, if you’re going to do it, it’s worth doing right!
So let’s examine some of the common mistakes and simple solutions that will allow you to master this test…
Mistake #1: Lack of Maximal Strength:
It’s real simple, if you lack the maximal strength to even do 1 rep on this test, the weak link has been automatically identified.
Mastering the Bodyweight Rep Test has a multitude of different requirements, but this one requirement is to me the most important. Even if you can do a couple of reps, just by increasing your maximal strength you’d be able to push out a few more than you did before.
Conservation of energy.
Those that are stronger have a relatively easier time lifting a specific weight than those that are weaker. My solution…focus on building a foundation of maximal strength.
Mistake #2: Poor Form:
Success in the gym, as in life is all about efficiency of movement. The person that gets more done with greater speed and less effort will win every time.
This is especially true with the bench press. If your form is off, then you’re lifting inefficiently. And an inefficient lifter not only performs below their level of talent, but also risks injury that will put him further behind the competition. My advice is to put your ego aside, use less weight on the bar, and master the form in your bench before progressing to anything else.
Mistake #3: No Plan of Action:
The Bodyweight Bench Test is a specific test that requires a specific program to address its many intricacies.
– Warm Up
– Test Taking Skills/Tricks
– Weak Point Training
If you don’t address all of these you absolutely cannot and will not be able to perform this test in a successful manor.
All of these glaring problems that I’ve discussed above have been the Achilles heel to many NFL Combine athletes and average meatheads alike. And if left unaddressed, the risk of injury or lost potential is not only a risk, but as close to a certainty as you can get. That’s why there are programs like this.
To address the problems that people have. To not only assure you of success, but more importantly to help you avoid the hardships and frustrations that you would most certainly endure if you didn’t adopt a system that puts you in position for greater success.
Creator of Bench for Reps