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Why do they only measure "strength" by Bench Press?

  • Ether
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Just curious. In terms of football strength, the bench press is the worst way to measure how strong a football player is going to be on the field. Why don't they go with squat or even better, the deadlift? Those incorporate your legs and your core, and the deadlift literally incorporates ever body part from your calves to your traps.
Good question! What bench press tells me is whether the guy spends much time in the weight room. It is pretty easy for a strong guy to build up his bench ability but it takes time. Also may be seen as a good measure of hand punch ability, though their are now machines that can actually register that specifically.

The only other reason I can see is that players may be more prone to injury with squats.
Well they do have jumping to determine your explosiveness. That helps... But you are right. Further, those with long arms usually struggle compared to those with shorter arms...and the nfl loves long arms.
Strength is measured by all explosive movements.

The broad jump, vertical jump and 40 yard dash are also measures of strength relative to overall size.
They should replace the bench press with jump/plyo pushups with a weighted vest.
I'm sure it is to prevent injury since guys would really be pushing it with squats and deadlifts.

One thing you have to remember is these are football players, not power lifters. In football you care more about explosive strength as it is exhibited in drills like vertical jump, 10/20/40 yard dash, and other more football specific drills.

Most on-field drills though favor the lower body. So bench press is used to evaluate upper body strength.
I am a fan of adding the truck pull and the tire flip to the Combine, but thats just me.
[ Edited by 49er4life on Apr 9, 2012 at 10:31 AM ]
Originally posted by blm7754:
I'm sure it is to prevent injury since guys would really be pushing it with squats and deadlifts.

One thing you have to remember is these are football players, not power lifters. In football you care more about explosive strength as it is exhibited in drills like vertical jump, 10/20/40 yard dash, and other more football specific drills.

Most on-field drills though favor the lower body. So bench press is used to evaluate upper body strength.

I agree.
I have often wondered about some of these tests like like the wonderlic or whatever it is called. some of these tests are so ingrained cause that is how they been doing it for a long time. they measure and use it to compare to past picks as par to fo the evels. However this is the 21rst century, surely they should have come up with newer method. Of course they con't have anything to judge it against, but they got to start somewhere.

Especially since some of these athletes go to these specialty camps just to improve their numbers. Some as some scouts and observers are want to say: some of these guys fast 40 times don't seem to translate to the field.

I for one don't understand why they don't have these guys do these drills with full pads on. Maybe do specialty drills for the position. Like say for instance linemen, get a sled and weigh it down to a certain amount, have the linemen timed in pushing the sled an X amount of yards, make them do it 3X. They already drill linemen to do that do see their technique, so shy not add the element of time?

Of course change in the NFL is usually slow in coming if at all.
They have said at the combine that it is not only about strength but about how much time a player has spent in the weight room.
They are checking for dedication and work ethic as much as strength. It is also about stamina. How will that strength hold up in the fourth quarter
if you aren't going to dedicate yourself to your job. It's less about pure strength and more about work ethic.
I actually wish that they would do the big three lifts and give the total amount of weight.

Bench + Deadlift + Squat = a good measure of overall strength.
Originally posted by WildBill:
I have often wondered about some of these tests like like the wonderlic or whatever it is called. some of these tests are so ingrained cause that is how they been doing it for a long time. they measure and use it to compare to past picks as par to fo the evels. However this is the 21rst century, surely they should have come up with newer method. Of course they con't have anything to judge it against, but they got to start somewhere.

Especially since some of these athletes go to these specialty camps just to improve their numbers. Some as some scouts and observers are want to say: some of these guys fast 40 times don't seem to translate to the field.

I for one don't understand why they don't have these guys do these drills with full pads on. Maybe do specialty drills for the position. Like say for instance linemen, get a sled and weigh it down to a certain amount, have the linemen timed in pushing the sled an X amount of yards, make them do it 3X. They already drill linemen to do that do see their technique, so shy not add the element of time?

Of course change in the NFL is usually slow in coming if at all.


Agree that some of these seem dated and the wonderlic may be on its way out due to leaks. I like the chalk board quizzes that Mooch has taken players through. Tells me much more than how many questions a guy can read and answer in two minutes. Speed readers would have quite an advantage.

Would love to see a weighted sled driven five or ten yards for a time. There are also machines that measure punch and that would be interesting. Having WRs run routes would also be better, although they do a limited about of this already.
Because its just the combine.
Originally posted by blm7754:
I'm sure it is to prevent injury since guys would really be pushing it with squats and deadlifts.

One thing you have to remember is these are football players, not power lifters. In football you care more about explosive strength as it is exhibited in drills like vertical jump, 10/20/40 yard dash, and other more football specific drills.

Most on-field drills though favor the lower body. So bench press is used to evaluate upper body strength.

this

Originally posted by 49er4life:
I am a fan of adding the truck pull and the tire flip to the Combine, but thats just me.

Id love to see tire flips. An exercise that puts you in a football position...deep squat, hips down, ass nearly touching the floor and head up....and exploding out? What a great way to test football strength and endurance. Test how many flips in a minute with a 400 LB tire. Much better barometer than flat bench
when it comes to pass/run blocking, or pass rushing, footwork and hand position have more to do with ability than strength.

You can be a monster sized T, like Robert Gallery, but if you don't have good footwork and know how to use your hands and leverage, you're going to suck at blocking, no matter how strong you are.

I think bench is just an easy way to see upper body strength and endurance. they basically just put on 225 and have you do as many reps as you can.