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JEgol71
02-09-2007, 02:49 PM
I've not had access to the combine coverage on NFL Network in the past, so I have yet to see what the format for the bench press is:

1. Do the players participating receive a lift-off or do they unrack it themselves?
2. Are they forced into a certain width for gripping the bar? The wider you go, the shorter your rep span.
3. Are reps with visible momentum from bouncing counted?
4. Are spots dynamic or static, meaning do they guide you until you've got nothing left in the tank and then they let you keep going, or once you're stuck, you're done and they rerack it no questions asked?
5. Do they go by the five-points-on-the-bench rule (head, shoulders, lower back and both hips), or can they arc themselves?
7. Are they touch-and-go reps, or do they not have to touch?
8. Lockout required?
6. Who really cares?

I'm somewhat of a bench enthusiast, but the fact that this is the test for strength is ludicrous. I know of people who have perfected the form for bench press endurance and repped out 225 for 52 reps, but throw 315 on there and they can't get it 10 times! A high school recruit out of Utah (?) named Simi Fili apparently bench pressed 185 74 times, but only maxes at 435. Igor Olshansky got 41 reps of 225 and maxes at 500, while Justin Geisinger got 43 on campus (read: less stringent rules) and maxes at about 635. Apparently Amobi Okoye has done 52 reps of 225, but only maxes at 475. What is this? It's not strength. Like the SAT, a high score (1300 +) guarantees that you are of a high intellectual capacity, whereas a low score does not precisely translate to being dumb. The NFL is a game of power and speed, and while endurance matters, that's what a whistle blows for, at least from a dynamic force effort.

1. If they want to determine strength for football, there should be a battery of strength tests, primarily involving power clean, squat, deadlift and bench press (incline bench press I believe would actually translate better to the upward force inflicted by opposing linemen, they use it in the NFL Lineman challenge).
2. It is all about wiggle room. Once you've locked into 225 and your technique is pristine, you can go until your lactic acid builds up beyond your muscle tolerance. Put 315 on there and suddenly it's a question of how much power you can exert. Put 405 on there and you're excluding a lot of players, but suddenly you're getting an even more accurate depiction of how this man can plow people with his chest and arms. Put 700 on there, and you've got Larry Allen. 225 should be a feather for even the weakest NFL players not named Gramatica or Gould. Where is somebody repping this out on the field, or anywhere? Watch the guys who got 26 reps versus 40 reps of 225 suddenly get 9-10 reps of 315, and watch the guys who got 40 get about the same.
3. The tried and true maxim for tests off the field: It's a contest in a vacuum, not a game. The 40 yd. dash has some (questionable) predictive validity, but people always talk about football speed as something else. People also talk about weight room strength versus football strength. 225 for reps is a weight room number. Leif Larsen. Mike Kudla. Mike Mamula.

Just something to lift your spirits as you await the combine. Thoughts?:dolphins:

Crowder52
02-09-2007, 03:13 PM
I'll be honest with you in that I don't know the requirements for benching at the combine. What I do want to comment on is something you mentioned...the fact that using the bench press is a ridiculous way to measure football strength.

During the bench press, your back is fully supported and you are pushing the bar in a directly vertical manner. There is not a single time in a football game when one would perform this motion (mainly due to the back support aspect). Clean and jerk, as you mentioned, is a much more practical measure of football strength. This motion is similar to that used when taking on blockers, and the hip aspect of the clean is used in tackling.

That being said, I'd imagine I would want different strength measurements for my different positions. Linebackers, fullbacks - power cleans. Linemen - power cleans and squats. Running backs - squats. Defensive backs - don't care. I think it would be hard to find a single lift to measure all positions. The bench press suffices as a lift fans can talk about, but I can't imagine it is taken very seriously by personnel departments.

Pocoloco
02-09-2007, 03:14 PM
man, I wish I could only max at 435!!

you're right though, a host of exercises would be a better, especially explosive lifts like the power clean and the squat. Thing is, guys maxing out like that might ruin the rest of their combine. You'd have to do it on the last day.

Elfpower
02-09-2007, 05:36 PM
I get everyones points on why the bench is a bad measure for the combine and I do agree somewhat...BUT if you have someone who can't rep 225 out a whole bunch that to me is a sign of low muscle fatigue/endurance/lack of chest explosiveness. Now the importance of this varies between different postions but I can run thru those.
Lineman:this would be most important because these guys are using a bench press motion on every down. You need this motion to get your leverage on another player and it is proper technique to get good footing and your back straight where your torso pivots from your legs and hips. Someone said you have back support on bench so its not the same as blocking but these guys keep there back straight and upwards at all times. You would get beat like crazy if you stayed hunched over all day. SO, having a high rep count shows that he has high muscle endurance...meaning he can maintain a higher stregnth for 60 minutes. Dline isn't quite as important because they use different moves when getting to the man with the ball but certainly matters when bull rushing or trying to maintain your running lanes to clog the run.
LINEBACKERS: Sheading blocks constantly
RBS: Not a big deal but stiff arm or two. But fullbacks neen it to explode on potential tacklers.
RECIEVERS: would suprisingly be pretty important considering there supposed to be run blocking half the game.
DB's : again not a big deal but definately helps if your a guys who does a lot of jamming at the line ala Surtain.
QBS: Eh, who really cares. Still fun to hear there rep count. I betcha Brady Quinn would probably beat Cutler's awesome number from last year. Quinn is pretty stacked.

Finfan53
02-09-2007, 06:19 PM
I'd be more interested in how many times a linebacker can do 275lbs. and how many times a DT or Offensive lineman can do 315lbs. I think if this was the case, over the next 10-12 yrs., the number of repetitions would certainly increase for those weights with reps in the 20-25 range.

DB's and widereivers can continue using 225lbs.

JFoxx
02-09-2007, 06:48 PM
I don't understand some of the stuff they have them do either, but unfortunately, they're not going to change it anytime soon. All this stuff should be done in full equipment too. I think guys running, catching and passing in t-shirt and shorts is stupid, but that's how they do it. I also think it's a joke for guys to turn down a workout at the combine and then hold their own indiv. workouts so they can pump up their draft stock right before the draft. If they turn it down, then they have to work out at the college workout days instead. I think the individual stuff, where they only do certain drills,etc. can be completely manipulated to their favor. It's either all or nothing and needs to be when the NFL says, not the prospect.

Finfan53
02-09-2007, 10:11 PM
I don't understand some of the stuff they have them do either, but unfortunately, they're not going to change it anytime soon. All this stuff should be done in full equipment too. I think guys running, catching and passing in t-shirt and shorts is stupid, but that's how they do it. I also think it's a joke for guys to turn down a workout at the combine and then hold their own indiv. workouts so they can pump up their draft stock right before the draft. If they turn it down, then they have to work out at the college workout days instead. I think the individual stuff, where they only do certain drills,etc. can be completely manipulated to their favor. It's either all or nothing and needs to be when the NFL says, not the prospect.
I agree, certainly have to take it with a big grain of salt.
At least everyone runs on the same surface and does the same drills together on the turf. Everyone gets clocked by the same people so it helps to compare general athletic ability. Ridiculous how if a guy benches 34 reps and some other guy does 27.... they take it too seriously

colmax
02-10-2007, 01:07 PM
Firstly, I am not going to question what the NFL does in their combines. Millions of dollars are at stake and the plethora of tests the players are asked to participate in obviously mean something to owners on down to scouts. It is an even playing field when it comes to the combines. I think it is fair.

BUT, what a player does at the combine always translate into the actual NFL game? Of course not. I like what Herm Edwards said last year about the combines (taken out of context): "When it comes down to it, we're looking for football players. We look at tape. The combine stuff is nice, but what can these players do on the field?" So, yeah, the coaches know that it is just what it is: Guys running around in shorts doing drills and taking classroom tests. But it gives the potential teams a better understanding of any particular player. Hell, they even do background checks! Like, what type of family did the guy come from, etc. I think the teams try to dot their "I's" and cross their "T's" when it comes to investing this kind of money into a potential employee, as they should!

So, when it comes down to it, yeah.....take it with a grain of salt, but understand there are reasons behind the things they do. Think about what Herm said. But enjoy the hell out of it. It makes the football offseason seem much shorter.....

KendallCat
02-11-2007, 01:17 AM
To answer your question I think the reason 225 is used is so they can have a standard for all players to be measured against, and if you went to 275 or 315you would have a couple of problems. Some QB's, WR's, and DB's might not get a single rep with the weight which means you have learned nothing about their strength levels, and you also bring into play the possiblity of injury for a guy that is trying to lift more than he is capable of doing but feels pressured to perform for the NFL. It is not critical that a Jamarcus Russel or Calvin Johnson be able to bench 315 pounds to know if they can play football or not, but if I was them I would not risk a payoff of $30+ million so I can bench a few reps for NFL teams.

Roman529
02-11-2007, 03:23 AM
I believe they test how many reps a guy can do at 225....just like at the Pro Bowl where I believe Larry Allen won it with 53 of them? They don't let you bounce,,,you have to lock it each time.

Jaj
02-11-2007, 04:13 AM
Actually it's a great test for WRs and CBs.

NorFlaFin
02-11-2007, 09:25 AM
Come'on meathead!

Crowder52
02-11-2007, 12:07 PM
Actually it's a great test for WRs and CBs.

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