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Old 04-21-2010   #1
wagonhed
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Default Combine bench press for linemen.

Is this really an effective test? The reason I ask is because when you are able to do 25-35 reps of a lift, it's not testing your strength at that point, it's testing a type of muscular endurance that IMO isn't really used much in football.

Brian Price did 34 reps while Dan Williams did 27, but does that really mean Price is stronger? I doubt it.

The difference between Price doing 34 and Williams doing 27 reps tells us basically nothing. My suggestion? Linemen should do reps with 315lbs, not 225lbs. 225 is a trivial weight for these guys. 315 is still pretty trivial, but it should be a much better indication of true football strength. I suspect that you would see results that vary much more widely, like in the 5-20 range. Plus, if you're actually watching it, seeing how they handle a more realistic weight might be helpful.


Thoughts?
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Old 04-21-2010   #2
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Default Re: Combine bench press for linemen.

6 of one half dozen of the other. You don't typically need to exert 315 lbs of force to move a 315 lbs lineman. You also typically won't be doing that or 225 lbs 20 times in a row. Then there is the arm length issue. Pick some standard point and test it. Arguing too much beyond that really doesn't achieve much. It's really just for comparison sake although sure lots of arguments could be made for other benchmarks.
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Old 04-21-2010   #3
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Default Re: Combine bench press for linemen.

The best test of strength would be to have the guys max out but they will never do that for fear of someone getting hurt.

Most of the testing done at the combine is useless anyway. The interviews and position drills are the only thing I pay attention to.
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Old 04-22-2010   #4
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Default Re: Combine bench press for linemen.

Tests their dedication in the weight room. Guy lifting 30 times knows what he is doing in a weight room.
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Old 04-22-2010   #5
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Default Re: Combine bench press for linemen.

You get a lineman who doesn't have the functional strength to move the bar more than twenty five times, that's a problem. as long as they get close to thirty I wouldn't worry about it.

Just like the little shadow drill they make the o-lineman do where they start the drill on their backs opposite their "shadow". Has nothing to do with being on the ground and everything to do with how athletic they are getting up and on to their feet to start the drill, i.e. functional athleticism and quickness. If they look awkward getting off the ground odds are they are going to play awkward game day and they are not locked and loaded. If you go back and watch the three cone drills of Kindle and Iupati, the movements are almost identical.
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Old 04-22-2010   #6
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Default Re: Combine bench press for linemen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bah007 View Post
The best test of strength would be to have the guys max out but they will never do that for fear of someone getting hurt.

Most of the testing done at the combine is useless anyway. The interviews and position drills are the only thing I pay attention to.
Exactly, they should max out.
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Old 04-22-2010   #7
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Default Re: Combine bench press for linemen.

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Originally Posted by TimeKiller View Post
Tests their dedication in the weight room. Guy lifting 30 times knows what he is doing in a weight room.

Not necessarily. Arm length is a big determining factor and there is a big difference between football strength and weight room strength. Some guys have better muscular endurance than others and that can be genetic. Not in all cases, but in some. You have to be careful getting too wrapped up in bench press numbers. It does, however, give you pause to at least go back and look at film to check strength in games and core strength.
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Old 04-22-2010   #8
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Default Re: Combine bench press for linemen.

A strength and conditioning coach I used to train with always trained his linemen to maximize their incline bench press instead of their flat bench. He felt that blocking generally used more delt than pec. He believed linemen were usually leaning forward and not perfectly upright. So the incline more closely mimicked the blocking motion.

He trained them in two ways. He trained the incline for maximizing 1RM using some techniques similar to the Westside Barbell approach. In other words, he worked for maximal strength but he did that by doing speed work along with the heavy singles. He felt this gave them a better punch. But he also worked on high rep work (8-10 reps) to build endurance.

But, when it comes to this sort of weight room work, your genetics factors in to a lot of this. If you've got a bigger chest and/or shorter arms, you've got the ability to do more reps as well as higher weight because you've got a shorter range of motion and you're effectively doing less work. Those same genetics can work against you in a real life blocking situation.

So, personally, the combine bench press numbers don't mean a lot to me. I think it's the wrong exercise, done the wrong way, testing the wrong thing. As long as a guy can do a certain amount of reps for his size, I'm fine. If a lineman can't do more than 15 reps, there's a problem there. If a skill player can't do more than 5 reps, there's a problem there. That problem may be lack of commitment or some structural problem but it's a problem.
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Old 04-22-2010   #9
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Default Re: Combine bench press for linemen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonhed View Post
Is this really an effective test? The reason I ask is because when you are able to do 25-35 reps of a lift, it's not testing your strength at that point, it's testing a type of muscular endurance that IMO isn't really used much in football.

Brian Price did 34 reps while Dan Williams did 27, but does that really mean Price is stronger? I doubt it.

The difference between Price doing 34 and Williams doing 27 reps tells us basically nothing. My suggestion? Linemen should do reps with 315lbs, not 225lbs. 225 is a trivial weight for these guys. 315 is still pretty trivial, but it should be a much better indication of true football strength. I suspect that you would see results that vary much more widely, like in the 5-20 range. Plus, if you're actually watching it, seeing how they handle a more realistic weight might be helpful.


Thoughts?
I agree. They should up the weight for lineman. 225 isn't a lot of weight for guys that size that are supposed to be strong as hell. I think a higher bench mark for lineman would definitely tell a little bit more about their strength when all of them should be able to walk through 225 like nothing.

I also agree with what Pencil Neck was saying about the incline bench pressing especially for smaller and shorter lineman with less height who have to get up and under other lineman to toss them to the side and hit them from up under several times.
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