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Bench Press Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

Objective

The objective of the bench press test is to evaluate an athlete's upper body strength.

Required Resources

To undertake this test you will require:

  • Barbell and weights
  • Weighing Scales
  • Bench
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

This test requires the athlete to complete as many bench presses as possible with no rest.

  • The assistant weighs and records the athlete's weight
  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The assistant loads the bar bell with a weight close to the athlete’s one repetition maximum load.
  • The athlete conducts bench presses until they are unable to continue
  • The assistant acts as a spotter for the athlete and counts the number of successful bench presses
  • If the number of bench presses exceeds 10 then the athlete rests for 10 minutes, the assistant increases the barbell weight and the athlete repeats the test
  • The assistant uses the maximum load calculator to determine the athlete's 1RM.
Bench Press - Start Bench Press - Mid position Bench Press - End position

Assessment

To evaluate your 1RM bench press enter gender, age, body weight, 1RM bench press weight and then select the 'Calculate' button. The 1RM evaluation is based on McArdle et al. (2000)[2] reference values for 1RM bench press relative to body weight.

Gender Age
Body weight 1RM Weight
Body Weight to Weight ratio
Assessment

Research by Dohoney P. et al. (2002)[1] identified the following equations to determine 1RM for the Bench Press test:

  • 4-6RM : -24.62 + (1.12 x weight) + (5.09 x number of reps)
  • 7-10RM : -1.89 + (1.16 x weight) + (1.68 x number of reps)

To determine your 1RM, using the above equations, enter the weight you lifted, the number of repetitions you completed before failure and then select the "Calculate" button. The number of repetitions before failure must lie in the range of 4 to 10 repetitions and the weight greater than 10 otherwise the calculated 1RM will be zero.

Weight   Repetitions     1RM

A good 1RM for the bench press is 1.25 × "Body Weight" for men and 0.8 × "Body Weight" for women.

Analysis

Analysis of the test result is by comparing it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's upper body strength.

Target Group

This test is suitable for active individuals but not for those where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability

Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.

Validity

Test validity refers to the degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor the effect of training on the athlete's physical development.

Advantages

  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct

Disadvantages

  • Specialist equipment required
  • Assistant required to administer the test and act as spotter


References

  1. DOPHONEY, P. et al. (2002) Prediction of one repetition maximum (1-RM) strength from a 4-6 RM and a 7-10 RM submaximal strength test in healthy young adult males. Journal of Exercise Physiology, 5 (3), p. 54-59
  2. McARDLE, W. et al. (2000) Essentials of Exercise Physiology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins p. 394

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (1997) Bench Press Test [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/bpress.htm [Accessed

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: