What’s the record for bench press at the NFL combine? And how does it compare to the average score? We take a look at the numbers.
Since the NFL began tracking bench press reps at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2000, there have been some impressive performances. Of the nearly 2,000 players who have participated in the bench press since 2000, only nine have managed to hit 40 or more reps. The record for bench press reps at the NFL Scouting Combine is 49, set by Justin Ernest in 1999.
Here’s a look at the top 10 bench press performances in NFL Scouting Combine history:
1. Justin Ernest, Eastern Kentucky – 49 reps
2. Mike Kudla, Ohio State – 45 reps
3. Jarrod Bunch, Michigan – 44 reps
4. Stephen Paea, Oregon State – 42 reps
5. Mitch Petrus, Arkansas – 41 reps
6. Korey Toomer, Idaho – 41 reps
7. Bill Goldberg, Georgia – 40 reps
8. Anthony Simms-Adams, Hampton – 40 reps
9. Baylor Romney, Utah State – 40 reps
10. Nate Poehls, Montana – 40 reps
History of the Bench Press at the NFL Combine
The NFL Combine is an annual event where college football players showcase their skills in front of NFL coaches, scouts and executives. One of the most popular events at the Combine is the bench press, where players try to lift as much weight as possible to show off their strength and power.
The bench press has been a part of the Combine since its inception in 1985, and there have been some impressive performances over the years. The current record is held by Justin Ernest, who lifted 225 pounds an incredible 51 times in 1999. That’s more than four times the average number of repetitions for all participants that year.
Other notable performances include Andre Smith’s 45 reps in 2009 (tied for second-most all time) and Stephen Paea’s 49 reps in 2011 (tied for fourth-most all time). Interestingly, both Smith and Paea went on to be first-round picks in the NFL Draft, proving that the bench press is a good way to evaluate future NFL stars.
Current Record Holders
As of 2019, the NFL Combine record for the bench press is 51 reps, held by Justin Ernest of Eastern Kentucky University. The record has been held by Ernest since 1999.
The second-place finisher is Doug Legursky of Marshall University with 50 reps. Legursky set the record in 2008 and held it until Ernest broke it in 2009.
The third-place finisher is Nate Poole of Northern Iowa University with 49 reps. Poole set the record in 2013 and held it until Ernest broke it in 2014.
Why the Record is Important
The NFL Combine is one of the most important events for prospective NFL players. At the Combine, players are put through a series of tests to measure their physical abilities and skills. The Bench Press is one of the most important tests at the Combine, as it is a good measure of a player’s upper body strength.
The Bench Press record is important because it gives us an idea of just how strong these players are. It also allows us to compareplayers across different position groups. For example, offensive linemen will typically have a higher Bench Press score than quarterbacks or running backs.
The current Bench Press record is 61 reps of 225 pounds. This was set by wide receiver Justin Houston in 2011.
How the Record is Set
To set the record for bench press, an athlete must complete as many repetitions as possible of a 225-pound bench press. The athlete is given a time limit of two minutes to complete as many reps as possible. However, if the athlete completes 25 reps or more within the two-minute time limit, they are given an additional 30 seconds to try to complete more reps.
Now that we know the current record for bench press at the NFL Combine is 51 reps, we can conclude that this is an extremely impressive feat. For comparison, the average number of reps for all participants in the bench press test is just over 20. This means that the person who achieved 51 reps is more than twice as strong as the average player.
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