Bench Press Test (Brockport)

This set-weight maximum bench press test is part of the Brockport fitness testing battery, tests designed primarily for children with disabilities. It is a upper body strength and endurance test in which the subject performs as many bench presses as possible using a 35lb (15.9kg) barbell. This test protocol, originally adapted from Johnson & Lavay (1989), is summarized from The Brockport Physical Fitness Test Manual (Winnick & Short, 2014). For more details please see the official Brockport manual.

See also a similar fitness test, the Relative Bench Press Test, which uses a resistance set to a certain percentage of body weight rather than a set weight. There are also several other bench press tests.

purpose: to measure maximum strength endurance of the chest and arm muscles.

equipment required: a sturdy bench and a 35lb (15.9kg) barbell (or barbells and weights that together weigh 35lbs), spotter.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject, and demonstrate the technique for a correct repetition. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender and test conditions. Check equipment for safety and calibrate weights if required. Perform a standard warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: The subject begins by lying in a face up position on the bench, with their feet flat on the floor and the upper and lower back in contact with the bench. The bar is grasped at shoulder distance apart with the arms flexed. A complete successful lift is counted from this starting position with the arms flexed with the weight resting on the chest, to the arms fully extended, then returned to the starting position. The subject repeats this action, without rest. The bar should be moved with a controlled and smooth motion, one repetition completed approximately every 3 to 4 seconds. The testing ends as soon as the subject is unable to complete a repetition, or when 50 (males) or 30 reps (females) are completed. 

scoring: the maximum number of full repetitions successfully completed is recorded, up to a maximum of 50 for males and 30 for females.

target population: as part of the Brockport testing protocols, this test is designed for children with disabilities, but it would be suitable for all children, and with a heavier weight could be adapted for use with adults.

comments: for safety, a spotter should stand at the head of the bench throughout the test.

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