The NHL Bench Press Test is an upper body muscular strength endurance test. Participants perform the maximum number of bench press movements at 70-80% of their body weight (pre-dertermined) at a set cadence of 25 reps per minute. This test was once used for the NHL combine (they now use a maximum power bench press test).
purpose: to measure maximum strength endurance of the chest muscle groups.
pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: The athlete lifts 70-80% of his body weight (determined using the table below). The repetitions are performed in time with the metronome, set at a rate of 25 per minute (set the metronome at 50 so that each click signals a movement either up or down). An appropriate and standardized warm up procedure should be followed. The athlete lies on his back on the bench and the bar is grasped with thumbs approximately at shoulder width apart. The buttocks must remain on the bench with the feet on the floor. The starting position of the bar is touching the chest at approximately the axillary line and the bar is pushed to full extension of the arms.
|Body Weight (lbs)||Test Weight Performed (lbs.)|
|154 and below||120|
|235 and above||195|
scoring: The number of consecutive repetitions completed before the athlete falls behind the cadence is recorded.
results: The first year that this test was conducted, at the 2015 NHL Combine, the best result was 20 by Jesse Gabrielle (see more at NHL combine results)
variations: The NBA and NFL combines use a bench press test where the athletes bench as many times as they can at a set bar weight, irrespective of body weight. There is a similar bench press test which uses 75% of body weight (at no set cadence).
advantages: the required equipment is readily available in most gymnasiums, and the test is simple to perform.
disadvantages: This test should only be performed by those experienced at performing the bench press lift with good technique. Good technique will also enable the lifter to maximize their score.
- For safety, a spotter should stand at the head of the bench throughout the test.
- The test results of this test may be specific to the equipment used (height of bench, variations in weights), so is best to use the same equipment for test-retest measures.
The Test in Action
- This test was once used for the NHL combine
- A similar bench press cadence test at the same rate.
- Bench Press MP3 file for conducting this test
- More about Bench Press Fitness Testing
- About the NHL Combine test protocols
- Online push-up metronome
- See video examples of bench press testing in action.
- Bench press technique
- NBA pre-draft camp fitness tests, NHL combine testing and the NFL combine testing