T Nation

NFL Combine Strength Test

The NFL combine was on this weekend and I was whatching the strengh test which is 225lbs for reps.One thing I noticed was how narrow a grip they used.I always thought that a wide grip was best suited for max effort.They also had video of a tightend prospect in the shallow end of the pool at the hotel squat down and launched himself out of the water and land on the edge of the pool standing up,no hand assist!

Er, don’t get me wrong, but don’t you think that the strength sports forum would be better a more suitable location for this post?

(maybe a mod will help out)

Yeah, strength sports would be better suited for this.

And for some; close grip bench is easier. I can pop off a ton more reps close grip then wide grip. But that is b/c I have stronger shoulders and tris then chesticles.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Er, don’t get me wrong, but don’t you think that the strength sports forum would be better a more suitable location for this post?

(maybe a mod will help out)[/quote]

I thought that after I posted it.Sorry

[quote]bond james bond wrote:
The NFL combine was on this weekend and I was whatching the strengh test which is 225lbs for reps.One thing I noticed was how narrow a grip they used.I always thought that a wide grip was best suited for max effort.They also had video of a tightend prospect in the shallow end of the pool at the hotel squat down and launched himself out of the water and land on the edge of the pool standing up,no hand assist![/quote]

Link to the pool jump:

Jarron Gilbert, 635 squat and 655 deadlift:

He’s a DE/DT out of San Jose State. Strength program there is legit.

So far on the 225 bench test:

Top performer runningback:Tony Fiammetta 30 reps

Top Performer Linebacker:Brian cushing 30reps

Both of these athletes are trained by Joe DeFranco.!!!

I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

http://www.nfl.com/combine/top-performers#tp-tab-set-1:tp-grid-container-bench-press

Tyically that is because when you are blocking a guy in front of you, you will be, or should be, grabbing his shoudler pads or his arms and you will have your arms about shoulder width apart.

Hence the narrow-grip or just slightly wider then shoulder width.

[quote]dumbbellhead wrote:
Tyically that is because when you are blocking a guy in front of you, you will be, or should be, grabbing his shoudler pads or his arms and you will have your arms about shoulder width apart.

Hence the narrow-grip or just slightly wider then shoulder width.[/quote]

I think you’re missing a logical connection here. Only if college strength coaches emphasized closer grips would this affect how guys do 225 for reps. I agree that a closer grip is more sport specific but without firsthand knowledge of D1 strength and conditioning programs, its impossible to draw any conclusions.

Players certainly don’t get stronger at close grip benching because of how they play in games – after all, playing football is not a strength building activity.

Anyone else think the bench press doesn’t really translate well into upper body strength for football?

[quote]kickureface wrote:
Anyone else think the bench press doesn’t really translate well into upper body strength for football?[/quote]

Why not?

[quote]kickureface wrote:
Anyone else think the bench press doesn’t really translate well into upper body strength for football?[/quote]

Do you mean it doesn’t translate into how good a football player may be? because it certainly translates to strength well enough.

[quote]bulldog24 wrote:
dumbbellhead wrote:
Tyically that is because when you are blocking a guy in front of you, you will be, or should be, grabbing his shoudler pads or his arms and you will have your arms about shoulder width apart.

Hence the narrow-grip or just slightly wider then shoulder width.

I think you’re missing a logical connection here. Only if college strength coaches emphasized closer grips would this affect how guys do 225 for reps. I agree that a closer grip is more sport specific but without firsthand knowledge of D1 strength and conditioning programs, its impossible to draw any conclusions.

Players certainly don’t get stronger at close grip benching because of how they play in games – after all, playing football is not a strength building activity.[/quote]

I think db’s point was that they don’t want you to use a wide grip during the test. Every football coach I came across pretty much preached narrow grip bench press, for training and testing purposes since this was how they wanted them to push out of the line, so db was probably assuming they have a limit on grip width at the combine.

It’s a pretty accurate test of strength, just as the 40 is an accurate test of speed. People act like thats all they use to judge these athletes. They use game tape also. However when analyzing game tape someone might look great if all they get is low level D1 competition or D2 D3, they need to a way to guage, how fast a person can run next to someone else of high caliber. So if guy from a D3 school looks blazing fast on film but runs a 4.6 they can assume the competition wasn’t that good, but if he runs a 4.4 they can say damn he would probably still be fairly fast.

you’re right air, and we see every year someone draft a workout warrior and get burned…(mike mamula, vernon gholston, anyone?)
It takes a lot more.

I don’t think the bench press test is an ideal predictor of strength with regard to football. There are so many aspects to football (strength, speed, explosiveness, agility, etc) that one single test is mediocre at best. I know they try to test these other factors with vertical and broad jump, T-run, but realistically “on the field” speed and ability are best.

You might run the 40 yrd dash in 4.8 secs, but can easily run down faster guys on the field. This was the issue with Ray Lewis of the Ravens. People questioned his speed from a lousy 40 time, but he is an animal on the field where it matters.

So is your solution then to test nothing?

The way I see it, the combine is like a job interview. Is your skill at “job interviewing” really going to predict how good you will be at your job? No. But if you show up to your interview with a stained tie and not knowing critical information, then it’s a good possibility that you don’t really care about the job that much.

If I was an NFL team, and it looked like the prospect of moving your draft stock up (and potentially making millions of dollars more) did not motivate you to be in the absolute best shape of your life, then I’m thinking maybe you aren’t going to work that hard after you’ve already signed that first fat check. If you don’t have the dedication to prepare for the combine and excel, then maybe you don’t have the dedication to make it in the league.

With that said, I think most teams put too much stock in small differences that may be meaningless. There is a meaningful difference between 4.4 and 4.8. The 4.4 guy is going to break away from the 4.8 guy in the open field, provided he is not too exhausted. However, between 4.4 and 4.5, who knows?

To me it seems more of a situation where you cut out somebody who has some obvious physical/mental deficits (or at least take them into consideration and decide if that player’s exceptional skill, character, etc. can make up for it) or who obviously is not motivated or prepared.

Anyone else see that a kicker had 25 reps on the bench? Crazy…Someteam will pick Jarron Gilbert high because of that jump i bet

Yes, I meant how it translates into football functionality (does it matter if a wr can bench 225 1231 times?). Even in the line, it doesn’t seem like benching muscles are really used in blocking or pass rushing.
But this is all speculation; anyone who has experience feel free to comment.