2016 Bench Press Challenge

Another year, another challenge... After the success of last summer’s Squat Challenge, I decided my clients and I needed another challenge to keep us motivated. It’s always nice to have a short term goal to shoot for to go along with those long term lifestyle goals.

At some point in your “work out” career you will inevitably hear, “How much can you bench?” Why this particular exercise has become the defacto determination of strength, I do not know. The squat and deadlift are much more indicative of full–body strength. The dip and chin up are much more accurate measurements of upper body strength than the bench press (many people can’t even do a set of 10 dips or chin ups but still focus on how much they can bench).

But still, the Bench Press is the “be all and end all” of strength determination in the amateur fitness world so I thought why not see what my clients and I can do.

We started in December and after 3 months we re-tested to see what gains we made. Each of us showed a marked improvement in overall numbers on the bench press in that time.

                        START                                                                       FINISH

Mike:              175 lbs X 1 rep                                                        200 lbs X 1 rep

Anna:             140 lbs X 3 reps                                                      165 lbs X 1 rep

Randy:           120 lbs X 1 rep                                                        175 lbs X 1 rep

Tom:              252 lbs X 1 rep                                                        270 lbs X 1 rep

It should also be noted that Mike, Anna and myself are all over 40 --- when conventional work out wisdom says your strength should begin declining. Remember, age is just a number!