The YMCA Bench Press Test
The bench press, a multi-joint pushing exercise used for developing strength, power, and endurance in chest, anterior shoulder, and elbow extensor muscles, is also one of the three lifts performed in the sport of competitive powerlifting (5–7). The 1RM test is considered a valid assessment of maximal bench press strength and requires the lifter to push a maximally loaded barbell off their chest from a pause to a fully extended elbow position at approximately eyebrow level (5–7). The 1RM test requires multiple trials interspersed with relatively long rest and recovery periods between lifting trials (typically between 3 and 5 minutes) to determine maximal strength (6). A number of field-based tests have been validated as surrogate or proxy measures for predicting 1RM bench press strength from the performance of multiple repetitions with submaximal loads for multiple populations with varying training histories (3–6,8–14). The use of single trials and the avoidance of maximal weight loads make the YMCA bench press test time efficient and easy to administer.
Ronai, P. (2020). The YMCA bench press test. ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, 24(6), 33-36. Doi: 10.1249/FIT.0000000000000619
ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal
ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal Do It Right column.