What Is a Good Max for Bench Pressing for a Cornerback?
The maximum weight that you should be able to bench press as a cornerback in football depends significantly on your weight. Although overall strength is important, a cornerback's maximum bench press is not among the top traits that scouts and coaches use to evaluate a player. Because of the agility required for this position, a cornerback must be fast, nimble and able to read the offense.
Talk to anyone who works out frequently, and it's more than likely that he'll proudly bring up his maximum bench press weight. Although the bench press often plays a role in the measure of a bodybuilder's ability, it's only partially important in football. Players on the offensive and defensive line are evaluated based on the number of repetitions they can put up on the bench press, but for other positions, such as cornerback and wide receiver, the bench press is not as important.
At the NFL level, most cornerbacks weigh between 190 and 200 pounds, and many even weigh less than 190. Although a cornerback must be strong enough to tackle an opponent and fight off blocks during running plays, his primary goal is to be quick enough to cover a speedy wide receiver running a route. If a cornerback puts on too much muscle mass through exercises such as the bench press, he won't be able to keep up with a receiver.
The general measure of a person's strength when performing the bench press is to compare his max weight against his body weight. The common standard is that you should be able to bench press your body weight with ease, and if you're able to lift more than 1.5 times your body weight, you're exceptionally strong. Thus, for a 190-pound cornerback to bench 1.5 times his weight, he'd need to bench press 285 pounds.
When a college player prepares for the NFL Draft, the league might invite him to the NFL Scouting Combine, which gives team executives the opportunity to observe players perform drills such as the 40-yard dash and bench press. Completing each drill isn't mandatory, and many cornerbacks forgo the bench press drill because of its lack of importance for their position. In this drill, scouts gauge a player's endurance, not maximum strength; the bar is set at 225 pounds and the player must perform as many reps as he can. If a player doesn't get invited to the combine, he'll often hold a pro day at his university to allow scouts to watch him perform drills. The Green Bay Packers' Tramon Williams, who was undrafted in 2006 but has emerged as one of the league's best cornerbacks, performed just 13 bench press reps on his pro day.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.