How to Bench Press 225 For Max Reps

Or any other weight

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Whether you are an athlete with collegiate or professional sporting dreams or just a fan of the National Football League, no doubt you have heard about the 225 bench press for reps test.

This test is notorious for its use in the NFL combine, where this is used as the primary test of strength for hopeful athletes. It is also by many sporting programs for college and high school athletes (although often with a lower weight, typically 185 pounds).

The 225 bench press test for max reps has also become quite popular among the average gym-goer. Many benching enthusiasts want to see how their bench press compares to their favorite NFL and college players, and as a result they have taken to this max rep challenge.

If you want to boost your max reps of your bench press so you can perform better on this test, then you have come to the right place.

First Things First - Proper Technique & Training

If you are going to perform well on a max rep bench test, you need to make sure your technique and training is up to par. You can learn how to bench press properly in our article on bench press technique and you can follow our Boost Your Bench training program in order to increase your bench press. The program we are going to recommend below is a modification of the Boost Your Bench Press training program, so you should be familiar with that.

Relationship Between Max Bench for 1 Rep and Multiple Reps

One thing you should know about performing a max bench for reps is that although a max rep test typically uses different energy systems than a 1 rep max, there is a significant amount of overlap. Researchers have determined the optimal max bench press is about twice the amount you want to bench press for reps. To make improvements beyond that point, you will need to work on endurance.

To clarify, if you want to bench press 225 pounds for max reps, you will perform better on this test as you increase your max bench press up to 450 pounds. Increasing your max bench press beyond 450 pounds is unlikely to increase the number of reps you can do with 225.

Most of us do not have the problem of worrying about being able to bench over 450 pounds, so the bulk of any workout designed to increase your rep max should actually be focused on increasing your bench press. As you get closer to the competition, you can start adding in max rep sets.

Energy Systems & Max Rep Bench Pressing

Since increasing your max bench press is so important, you should follow our Boost Your Bench training program until about 8 weeks prior to whenever you are being tested for the max reps with 225 pounds.

At this point, you still want to follow the program, but you should be sure two flat bench for 3 exercise slots per week: 1 primary exercise slot being filled up with a max set of 225 reps, 1 secondary exercise being filled up with 4-6 sets of 8-12 reps of flat bench press, and another primary slot being filled up with a heavier bench press, preferably working up to a max weight that you can use for 5-10 reps. Fill out your workout like you would otherwise under the Boost Your Bench program.

The easiest way to perform better on this test is to increase your max bench and then start doing a max rep set once per week as advocated above. You only need a few weeks of adding in the max rep set training to significantly improve your score on this test. The energy systems used for a rep test are developed to near capacity in just a few weeks, whereas the contribution of max strength is something that can be worked on nearly indefinitely. 

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