The bench press is a lift that is used in almost all sports. It is used in football,
basketball, track & field, and many other sports. We personally have benched for
football and track. When we were benching, we noticed that some people could lift
more than us. However, they all weighed more. We wondered if we benched more
than them in relation to our size, so we decided to test if people benched near the same
percent of their body weight.
Problem- Is there a relation between someone’s weight and how much they can bench
According to Wikipedia, bench pressing, or benching, is used to develop the
pectoral muscles, deltoids, and triceps. It is used extensively for extreme bodybuilding
and sport weight lifting (i.e. football, basketball, etc.). There are three common types of
bench press, according to www.mystrengthtraining.com. They are flat benching (where
the lifter lays flat on their back), incline benching ( where the lifters back is at a slight
incline), and decline bench (where the lifter is at a lower angle). To bench press, the
lifter lays on his or her back on the bench. Then they grab the bar about shoulder width
apart and lower it to mid-chest. Then the lifter raises the bar until their arms are fully
extended and repeats.
Hypothesis- We predict that a non-obese person can 65% of their body weight.
● 45 pound bar
● 15 pound bar
● Weights (2 of each 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 35)
● A scale (weigh test subjects)
● Test subjects (5; 7th grade boys, 5; 7th grade girls)
● Weight room equipment
1. Gather all materials
2. Gather test subjects
3. Weigh test subjects to the nearest pound on same scale
4. Have subjects max out on bench press on same equipment
5. Record results
6. Analyze data
7. Draw conclusions
Independent Variable- Body weight of the person
Dependent Variable- Percent of body weight benched
Controlled Variable- Equipment, scale, weights, bars
Results- We found no definite relationship between body weight and bench press max.
Boys Percent of Bodyweight Benched
Maddie T. 59.14%
Madeline W. 54.46%
We do not believe that there is a relationship between weight and bench press
max. We believe that the deciding factor is time spent lifting and maturity levels. We
are of the opinion that the percent of bodyweight benched is too inconsistent to be able
to accurately predict how much someone lifts.
One possible application is football programs finding the strength of their backs
compared to their linemen. Also, it could be used to test the strength of different lineman
to find who is the strongest. Another is NBA franchises finding the strength of their
guards compared to their forwards.
Another thing to research that might prove to be useful would be to test the time
spent benching against how much they can bench. Also, you may want to test more
subjects to get better results.
Possible Causes of Error
● Some may have eaten breakfast, while others didn’t
● Some are more hydrated
● Time people spent benching differed
● Length of breaks
● Some stretched while others didn’t
● Different time of day
● Different day of the week
● Slightly different fitness levels
● Sleep that the students got the night before
● Maturity levels of subjects
4 hours and 30 minutes
We want to thank Mrs. Ricker for supervising us while we tested the boys. Also,
we want to thank the Sterling Wellness Center staff for letting us use their equipment.
We also thank Mrs. Richter for supervising us while we tested the girls. Thanks to the
students who let us test them as well.