Improve your bench press strength and endurance with this 3 week program. Workouts cycle between 5x5, 5x8 and 3x3 weeks, ending with an all-out 20 rep test.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

NFL Combine Bench Press WorkoutThe National Football League (NFL) Scouting Combine takes place for one week every February at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Top NFL prospects face a series of physical and mental tests, including:

  • The 40 yard dash
  • Vertical jump
  • The Wonderlic Test
  • Broad jump
  • 20 yard shuttle

...and many more.

One of the most popular tests at the combine is the 225 pound bench press for reps. Since 1999, only a small handful of players have been able to perform more than 40 reps using this weight. The top 10 is as follows:

  • Justin Ernest, 1999, 51 repetitions
  • Stephen Paea, 2011, 49 repetitions
  • Leif Larsen, 2000, 45 repetitions
  • Mike Kudla, 2006, 45 repetitions
  • Mitch Petrus, 2010, 45 repetitions
  • Brodrick Bunkley, 2006, 44 repetitions
  • Dontari Poe, 2012, 44 repetitions
  • Scott Young, 2005, 43 repetitions
  • Isaac Sopoaga, 2004, 42 repetitions
  • Tank Tyler, 2007, 42 repetitions

NFL Combine Bench Press Program - 3 Week Cycle

This program is designed with the end goal of adding as many reps as possible to a 225 pound bench press set. You will cycle between 3 styles of workouts:

  • Workout A - Performed on week one, this bench press workout focuses on 5x5 work.
  • Workout B - During week 2 you will be hammering out quite a few reps, starting with 5x8 work on the bench press.
  • Workout C - For week three, you will start with heavy 3x3 bench pressing, and finish with a 20 rep set "tester."

Workout A - For your last set of the 5x5, perform as many reps as possible. When you are able to reach 8 or more reps, add weight the next time you perform Workout A.

Workout B - For your last set of the 5x8, perform as many reps as possible. When you are able to reach 10 or more reps, add weight the next time you perform Workout B.

Workout C - For your last set of the 3x3, perform as many reps as possible. When you are able to reach 5 or more reps, add weight the next time you perform Workout C.

For your max rep set, add 5 pounds when you are able to perform more than 20 reps per set. Once you reach 20+ reps using 225 pounds, keep using 225 pounds and continue trying to set a new PR every third week.

Bench Press Workout
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 5 5
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10
Skullcrushers 3 10
Push Press 3 6-8
EZ Bar Curl 3 10
Band Face Pulls 3 12
Bench Press Workout
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 5 8
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8
Close Grip Bench Press 3 8
Seated Barbell Press 3 8
Hammer Curls 3 10
Bent Over Reverse Flyes 3 12
Bench Press Workout
Workout C
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 3 3
Bench Press 1 20+
Cable Tricep Extensions 3 10
Seated Arnold Press 3 10
Seated Dumbbell Curls 3 10
Rope Cable Face Pulls 3 12
Jaryd Witkowski
Posted on: Mon, 12/19/2016 - 13:35

Should i be increasing weight for each set? Or is it all the way across the board a set weight for 5x5?

Posted on: Wed, 12/30/2015 - 00:26

So if my max with 225 is 7 reps. What should I start at for the 5x5 portion?

Posted on: Sat, 06/20/2015 - 13:20

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M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 06/15/2015 - 09:02

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Derren E
Posted on: Tue, 04/01/2014 - 14:19

Why does this work out have no balance? Its all arms and the front part of your body. What about your back? Stability? You do.use back muscles why benching.

Venom FAR3
Posted on: Wed, 01/01/2014 - 21:44

Is this all at one time and one day out of your week?

Posted on: Sat, 11/16/2013 - 00:48

I am 73yrs. old and I started lifting again after being away from it for about 5yrs. I started back 1yr.ago and can bench press 265 one time, 7 225# I weigh 185,so I do not think you should not get back in the gym just because you think you are too old. go for it,

Posted on: Sun, 11/03/2013 - 15:48

So basically your supposed to do workout A once in a week? Or can you do it every day for a week, along with abs 2 times a week

Posted on: Mon, 10/21/2013 - 13:54

Thanks for the post. It looks beneficial. Can I basically integrate this exercises into my 6 days program?

Posted on: Mon, 09/23/2013 - 17:11

Hey, I'm 18 years old. And I haven't trained for years now.. Injuries and such crap.. but i'm back now.
I'm 186 cm high and my weight is 67 kg. How can I gain "mass" and don't get another injury?
What kind of protein shakes do you recommend for a person who doesn't have much weight?

Thanks bros!

Posted on: Mon, 09/16/2013 - 12:08

This is not really a question revolves around the fact I am fifty-seven years old and I still desires to look good and yet maintain strength at the same time...I do workout and finally I'm looking towards retirement in the very near question is how do I increase my bench at this stage in my life?all the young guys at the gym says it's mind over matter and you limit yourself by saying it's too much and I can't do it and your body just follow along....but I really believe likewise anything can be accomplished if you have the right routine,and the right diet but yet I'm lost help me out here!!!!

Posted on: Tue, 08/06/2013 - 01:58

do you use the same weight on bench press to follow this program or different weight for each plan? for example: a.50kg x 5 b.40kg x 8 c.70kg x 3 or a.40kg x 5 b.40kg x 8 c.40kg x 3. which one is correct?

Dakota Hutchings
Posted on: Tue, 07/30/2013 - 23:25

do those exercise more than once

Dakota Hutchings
Posted on: Tue, 07/30/2013 - 23:25

do those exercise more than once

Posted on: Mon, 07/08/2013 - 11:13

Silly question. Do I do all 5 sets of bb bench presses, then move to all 3 sets of db bench press, then move to the 3 sets of skullcrushers and so on........ OR do I do first set of bb bench, first set of db bench, first set of skullcrushers and then go back for my second sets after i finish the first for all of them?

Posted on: Tue, 07/02/2013 - 10:33

Hey steave what is a good split to do when using this workout on Mondays.

Posted on: Thu, 06/27/2013 - 12:37

Great post, Steve!. Would this same scheme work for squats, as well, for lower body strength & endurance?.

Posted on: Fri, 05/31/2013 - 06:40

I can do 225 only 2 times... Should I use 185 for workout A, 175 for workout B, and 205 for workout C....

Posted on: Thu, 04/25/2013 - 14:24

How much weight should i start out if my max is 225lbs for a few reps

Posted on: Tue, 04/30/2013 - 15:58

Well, 225 for a few reps isn't really a max. But if you can do it for a 'few' reps, I'll assume you can do 3. For the 5x5, I'd do something like 205. For the 5x8 I'd do 185 and for the 3x3 I'd do the 225 you currently do.

Posted on: Sun, 04/21/2013 - 20:24

How much weight should I start with if my bench max is 155 for few reps

nike air max
Posted on: Sat, 04/20/2013 - 01:45

good post, i have been looking for it

saad jamal
Posted on: Sun, 04/14/2013 - 22:33

how many times in a week should i be doing this??

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:24


Posted on: Sat, 04/13/2013 - 04:49

Is this one day a week or 2. what about a leg work out

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:25

One day per week.

saad jamal
Posted on: Thu, 04/11/2013 - 22:10

how many times are you supposed to do this?? just once or more?

rod york
Posted on: Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:31

how often in the week do you do this chest workout?

Posted on: Fri, 03/29/2013 - 21:42

With the schedule above

Posted on: Thu, 03/28/2013 - 12:17

Every other day with the workouts above with 125 pounds and increasing 5 pounds each workout

Posted on: Thu, 03/28/2013 - 11:46

Can you do this workout 3 times a week instead of one or is that something you wouldn't prefer?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:25

Once a week.

Posted on: Thu, 03/28/2013 - 06:56

I have a quick and simple question and is open to any answer. Is it wise/healthy to work your chest while it's sore? If so, please explain.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/28/2013 - 09:30

Training while sore isn't inherently dangerous. How often are your training chest, and with how many sets?

Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2013 - 16:37

The workout above

James O'Connor
Posted on: Wed, 04/10/2013 - 22:19

Say for instance you work chest every Monday and your chest is still sore after a weeks rest it'll perfectly fine to work your chest again. As long as your not overtraining your chest, for example performing a heavy chest day 7 days a week.

I read a report published by a university regarding muscle soreness. Cant remember the report or the university (sorry, it was last year). The report had basically stated there was a positive effect training a sore muscle. Working a sore muscle will increase the blood flow to that muscle bringing with it nutrients for recovery

Posted on: Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:54

what other workouts can i add in every week for maximal results ? could this work ...
monday - this workout
tuesday- leg day
wednesday - off
thursday - back day
friday - arms day
saturday - another leg day
sunday - off

Posted on: Thu, 03/21/2013 - 20:34

I am currently doing the 10x3 program to improve my bench, but this looks very intriguing. Couple of quick questions:
Is this the only day of the week you would be training chest, shoulders, and arms?
Can you use this workout along with a deadlift/back day and squat/leg day for a 3 day a week strength building plan?
How should one figure out what weight to start with for 5x5, 5x8, and 3x3 20 rep max set?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/28/2013 - 09:31

Start with a weight you think you can handle for the given scheme. The workout then describes when you should add weight.