Bodyweight Bench Press Challenge

Dustin Myers


     Are you ready to test your pressing power recovery and endurance?  Here is a great challenge that anyone can try, beginner to advanced, regardless of body size.

     The prescription and set up for this one is simple: load a bar with your bodyweight, rounding up to the nearest 5lbs (if you weigh 182, load the bar with 185).  Start a timer and track how long it takes you to complete 100 reps.  Simple set up…not so simple execution.  There are 3 distinct different strategies you can employ for this one, and I will start with what I feel is the best one first.


Strategy #1:  10 reps at the top of each minute for 10 minutes.  Bang them out and get them done as quick as possible so you will have 45 seconds or so to rest before the next set.  This is the only way I have actually attempted (and completed) the challenge.


Strategy #2: 5 reps every 30 seconds for 10 minutes.  While this would appear to be easier than option #1 (hey you’re doing half the reps, right?), I think the shorter recovery period will burn you on this one despite the lower rep volume.  plus the added stress of racking and unpacking the weight double the amount of times cannot be discounted.  But hey, I’ve been wrong before…


Strategy #3: Max Reps with 2 minute rest between sets.  If you are a lightweight and can rep out 30-35 reps with your bodyweight this one might be the strategy for you.  I would recommend stopping 1-2 reps short of complete failure to avoid emptying the tank too much for the next go round.


     This is a great challenge to do with a training partner or group.  So grab your dude that thinks they are a good bencher, issue the challenge and let me know what your times are!  Make sure to TAG @maxeffortmuscle in the post if you have killer time.  My best time (using strategy #1) was 9:37.


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