NFL Combine bench press records: Here are the top 10 workouts in NFL history

The highlight of the NFL Combine is often the 40-yard dash, but speed isn’t everything.

The bench press is a test of strength and endurance. It calls on athletes to bench press 225 pounds as many times as possible — no easy feat for anyone, even the best football players in the world.

As will likely come as no surprise, the records for bench press have often come from the men in the trenches. Offensive linemen and defensive linemen have often posted the most impressive numbers when it comes to pumping iron in Indianapolis.

Which players have done the most reps? Here’s what you need to know.

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NFL Combine bench press record

Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea was a dominant interior linemen for the Beavers. He won Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, was a consensus All-American that season, and a two-time Morris Trophy winner, which was given to the best linemen on either side of the ball in the Pac-10.

He showed at the 2011 combine how he was able to push aside offensive linemen with such ease. Paea set a record with 49 reps at the bench press. 

Top 10 bench press performances

Here’s a look at the top 10 bench press performances in NFL Combine history, based on data from Pro Football Reference dating back to 2000.

Year Player Pos School Bench
2011 Stephen Paea DT Oregon State 49
2000 Leif Larsen DT Texas-El Paso 45
2006 Mike Kudla DE Ohio State 45
2010 Mitch Petrus OG Arkansas 45
2006 Brodrick Bunkley DT Florida State 44
2010 Jeff Owens DT Georgia 44
2012 Dontari Poe DT Memphis 44
2020 Netane Muti OL Fresno State 44
2005 Scott Young OG BYU 43
2004 Isaac Sopoaga DT Hawaii 42
2007 Tank Tyler DT North Carolina State 42
2014 Russell Bodine OG North Carolina 42
2018 Harrison Phillips DT Stanford 42

There had previously been three players tied for the previous bench press record: Leif Larsen, Mike Kudla, and Mitch Petrus, each with 45. Paea shattered the record by going four reps over them, which is the gap between those tied for second and those tied for 14th.

The bench press has not provided the clearest track record of reaching the peaks of the league. Of the players on the top 10 list, only Dontari Poe earned a Pro Bowl nod at a point during his career. As a defensive tackle with Kansas City, he was named second-team All-Pro in 2013 when he notched 4.5 sacks and 51 total tackles. He then earned his next Pro Bowl nod the following year when he tallied six sacks.

Since 2020, just three athletes have surpassed 40 reps on bench press, and two of those were logged during pro days, per Pro Football Reference. Along with Netane Muti (44 in 2020), Tommy Togiai (40 in 2021) and Jaylen Twymar (40 in 2021) are the only others.

Linebacker Terna Nande became the first and only non-lineman to reach 40 reps of the bench press in 2006. Listed at 214 pounds, he’s also the lightest of all the athletes who have recorded at least 40 reps.

After Nande, the next-closest non-linemen was fullback Moran Norris, who recorded 37 reps in 2001.

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