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NFL Combine drills explained: Bench press

The bench press is the foremost measure of pure strength at the NFL Combine.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most popular drills at the NFL Scouting Combine is the bench press workout, which is typically the first physical test that players take in Indianapolis.

As you might guess, the bench press is a test of strength. However, it's also a major test of endurance and cardio. Rather than doing a one-max lift, players must lift 225 pounds as many times as they can. If they arch their back or bounce the weight off their chest, that rep doesn't count, so it's possible for a player do to more "reps" than he's officially credited for.

Since this is primarily a test of upper-body strength, it's little surprise that beefy offensive and defensive linemen often record the most reps every year. Former Eastern Kentucky defensive tackle Justin Ernest holds the all-time record with 51 bench reps in 1999. No other player has reached 50, although former Oregon State and current Washington defensive lineman Stephen Paea came close with 49 reps in 2011.

Last year's top performer was offensive guard Christian Westerman with 34. The Cincinnati Bengals must've liked what they saw there, as they picked Westerman in the fifth round last year, where many considered the guard a massive steal.

Here is the day-by-day schedule for the bench press by position.

Thursday: Offensive linemenrunning backs

Friday: Quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends

Saturday: Defensive linemen, linebackers

Sunday: Defensive backs