Relationships of structural dimensions to bench press strength in college males

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1991 Jun;31(2):135-41.


The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between structural dimensions and bench press performance in college males. Members of required fitness classes (n = 170) were measured after 14 weeks of strength and aerobic endurance training. Anthropometric dimensions included upper arm and chest circumferences, upper and lower arm lengths, shoulder and hip widths, %fat, and height. Arm muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) was calculated from upper arm circumference corrected for triceps skinfold. Drop distance was measured from the bar to the pectoral muscles. Multiple regression analysis selected upper arm CSA, %fat, and chest circumference as the best items to predict bench press strength (R = 0.83; SEE = 11.6 kg). Cross-validation of the prediction equation on a similar sample (n = 89) produced an r = 0.74 between predicted and actual bench press (t = 0.53, p greater than 0.50). In a second cross validation sample (n = 57) who had trained more extensively with weights, the correlation between predicted and actual bench press was r = 0.57 (p less than 0.05). The prediction equations significantly (t = 6.59, p less than 0.01) underestimated bench press performance in the more extensively weight trained subjects. The results of this study suggest that bench press performance is related to structural dimensions in males and that extensive strength training may alter the relationship between size and strength.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Arm / anatomy & histology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology*
  • Physical Endurance
  • Weight Lifting*