North Texas Daily

Pohl Recreation Center holds bench press competition

Pohl Recreation Center holds bench press competition

Pohl Recreation Center holds bench press competition
November 20
21:14 2014

Paul Wedding / Staff Writer

When the recreation center held a bench press competition on Nov. 19, regulars of the gym flocked to prove that they do, in fact, lift.

Often the first question asked to anyone who goes to the gym regularly is how much weight they bench press, as many consider it the standard bearer for strength. The bench press is regarded as the best exercise to build the pectorals, as well as the triceps and front deltoids.

“It’s a fairly relative contest,” Fitness Coordinator Joseph Chaney said. “It’s a relevant test of strength.”

Compared to the two other major compound lifts, the squat and the deadlift, the bench press is a much safer and more manageable contest for the recreation center to offer, Chaney said.

Thirty-five weightlifters entered the competition, three of whom were women. The contest was divided into three rounds. Each competitor had one attempt once per round to perform one press and had the option of increasing the weight each round. With each attempt, the competitor would lower the bar to their chest, and when the judge said “press” they would raise it back up. Once they locked out the bar at the top, the judge would say “rack” so that they would place the bar back onto the bench rack.

Several of the competitors lifted high amounts, but only two of them were able to lift more than 400 pounds. The most weight lifted at the contest was 425 pounds by communication studies senior Scott Longhofer. He has been lifting weights for more than six years and benches once a week.

Longhofer was not the overall winner of the competition, as first place is decided by the weight lifted in proportion to body weight. The overall winner for the men was biology junior Aaron Turturro, who weighs 161 pounds but lifted 315 pounds, 195 percent of his own weight.

“It was a little less than I wanted,” Turturro said.

The winner between the three women in the contest was biology senior Hoai-Thu Tran, who lifted 115 pounds, which was around 99 percent of her bodyweight.

Chaney says that the recreation center plans to hold more competitions like this in the future.

“I want to hold contests that will be able to get even more people involved, like pull-up and push-up contests,” Chaney said.

Featured Image: Communication studies senior Scott Longhofer bench presses 425 pounds during the bench press contest at the Pohl Recreation Center. Photo by Paul Wedding – Staff Writer

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