Tuesday, July 10, 2007

High School Athlete Dies While Bench Pressing

Here is a link to an article and video about a high school football player who died this week while bench pressing at home by himself.

It is tragic to hear about accidents like this. How I wish the football coaches of this country would stop emphasizing this exercise with their young athletes! Maybe companies will think twice about making home bench press benches. It does very little to increase true athleticism and brainwashes boys into an absurd obsession with their upper body/pectoral development. It screws up our shoulder mechanics and mobility. It requires very little athleticism, yet allows one to easily put 1-3x bodyweight in a potentially precarious position over the neck and chest, while you are pinned on your back.

And of course, you'll note the headline is "Football Player Dies While Weightlifting." No he was not weightlifting; he was weight training. Weightlifting is a sport that does not involve bench pressing.

Weightlifting is to weight training, as Kleenex is to tissue.

What will it take to get this stupid exercise out of our high school weight rooms? Stinkin' meat- head coaches who can't really coach true athletic development with barbells and dumbbells and bodyweight exercises....It's about your legs and managing your body as you move through space. It's about moving; not about how strong and big your pecs are.


Catherine Imes said...

Fellow St. Louisan here..

This is a tragedy. A childhood acquaintance of mine died in the same fashion.

I agree with you wholeheartedly...

I benched a lot in HS as Shot putter/discus thrower, and continued to do it into my twenties...but it really was nothing but an ego lift. Since I stopped benching my shoulders have felt so much better. I think there are better/safer lifts/exercies for young athletes as you stated.


Mike Pellicio said...

agree with your thoughts absolutely.

i stopped benching routinely about 9 months ago. i do it every 4-6 weeks or so to satisfy my curiosity and i PR just about every time. take that.

Anonymous said...

1) Benching is over...over rated.
2) Should not lift alone. SPOTTER SPOTTER SPOTTER

Enjoy your site very much.

Anonymous said...

I understand your argument but the benchpress is a great mass builder for the upper body. All college football players do it and if you ever watched a combine they praise the lift for the development and strength it gives players especially linemen in the trenches to drive their matchup back. I love the exercise and it helped me alot with bulking up but to each its own. I don't think they should stop making them because a few kids get hurt. Instead i think they should emphasize the proper use more as far as having a spotter etc.