testing

Maxing on the Pull – Up

Marine doing pull ups

Many programs do not max on the pull – up or any type of pulling exercise other than the clean dead lift. However, if the shoulder is not developed fully and equally, then the front side musculature tends to dominate and anterior dislocations and/or posterior labrum injuries can occur. Maxing on the pull – up can be somewhat controversial as is the athlete allowed to kip and if so, how much? Are they required to pause at the bottom? Is the grip over or under hand? How wide is the grip? In my experience, the grip is overhand and slightly wider than shoulder grip or analogous to the bench press grip. Now, for the key concept that makes the pull – up work as a part of the max testing battery for the athlete.

Just as in estimating a max in any lift, the formula will apply. The formula is as follows:

Max reps – 1 (multiplied by .03) = X. Then, (X is multiplied by the body weight of the athlete + any additional load such as a weight vest or plates hung off of a belt) = Y. Y is the amount of load represented by each rep above one executed by the athlete. Y is then added back to the body weight of the athlete.

For example:

A 200 pound athlete does 4 reps in the pull – up test. 4 – 3 = 3. 3 x .03 = 9%. .09 x 200 equals 18. 200 + 18 equals 218. Round up and the max is 220.

 

This max should be near the bench press max. If it is more than 10% off, then more emphasis should be placed on the pulling exercises.

NFL Combine Test Scores and History

With the NFL Combine rapidly approaching, many test times and scores will be stated as gospel by various people such as announcers, trainers and coaches.  For years I was unsure of actual numbers other than scores from the NFL Combine results sheets I was able to obtain.  When looking at those I (like everyone else) focused on the fastest, highest, most or the scores posted by those that had the greatest media profile.  What I became interested in was what was the average number an athlete could score in the tests.  So, I took the results sheets from several years and ran the numbers looking for averages.  Below is what I found.  True enough, these numbers are not from the last 3-4 years, but represent what an athlete can expect to score or shoot for on the big day.

Also remember, many athletes that score the fastest, highest, most in terms of numbers just cannot play the game at the level the NFL expects.  See how many big time names you see in the best scores of all time.

Position              E10                   H20                    H40                   5-10-5           L DRILL           VJ               BPRS


NT                   1.85                    2.98                     5.32              4.86               8.22               27.5               21

DT                   1.81                     2.95                     5.12              4.64                7.83                29.5              29

DE                    1.71                     2.79                     4.82             4.35                7.33                33.5              24

ILB                  1.66                     2.73                    4.73              4.05                7.1                   34.5              25

OLB                1.65                     2.68                    4.63              4.15                 7.14                35.5              23

DB – CB          1.59                     2.61                     4.49              4.11                 7.03               36.5              13

DB – SAF        1.62                     2.67                     4.59              4.08               6.92               36.5              17

CENTER          1.82                     3.01                     5.28             4.6                   7.83               28.5             26

GUARD            1.88                    3.10                      5.42             4.75                 7.99               27.5              25

TACKLE          1.83                     3.02                     5.23            4.72                 7.94               29.5              26

TE                  1.73                     2.84                      4.88            4.34                 7.37               31.5              26

FB                  1.71                      2.80                      4.82            4.28                 7.43               32                 24

TB                  1.64                     2.67                       4.6               4.23                 7.3               34                  19

WR                1.62                     2.66                      4.58            4.18                  7.08               35                 18

QB                 1.71                     2.82                       4.88            4.36                  7.39               30.5            N/A


Also remember, many athletes that score the fastest, highest, most in terms of numbers just cannot play the game at the level the NFL expects. See how many of the athletes below went forward from an outstanding score at the NFL Combine to a solid, let alone great NFL career.

 

All Time Top Ten Scores 1999 – 2009


40 Yard Dash                                                                                                               10 Yard Burst


1999                  4.24                  Rondel Melendez                    1999                  1.47                  Jay Hinton

2000                  4.32                  Antwan Harris                         2000                  1.48                  Antwan Harris

2001                  4.31                  Santana Moss                         2001                  1.50                  Deuce McAllister

2002                  4.31                  Aaron Lockett                          2002                  1.50                  Brian Allen

2003                  4.32                  Kevin Garrett                           2003                  1.46                  Bob Sanders

2004                  4.33                  Carlos Francis                         2004                  1.50                  Rufus Brown

2005                  4.28                  Jerome Mathis                        2005                  1.50                  Fabian Washington

2006                  4.31                  Johnathan Joseph                  2006                  1.48                  Tim Jennings

2007                  4.30                  Yamon Figurs                        2007                  1.43                  Allison, McCauley, Weddle

2008                  4.24                  Chris Johnson                       2008                  1.40                  Chris Johnson

2009                  4.30                  Darrius Heyward-Bey             2009                  1.40                  Cedric Peerman



225 Bench Press Reps                                              Vertical Jump (No Step Approach)


1999                  51                    Justin Earnest                        1999                  43.5                  Jay Hinton

2000                  45                  Leif Larsen                              2000                  41.5                  Curtis Keaton

2001                  37                  Roberto Garza                         2001                  45                  Chris Chambers

2002                  36                  Scott Peters                             2002                  42                  William Green

2003                  38                   Tony Pashos                          2003                  42.5                  Nate Burleson

2004                  42                  Isaac Sopoaga                        2004                   41.5                  Bob Sanders

2005                  43                  Scott Young                             2005                  46                  Gerald Sensabaugh

2006                  45                  Mike Kudla                              2006                  42                  Vernon Davis

2007                  42                  Tank Tyler                               2007                  41.5                  Quincy Black

2008                  37                  Vernon Gholston                     2008                  39                  Carl Stewart

2009                  39                  Louis Vasquez                         2009                  45                  Donald Washington


20 yd Shuttle (5-10-5)                                                                      Three Cone Test (L Drill)


1999                  3.79                  Champ Bailey                        1999                  ??                  Unknown

2000                  3.82                  Dante Hall                              2000                  6.45                  Sedrick Curry

2001                  3.73                  Kevin Kasper                         2001                  6.56                  Kevin Casper

2002                  3.76                  Deion Branch                         2002                  6.50                  Jon McGraw

2003                  3.83                  Terence Newman                  2003                  6.72                  Ryan Hoag

2004                  3.78                  Dunta Robinson                     2004                  6.68                  Schweigert, Stuart

2005                  3.84                  Beriault, Rogers                     2005                  6.49                  Carlos Rogers

2006                  3.83                  Jason Allen                            2006                  6.64                  Tye Hill

2007                  3.90                  Sabby Piscitelli                       2007                  6.50                  Leon Hall

2008                  3.96                  Arman Shields                       2008                  6.57                  Harry Douglas

2009                  3.96                  Kevin Barnes                         2009                  6.59                  Malcolm Jenkins


Standing Long Jump


1999                  ??                           Unknown

2000                  10’11”                  Curtis Keaton

2001                  11’02”                  Cedric James, Chris Chambers, Jonathan Carter

2002                  10’10”                  Terreal Bierria, Caldwell Reche

2003                  11’05”                  Justin Fargas

2004                  10’11”                  D J Hackett

2005                  11’05”                  Scott Starks

2006                  11’01”                  Will Blackmon, Pat Watkins

2007                  11’0”                    Daren Stone

2008                  11’04”                 Jerome Simpson

2009                  11’3”                  Donald Washington


The NFL Combine was originally founded as a medical event.  With the advent of keeping athletes for long-term contracts, the franchises wanted each prospect to be given a full physical.  The top prospects were flown to as many as a dozen clubs for medical evaluations.  Imagine getting a full set of X-Rays by 6 – 12 different teams.  The franchises didn’t like the expense and the athletes did not like the health risk.  So, Gene “Duke” Babb founded the NFL Combine, which is run by National Football Scouting.  The first combine was held in 1982 in Tampa.  After moving to New Orleans, then Arizona, the National Invitational Camp was moved to its current home in Indianapolis in 1987.

A SYSTEM FOR TESTING IN PRE-SEASON

How do you test athletes for camp?  How do you hold them accountable in todays culture in which they want it all?  Jobs, social life, family time, hobbies and sports all vie for their limited attention spans and quality time.  Larry Smith, the head coach at Arizona, Southern Cal and Missouri first introduced this to me as my boss at USC.  After spring testing, the scores are set and the goals for the fall are determined for the fall.  I have used this system very successfully with men and women’s basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball and football at the collegiate level. IF the head coach buys in, it is very easy to get athlete buy-in.  I have had various head coaches put their own spin on the test so that it better reflects their culture and system.  For example, in soccer, the 110’s were 1:00 minute turnovers in which after running the distance, the athletes had the balance of the minute to return to the starting line.  We did not max basketball athletes in the clean at times so we did a trap bar pull off of boxes (like a dead lift but more centered with the trap bar and from a higher starting point than the floor).

I feel this system works very well as the lifters need to run and the runners need to lift. Everyone needs to be aware of their body weight and body composition. Great performance is rewarded and laziness is penalized.  In case of injury, the test that is not allowed will be thrown out and the scale will reflect the change in total points possible as well as the passing score.  In the spring, we encouraged our athletes to test for max effort lifts.  In the summer, we counseled them to max for points.  Once you max out on points – why go higher?  It is time to play ball.  We squatted all summer, but on Fridays we did leg circuits as well as some type of total body circuits (dumbbells, kettlebells, bar, body weight and mixed methods circuits).  With camp approaching, I was not as concerned with how much weight an athlete could lift in the squat as how much work the legs could handle and recover in a short time bout and hit it again.

PRE-SEASON REPORTING POINT SYSTEM

1. BODY WEIGHT – IF YOU ARE WITHIN 2% OF YOUR GOAL WEIGHT WHEN YOU REPORT YOU GET 1 POINT.


2. BODYFAT PERCENTAGE – IF YOU ARE ON OR BELOW YOUR ASSIGNED BODYFAT PERCENTAGE YOU GET 1 POINT.


3. STRENGTH TESTS – IF YOU ACHIEVE YOUR STRENGTH GOALS YOU WILL GET 3 POINTS.  IF YOU ARE 5 POUNDS ABOVE YOUR GOAL YOU WILL GET 4 POINTS, 10 POUNDS ABOVE YOUR GOAL YOU RECEIVE 5 POINTS.  IF YOU ARE 5 – 10 POUNDS BELOW YOU ONLY GET 2 POINTS, 15 – 20 POUNDS BELOW IS 1 POINT.

PTS.            POWER CLEAN                      BENCH PRESS                     *LEG CIRCUIT

5            +10 POUNDS                              +10 POUNDS                        5 SETS IN 90 SEC.

4            +5 POUNDS                                  +5 POUNDS                        4 SETS IN 90 SEC.

3            GOAL WEIGHT                      GOAL WEIGHT                         3 SETS IN 90 SEC.

2             -5 POUNDS                                  -5 POUNDS                        2 SETS IN 90 SEC.

1            -15 POUNDS                                -15 POUNDS                      1 SET IN 90 SEC.

*YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO PASS ALL 5 LEG CIRCUITS IN 90 SECONDS W/2:00 REST!

4. CONDITIONING TEST – 16 TIMES MODIFIED 110 TEST IN 15 SECONDS.  LINEMEN RUN 90 YARDS; QB, LB, TE, FB, K, RUN 100 YARDS;  SKILL RUN 110 YARDS.  EVERYONE FINISHES @ GOAL LINE IN 15 SECONDS WITH 45 SECONDS RECOVERY TIME.

5. YOU GET A FREE POINT IF YOU HAVE NO MISSES FOR THE ENTIRE SPRING. IN HIGH SCHOOL YOU COULD REWARD SUMMER TRAINING. IN COLLEGE, SUMMER REWARDS AND/OR PUNISHMENT IS FORBIDDEN.

YOU MUST SCORE 23 POINTS OUT OF A POSSIBLE 33.

THAT IS A SCORE OF 70% IN ORDER TO PASS.

IF YOU FAIL TO PASS, EACH POINT YOU FAIL BY WILL BE AN EXTRA DAY OF RUNNING AFTER PRACTICE.

FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU SCORE 20 POINTS YOU WILL RUN EXTRA THE FIRST 3 DAYS AFTER PRACTICE.

THE HIGH POINT ATHLETE WILL RECEIVE THE BEST CONDITIONED ATHLETE AWARD ! !

 

I hope this sparks you to create your own system of testing prior to camp.  Over the course of almost 15 years of collegiate coaching after I was taught this system, it worked for us.  Good luck!  Robb