Bench Press (2010, Flash-version) by Athletic Design

This is a button basher of the original kind – the faster you press the keyboard, the better you do!

There are two game variants:
1. Lift the heaviest weight.
2. Complete five reps with 225 pounds in the shortest time.

Both variants can be played in either the Easy or Hard mode. To complete five reps with 225 pound in Hard mode is an impressive achievment!

Each hand presses two keys to apply force. Hammer them as fast as possible to counter the force of gravity. But don’t press too fast at the start - the weight must be lowered to touch the chest before you lift it

In Hard modes the left hand & right hand keys must be pressed equally fast to keep the bar from tilting and the plates from slipping off.

For best results you’ll need to rest between attempts. You will be surprised how similar playing is to real exercising - so go grab a protein shake and start working out!

Please note that leaderboards are disabled for technical reasons for all our Flash-games including this one. However, the new and improved HTML5-version has a daily-best table.

If you prefer the old Flash-version, don't worry - we won't abandon it and may even enable leaderboards again when new technical solutions like Newgrounds’ Ruffle appear. In the meantime we are happy that the SuperNova browser extension make playing Flash-games almost hassle free.

The ultimate strength test?

Is bench press the ultimate test of muscular strength? Well ... the training routines of most gym-goers certainly support that notion. Lots of people object though. Lifting while lying down on one’s back has very little carry over to real-life activities, they argue. Further, while all lifts depend not only on the muscular strength but also on the morphology of the lifters, bench press in particular favors certain body shapes. It hardly seems fair that the long limbed and thin lifter should have to lower the bar much further and therefore to a much less advantageous position than his barrel-chested (or barrel-gutted) friend.

Still bench press has many things going for it. It involves a lot of important upper body muscles. The pectoralis (chest), tricpes (upper arm), and deltoids (shoulders) are thoroughly put to the test. Many athletes rely on these muscles and bench press is an important part of their training regime. It is also a technically easy lift to learn and to execute in a consistent way. The relative lack of confounding technique-dependent factors makes it well suited as an indicator of body building progress.


Bench Press is an actual competition event in the sport of powerlifting. While the rules of powerlifting require a short judged pause at the bottom of the lift, the preferred execution outside of powerlifting is the touch-and-go variant – as long as the bar has touched the chest, the lift qualifies as okay.

Technical factors

While bench press is easy to learn, form and technique can of course still be very important. The width of the grip, the positioning of the body and feet, the path of the bar during the lowering and during the lift all play a huge role.

Another skill of special importance for the touch-and-go variant is the timing of force exertion. This involves several factors, like saving energy by not applying more force during the lowering than necessary, the stretch reflex of the muscles, and the unloading and somewhat elastic assistance of the ribcage. This skill is actually rather well represented in this game. Lower the bar too carefully and you will waste energy and not be able to utilize the help of the ribcage. Let the bar free fall to long and it will build up momentum that will overpower and bury you.

The balancing skill in the normal mode of this game makes for interesting game play but is vastly exaggerated compared to the real thing! Besides, you can use collars to lock the plates and prevent slipping. Still, you often train without collars and it is not uncommon for one arm to lead the lift. A couple of reps like that may well cause the plates to slide an inch or two, and by shifting the center of mass, weigh down the lagging arm even more, making matters worse and worse.

Anders Hansson, 2010