This is an article from NF team member Staci.
Ahhh, Monday. Walk into the gym, look around, and there’s a good chance not a single bench will be open.
National Bench Press Day. Every day.
For many years now, bench press has been considered by many to be the most important exercise in the gym, so many people put the bench front and center in their training program, before all else.
However, as popular as it is, the bench press in its current form is really less than 100 years old.
In fact, until the 1930’s, people did a movement called the “floor press” (which is still done today, and is pictured above), which was similar to a bench press only done from the floor. In fact, at first many people did a movement called a “belly toss” – where the bar would come down and bounce off the belly to help the lifter get it back up.
The three movements – bench press, belly toss, and floor press were all popular until the 40’s and 50’s, when the bench press started to become more and more popular, as bodybuilders liked how the bench worked their pecs better than the other two movements.
As the bench press became more and more popular, powerlifting emerged in the 1970′s and separated itself from weightlifting as a sport of its own. And to this day, the bench press is still a somewhat controversial lift.
How’s that for a history lesson! (Speaking of history, here’s a history rap battle between Thor and Zeus, because LEGO. You’re welcome.)