Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 11/16/14

Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland caught up with Phil Taylor yesterday at the NFL Play 60 youth clinic being held at the Cleveland Browns training facility. The headline is that Taylor hopes to play in 2012, but won’t rush his return to the field. What stuck out to me, though, was Taylor’s detail about how he hurt himself.

Taylor said he was bench-pressing “300-something” pounds when he felt something, but “it didn’t hurt. I didn’t know what it was.” An MRI the next day revealed the muscle was torn. Surgery was performed on May 16.

I’m not a doctor and I’m not even an amateur weight trainer, but bench-pressing 300-something pounds is substantial for anyone. I am unaware of what Phil Taylor’s full training regimen includes, but I was reminded of something I read recently from a PhD named Robert Libertine Starr from the International Sports Science Association. He was calling into question the benefits of athletes, specifically football players, benching.

It is a proven fact that the real benefits in weight training come from squatting and pulling movements. Pushing movements are important; however, pushing movements done in the vertical position far outweigh the benefits of pushing movements done in the horizontal position. Some coaches feel that a big BP (bench-press) equates to the football lineman having superior prowess on the line of scrimmage. Nonsense!

Players in the trenches on the line of scrimmage must first start with a strong and stable three point stance. This must then transfer to a solid free-standing position as they face their opponents across from them on the field. And the only way that a big BP could equate directly to such a position’s strength is if there was a vertical and stationary pole or wall on the field so that the player could brace his back against it while pushing out away from his body…

So, if you want to equate that foundation of strong legs and back, then squatting and power cleans would be the best barbell movements to train on, not the bench press.

Obviously this isn’t to criticize Phil Taylor for lifting and working out. I do find it interesting from the perspective of the evolution of training and exercise. At some point, this is the kind of science that could present a substantial competitive advantage for a football team, and it is something we often don’t talk about at all. We’re too busy calling out 7-yard pass plays on 3rd and 8, but maybe the battle could have really been won in the weight room by working smarter and keeping guys off of the training and operating tables.

PLAYERS: Phil Taylor
TEAMS: Cleveland Browns
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Darrelle Revis, Ndamukong Suh exchange words after game

Curt Schilling's son causes scare at Logan Airport

Manziel's girlfriend tells Browns to put Johnny Football in

Scalpers in Detroit selling free Jets-Bills tickets for $125

Report: Redskins could bench Robert Griffin III

Broncos have meeting with scoreboard operator

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Cowboys could still pursue Adrian Peterson

Manny Pacquiao: I'm ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

Video: RG3 gets crushed, his linemen look unfazed

WATCH: Robert Griffin III takes vicious helmet-to-helmet hit

WATCH: Dominic Raiola tries to cheap-shot Patriots' lineman

WATCH: Janoris Jenkins returns interception 99 yards for TD

WATCH: TY Hilton chokes up in emotional postgame interview

WATCH: Chris Clemons accidentally knocks ref's hat off

WATCH: Aaron Rodgers throws nifty TD across his body

WATCH: LeGarrette Blount does Antonio Brown's end zone dance

WATCH: Eagles take opening kickoff 107 yards for TD

Western Carolina coach blasts Kirk Herbsreit

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

Sager makes first appearance since leukemia diagnosis

Browns News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Dominic Raiola admits to dirty play

WATCH: Revis, Suh exchange words

Manziel's GF wants her man to play

Cowboys to pursue Adrian Peterson?

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.