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.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs reportedly offer Jon Lester more than $135 million

Colin Kaepernick: Jim Harbaugh will be back in 2015

Jeremy Maclin not happy with Riley Cooper’s contract remark

Broncos reportedly waive kicker McManus, sign Connor Barth

Report: Browns not committed to Brian Hoyer long-term

Pablo Sandoval, Red Sox officially agree to contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ex-NFLer passed out in Wendy's drive-thru, arrested for DUI

Ex-NFL DB Fred Smoot arrested on domestic assault charges

Jets’ Sheldon Richardson: ‘I didn’t get drafted to lose games’

Jose Canseco's fiancée Leila Knight breaks it off with slugger

Rex Ryan reportedly wants to start Michael Vick in Week 13

Tom Thibodeau: Derrick Rose must ‘get out there and play’

WATCH: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of NBA's first month

Sherman mocks NFL media policies in press conference

Why Packers' offense continues to evolve despite success

'Fire Idzik' billboard updated with suggestion for Jets owner

Watt buys pizza, shows gratitude to Houston firefighters, cops

College football's post-Week 13 Playoff projection

Which teams have the best shot at an undefeated season?

Infographic: Terrell Suggs' sack victims after notching 100th

Dude Perfect video features Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll

Rick Pitino 'played four white guys and an Egyptian' in blowout

NFL Power Rankings after Week 12

WATCH: James Harden had another lapse on defense

NFL 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

What has Masai Ujiri built in Toronto?

How L.A. should replace Hanley

Lester, Red Sox still talking contract

Why each NFL team should be thankful

Could Kentucky beat the 76ers?

Greatest college football rivalries

LeBron on losing streak: 'I stink'

Report: Manziel, friends get in brawl

Tate: Loss to Pats was 'embarrassing'

Bill Belichick burns Dominic Raiola

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.