The real story of the birth of the flat bench and rack

The real story of the flat bench

The real story of the flat bench began around 1900 thanks to George Hackenshmidt. Here is an extraordinary article that traces the story of the flat bench and its affirmation.

Who was George Hackenshmidt

George Hackenschmidt is a wrestler and pioneer of strength training from early 20th century Baltic Germany. Known for his record-breaking feats and for popularizing the hack squat and bench press. Believing many to say his creator.

George Hackenschmidt won over 2900 wrestling matches and was one of the strongest men of his time.

George Hackenschmidt è un lottatore e pioniere dell'allenamento della forza proveniente dalla Germania baltica dell'inizio del XX secolo

*George Hackenschmidt wrestler and pioneer of 20th century training. Source Wikipedia

The birth of exercises for bench press

Just George Hackenschmidt performs in one of the first floor press ever, an exercise that almost nobody had heard of at that time.

Lying on the ground, George lifted a weight of 140 kg, then improved his record not long after, lifting about 160 kg.

The birth of the rudimentary flat bench

In the mid-1930s, many weight lifters of the time began lying on wooden boxes or benches trying to push the barbells from the chest position to the stretching of their arms.

Movimento Pull Over Charles A. Smith primi del 1900

*Pull Over movement by Charles A. Smith Early 1900. Source Wikipedia

Standardization of the movement

In 1939, the Amateur Athletic Union decided to standardize the movement by giving it a name : pullover and press, so as to start a real revolution in the sport of strength of the time. The association also approved the use of the spotter to facilitate the passage of the barbell to the athlete.

From powerlifting to bodybuilding

As an exclusive prerogative of the powerlifters of the time until the 40s, the flat bench began to arouse interest in the world of bodybuilding from the 50s onwards.

It will seem incredible to believe but bodybuilders in the early 1900s were not very interested in the development of pectoral muscles!

The birth of the rack

The development of the flat bench allowed in the 50s to develop an alternative to the spotter rack, in fact in sports competitions often the use of spotters were criticized because rei to help athletes in lifting. Hence, the idea of creating a real mechanical spotter, which did not benefit any athlete. Here is the birth of the modern rack.

Nascita del rack per panca piana

*Birth of the rack for Flat Bench. Source Wikipedia

The foundation of the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF)

With the foundation of the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), the flatbed has become recognised and standardized worldwide.

International Powerlifting Federation

*International Powerlifting Federation repertory image. Source IPF

Bench models for gym

How do you choose the right weight bench for your gym or home gym? As simple as the answer may seem, we guarantee that it is not quite that simple. There are different types of gym benches, they differ from each other mainly for their structure and their use.

With this interesting guide, let’s figure out together how to choose the best bench for your gym and home gym.


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