“How much ya bench”, “whaddaya bench?” These phrases have been heard in gyms since the dawn of time. The bench press is often hailed as the daddy of weight training exercises – and a lot of people like to think of it as the “great leveler”. Strip away everything else, and pound for pound, just how strong are you?
Just how much you bench depends on a lot of factors – your natural physical prowess or where you are in your fitness journey may be among many things to consider – but so you have a good idea of where you’re at, let’s talk in general.
1 x your own bodyweight: not bad, not bad at all my man
1.25 x your own bodyweight: now we're talking
1.5 x your own bodyweight: excellent work bro!
For women, the numbers generally are 0.65, 0.85, and 1 x your own bodyweight.
That’s general gym consensus.
To delve a little bit more into things, your age, size, build, and fitness level (or lifting experience) needs to be looked at. For example, the average man, in ordinary circumstances, should be able to bench press 90% of his body weight. If you’re relatively fit and already going to the gym, then 1 x your bodyweight should be a good standard. In contrast, someone with an advanced fitness level or is an elite athlete should be able to lift more than twice their own bodyweight.
A 220lbs man in his 20s would be able to lift 225 in an intermediate level, 305 in advanced, and 380 in elite.
Men tend to be strongest in their 20s and 30s, and gradually decline as they get older.
So, a man in his 20s, in an intermediate level, would be able to lift 100% of his body weight.
A man in his 30s, in an intermediate level, would be able to lift 90% of his body weight.
In his 40s, 80% of his body weight – and so on, though of course there would be exceptions.
Size and fitness level tend to be better indicators rather than age when gauging how much they should be able to bench press.
If you’re below these numbers, remember to build gradually – no one walks into a gym for the first time looking like they could win body building contests (unless you work in a very labor intensive field, and maybe not even then). Constantly comparing yourself and your progress to what you see around you is a recipe for frustration. Instead, focus on yourself, and listen to your body. Get comfortable with what you can currently bench and gradually build on it, and make sure you’re taking care of all your other core muscles too so you avoid injury when you take on heavier and heavier loads.
Having the right diet can fast track your fitness journey, so eat healthy and focus on foods that build lean muscle – and stay hydrated, because you’ll be sweating a lot!
Lastly, it’s essential that you develop and maintain the proper form when exercising. Don’t forget to utilize gym gear and accessories so you get more support when exercising and avoid injury. Check out our Bench Blasters, not only do they ensure perfect form but they can give up to a 20% increase in what you're lifting.
How does that work I hear you ask?
Simple, at the bottom of your lift it creates a spring off your chest so you can smash your 1 rep max from the get go!