How Much Should I Be Able to Bench Press?

Whether you’re a novice to fitness or a seasoned guru, there’s probably been a point where you’ve questioned – how much should I be able to bench? It’s common for people to wonder how much weight they should be able to lift and if they’re making progress in their fitness journey. While you might start off lifting less weight than you originally expected, consistency is key and as long as you stick with it you’ll be able to lift more weight before you know it.

If you’re like me and wonder how much should I be able to bench – the answer isn’t an easy one. So many factors come into play like your fitness level, body weight and age. Think of it like this – how many times have you compared what you can do now versus when you were in your teens? The answer is probably embarrassing to admit. So, let’s dive into how much you should be able to bench depending on a few different factors and statistics.

Is Benching Your Bodyweight Good?

If you’re able to bench your bodyweight, is that a good start? Yes, definitely! Especially if you’re a woman or a larger sized man. A small to average-sized man should be able to bench press more than his body weight. However, a guy who weighs around 250 pounds probably won’t be able to lift his weight without following a serious fitness regimen.

Is Bench Press A Good Indicator of Strength?

Did you know the bench press is one of three exercises done in a powerlifting competition? Along with a deadlift and squat, bench pressing is an accurate test of strength. The more weight you can bench, the stronger your upper body is.

Average Male Bench Press

How Much Should I Be Able to Bench

It’s common for men to be able to lift more weight than women. However, men in their twenties and thirties are at their peak for strength and lifting weights. Once they hit around age forty, the amount of weight they can lift declines. Of course, there are always exceptions, and some men may be stronger during their forties and fifties than in their twenties. The following charts are bench press averages based on weight and age.

Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvanced
11485110130180
12390115140195
132100125155210
148110140170235
165120150185255
181130165200275
198135175215290
220140185225305
AgeWeight
20-29100 percent of body weight
30-3990 percent of body weight
40-4980 percent of body weight
50-5975 percent of body weight

Average Female Bench Press

How Much Should I Be Able to Bench

For women wondering how much should I be able to bench, the answer differs from men. For women, their size and fitness level are the best indicators for determining how much they should be able to bench.

Liz Marsland, a Crossfit L-2 trainer at Crossfit Shapesmiths, says women should start gently, especially if they don’t have a lot of upper-body strength. Below is a graph that breaks down bench averages for women based on body weight.

Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvanced
9750657595
105557080100
114607585110
123658090115
132708595125
1487590105135
1658095115145
18185110120160
19890115130165
199+95120140175

How Can I Get Better at Benching More?

It’s common to want to better yourself – and definitely a good thing. So, what steps can you take to get better at benching more weight? For starters, take your time and build the weight gradually. They did not build Rome in a day and your muscles won’t be either. Results take time and consistency. As long as you put in the work, the results will come. Here are more tips to get better at benching more weight:

  • Always practice excellent form in order to avoid injury and get the best results.
  • Increase the weight and lower the number of repetitions.
  • Vary your strength training routine so that you target your entire body when working out.
  • Consider working out with a trainer if you need help with a program or to develop the most efficient workout plan tailored to you.
  • Maintain a healthy diet to help build lean muscles.
  • Give your body plenty of rest between workouts.

One Repetition Max Bench Press

Are you curious what your one repetition max bench press is? You can use a bench press calculator to find your one repetition max. They define a repetition max as the maximum force you can produce with a singular muscle contraction. Keep in mind that these are not 100% accurate and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But determining your one rep bench press max on the calculator is definitely a good starting point, and from there you can either scale up or scale down. To find your one repetition max, progressively increase the weight until you determine the one rep maximum weight that you’re able to lift.

Endurance Max Bench Press

While finding your one repetition max bench press is a way to test your strength with one single burst of muscle contraction, it tells you little about your endurance potential.

That is where the endurance max bench press is useful.  This is an upper body strength and endurance test that is commonly used in the NFL, NBA and NHL combines. Endurance max bench press is the maximum number of reps that are done using a set weight. For example, you may have a one repetition max of 250 pounds, but your endurance max bench weight may be 215 pounds benched ten times.

How Much Can The Rock Bench?

Who doesn’t idolize The Rock in some shape or form? That holds true especially if you’re into strength and fitness. From his early days in the WWE and now years later, The Rock has maintained his sculpted physique and has many of us wondering what his secret is.

One of his best-kept secrets (because he doesn’t like to answer the question) is how much he can max bench press. While he likes to keep things low-key, we can estimate that The Rock has a one rep max bench press between 450 and 500 pounds.

Wrap-Up

The bench press is a good indicator of your overall upper body strength. The more weight you can bench, the stronger your upper body is. When asking the question how much should I be able to bench, keep in mind there are multiple factors such as bodyweight, fitness level and age to take into consideration.

You can use the above bench press average charts based on weight and age to get an idea of where you should fall.  If you are able to bench press your bodyweight, you are the exception as less than 5-10% of the population are able to do that.

To get better at benching more weight, you have to be consistent with your workouts. Also, you can increase the weight you lift while lowering the number of repetitions. Eat healthy and be sure to give your body plenty of rest in between workouts as that is when the muscle fibers repair and grow. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

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