I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of gym goers discuss their strength by asking what someone’s bench press is. It’s very common for people to judge strength by referring to their bench.
So how much should you be benching to be considered strong?
Are You Strong If You Can Bench Your Body Weight?
Yes, benching your body weight is great goal if you’re starting out in the gym. Many factors have to taken into account though such as your fitness level. As you become more experienced in the gym, your goals will become higher. Let’s take a look at some of the average bench numbers and find out how you can increase yours.
Average Bench Press Numbers
How much you can bench press depends on your fitness levels and how long you’ve been training. Your body weight also plays a big role.
Benching your own weight is a great starting point and is impressive for a beginner lifter. As you become more experienced in training, you will obviously want to increase that number.
Most men in their 20s can bench their body weight. Most women can bench about 0.65x their body weight. Obviously weight, age, and fitness level should all be taken into account.
If you weigh around 130lbs, then the average one rep max is about 140, above is more advanced. If your weight is 150-165lbs, the average one rep max is 185.
The average for those weighing 180-200 the average is roughly 215lbs. As you can see, being able to lift slightly above your weight is considered average for a male.
For females, it’s slightly less than body weight. A female who weighs from 105-115, the average on rep max is about 85.
Don’t get discouraged if you do not fall into these ranges. Everyone is different and you should’t compare your strength to others. Try to get stronger and beat your old numbers, not anyone elses.
Is The Bench Press A Good Determination Of Strength
Bench press is the first lift many people think of when determining strength. How great of an indicator of strength is it?
One thing that makes it a good indicator is that it’s a compound exercise that uses several muscle groups. If you have a strong bench press, you also have strong chest, triceps, core, shoulders, and even legs.
It takes a lot more strength to lift heavy on the bench press than it does on the machine bench press or bicep curl.
The big 3 lifts are usually bench press, deadlifts, and squats. They are mainly focused on in power lifting as the three main determinations of strength.
There are also considerations to take into account such as a person’s height. Someone who is shorter can be weaker than a tall person and still bench more than them.
This is because their range of motion is not as far since their arms are shorter.
I would not say that the bench press is the best indicator of strength, however it is still a great determination of upper body strength.
One of the reasons so many people decide the bench press is the main way to detect someone’s strength is because mainly everyone can do it. You lie on the bench and start bouncing the bar up and down. It doesn’t require a lot of form like the squat or deadlift.
Many guys in the gym won’t use proper form and will bounce the bar off their chest. They then tell people that they bench 300 pounds and believe that they are strong.
However, when actually using correct form and integrating your muscles properly, it becomes a lot more difficult. The bench press is also a very common lift that everyone seems to know, even those who don’t lift.
Remember that ego lifting weight that is too heavy for you will not build muscle or strength and makes you more prone to injury.
Another important thing to consider is how the bench press can be dangerous and not the best choice for many. If you have shoulder injuries or mobility issues, it may do more harm than good.
Furthermore, the bench press is not the best exercise to build you chest, contrary to what many may tell you. Check out this post for more information on the bench press.
The benefits of the bench press include building your chest, triceps, and shoulders muscle. It will also work other stabilizing muscles as it is a compound movement.
The bench press is one of the best movements for increasing upper body strength. This strength will not only assist you in chest movements, but also help in other big lifts such as the overhead press.
The bench press increases your push power which can come in handy in more instances than just in the gym. Strengthening the pushing muscles can assist you in everyday life.
It’s also a good exercise for maintaining cartilage health, preventing against arthritis as you age.
Lastly, the bench press is a great movement for helping you look and feel better about yourself. Having a wide chest greatly increases the appearance of your physique.
How To Increase Your Bench
Start by making sure that your form is down. Proper form will prevent injury and help you increase your bench press numbers.
You want to start by lying on your back on a bench. Retract your scapula and pull your shoulders down towards your butt. This will prevent your shoulders from being injured and allow your chest to do most of the work.
Adjust your bar path so that it is up and back towards the rack after it touches your lower chest. This will help you incorporate leg drive, increasing the strength of your press.
Increasing the strength of your triceps is a great way to up your bench press numbers as they are a big factor. If your triceps are lacking, you will notice that your bench press will suffer.
Build your triceps by doing close grip bench press, skull crushers, and push down variations.
Frequently bench pressing is a great way to increase it. All the muscles involved will get stronger and if you are progressively overloading, then your numbers will gradually rise.
Eating in a calorie surplus is the best way to continuously increase strength as you will be gaining muscle and strength. Also, makes sure that you are progressively overloading.
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Let me know if you have any questions or comments and I’ll be sure to get back to you.