The bench press is a staple in gyms worldwide and a common measure of one’s upper body strength.
It’s an exercise that many people strive to master, but “how much should I be able to bench” is a question that often arises.
As a Faculty of Sport and Physical Education student, it took me over 30 hours to research and find the answer to how much someone should be able to bench press.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into the factors that influence your ideal bench press weight, how to improve your bench press performance and the common mistakes you should avoid on your journey to becoming a bench press pro.
How Much Should I Be Able to Bench?
You should be able to bench 0.5 to 0.74 times your body weight if you are a beginner, 0.75 to 1.24 times your body weight if you are an intermediate lifter, and 1.25 times your body weight if you are an advanced lifter.
- Your age, gender, body weight, and fitness level also determine the amount you should be able to bench.
- To improve your bench press game, you must adhere to the proper form and technique, create a personalized training plan, and maintain a balanced diet and adequate rest for muscle growth and recovery.
- Never neglect accessory work since that is the second best way to improve the performance of your main lift, such as the bench press in this example.
How to Determine Your Ideal Bench Press?
To determine your ideal bench press, you must consider factors such as age, gender, body weight, and fitness level.
Recognizing these factors can help you establish a realistic and personalized benchmark for your bench press performance.
By understanding the average bench press for others with similar attributes, you can set attainable goals on your fitness journey and work towards improving your upper body pushing strength.
Age and Bench Press
Age plays a significant role in your bench press performance .
As you age, your strength potential changes, affecting your bench press average.
In general, strength potential peaks in late 20s to early 30s, after which it may gradually decline based on several factors, including training experience and overall fitness level.
However, it is important to note that age-related changes in bench press strength can vary greatly among individuals.
For example, a 19-year-old male typically has a bench press of 1.4 times their body weight, whereas a 37-year-old male may average a bench press of 1.6 times their body weight, indicating an advanced lifter.
These averages can serve as a good starting point for understanding how age can influence your bench press performance.
Keep in mind that regardless of your age, consistent weight training can result in significant improvements in your bench press strength, making you able to bench press more over time.
Gender and Bench Press
While gender does play a role in bench press strength, it’s important to remember that training and effort can lead to improvements for both men and women.
On average, women cannot lift as much as men of the same age, weight, and experience level .
However, with consistent training and effort, both genders can see significant progress in their bench press performance.
For instance, it is suggested that women should aim for 0.65, 0.85, and 1 x their own body weight when performing a bench press.
By setting realistic bench press goals based on gender, individuals can effectively track their progress and stay motivated throughout their fitness journey.
Remember, regardless of gender, proper training and dedication are key to improving your bench press strength.
Body Weight and Bench Press
Larger individuals tend to have more muscle mass and higher bench press averages .
However, other factors, such as age, gender, and fitness level, can also influence bench press strength.
It’s important to consider these factors when determining your ideal bench press weight, as they can help you set realistic goals and track your progress.
Males doing bench press can lift weights from 78kg (172 lbs) to 159kg (350 lbs), while the average bench press weight for females ranges between 45 kg (99 lbs) and 74kg (163 lbs).
By understanding the relationship between body weight and bench press strength, you can better tailor your training plan and set attainable goals for your fitness journey, ultimately increasing your lean muscle mass.
Fitness Level and Bench Press
Fitness and experience are key factors when it comes to bench press performance. It can have a great impact on the overall results.
Beginners, intermediates, and advanced lifters all have different bench press standards based on their experience and training.
Recognizing these different standards can help you set realistic goals and track your progress in your bench press journey.
For instance, beginners with some experience typically perform a bench press of between 0.50 to 0.74 times their body weight, while intermediate lifters might bench press between 0.75 to 1.24 times their body weight.
Advanced lifters, on the other hand, can aim for 1.25 times their body weight or higher.
By understanding these bench press standards and your current fitness level, you can set achievable goals and stay motivated throughout your fitness journey.
How to Improve Your Bench Press?
To improve your bench press, you must prioritize proper form and technique, develop a tailored training plan, and maintain good nutrition and recovery habits.
By focusing on these key aspects, you can ensure consistent progress in your bench press journey and prevent plateaus, injuries, and setbacks.
In the following sections, we’ll discuss each of these factors in more detail, providing actionable tips and guidance for improving your bench press.
Proper Form and Technique
Prioritizing proper form and technique in your bench press is crucial for maximizing gains, preventing injuries, and ensuring effective muscle targeting.
When lifting heavy weights, it’s essential to maintain proper form to avoid unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints, which can lead to injuries .
Remember, it’s more important to perform the exercise correctly with a lighter weight than to lift heavier weights with poor form.
To ensure proper form during the bench press:
- Start by lying on a flat bench with your feet firmly on the ground and your back flat against the bench.
- Grasp the barbell with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width, then slowly lower the bar to your chest while keeping your elbows tucked in.
- Press the bar back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms.
- Be mindful of your breathing, taking a deep breath before initiating the downward phase of the lift and exhaling forcefully as you press the bar back up.
By consistently practicing proper form and technique, you’ll see significant improvements in your bench press performance.
Developing a Training Plan
A well-structured training plan is vital for continuous improvement in your bench press performance.
Consistency, progressive overload, and variety in training are essential for success .
When developing your training plan, consider your current fitness level, goals, and available resources.
Begin by establishing a consistent workout schedule, ensuring you’re dedicating enough time to both bench press training and recovery.
Aim to gradually increase the weight you’re lifting (progressive overload) to consistently challenge your muscles and promote growth.
Additionally, incorporate variety into your training by including different bench press variations and accessory exercises to target different muscle groups and prevent plateaus.
By following a well-rounded training plan, you’ll be well on your way to improving your good bench press performance and overall upper body strength.
Nutrition and Recovery
A balanced diet and adequate rest are essential for muscle growth and recovery .
Proper nutrition provides the fuel your body needs to perform at its best during workouts and ensures optimal muscle growth.
Focus on consuming a diet rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and a variety of fruits and vegetables to support your bench press training and overall fitness journey.
In addition to proper nutrition, prioritize rest and recovery to allow your muscles to repair and grow.
This includes getting enough sleep, taking rest days between intense workouts, and incorporating recovery techniques such as stretching, foam rolling, and massage.
By paying attention to both nutrition and recovery, you’ll set the stage for consistent progress and improved bench press performance.
Bench Press Standards and Goals
Understanding bench press standards and setting personal goals are crucial for tracking progress and staying motivated on your fitness journey.
Bench press standards vary based on factors such as age, gender, body weight, and experience level.
By familiarizing yourself with these standards, you can set realistic goals and measure your progress over time.
In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into strength standards by experience level and provide guidance on setting personal bench press goals.
Strength Standards by Experience Level
Bench press standards differ based on experience levels, which can be categorized as beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
For beginners, a recommended weight is 0.5-0.74x body weight, while intermediate lifters should aim for 0.75-1.24x body weight.
Advanced lifters can strive for 1.25x body weight or more.
These standards can help you gauge your current performance and set realistic goals for improvement.
Keep in mind that these strength standards are just guidelines and can vary greatly based on individual factors such as age, gender, and body weight.
It’s essential to recognize your current fitness level and set achievable goals based on these standards.
As you progress in your bench press journey, continue to reassess your goals and adjust your training plan accordingly to ensure consistent growth and improvement.
Setting Personal Bench Press Goals
Setting personal bench press goals is important for continuous improvement and maintaining motivation throughout your fitness journey.
When establishing your goals, consider your current experience with strength training, your desired outcomes (such as enhancing athletic performance, bodybuilding, or powerlifting), and your available resources.
Once you’ve set your goals, track your progress regularly and adjust your training plan as needed to stay on track.
Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, and use them as motivation to push yourself even further.
Remember, the key to success in your bench press journey is consistency, dedication, and a focus on continuous improvement.
Bench Press Variations and Alternatives
Bench press variations and alternatives include incline and decline bench press, dumbbell bench press, and additional alternative chest exercises.
Incorporating bench press variations and alternatives into your training plan can help improve muscle balance, prevent plateaus, and add variety to your workouts.
By targeting different areas of the chest muscles and incorporating exercises that provide a greater range of motion or address muscle imbalances, you can enhance your overall bench press performance.
In the following sections, we’ll explore incline and decline bench press, dumbbell bench press, and alternative chest exercises that can complement your bench press training.
Incline and Decline Bench Press
The incline and decline bench press variations are designed to target different areas of the chest muscles.
The incline bench press specifically targets the upper chest muscles, while the decline bench press focuses on the lower chest muscles.
Incorporating these variations into your training plan can promote balanced muscle development and prevent potential imbalances or weaknesses.
To perform the incline bench press:
- Adjust the bench to an angle between 30 and 45 degrees.
- For the decline bench press, set the bench to a decline angle of around 15 to 30 degrees.
- In both cases, follow the same form and technique as the traditional flat bench press.
By regularly incorporating these variations into your bench press routine, you’ll ensure a well-rounded and comprehensive chest development.
Dumbbell Bench Press
The dumbbell bench press is a beneficial variation that offers a greater range of motion and can help address muscle imbalances.
However, it is important to mention that dumbbell strength standards differ from barbell bench press standards.
By using dumbbells instead of a barbell, you can enhance your bench press performance by targeting the stabilizing muscles and allowing for more natural movement patterns.
To perform the dumbbell bench press:
- Lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand, positioned at shoulder height.
- Press the dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended, then slowly lower them back to the starting position.
- Be mindful of maintaining proper form and control throughout the movement.
Incorporating the dumbbell bench press into your training plan can provide variety, challenge your muscles in new ways, and ultimately improve your overall bench press performance.
Alternative Chest Exercises
In addition to the bench press and its variations, alternative chest exercises can help improve overall chest strength and muscle balance.
Exercises such as push-ups, cable crossovers, and chest flyes target the chest muscles from different angles and provide a well-rounded training approach.
By incorporating these alternative chest exercises into your training plan, you can ensure comprehensive chest development and prevent potential imbalances or weaknesses.
Additionally, these exercises can add variety to your workouts and keep you engaged and motivated on your fitness journey.
Remember, a balanced and varied training plan is essential for achieving long-term success in your bench press performance.
What Are the Common Bench Press Mistakes and How to Avoid Them?
Common bench press mistakes include inadequate warm-up, overtraining, undertraining, and neglecting accessory work. You can avoid these common bench press mistakes by incorporating adequate warm-up before every workout session, balancing between training intensity and frequency, and incorporating accessory exercises.
When striving to improve your bench press performance, it’s crucial to avoid common mistakes that can hinder progress or lead to injuries.
By addressing these mistakes and focusing on proper form, technique, and training strategies, you can ensure safe and effective progress in your bench press journey.
In the following sections, we’ll discuss common bench press mistakes and provide guidance on how to avoid them.
Proper warm-up exercises are essential for preventing injuries and preparing your body for lifting heavy weights.
A comprehensive warm-up routine should involve raising your body temperature, mobilizing the muscles and joints to be used, performing dynamic stretches for the upper body, and activating stabilizing muscles.
Some examples of warm-up exercises include jogging, jumping jacks, arm circles, shoulder rolls, and bodyweight squats.
By incorporating these exercises into your warm-up routine, you’ll effectively prepare your body for the demands of bench pressing and reduce the risk of injury.
Always prioritize an adequate warm-up before engaging in any weight training exercises.
Overtraining or Undertraining
Overtraining or undertraining can greatly impact your bench press progress.
Balance between training intensity and frequency is essential to avoid plateaus and ensure consistent progress.
Overtraining can lead to fatigue, decreased performance, and increased risk of injury, while undertraining may result in limited progress and reduced performance.
To prevent overtraining or undertraining, maintain a balance between training intensity and frequency.
Ensure that you’re not training excessively hard or too often, and include rest days in your workout schedule to allow your body to recover.
By finding the right balance in your training plan, you’ll set the stage for consistent progress and improved bench press performance.
Neglecting Accessory Work
Incorporating accessory exercises into your bench press training plan is essential for targeting the supporting muscles of the bench press and enhancing overall bench press performance.
Accessory work can also help address imbalances or weaknesses in your bench press technique.
Some recommended accessory exercises to incorporate into your training plan include dips, push-ups, tricep extensions, dumbbell bench press, and overhead press.
By including these accessory exercises in your regular workout routine, you can effectively target the supporting muscles of the bench press and improve your overall bench press performance.
Be sure to prioritize accessory work as part of a well-rounded and comprehensive bench press training plan.
How Much Should I Bench if I Weigh 150?
If you weigh 150 pounds, you should be able to bench press an average of between 77 and 115 pounds. It is important to focus on proper form when performing this exercise to avoid injuries.
Is It True That Only 1 Can Bench 225?
It is true that only 1% can bench 225 pounds. Though the exact figure may be hard to determine, it is safe to say that less than 1% of the population would be able to do it.
How Much Should a 185 LB Man Bench Press?
A 185 lb man should bench press around 155 to 175 lbs. This range is based on the average bench press for a man weighing 185 lbs.
What Factors Influence My Ideal Bench Press Weight?
A variety of factors influence your ideal bench press weight, including age, gender, body weight, and fitness level. Understanding your individual strengths and limitations is key to finding the right weight for you.
How Can I Improve My Bench Press Performance?
You can improve your bench press performance by committing to proper form, building a training plan with specific goals, and ensuring your nutrition and recovery are on track for the best results with your bench press. This will help you get the most out of your bench press and reach your goals.
Last Thoughts on the Weight You Should Be Able to Bench Press
In conclusion, determining your ideal bench press weight involves considering factors such as age, gender, body weight, and fitness level.
By understanding these factors and setting realistic goals, you can embark on a successful fitness journey to improve your bench press performance.
Prioritize proper form, technique, and a well-rounded training plan, including bench press variations and accessory work.
Don’t forget the importance of nutrition and recovery for optimal muscle growth and progress.
By following these tips and staying consistent in your training, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your bench press goals and unlocking your full potential.
Let me know in the comments below the weight you can currently bench press and the amount of weight you wish to bench press in the near future.