How Much Should You Be Able to Bench Press?

Bench-Press“How much can you lift, bro?”

We’ve all heard that question. And we’ve all rolled our eyes when it’s asked. Regardless (and for better or worse), the bench press has become the gold standard in comparing levels of physical fitness.

Go to the gym. Enlist the help of a spotter. Add a comfortable amount of resistance to the bench press. Perform one repetition. With a rest in between, keep adding additional resistance until you reach your limit. When you can’t lift anymore, that’s your one rep max. And when someone asks you how much you can lift, you’ll have your answer.

But how much should you be able to lift?

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 11.56.40 AMAccording to data, an untrained 165-pound man can bench press 119 pounds. See chart (at right) for additional data points.

You’ll quickly discover that most untrained or novice exercisers aren’t able to bench press their own bodyweight. Though it’s not necessarily the best measure of physical strength, the ability to press one’s own bodyweight is a common goal for exercisers. Though it doesn’t have a direct implication, it’s a bragging right to which many men and women aspire.

So how much weight should you be able to bench press? There’s no short answer. It depends on your weight, fitness level, goals and a variety of other factors. Though the chart will provide some very guidelines, know that each person is different. And that all of us are at different points on our fitness journey.

The bottom line: If you’re not satisfied with your current level of strength, set a goal and work towards it.

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  1. David,

    Does having fake, implanted pecs help you lift more weight?


  2. Hey Davey,

    What is that chart from? It’s pretty useful and I was wondering if it existed for other exercises.

  3. If you’re in highschool and you’re starting to bench you should be benching 2x as much as you weigh !

    • Well, Im 17 and 150 and I cannot even bench my own weight so….I don’t think that is necessarily plausible unless you are a high schooler who has been lifting for a while now .

    • Joseph, you are so far off. Why give info like that. Only like one in 100,000 can bench double their weight. People need to set realistic goals, you are not helping.

  4. Never understand these, so I should be able to bench 92Ibs right off, just because of weight? Yet when I lose more weight, by then i’ll be stronger than I am now. And having already lost 89Ibs and gained a LOT of strength, it doesn’t make sense to me! I can only bench 82Ibs and have been doing bench for a few months.

  5. These charts are averages. By that very nature some people will be above average and some people will be below.

  6. rick kipness says:

    i bench press 500

  7. 500 grams?

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  12. This chart is somewhat wrong, because I’m female and I go to the gym everyday and I bench 425

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  14. Thunder Gonzales says:

    So im 14 yrs old, weigh 100 pounds (give or take a couple pounds, depending on if i just ate or whatever) and i can bench 90 as my max, and 70 for working out, is that good or not? Either way im still trying to get stronger and would appreciate some advice, thx

  15. Doctor Strange says:

    I am 66 years old 215 lbs I just started lifting I do 130 pounds x 15 reps x 4 sets with 2 minutes between sets 60 reps total I am going to see what my max single is will post soon

  16. I’m 210lbs 6’2″ pushing 315lbs 5 times on my 20th set for a total 230 reps flat or decline

  17. I’m 18 225 amd I can beach my dick

  18. I’ve seen this chart on 1RM website and app. It’s a good guide but everybody is different. The 1RM website allows you to adjust for age. I’m 44 weigh 165 and max at 225. My goal is to get to my all time max when I was 20 at 245 when I weighed 145. I always remember people saying if you could bench 100 pounds over your weight that was considered strong, but it is all relative.