If you want some strength goals to set for yourself this year, or you just want to see how you stack up against other people, I’ve pulled together a set of strength standards from various sources.
If you want something simple to aim for, pressing your bodyweight overhead and deadlifting twice your bodyweight (both for a single repetition) represents a good level of strength for most people.
For a something a bit more challenging, a 200-pound overhead press, 300-pound bench press, 400-pound squat and 500-pound deadlift for a single lift are impressive numbers for a drug-free, genetically “average” male weighing around 190 pounds.
Relative to bodyweight, these 200, 300, 400 and 500 numbers are roughly the equivalent to 1 for the overhead press, 1.5 for the bench press, 2 for the squat and 2.5 for the deadlift.
For strength standards that take your bodyweight, gender and training age into account, use the numbers in the tables linked below.
The standards differ according to your gender, training age (novice, intermediate or advanced), as well as your weight, which makes it easier to set both short- and long-term goals that are realistic for you.
- “Novice” means a person training regularly for a period of 3-9 months.
- An “intermediate” is someone who has engaged in regular training for up to two years, while the term “advanced” refers to an individual with several years of training experience with definite goals in the higher levels of competitive athletics.
- The term “elite” refers specifically to athletes competing in strength sports, and less than 1% of people who train with weights will reach this level.
The numbers represent a one-repetition maximum lift that can be reasonably expected of an adult at various levels of training using standard full range-of-motion barbell exercises with no supportive wraps or suits.
And if all of that sounds too easy, try this!
SEE ALSO: THE MUSCLE BUILDING CHEAT SHEET
If you're fed up spending hours in the gym with nothing to show for it, then check out The Muscle Building Cheat Sheet.
It's a "cut the waffle and just tell me what to do” PDF that tells you exactly how to go about building muscle. To get a copy of the cheat sheet sent to you, please click or tap here to enter your email address.
ABOUT THE AUTHORChristian Finn is a former "trainer to the trainers" and fitness writer based in Northamptonshire, England. He holds a masters degree in exercise science, and has been featured in or contributed to major media on two continents, including the BBC and Sunday Times in the U.K. and Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness in the U.S.