Let’s take it simple, the moment you tell someone that you’re going to the gym, they automatically ask you how much you bench, so normally every new gym bro will ask himself: how much should I bench?
I know you want a real number, so yeah, here’s the deal: anything over 225lbs, or 100kg is acceptable. Now, I’m not saying that tose who didn’t reach this goal yet are doing something wrong, but you still need to work a little bit to improve.
Or, for other seasoned lifters, this amount is just another warmup set.
Understanding the right amount to bench press is crucial for effective and safe strength training. Let’s break down everything from setting realistic goals to the factors influencing your bench press capabilities.
Setting the Stage: What is Bench Pressing?
This popular exercise involves lying flat on a bench and lifting a weight using your upper body strength. It’s a staple in strength training because it effectively targets major muscle groups in the chest, arms, and shoulders.
Factors Influencing Your Bench Press
Several factors determine how much you can lift:
Your Experience Level: Beginners will naturally start with lighter weights as they focus on form and muscle development.
Body Weight and Composition: Generally, the more you weigh, the more you might be able to bench, thanks to larger muscle mass.
Gender and Age: Men typically can lift more due to natural differences in muscle mass, and age can affect muscle strength and endurance.
Training Frequency: Regular training can progressively increase your bench press weight.
If you need an exact number, use this bench press calculator.
Bench Press Standards for Beginners
For beginners, it’s vital to start slow. Focus on mastering the form with lighter weights or even just the barbell (which weighs 45 pounds or 20kg). Gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable and stronger.
Understanding One-Rep Max (1RM)
Your one-rep max (1RM) is the maximum weight you can lift for a single repetition. It’s a standard measure to gauge your strength and set benchmarks.
How Much Should You Bench Press?
Guidelines Based on Body Weight
A common guideline is that an average male lifter should bench press about 1.5 times his body weight. For females, it’s about 0.75 times their body weight. However, remember these are just averages and can vary widely.
Realistic Goals and Progress
Setting realistic goals based on your current strength and gradually increasing your weight is key. Aiming for a 5-10% increase in weight every few weeks is a good benchmark for progress.
Safety First: Avoiding Injuries
Bench pressing, like any exercise, carries the risk of injury if not done correctly. Always prioritize proper form over lifting heavier weights. Ensure your back is flat against the bench, and consider working with a spotter for heavier lifts.
Listening to Your Body
Pay attention to your body. If a weight feels too heavy or causes discomfort, it’s okay to scale back. Consistency and gradual progression are more beneficial than pushing your limits too quickly.
Building Overall Strength
Remember, bench pressing is just one aspect of a balanced strength training routine. Incorporating other exercises that build supporting muscles is essential for overall fitness and improved bench press performance.
Include exercises like push-ups, dumbbell flies, and shoulder presses to build strength in your chest, arms, and shoulders. This will help you progress in your journey.
Ultimately, “How much should I bench” is a personal question. It depends on your individual fitness level, goals, and the factors we discussed. Focus on gradual progression, and proper form, and listen to your body. With time, patience, and consistency, you’ll see your bench press numbers improve.
No, your muscles need time to recover. Aim for 2-3 times a week with rest days in between.
Aim for a 5-10% increase every few weeks, depending on your comfort and strength levels.
No. For safety, especially with heavier weights, having a spotter is recommended.
That’s okay! Work at your own pace and focus on gradual improvement.
Yes, exercises like push-ups, chest flies, and cable crossovers are great alternatives.