Healthy Living

How Much Should A Man Bench-Press, According to Age?

According to Kilgore's strength standards- Beginner weightlifters who weigh around 198 pounds who also have a couple months of experience average 230 pounds for the squat, 175 pounds for the bench press and 290 pounds for the deadlift. Intermediate lifters with a couple of years of experience in weight training average 285 pounds for the squat, 215 pounds for the bench press, and 335 pounds for the deadlift. Advanced lifters with multiple years of training experience average 390 pounds for the squat, 290 pounds on the bench press, and 460 pounds for the deadlift.

How much do you bench? If you are a guy, there’s a good chance you’ve been asked this question in and out of the gym more than once. How much you bench press is an important factor for manly bragging rights, but it’s also used as one of the greatest measures of upper-body strength in professional athlete evaluations.

So, have you ever wondered how much most men your age and weight bench-press as a one rep max and where you match up?

To figure out if there are any national bench press standards, based on age and weight, I spoke with Joe Baglione, Head Coach and Programmer of Greenwich Crossfit. Baglione is a certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, CrossFit coach, Crossfit Games Regional Competitor, and holds a certification in Catalyst Strength Olympic Lifting.

According to Baglione, the general rule of thumb for bench press is a moderately healthy, injury-free average person should be able to press 70% of their body weight.

The ‘average man’ should be able to stick to this scale below, put together by The American College of Sports Medicine.

  • Age 24- Body Weight of 170 – Presses – approx. 105% of BW
  • Age 33- Body Weight of 180 – Presses – approx. 75% of BW
  • Age 46- Body Weight of 183 – Presses – approx. 70% of BW
  • Age 53- Body Weight of 187 – Presses – approx. 65% of BW

Factors that Affect the Average Man’s’ Bench Press

“I think when we look at the ‘average man’s’ bench press, we certainly have to take a lot of different factors into consideration. Of course injuries, prior lifting history, age, and diet and nutrition to name a few,” says Baglione.

The Drawbacks of Going by Bench-Press ‘Standards’ for the Average Man

“I think it’s a very bold statement to call bench press ‘standards’ for the average men just based off of weight and age,” says Baglione. “I don’t believe American College of Sports and Medicine’s bench press standards are something that everyone can reference. I think previous experience with weightlifting for a specific sport or CrossFit can create habits and strength that are unmeasurable.”

Bench press strength standards help you to compare your one-rep max lift with other lifters at your bodyweight.

Top 3 Most Common Mistakes in Bench-Press, According to Coach Baglione

  1. Having no spotter: There is so much that can go wrong, even if it’s a weight you are certain you can lift, you always need someone spotting you.
  2. Using a Thumbless or “Suicide” Grip on the Bar: You need to use the meaty part of the palm with a full grip around it. Leaving any room for error is simply opening the door for a problem.
  3. Flaring the Elbows Out: Flared elbows are bad technique and will end up destroying your shoulders.

Coach Baglione’s Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Bench-Press

  1. Always warm up and stretch.
  2. Pay attention to your body and rest when your body begs for it. The pectoral is a very small muscle group, it’s not hard to overwork them.
  3. If you plateau at a weight, work on “Negative Reps”. Start from the top (with a spotter of course) and slowly lower the weight to the chest at a tempo. Once you’ve reached the chest, have your spotter pull the weight up for you.

Are Men Ever Too Young or Old to Bench Press?

“I wouldn’t recommend any boys under the age of 13 to lift heavy weight,” says Baglione. “And I’m not sure if you are ever too old for a simple movement such as the bench press. However, you do need to understand you aren’t as strong as you once were, and you won’t recover like you once did. Listen to your body, and don’t push your limits.”