Strength Standards – Are You Strong Or Weak?

Strength Standards – Are You Strong Or Weak?

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You hit the gym when you can, eat right most of the time and do what is necessary to live a healthy, active lifestyle. But how do you stack up when you lift? Today we look at strength standards.

The blue cheese and garlic bread was calling your name or you forgot to set your alarm, so going to the gym really wouldn’t work. We’ve all been there, but we want to help and make sure you have reachable goals the next time you start a workout. Don’t just go through the motions.

Do it to achieve a better lifestyle and to improve upon what you already can do.

What is the best way to do this?

To know how the rest of those in your weight group perform on important lifts. After all, you put in your time, so you’re probably wondering how it stacks up. The best way to determine your current strength is to compare it to others as a whole.

Strength Standards For Different Lifts

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Bench Press

When it comes to the definitive measurement of upper body strength, most look directly to bench press.

The best way to compare yourself against strength standards is to look at your weight. It is always possible to take subcategories, such as the age at a certain weight and so on, but for the most part, you need to find your “weight class” and go from there. After all, boxing and cage fighting doesn’t care about your age. It is all about your weight.

Male Standards

If you are a male and weigh 114 pounds and under, well it’s probably time to order a few extra cheeseburgers.

However, if you do weigh this amount, you’d be considered at the top of the strength standards if you can bench 220 pounds one time (all of these measurements are your one-time max lift).

You’re considered advanced if you can lift 180 and you’re considered average if you can bench 130.

Everything lower than this is below the average.

If you’re between 114 and 123, the average weight is 140.

You’re advanced at 195 and “elite” at 240. If you weight between 123 and 132, the average amount is 140.

Top of the game is 240. The next weight class is 132 through 148. Here the average one-time bench is 155 while top of the line benching is 260.

Do you weight between 148 and 165?

If so, the average is 185 while 320 is the maxed out level. Between the weight of 165 and 181?

Well, then you should bench at least 200 if you want to be average. 345 is an elite level.

Approaching 200 pounds?

Between 181 and 198, the average bench is 215 and the elite level is 360.

Weight between 198 and 220?

You need to bench at least 225 to be average and 380 if you want to be at the top level.

Perhaps you weight between 220 and 242?

If so the average bench is 230, while the top of the line amount is 395. This goes all the way until you are over 320 pounds.

If you weight 320, the average bench press is 250, while the top of the line bench press, in terms of strength standards, should bench 425.

Female Standards

Female bench press numbers are different from the men’s numbers.

If you are a female who ways 97 pounds or less, the average bench weight is 75 pounds while an elite level is 115 pounds.

If you weight between 97 and 105, the average bench is 80 and 125 is the top of the game bench levels.

Weight between 105 and 114?

You should max out your bench at 85.

To be at the top of the list, shoot for 135.

If you’re a female and weight between 114 and 123, the average bench is 90 pounds while a top of the line level is 140 pounds.

If you weight between 123 and 132, the average bench is 95 pounds while 150 is seen as an elite level.

If you’re between 132 and 148, the average bench is 105, while a top flight strength standard is 165.

This goes up through 200 pounds.

If you weigh 200 pounds you should bench at least 140 to be considered average. You’d be considered elite if you can bench at least 220 pounds (Exercise Network, 2014).

Now, if you are working on your current strength standards and want to compare your numbers with that of these, the bar must come in contact with your chest.

Squat Standard

The next strength standard you need to look into is your squat.

This is the most important lower body number, and while it doesn’t receive as much attention as the bench press, your squat is an essential strength number. It also is likely going to be the most weight you lift out of all the different lower body lifts you make. This squat is for a standard back squat, where you have a barbell along our back. These numbers are all the one rep max. For the one max rep to count, your squat must lower to below the parallel to the floor point.

Male Standards

If you are a man and weight 114 pounds or less, you should be able to squat at least 175 pounds to be considered average.

To be elite your squat max should be at least 320. If you weigh between 123 and 132, the average squat is 190 pounds while a top level squat max is 345 pounds.

If you weigh between 123 and 132, the average squat is 190 pounds while a top level squat max is 345 pounds.

If you weigh between 123 and 321 your are considered average if you hit 205 pounds.

You’re top of the line if you hit 370 pounds.

Should you weigh between 132 and 148 an average squat is 230 pounds while a top of the line max is 410.

If you weigh between 148 and 165 you want to hit 250 to be average while you should aim for 445 if you want to be considered an elite.

 

If your weight is between 165 and 181 you should aim for 270-pound max to be average.

480 pounds makes you elite.

If your weight is between 181 pounds and 198 pounds you should have an average squat of 285 pounds.

A top of the line fitness professional will hit 505 pounds.

Now, if you weight over 320 pounds, you are considered average if you squat 330 pounds as your max.

If you are at this weight and want to be considered top of the line in terms of strength, you should squat at least 595 pounds.

Female Standards

If you are a woman, the squat numbers are slightly different.

If you weigh 97 pounds or less, you are average if you can max out at 100 pounds.

You are elite if you can max your squat out at 165 pounds.

If you weigh between the 97 and 105 pounds, you are average if you squat 105 pounds.

You are at the top of the pack if you can squat 175 pounds.

If you weigh between 105 and 114, an average squat amount is 115 pounds while an elite level is 190 pounds.

A body weight between 114 and 123 pounds should have an average of 120 pounds.

If you’re at this weight and want to be considered elite you’ll need to hit 200 pounds.

If you weigh between 123 and 132 pounds, your average squat max is 130 pounds, while a top of the line max is 210 pounds.

Have your weight between 132 pounds and 148 pounds?

An average squat max is 140 pounds while an elite level squat max is 230 pounds.

Now, if you weigh over 200 pounds, you should have an average of at least 185 pounds.

If you want to be considered at the top of the strength category, you will want to squat at least 305 pounds

Deadlift Standard

The deadlift is a combination of both upper and lower body strength, which is what makes it an excellent lift to perform.

An impressive deadlift can help with general explosiveness and power. If it is not a lift you’re performing yet, it is something you should consider starting. It alone works more muscle groups than any other individual lift you’ll perform.

Male Standards

If you are a man that weighs 114 pounds or less, you should have an average of 205 pounds while an elite level is 385.

If you weight between 114 and 123, an average deadlift is 220 while an elite level is 415.

Should you weigh between 123 and 132, the average deadlift is 240 pounds, while a top of the line lift for the weight is 440 pounds.

Move your personal weight up to between 132 and 148 and the average is 270 pounds while an elite level is 480 pounds.

If your personal weight is between 148 and 165, the average deadlift is 295 pounds and the elite level is 520 pounds.

Weigh between 165 and 181 pounds?

Your deadlift average is 315 while a top of the line fitness level is 550 pounds.

Moving closer to 200?

You’ll have an average of 335 pounds and an elite level max of 565 pounds.

If you’re a larger guy with a weight of more than 320 pounds, the average deadlift is 390 pounds while the best of the best lift level is 615 pounds.

Female Standards

If you are a woman, the weights again will drastically shift from that of a man.

If you weight 97 pounds or under you will have an average weight of 120 pounds with a deadlift. Your elite level deadlift is 230 pounds.

If you weigh between 97 and 105 pounds the average deadlift is 130 pounds while the top of the line lift level is 240 pounds.

Weigh somewhere between 105 and 114?

Your average max is 140 while the elite weight is 255.

With a weight between 114 and 123 pounds, the average max for deadlift is 150 pounds while you need to lift 265 pounds if you want to be considered elite.

Weigh between 132 and 148 pounds?

The average deadlift for your weight class is 175 pounds while your elite level deadlift is going to cost 295 pounds.

If you see the scale tip out between 148 and 165, your average deadlift is 190 pounds while the elite lift level is 320 pounds.

Have a weight a bit higher, between the ages of 165 and 181?

The general average for the weight is 205 pounds with an elite level of 330 pounds.

There are two more considered weight classes.

Weighing between 181 and 198, the average max deadlift is 215 pounds while the elite level for a squat is 350 pounds.

The last group considered here (Exercise Net, 2017) begins at 199 pounds and continues up every year. The average deadlift max is 230 pounds when you weigh over this threshold. The elite level for a squatter needs to aim for 365 pounds when maxing out the squat.

Just remember, in order for your max to count, your knees, hips, and back must be fully extended.

Conclusion

Strength standards typically vary based on your weight. it is different between men and women, but you can see as your body weight increases, your average and elite level of max squat also increases.

Whether you are at the average for your weight class, pushing the elite level or somewhere else entirely, the good thing about strength standards is you can always improve on your own numbers. In the world of strength, unless you are entering into strength contests, your only competition is yourself and your own personal numbers.

So while it is nice to know what the average is maxed levels are within your weight class, don’t spend too much time focusing on these numbers. Just focus on your personal best and strive to do what you can to improve your personal numbers. As long as you do what you can to make yourself better, that is all that really matters.

As long as you do what you can to make yourself better, that is all that really matters.

-Terry Asher

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Terry Asher

Owner & Founder at Gym Junkies LLC
After changing his best friend’s life by helping him lose over 70lbs, dropping him down to an amazing 7% body fat, Terry was inspired to be a full-time internet trainer knowing he could do the same for many more. In 2010, Terry published his own diet and fitness e-book that can be purchased on this website. Let Terry help you change your body for the better!
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4 COMMENTS

  1. It is OK if you have healthy shoulders. I am 64 years old and I work 135 lbs bench press because of my shoulder
    problem. I change the sets and reps but I stick to this weight. Sorry my English is not perfect.

    • Hey George,

      That’s a good point that you bring up, age, of course, is not taken into consideration in this chart. You shouldn’t lift heavy if you know you are prone to injury.

      Thanks for stopping by

      -Terry Asher

  2. The different strength standards are quite useful. Also, every exercise has been explained in a detailed manner. It helps one in analyzing his/her strength. One can easily choose the exercise one wishes to go for. It is an important article for beginners.

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