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Bench Press Benchmarks: What’s The Bench Press Average For Men and Women?

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of bench press averages across different ages, genders, and experience levels. Whether you’re a gym newbie or a seasoned lifter, this piece is packed with insights and tips to help you understand and improve your bench press game.

Get ready to learn about the factors influencing your bench press performance, discover realistic goals tailored to your demographic, and pick up essential techniques and safety tips to enhance your performance.

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Related: Find the average squat, deadlift and overhead press weights (how do you compare)?

So, grab your water bottle, and let’s get pressing!

The Bench Press: More Than Just Muscle

The bench press is like the Hollywood star of the gym. It’s where personal bests are set and bragging rights are earned. In the world of powerlifting, it’s one of the big three lifts, sitting proudly next to the squat and deadlift.

But it’s not just about lifting as much weight as you can. The bench press has become a benchmark (pun intended) for overall upper body strength and fitness.

More Than Just Lifting Heavy

Sure, hoisting a hefty barbell is impressive, but the bench press is about more than just the numbers.

It’s a complex dance of muscle coordination, technique, and mental grit. This exercise targets your pectorals, triceps, and deltoids, but it’s also a full-body movement. Your core, legs, and back play supporting roles, making the bench press a total body workout.

What’s Behind Your Bench Press Numbers?

Ever wonder why your bench press numbers fluctuate like a rollercoaster? Or why your gym buddy, who’s the same size as you, can lift more (or less)?

Well, it’s not just about muscle mass or willpower. Several factors play a crucial role in how much you can bench press:

Age, Weight, Gender, and Experience: The Big Four

  1. Age: Like a fine wine, your bench press can get better with age, but there’s a catch. While experience and technique improve, peak physical strength often hits its stride in the 20s and 30s. After that, maintaining strength becomes the name of the game.
  2. Weight: Here’s a fun fact – your body weight impacts your bench press. Generally, heavier individuals can lift more due to greater muscle mass. But it’s not just about being heavy; it’s about the muscle-to-fat ratio.
  3. Gender: Men and women are built differently, and this affects bench press performance. On average, men have more muscle mass, particularly in the upper body, which can lead to higher bench press numbers. But ladies, don’t let this dishearten you – pound for pound, you’re just as strong!
  4. Experience Level: Are you a newbie or a seasoned lifter? Experience matters. More time under the bar means better technique, muscle memory, and, often, more weight lifted.

Average Bench Press Weights for Men

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Alright, gents, let’s talk numbers – bench press numbers:

By Weight

According to Strength Level, this is approximately how much a man should be able to bench:

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By Age

Here’s a summary of the average bench press weight by age:

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In this table, we can notice how the maximum weight peaks around 25 years old and starts to decline after the 40s. Although there are outliers, this is the case for most of the population.

By Experience Level

  1. Untrained: Just starting out? An average adult male (let’s say around 198 pounds) typically lifts about 135 pounds. It’s like bench pressing a giant panda cub – not too shabby for a beginner!
  2. Novice: After some consistent training, say hello to the novice level. Here, our average Joe can press about 175 pounds. That’s like lifting a large adult male kangaroo. Hop on, mate!
  3. Intermediate: With more training under your belt, you enter the intermediate zone. Now we’re talking about lifting approximately 215 pounds – equivalent to bench pressing a mature lioness. Roar!
  4. Advanced: This is where things get serious. An advanced lifter can bench around 290 pounds. That’s like lifting a full-sized vending machine. Snacks, anyone?
  5. Elite: For the ultra-elite, we’re looking at numbers north of 700 pounds. That’s like bench pressing a grand piano!

Bench Press Goals: Body Weight Benchmarks

Setting goals is key. A good benchmark for men is to aim to bench press your body weight. It’s a solid goal that balances strength and fitness. As you progress, aim for 1.5 times your body weight, and who knows, maybe even double it!

Current Bench Press World Record for Men

On Feb 4, 2023, Jimmy Kolb lifted a 612.5-kilogram (1,350.3-pound) bench press.

Average Bench Press Weights for Women

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Whether you’re just starting out or you’re crushing it in the weight room, understanding the average bench press weights for women can be incredibly empowering. Let’s dive into what the numbers say and set some awesome goals!

By Weight

The following table shows the body weight and all the bench press lifts in pounds (lbs).

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By Age

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As observed with men, the strength peak happens around the mid-twenties, with the decline somewhere between 40-45 years old. Muscle mass begins to decrease, which makes the upper body and the posterior chain less capable of managing heavy loads.

Bench Press Standards for Women: From Newbies to Pros

  1. Untrained: If you’re just beginning your strength journey, the average bench press for a woman weighing around 165 pounds is about 80 pounds. That’s like lifting a large border collie – go you!
  2. Novice: With some training, you’ll likely hit the novice level, where the average bench press jumps to around 95 pounds. That’s equivalent to hoisting a hefty microwave oven.
  3. Intermediate: As you gain more experience, you might find yourself in the intermediate range, benching approximately 115 pounds. That’s like lifting a full-grown adult Dalmatian.
  4. Advanced: For the advanced lifters, we’re looking at around 145 pounds. Think of it as bench pressing a giant panda – not the baby one this time!
  5. Elite: If you’ve reached the elite level, congratulations – you’re in the top tier of female lifters! For a woman weighing around 165 pounds, the elite bench press standard is approximately 175 pounds.

Setting Bench Press Goals

For all the ladies out there, a great initial goal is to bench press half to three-quarters of your body weight. It’s a realistic and achievable target that balances strength and fitness. As you progress, who knows? You might just surprise yourself with how much you can lift!

Current Bench Press World Record for Women

On July 17, 2021, Rae-Ann Coughenour-Miller lifted a 274.4 kilograms (605 pounds) bench press.

Bench Press Through the Ages: Strength at Every Stage

You’re wondering how your bench press stacks up against others in your age group? Whether you’re a spry twenty-something or a fab fifty-something, let’s explore how bench press averages can vary with age. Spoiler alert: age is just a number, and strength knows no bounds!

In Your 20s: The Prime Time

This is often when you’re at your physical peak. The average bench press for men in their 20s can range from 200 to 230 pounds, while women might see numbers between 100 to 120 pounds. It’s like the gym version of a superhero phase – enjoy it!

The Thriving 30s

Still riding high, but with a bit more wisdom and technique. Men might average between 180 to 220 pounds, and women can see averages from 90 to 110 pounds. You’re like a fine wine – getting better with age.

Fabulous 40s

Welcome to the age of balance – strength meets experience. Men’s averages might dip slightly to 160 to 200 pounds, and women could be benching around 80 to 100 pounds. You’re not just lifting weights; you’re lifting spirits!

Fantastic 50s and Beyond

Who says you can’t be strong in your 50s? Men might see averages of 140 to 180 pounds, and women can bench around 70 to 90 pounds. It’s less about setting records and more about maintaining health and vitality. You’re not just working out; you’re setting an example!

Mastering the Bench Press: Technique and Safety First

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The Power of Proper Form

Let’s talk technique. A good bench press is like a well-choreographed dance. Every part of your body has a role to play – from the grip on the bar to the position of your feet. Proper form not only helps you lift more but also keeps you safe from injuries.

Why Form Matters

  • Efficiency: Good form means more efficient lifting. It’s like finding the perfect groove in a dance – everything just flows better.
  • Muscle Engagement: Proper technique ensures you’re working the right muscles. Think pecs, shoulders, and triceps, not just your ego!
  • Injury Prevention: This is a biggie. Right form equals fewer injuries. It’s like wearing a seatbelt – it keeps you safe.

Nailing the Technique

  • Grip: It’s all in the hands. A grip slightly wider than shoulder-width helps engage the right muscles.
  • Body Position: Keep your feet flat on the ground, back slightly arched, and shoulders pinned to the bench. Imagine you’re a superhero bracing for takeoff.
  • The Lift: Lower the bar to your chest (around nipple level) and push up powerfully. Visualize pushing the Earth away – you’ve got this!

Equipment: Your Bench Press Allies

Wrist Wraps and More

  • Wrist Wraps: These little wonders provide support and stability, especially when you’re lifting heavy. Think of them as your wrists’ personal bodyguards.
  • Proper Attire: Slip-resistant shoes and comfortable, non-restrictive clothing are a must. Dress for success – gym style!

Safety Tips: Lift Smart, Not Just Hard

Injury Prevention 101

  • Warm-Up: Never skip the warm-up. It’s like the opening act before the main event – essential and sets the stage.
  • Know Your Limits: Listen to your body. It’s okay to push yourself, but there’s a fine line between challenging and overdoing.
  • Spotter Support: A spotter is not just a gym buddy; they’re your safety net. Especially when you’re testing your limits, having a spotter is like having a guardian angel.

Boost Your Bench Press: Training Tips for All

Progressive Overloading

Gradual Increase is Key

  • Start Small: Begin with weights that challenge you but don’t overwhelm. It’s like building a house – start with a solid foundation.
  • Step It Up: Gradually increase the weight or reps over time. Think of it as climbing a ladder – one step at a time.

Advanced Techniques for the Brave

  • Negatives: Slowly lowering the bar to your chest can build strength. It’s like the gym version of a slow-motion action scene.
  • Paused Reps: Pause with the bar on your chest before pushing it up. It’s a game of patience and power – a real test of strength!

Diet and Recovery

Fueling for Strength

  • Protein Power: Your muscles love protein. It’s like their favorite snack. Aim for lean meats, beans, or a quality protein shake.
  • Carbs are Friends: Carbs are not the enemy. They’re your energy source. Think whole grains, fruits, and veggies.

Recovery

  • Rest Days: Muscles grow when you rest, not when you lift. Give them some love with adequate downtime.
  • Sleep Matters: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep. It’s like hitting the reset button for your body.

Setting Bench Press Goals: Your Personal Roadmap

  • Be Realistic: Set goals that challenge you but are achievable. It’s like aiming for the moon – even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.
  • Track Progress: Keep a workout journal. It’s like your fitness diary, charting your journey to greatness.
  • Celebrate Milestones: Every improvement, no matter how small, is a victory. Celebrate them – you’ve earned it!

About

Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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