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Should You Be Able to Bench Your Bodyweight?

The question of whether or not you should be able to bench your bodyweight comes second only to the question, “how much do you bench?” among weight training enthusiasts. The bench press is one of the most commonly recognized exercises in the world, and for good reason. It’s a fundamental compound exercise that serves as a benchmark for upper body strength among men and women. 

Still, the answer to whether or not you should be able to bench your bodyweight is dependent on many factors including your goals, fitness level, age, body composition, gender, physical limitations, and more. In this article, we will go over the many variables that play into how much weight an individual can bench press. 

Is it Good to Be Able to Bench Your Bodyweight?

As previously outlined, bench press averages vary depending on several factors. However, some sources provide estimates and averages for age, gender, and training experience. Keep in mind that these averages typically include subjects without physical limitations and should not be considered the gold standard rule for your expected strength. With that being said, averages can provide us with interesting data that can be used as a general guide. According to, individuals in the 18-39 year old age group have the following averages for their bench press one-rep maximum  (4):

  • A novice male trainee will bench nearly as much as their body weight, while an untrained male will bench significantly less than their bodyweight.
  • An intermediate male trainee will bench slightly more than their body weight.
  • An elite male trainee will bench nearly double their body weight.
  • An untrained female will bench slightly more than half their body weight.
  • An advanced female trainee will bench nearly their entire body weight.
  • An elite female trainer will bench around 20 pounds more than their body weight.

This data shows that while a bodyweight-equivalent bench press may be a realistic goal for some, it should not be a goal for all. (4). Instead, let’s dig in a little deeper to help us set realistic goals based on our own circumstances. 

Should You Be Able to Bench Your Bodyweight? Facts & Charts

Let’s look over some charts and facts about bench press averages and expectations before we put together how to maximize your sessions and set healthy and realistic goals. 

Average Bench Press Weights

What’s an average bench for my weight? Age, gender, fitness level, and technique can influence how much you can bench. Averages vary based on these factors. However, let’s discover some averages based on age, gender, weight, and fitness level. 

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The charts below will show you the average weights you should be able to bench, based on the primary factors. The first chart shows average bench weights in pounds for men aged 18-39 based on body weight and fitness level (4). 

Body Weight Untrained Novice Intermediate Advanced Elite
123 90 115 140 195 240
148 110 140 170 235 290
165 120 150 185 255 320
198 135 175 215 290 360
220 145 190 230 315 395

The next chart shows the average bench weights in pounds for women aged 18-39 based on body weight and fitness level (4).

Body Weight Untrained Novice Intermediate Advanced Elite
97 50 65 75 95 115
114 60 75 85 110 135
132 70 85 95 125 150
165 80 95 115 145 185
181 85 110 120 160 195

Still, these averages don’t apply to everyone. A small study at the University of Central Florida found that muscle thickness and strength were positively correlated to younger age groups, even before doing resistance workouts (1). 

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Meanwhile, the University of Southern California found that muscle mass declines 3-8% per decade after 30 in individuals who do not perform regular strength training (9). Most people will bench more weight during their 20s and 30s, though age-related muscle and strength loss can be slowed significantly, or even reversed, through a consistent strength training regimen. 

Nonetheless, you will find that among the averages, bench press weight decreases as age increases.. The chart below shows the average one-rep maximum bench press weights in pounds for men aged 40-49 based on bodyweight and fitness level (6).

Body Weight Untrained Novice Intermediate Advanced Elite
123 80 100 120 170 205
148 95 120 145 200 250
165 105 130 160 220 275
198 115 150 185 250 310
220 120 160 195 260 325

should you be able to bench your bodyweight 

Finally, this chart shows the average one-rep maximum bench press weights in pounds for women aged 50-59 based on body weight and fitness level (7).

Body Weight Untrained Novice Intermediate Advanced Elite
97 40 50 60 70 90
114 50 60 70 85 100
132 60 70 80 95 115
165 70 80 90 110 140
181 75 85 95 125 150

As with any physical activity, it’s never too late to start your journey. The earlier you start, the longer you can make improvements, but you’ll find that you can make great progress at any age if you make it a consistent part of your routine (9). 

How Long Does it Take to Bench My Body Weight as a Beginner?

The capacity to bench press one’s bodyweight varies significantly across different levels of training experience. Individuals who are new to bench pressing will naturally have less strength than those with significant experience and the same age, size, and gender. 

Regardless of these factors, it is uncommon for untrained individuals to be able to bench press their own bodyweight (4). However, even a modest amount of consistent training can yield noticeable improvements.

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To set realistic expectations for your bench press potential, it is essential to recognize your current training level. A “novice” is typically characterized as having six months to two years of consistent training experience, while an “intermediate” trainee will typically be classified as someone with two to five years of experience (8). 

Those in the “advanced” category usually have between five and ten years of experience, while the “elite” category is reserved for those with a decade or more of consistent training. 

Based on this categorization, it is anticipated that a female trainee would be capable of bench pressing her body weight at an advanced level, while a male trainee would reach this milestone earlier, potentially in the novice or intermediate stages.

Ultimately, achieving a bodyweight equivalent bench press is influenced by a combination of factors, including training consistency, proper form and pacing, and progressive overload in your training plan. These elements will be explored in further detail as we delve deeper into the subject.

Can You Bench 100 Kg at 70 Kg Body Weight?

The closest body weight available on the men’s chart is 148 pounds, albeit 70 kilograms is 155 pounds (4). Meanwhile, 100 kilograms is 220 pounds. Using the reference chart for 18-39 year old males, we would anticipate a 70 kg man would not be able to bench press 100 kgs until they reach the advanced training stage (4). 

Read more: Calisthenics Warm Up 101: Bodyweight Exercises To Get Your Blood Flowing Before Your Workout

Bench Press Your Bodyweight Challenge

Let’s help you work toward benching your body weight with a challenge. Follow our tips for reps, progressive overload, technique, diet, and other workouts to ensure you reach your goals. 

How Many Times Should You Be Able to Bench Your Bodyweight?

Being able to bench your bodyweight requires training, consistency, and progression. However, know your one-rep max before determining how many times you can lift your goal weight. You can use a calculator, which also helps you see your total average reps (3). 

The one-rep max is the maximum weight you can lift for a single rep in any given exercise. You insert your average weight you bench now with the number of reps you typically complete, which will then calculate your estimated one-rep max. To see improvements in your strength over time, you must progress the load. 

Muscle growth will hit a plateau if you don’t use progressive overload. The City University of New York conducted a small study to determine whether load or repetition worked better to progressively overload muscles for bigger gains and found that both factors play an important role (11). 

See also
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Progressive overload requires you to challenge your muscles to adapt to higher volumes. To ensure you are utilizing progressive overload, gradually increase weight, reps, or both. There are many other ways to ensure training volume is progressing as well, including increasing total reps per week, decreasing exercise pacing (particularly eccentric pacing), adjusting rest times, using supersets, increasing the range of motion you move an exercise through, and much more!  Use the calculator to track and change how many reps you do weekly to see how your estimated one-rep max changes. 

Here’s an example of using progressive overload for the bench press:

  • Bench 50% of your body weight for three sets of five the first week
  • Bench 55% of your body weight for three sets of six the second week
  • Bench 60% of your body weight for three sets of eight the third week

Note that you do not necessarily need to progress the weight and the reps each week. Many times, you may only increase the weight, only increase the reps, or adjust another factor of the training to ensure you are progressing.

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Bench Press Standards for Form and Technique

Practicing the proper form means you extend your joints through a full range of motion, according to the Mayo Clinic (15). Proper technique also requires you to breathe during weightlifting exercises by exhaling while lifting the weight and inhaling while lowering the weight. 

Grip width for a standard barbell bench press can differ depending on which muscle groups you intend to target, but should typically be at a width where your forearms are perpendicular to the floor at the very bottom of the movement. It’s also important to not flare your elbows out too wide, as this can decrease performance and increase strain on the shoulders. Shooting for about 70 degrees of shoulder abduction during the movement is both comfortable and effective for most individuals. Plant both feet flat and drive through your feet when you press the weight up. You should aim to maintain a mostly neutral spine with a slight arch in your low back. Your shoulder blades and glutes should both stay in contact with the bench throughout the movement. The starting position involves holding the weight directly over your shoulders with your elbows fully extended. The bottom of the movement involves lightly tapping your lower chest or upper sternum with the bar before pressing it back up to the starting position.

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Always work with a spotter when performing the barbell bench press, and ensure that spotter is strong enough to safely handle the weight you are lifting in case you find yourself running into the point of muscle failure. A spotter also has a great vantage point to analyze your form and provide feedback to improve your technique.

Following a Proper Diet for the Best Bench Press Standards

A Norwegian review shares the dietary recommendations for off-season weightlifters, which shows what you should eat to gain muscle mass without adding body fat (10). The recommendations suggest you eat 10-20% more calories than you would for pure maintenance as a novice or intermediate trainer or 5-10% more for advanced trainers. 

You need a minimum of 1.6-2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, with lean protein being the optimal choice. Protein is responsible for aiding the body’s muscle recovery, repair, and growth. You also need 0.5-1.5 grams of fat per kilogram of body weight daily and 3-5 grams of complex carbohydrates per kilogram to maximize your strength potential. 

Your body needs glycogen from the carbohydrates to restore muscles after a workout. A well-balanced diet can make a huge difference in muscle gains without fat gain (10).

More Tips to Bench Your Bodyweight

Don’t rush your progression. Instead, develop your strength at a steady pace and follow our tips on diet and progressive overload. In addition, here are some tips to follow to help you bench your bodyweight in a realistic timeframe without problems (15):

  • Find balance by strengthening opposing muscle groups.
  • Work your pecs and upper body muscle groups at least two times weekly with at least a day’s rest between.
  • Always warm your muscles up with a dynamic warmup before benching heavy.
  • Do not go to failure every set. You can choose to never work to failure and still see some great results. If you do choose to work to failure, save it for your last set of an exercise. For the previous sets, leave a rep or two in the tank.
  • Focus on controlled pacing. You can move the weight as quickly as you’d like during the pressing portion of the exercise (as long as you maintain correct form), but you need to control the descent. Don’t “bounce” the barbell off your chest.
  • Stop if you feel pain.
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Read more: 30-Minute Bodyweight Beach Workout for Beginners

should you be able to bench your bodyweight  

Exercises to Supplement Benching

Incorporating exercises that target opposing muscle groups creates well-rounded results (15). For example, oppose pushing exercises with pulling exercises. Bench press is a pushing exercise. Do some pull-ups or rows to work those pulling muscles. 

You can also add isolation (single-joint) exercises to supplement your upper body strength gains. Keep in mind isolation exercises should be performed after you have completed your compound (multi-joint) exercises such as the bench press. For all of us who are not competitive bodybuilders, treat isolation exercises as optional and supplementary rather than critical. Some upper body isolation exercises include bicep curls, skullcrushers, and dumbbell lateral raises (12). 

There are also several bench press variations including the incline bench press, decline bench press, dumbbell bench press, squeeze press, pin press, paused rep bench, cable bench press, machine chest press, and many more (14)! The pin press provides a safe starting point for beginners or those who do not have a spotter available. 

For more bodyweight exercises:


  • How Much Should a 14-Year-Old Bench?

Weightlifting averages among teenagers are even more variable than adult averages. There is no amount that a 14-year-old “should” bench. If a 14-year-old does choose to begin weight training, their strength will be dependent upon their size and physical maturity, along with their training experience. 

  • How Rare Is a 225 lb Bench?

A 225 pound bench press isn’t as rare as you’d think. An average intermediate male trainee aged 18-39 and weighing 220 pounds or more will bench 225 pounds (4). Also, the same-aged man as an advanced trainee would bench 235 pounds on average at just a 148 pound bodyweight. 

The Bottom Line

As outlined in this article, there is nothing that definitively says you should or should not be able to bench press your own body weight. Although there are averages derived from various sources based on age, gender, size, and training experience, this data is typically skewed by small sample sizes and the exclusion of individuals with physical limitations. 

The bench press is a well-known and excellent exercise for the development of upper body strength, particularly the pectoral musculature, anterior deltoids, and triceps. The data and averages outlined in this article were for one-repetition maximums, which is not an important figure for most individuals not competing in strength sports. Whether or not you can bench press the equivalent of your bodyweight is irrelevant compared to the greater importance of staying active, staying consistent, and staying healthy. 


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Association of Age with Muscle Size and Strength Before and After Short-Term Resistance Training in Young Adults (2014,
  2. Average Bench Strength for 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18-Year-Olds (2024,
  3. Bench Press Calculator (Find Your 1 Rep Max) – Statology (2019,
  4. Bench Press Strength Standards: (Ages 18-39, lb) (n.d.,
  5. Easy Upper Body Boosters – Harvard Health (2024,
  6. Bench Press Strength Standards (Ages 40-49. lb) (n.d.,
  7. Bench Press Strength Standards (Ages 50-59. lb) (n.d.,
  8. How Strong Should You Be? (Noob to Freak) – Jeff Nippard Fitness (2023,
  9. Muscle Tissue Changes With Aging (2010,
  10. Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season: A Narrative Review (2019,
  11. Progressive Overload Without Progressing Load? The Effects of Load or Repetition Progression on Muscular Adaptations (2022,
  12. Single vs. Multi-Joint Resistance Exercises: Effects on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy (2015,
  13. The 10 Best Bench Press Variations + Demonstrations (2023,
  14. The Best Bench Press Variations to Spice Up Your Lifting Routine (2022,
  15. Weight Training: Do’s and Dont’s of Proper Technique – Mayo Clinic (2022,
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