When someone asks “how much can you bench press?” the next question that must be asked is “and how much do you weigh?” Why? Let’s look at an example.
Who is stronger Person A or Person B (ignore other lifts for now, let’s just look at bench press as an example)?
- Person A: can bench press 185lbs at a bodyweight 175lbs
- Person B: can bench press 185lbs at a body weight of 225lbs
Person A weighs 50lbs less than Person B but can lift the same amount of weight. They are stronger on a “strength per lb of bodyweight” basis.
Ultimately, what I was curious about is: is there a way to evaluate weightlifting performance that takes bodyweight into account?
Here is some important context on how they were calculated:
- Tables for the basic barbell exercises are based on nearly 70 years of accumulated performance data and are not predicted or regression derived.
- The performance standards are adult standards (>18 years old) for a single maximal repetition (1RM) based on competitive weightlifter and powerlifting classification systems in use from the 1950’s to present.
- Standards are based on lifts with no assistive training gear (belt is acceptable) as described in each lift’s official international competitive and/or as shown via link to exercise.
- These performance standards should not to be confused with strength norms.
The training levels used in the performance standards fall in to 5 categories
|Untrained||An individual who has not trained on the exercises before, but can perform them correctly.|
|Novice||An individual who has trained regularly for up to several months.|
|Intermediate||An individual who has trained regularly for up to a couple years.|
|Advanced||An individual who has trained multiple years.|
|Elite||An athlete competing in strength sports. Keep in mind, the standards shown in the tables do not represent the highest level of strength performance possible.|
Lastly, the values in the tables below are based on a one-rep max value for each lift. If you do not know your one-rep max, here is a calculator that can predict it for you.