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How Much Should You Lift Based Upon Your Weight

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how much weight to lift

How much weight should you lift based upon your weight? Everyone wants to know how much weight they should lift. The best exercise to test upper body strength is the bench press. You can determine how much weight you should lift by multiplying your weight by a rate. These rates come from comparing many people and elite athletes over time. When beginning a weightlifting program, you must know how much you can lift (your max). Inquiring minds want to know the five beginner weightlifting tips to help you succeed. 

Here is how much you should bench press based upon your weight:

  1. below average:  .75 x weight
  2. average: 1.0 x weight
  3. above average: 1.5 x weight
  4. superior: 2.0 x weight
  5. elite: 3.0 x weight

Here are two benchmarks to consider:

Nate Sandoval holds the state of Florida high school record for 183 pounds in the bench press. He bench-pressed 410 pounds. If you take 410 pounds and divide it by 183 pounds, you get a rate of 2.24. Nate Sandavol is a superior weightlifter because the superior rate is 2.0, and his rate is 2.24.

Ricky Wells holds the world record for 181 pounds in the bench press. He bench-pressed 556 pounds. If you take 556 pounds and divide it by 181 pounds, you get a rate of 3.07. An elite weightlifter can lift 3 times his weight. Ricky Wells is an elite weightlifter because the elite rate is 3.0, and his rate is 3.07.

In summary, how much you should lift based upon your weight is determined by your genetics, age, experience, and diet.

The real question is how much can you lift with hard work, proper training, and a weightlifter’s diet. Strength is something you can build. If you are a beginner, start with the basics: squat, military press, deadlift, and bench press. Aim for your body weight as a goal for the bench press.

Larger muscles like the legs lift more while smaller muscles like the shoulders lift less. The bench press has always been the measure to test a person’s strength. The NFL, during its combines, uses the bench press to test the strength of rookies before the NFL Draft. With hard work and determination, you can lift your weight and more.