T Nation

Benching Bodyweight & General Population


Just something me and a couple of mates were chatting breeze over a couple of beers on the weekend. Not sure how it came up but it was kind of interesting.

What percentage of men do you think could bench their bodyweight for one rep?

How about for 10 reps?

We're talking about ALL healthy males aged around 18 to 40 not just gym rats here. Before I started training I certainly couldn't because I was a weak ass pussy, but I know of some people who could with no weight training.





30 percent.......and since there is no way of testing this I claim the win lol :slightly_smiling:


there is no way of possibly knowing this answer but it would be a VERY SMALL percentage. Since most of the world doesnt work out most of the world cant bench their bodyweight for 1 rep much less 10.

Id say less than 10% could Bench their BW for 1 rep

Id say less than 3% could bench their BW for 10 reps




For absolutely no training or physically straining job - I'd say not many.

With light training and a physically straining job ... I would hope every man. lol


Interesting topic. What % of your body weight do you rep?


prob even less than that


id say zero unless they have some sort of physically demanding job. i remember my first bench press in 9th grade. i unracked 135 and promptly dropped it on my chest, which is what i assume would happen for most dudes.



Only one way to find out, drive around a truck that has a trailer in the back, containing a digital scale and a bench press set, with around 300 lbs of weight, and ask random people on the street to participate.

However, chances are many people would decline to participate because they have little or no lifting experience, whiel gym rats would be more likely to accept the challenge...which would greatly skew results.


Quite a few people that used to ask if they could lift with me got pinned to the bench assuming that they could do their own body weight.

Funny how prevalent that assumption is.


Yeah. Now when I was a kid, I used to do pullups and pushups and shit just for fun, so I was able to bench around bodyweight when I started lifting at age 16...but most kids don't do that these days lol.


I have no idea.

According to this article by Tim Henriques:

A "decent" level of strength is defined as:
Decent is another way of saying "not bad." I define a decent level of strength as meaning that the person probably works out to achieve that level of strength, but some naturally stronger people will be able to achieve that level with no training. A person is strong enough so that their strength doesn't limit them in their everyday life.

Decent wouldn't be considered "strong" in hardly any strength training circles. I believe that almost all people can achieve the decent level of strength through training. My guess is that most people would achieve this level after 6-12 months of training. Some would achieve it earlier, and it might take a select few several years or more to achieve.

The decent level of strength is a good milestone to shoot for as a beginner. I'd also classify failure to lift 50% of the decent level of strength as being weak in that exercise.

He then goes on to list a "decent" bench press for a man as 225 or 1.25xBodyWeight


I would say not many, especially considering that most of the male population of the USA is becoming more and more over weight. For the sake of talking I'm guessing the average adult male is likely around 200lbs and most guys I'm doubting can walk off the street and push that. Average people I know think that 185lb bench is a lot.


I've noticed alot of people, guys imparticular seem to think they are alot stronger than they really are. This one guy at work was telling me how he thinks he could squat 1.5 times his bodyweight no problem, yet he's never done a squat, and isn't in very good shape, just a short chubby dude. I'm amazed how great some people think they are.


This is the kind of thing people sit around and talk about?


When I started training I didn't had much problem benching my own BW. But I was too skinny at the time, so I guess it doesn't count.

My father, at 6'4 and 220lbs, never having touched a weight in his life actually lifted his own BW the first time he benched. According to him, he did a shit load of physical demanding jobs and activities in his youth. I guess people don't do that anymore.


Which Gen Pop are you talking about?



same. in regards to the op, i don't know if i could have hit it for 10, but it would have been an pretty easy single.