T Nation

Bullshit Lifting Figures?


Dear T-Nation gang,

I've been into lifting for about 3 years now, mainly for appearance/hypertrophy.

I've been reading this site for about 6 months, and I'm always shocked when I hear about a 145 pound 6'2 female volleyballer squatting 200 pounds (and then shes described as having poor power to weight ratio), then some skinny runt dude whos barely been to the gym in his life posts that hes just starting and that he squats 300 pounds... what the fuck?

I freely admit legs have never been my strong point, but I never come CLOSE to any of these people's benching/squatting or deadlifting figures...

I squat around 160 pounds (for 2 reps really heaving it), and I'm 6'2 and weigh a lean 195...

Are they just bullshitting or have I just got shit technique/strength? Any thoughts?


You're horribly weak.


I might come off as an asshole but squating 160 is simply not very heavy at all. Sorry.

That said, a large majority of the people I see squating at the gym that go any heavier than two plates have form that makes me want to throw things at them. I would guess quite a few claims of squats over 300 include form that has a 1/2 range of motion etc. When it comes down to it though bro, who gives a shit what other people are doing! Stop making excuses (im skinny/tall) and go out there and train your ass off and compete with YOURSELF!!! You do that and I promise you, you will make gains and thats what really matters.


But that doesn't change the fact that the figures he cited are, in all likelyhood, made up.


I dont know man.. I think the numbers around here are probably legit for the most part. Im 6'2" 240 and have squatted 5 plates, pulled 4, and benched 3 and think those are all pretty mediocre. I feel like I need to add about 80 lbs to my dead and 50 to my bench before Id even consider myself kinda strong.

As for you and your form/strength, it's hard to say since you didnt post a video or anything about your training/nutrition. My guess is that you could stand to use some work in lower rep ranges with heavier loads and for sure get a bigger spoon. Im sure there's other T-Men floating around who have some insights as well..

you'll get there though.. keep at it


I hate to be an asshole, but there is something terribly wrong if you are not squatting at least your bodyweight for reps. I mean, 160 pounds? Have you never squatted before in your life? How can you lift and only be able to squat 160 pounds?

At the same time, if this is what you truly squat, then it is what it is. We all had a starting point somewhere. Get strong and squat more. It shouldn't take much work to build that up pretty quick.


There is nothing wrong if you're not lifting heavy weights. We all have to start somewhere.

The important thing is to lift the heaviest weights that you can control with good form. Don't worry about what others can achieve. Lifting for strength is only about competing with yourself. You need to beat what you did last time, every time.

Do this for long enough and in no time (alright, years and years) you will be lifting very impressive weights.

When I started benching, I benched the bar. I now bench about 80kgs. It's not much for some. For me, it's awesome. I never would've been capable of this if I hadn't had done the hard yards and incrementally increased over the years.

And I'm not done yet. I'm not even half way there. But it's a journey, not a destination.

One day, I will have a bench that impresses other people to hear about it. But not today.

One day. How many days is up to how hard I train, how well I eat and how much I sleep.


Start? It has been 3 years. I am all for improvement. I am also all for telling someone the truth. 160lbs (which is just over one 45lbs plate a side) after 3 whole years of training makes no sense at all...and for a guy? It implies his entire concept of training is wrong. It doesn't matter if he has been training for "looks". To get "looks" you have to lift heavy enough to instigate growth. Somebody needs to work harder.


I think that is quite a low squat after 3 years of training. How about your other numbers? It could be that you are just weak in the squat and can move more weight on other exercises.

Have you ever tried specialisng in the squat at all or has it been a long time since you seriosly trained your squat?

I wiegh in at 163lb and can pull 355lb in the deadlift. Not a massive weight but not too poor either. My bench however is a lowly 180lb partly because I have never given it much focus or effort.

Could this be the case with you? Post up some other numbers for us and also the kind of training you are doing. Maybe we can give some input and help cranck those numbers up.


I'm almost your height and weight and i don't think i have an impressive squat at all. But like everyone else who responded, after 3 years you should be doing more.


To address the original point, there are people posting here, who look pretty skiny and weight about 10 stone to 12 stone (140 - 168 lbs) saying stuff like I want to get into training i'm think my current bench is a 300, squat 380 and deadlift 450 etc etc. This doesn't add up.

My experience of training in gyms is not many people can actually squat over 308 (six plates 44lbs) and not for reps. You see it more often in very busy gyms but the people have mass. Now flame me if I'm wrong but you don't see skinny people with no muscle squatting and benching the claimed figures.

Even if most people were training like a powerlifter they'd bulk up or be lower weight but incredibly lean like some of the smaller powerlifters.


I agree with this which is why I generally laugh at those so consumed with their "relative strength" when this is usually coming from people who no one would assume even knows where a gym is.

There is no way to verify weights lifted on the internet, but in general, some guy with little muscle mass will NOT be benching and squatting more than average or even average. I am under the impression that many actually think otherwise.


I agree. It's funny when they brag about it but pisses me off when they say things like "I've been training off and on for 2 years. I want to get more serious. I'm 170 but kinda weak. I only bench about 270 and squat a little over 300."

I've seen literally hundreds of 150-180 lb punks with half assed routines and little training experience in my years at gyms and it's very very very seldom I've seen someone without at least 1-2 years SERIOUS workouts and SERIOUS nutrition squat 3 plates below paralell. Actually, it's very seldom to see anyone do it at most average gyms.


Thanks for all the feedback, harsh and not so. I'm more than happy to admit I'm pretty weak, I just wanted an accurate yardstick to measure myself against... which as some posters have pointed out that probably isn't very useful either.

Spiderman- I haven't been squatting for very long... for about the same length of time that I've been reading here... maybe 6 months, and I haven't really specialised in it.. just tacked it on to my upper body work.

Most of my training for legs in the past has been leg extensions and a lot of work on the leg press.. the one thats supposed to be shit for your back.. I thought I would be pretty good on squats after years of extensions and leg press, but you live & learn!

The squats I do are all the way to the ground, ass to calves. And I seem to feel it a lot in my abs, like when I take the bar off the supports I feel my abs really working to stabilise. I just generally feel really weak and unconfident doing them.

I think i know the technique... I did a personal training course 6 months ago (biggest waste of money ever, and no i don't teach anyone), and follow Mike's recommendations for squatting at http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459389
but i never have a training partner to watch my form, so maybe I am missing something.

Just for your interest, I bench 5 reps of 150 pounds in a 5x5 routine. I've never been keen to try 1rms on my own :wink: And thats actually up about 30 pounds since I started reading this site and doing chads abbh program.

My other hellishly weak point is chins, fuck I hate them, I used to be able to do about 8, hurt my neck doing them (about a year and a half ago) and have trouble doing 2 now.

Anyways, I think I'll just make a concerted effort to develop my squat/deadlifts- will let yall know if i manage anything inspiring!

I probably just have to start squatting more & typing less...



I agree with this. I honestly have to wonder how many of the people who come here and post these numbers actually squat at all? In the gyms that I've frequented(including one that alot of amatuer bodybuilders and fitness competitors go to)I rarely ever saw anyone squatting.

Push yourself in the gym,this should always happen. No matter what you should always be trying to push your PRs up whether it be for 2rm or 5rm but for fucking sakes don't try to squat more weight than you can handle and hurt yourself just so you measure upto some ghostrider on an internet message board!


There may be something wrong with your program design.

I just had two clients sign up with me. One is 35 and the other 28 years old. Coincidentally they are each 155-165 lbs and within an inch of hieght of each other.

The 35 y/o is on his 4th week with me having not been in a gym in what I am led to believe 3 years.

The 28 y/o is exactly a week behind the first. He has some home-gym stuff but had not trained seriously in about 5 years.

Both are squatting roughly 5x5@190 in a volume phase. The intensity phase (going heavy) is not until week 6.

I expect thier squats to be 230-250x3 by week 9.

Like I stated, this is after less than a month in the gym.

I realize you are taller than either of these examples, but I am 6'-2" and have squatted 500x1, DL 585x1 (IIRC) and benched an disapointing 360x1. This was with NO GEAR AT ALL.

Believeing you are stuck may have a lot to do with being stuck.

Jot down the program you are following and let's see if your programming is the cause.


i see 5`3 100lb girls squat some serious weights every day, mind i do train at a gym full of olympic athletes

unlike me lol


Very good point.


I gotta ask, do you deadlift? If you're doing ass to grass squats, deadlifts and its variations will strengthen the posterior chain, which is heavily activated in the bottom portion of your range of motion. You're probably weak there.


Hm. I'm not sure how you can hurt your neck doing chins?

But, that aside, the way to develop your back IN A HURRY is to get your own pull up bar at home, and put it in your main living space (not in some corner down i the basement).

Now that your chin up bar is always around you: do chins ALL THE TIME. what do i mean by ALL THE TIME? i mean: ALL THE TIME.

Watching tv, commercial comes on? do a set of chins.

walking to the bathroom cause you gotta piss? on the way back out, do a set of chins.

i like to pyramid them. do 2 chins. rest. do 3 chins. rest. do 4 chins. rest. do 5 chins. up til you peak. then come back down, with rests between.

i also think that recent article on pullups/chins was one of the best i've read.

the big thing: get a chinup bar at home. and put it in your living space. and do them often.

i started out hardly able to chin.. while not a MASSIVE NUMBER or anything, i went from doing like 3 chins to 14 in a year or so.

i was proud of that.