T Nation

Fake Lift Numbers Online


My lifts are by no means the best out there but within the gyms I’ve trained in I’ve always been in at least the top ten % in terms of weight lifted for 1rm , so my question is how come online I seem to be the weekest person around , there are people claiming to be repping out my 1rm deadlift for 10 reps ? I have a strong suspicion there is some high end bullshitting going on. Has any one else experienced this ?

That Big Weak Guy

Lol, welcome to the internet…


^ That. Also if you are the strongest member in your gym, either you are strong as hell or you are in the wrong gym. I was among the strongest or the strongest when I went to commercial gyms but in the local cellar hellhole I now train in, I was one of the weakest wretches.


Yeah I know what you mean , I’ve recently hit 450 DL for 2 ,clean and press 210for single, and 270 bench for a triple all weights in lbs BTW, and no one in my commercial gym comes close I’ve trained in some much more hardcore gyms where I was no where near the best, I’m presuming there is just a lot of people exaggerating greatly online. For the time I’m unfortunately stuck in this gym because of work .


I thought my 5x70kg to 1x200kg progress in the deadlift within 9 months of starting was impressive until I switched gyms. At the time there were a ton of bigger guys in that commercial gym I went to but nobody did that heavy deadlifts. Then I switched gyms and now I go to one where a guy pulled 250kg the first time he seriously tried to deadlift.

Screw what the guys online say. Surround yourself with inspiring people. I’m currently aiming to become (and I will become) the strongest deadlifter in my gym even though I’m one of the few naturals that train there.


Great goal ,I will stop beating myself up about fake lifts that make me feel bad ,I am currently putting a lot of my effort into deadlift too, wish you the best of luck with yours. But you are right I need a new gym better people.

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Good luck with yours too!


Keep in mind that reporting bias is going to be a big factor here. Fewer people are going to be willing to share that they’re benching 135lbs, far more people will want to share that they’re benching 405lbs, so you get an uneven distribution of numbers over the spectrum. Yes, some of it is made up, but a lot of it is guys looking for any opportunity to brag about their lifts and finding an outlet to do it.

One of the best examples of this is in the powerlifting forum, where there is a thread for teenage powerlifters to post their “stats”. That topic is FLOODED with single post accounts. Basically, some teenager wanted to brag about their lifts, did a google search for a thread where they could do it, made a t-nation account, posted their lifts one time, and that was it. If we took that thread as a datapoint, we’d believe that the majority of teenager lifters are beasts, but what we’re missing is the kids just starting to lift who didn’t want to post their stats in the thread.


On the internet, everyone squats 600lbs with their 10" penis.


I second everything everyone has said but keep in mind that what matters is not where you are in terms of weight lifted but where you are going and the quality and purposefullness of your work. Nothing else is important but the road, but you can only judge it’s validity by your progress. It’s kind of a ‘‘mindfuck’’, because you might as well be wasting your time and not getting any results while thinking you are doing something right. But does it really matter if you squat 500 or 600lbs right now? I think the answer is being honest with yourself…

Sometimes I wonder if what I was doing in the gym years ago, when I was 18 or 20, squatting 185lbs or such was worthy. I was weak(er) and lifting small weight, so was it unworthy and a waste of time? Was it worthy only as part of a whole and in relation the to future where I progressed to lifting bigger weight or is it also when isolated from a future that is uncertain? Did I waste my youth training alone in an empty gym at night because it was only ‘‘weak’’ weightlifting? I like to think it was not and that what matter is right now.

Yes there is some guys built with huge hips and calves, bones, large monkey face and whatever that lift naturally more than you without much effort and work. Even if I don’t want to have their builds and rather stay weaker and exactly the way I am naturally (let’s face it they are ugly), it doesn’t really matter that they lift more. Them being stronger than me, or weaker, uglier, better looking or whatever doesn’t change the validity of what I do. For some reason I don’t envy those people. It’s just a gut thing, and not only because they aren’t good looking.

That’s also why I don’t care about going into a bigger pond (gym). What I care about is me lifting weight and I don’t need anyone around me to know internally if what I am doing is good or not. You just need to be honest with yourself. We all know the feeling when we had a great energising workout. Have you ever seen Dave Draper’s training? It’s the most outdated thing, but he is the real deal and he has a lot of passion. It’s a spiritual thing for him. He is part of the great ones. That is also why I really don’t care if people bullshitting or not their numbers on the internet and about teen apes from arkansas.

So I think if you lift honestly with a purpose and feel some joy doing it you are getting somewhere and the rest doesn’t matter. Right now I think I might be putting my general anxiety into a post actually.

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I would totally agree with this example, just keep on trucking and we’ll all get there someday. Obviously there’s gonna be the occasional “genetic freak” or whatever but in the long run, consistent training is gonna pay off. Oh and this video came to mind, watching it might help(?).

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OP, and consider this: let’s say you’re stronger than 90% of people who lift in gyms. Sounds pretty amazing, huh? Well… that means there are, on average, 9 guys out of a 100 who are stronger than you.

According to this http://www.statista.com/statistics/244922/us-fitness-centers-und-health-clubs/ there are 29,750 gyms in the US. Let’s say each gym has, on average, 50 people who lift. That means there are 135,000 people who are stronger than you, in the US.

A pretty large portion of those 135,000 people will be posting online. There’s a lot of strong people out there.

But, take a look at this recent survey done on reddit.com/r/bodybuilding that has 3001 responses: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1pqQ6GYmnz0Im00QrnDBuPz5sVCLPdiDvWXzP1Jauu88/viewanalytics There aren’t many people benching over 275, squatting over 375, or deadlifting over 465.


Also, keep in mind the amount of weight people can lift isn’t a normal distribution. The best raw bench is something like 720lbs. There aren’t the same amount of people who can bench 720 as who can bench 360, and there’s definitely way more people who can bench 180 than even “just” 360.

So you can be in the top 10% and still have a PR that’s substantially less than the best ever done.

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Yeah there is a lot of bullshit online. You have to be careful. The gym where I lift there are a lot of pro lifters and I am in the lower end of the middle to middle of the back by some standards. But when I go into a regular gym Im easily the strongest person in the room.

Exrx.net is the most reliable for raw weightlifting standards.


Also, don’t forget drugs too. Where I train the 600+ squatters and 500+ benchers are all on drugs. I am not talking about big heavy weight guys either. We have a 205 pounder whom last fall squatted 620 high bar deep olympic style.

I am not at all against people who use PEDs, but I think it is very important to not compare yourself with those who are on drugs if you are drug free. I did in my early years of lifting and it wasn’t until I started lifting around guys who use them that I realized that
A) Drugs are very prevalent.
B) It is important to set yourself up for realistic expectations, not out of limitation, but for healthy goals to shoot for mentally/emotionally. I think the ExRx strength standard numbers are on point (maybe slightly low in some areas). Another good resource is SymmetricStrength.com as well.


Fair point ,makes sense I also read that thread on teenage lifters and wondered is every teen these days a beast.


The three things I care least about in the universe:

-The Kardashians
-Other people’s lifting numbers and whether or not they’re real


Also drugs is something I didn’t factor into this post, I find it hard to tell who is on it and who is not, I think the take home message here is to just forget other peoples numbers and worry about my own :grinning:


Exactly. Bothering and stressing about “what you can and can not do naturally” just sets artificial obstacles or even worse, sets your expectations too high. Watching guys like Mike O’Hearn or Jesse Norris as examples of what you supposedly can achieve naturally in terms of muscle and strength will only lead to disappointment on the long run.


I see this sentiment a lot, and I really don’t understand why it’s such a terrible thing to have high expectations for yourself. I don’t think I’d be nearly as successful a lifter as I am if I didn’t chase after ridiculously impossible goals this whole time.

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