T Nation

Goals That CAN Be Achieved By Everyone


I read the following in a boxing forum:

"In all seriousness, the average guy runs an 8 minute mile. 6 minutes is the equivalent to a 300 lb benchpress. In other words, its as far as a normal person at the average weight can realistically hope to achieve with hard work."

This got me thinking. What do YOU think are some standards that EVERY healthy male could achieve, naturally and honestly, will good ole' hard work and some time. I'm not saying easily achieve, but achievable.

Lets say, on the three powerlifts, dead hang pullups and since it's mentioned in the quote, the mile run.


squat - 365
bench - 275
deadlift - 405
pullups - 15
run - 8 minutes

I believe any of those can be higher, but that will take more seriousness and consistency. I think ANYONE can achieve those though.


As for the main lifts, 250/300/350 seems realistic even for the most untalented hardgainers who diligently lift the iron.
Pullup, perhaps BW+75lbs.
The Mile Run, slightly under 7 minutes.


These are really slow mile times. Is the average person really so aerobically untalented that this is the most they could achieve with diligent training? Seems very suspect to me. The lifting numbers while not impressive seem a higher standard than 7 and 8 minute miles to me.



What you're capable of has much more to do with how long and hard you're willing to train than any genetic factors. 95% of the time, "hardgainers" have much bigger mental problems than they do genetic.


The real question here is how hard is "hard work?" I think we're confusing average genetics with average work ethic. I kinda doubt that someone willing to put in the work to bench 300 pounds is going to hit a wall there and just stop. Also, a 300 pound bench involves real discipline and continual training.

As for the mile time, I ran a 7 minute mile at 240 pounds after not running more than 400m at a time for two years. A 7-8 minute mile is like a 100 pound bench or 185 squat.

To actually answer the question, these are what I think the average, healthy male body is capable of:

500 Squat
500 Dead
400 Bench
50+ Pullups
5:30 Mile

I didn't say this is what most people will achieve, but what most can achieve.


I don't agree about the 50+ pullups part. It must be because no one trains pullups like bench pressing, but I haven't seen someone doing something with close resemblance to pullups for 50 reps. I think the good old 300/400/500 is goal that can be achieved by average-sized guy.


That's the thing; the bench press is the most overrated, over worked excercise in American gyms. conversely, the pullup is used by only serious trainees, and even then, used during a much smaller fraction of the training time. I'd say that 50 pullups is a more conservative estimate than a 405 dead or 365 squat, but most of us will not work anywhere near our genetic potential for this excercise.


I agree. And I think that Rippetoe's chart is pretty accurate as well for the MAJORITY of the population.

There will always be genetic freaks and those who are the opposite of them, although I'd wager that most truly "genetically doomed" never really continue in strength sports.

In terms of levels of advancement, I think it just depends on the full potential of the individual. If someone were to hit "intermediate" numbers for their weight within the first 5 months of training, I don't think that they should take pride in that. Advanced means that you are truly tapping into your body's genetic potential, but if some freak hits certain numbers within a short period of time, I'd still consider them "less advanced" because of the distance from their ultimate genetic potential.



A 6 minute mile is nothing like a 300lb bench! Maybe more like a 225 bench.

Running a SINGLE mile is pretty easy.
You don't need form.
You don't need to be that fit.
You just need be able to handle pain for a few minutes.
Its more a mental thing dealing with pain.

I think running MULTIPLE miles at a 6 minute pace is a truer test of aerobic fitness.

I've run 2.8 miles (4.5km race) in 21:04 (7:32 per mile). I'm shit at running. I'm short, stride length is short, I have zero form, I SUCK AT RUNNING.

I would say for aerobic fitness the goal should be:
3 miles in 18 minutes (6 minutes per mile).

As for the strength goals, some of you guys all really have high numbers.

The question is one of balance - the male body being able to run distances and lift heavy shit.

Also, why would pullups be considered different from the 3 major lifts in this question? It not able how many, its about your 1RM.

So I'd say for strength goals:
225 Bench
315 Squat
405 Dead
225 Pullup (BW + Extra = 225).

Funnily enoough, what I've just said are my goals. Yes, I'm biased.

Right now I've got:
7:32 Mile
175 Bench
225 Squat
305 Dead
190 Pullup


I'll tell you what, you guys are very, very optimistic of what a "normal" person could be able to train themselves up to.

I think you're making a huge mistake not taking bodyweight and the size of the person into account. Also some people are going to have injuries that might keep them from getting to these goals.

I think a regular male person would be able to train up to a 1.25 bodyweight bench, 1.5x bodyweight squat and deadlift, probably 10-15 pullups (but this varies inversely to the weight of the person), and about an 8 minute mile.

With the pullups, the lighter the person, the more pullups they're probably going to be able to do. A guy that weighs 145 pounds is going to be able to do a lot more pullups than a guy who's 275#.


Ahh, I should probably have mentioned that running a mile might be inversely proportional to bodyweight as well. A 275# guy is going to have significantly more trouble running a mile than a lighter guy is going to have.


2x bw deadlift
1.5x bw back squat
1.25-1.5x bw chinup and bench
6.5 minute mile


I think it depends on how much training history this "average" male has, and how much time he has to achieve those goals.

Let's say we're starting out with a sedentary guy, not very overweight, no injuries, but no sports or weight training background. An eight minute mile is easy, anyone who is close to a healthy bodyweight should be able to achieve that within a month of running just 2 or 3 times a week.

If we stretch that out to a year at 3 times a week, a 6:30 mile sounds achievable. Bodyweight bench press, and 1.5 times squat and deadlift also sound do-able within a year, and 8-10 pullups shouldn't be a problem either.

Beyond that individual variables in body type would come up, like maybe the guy has short arms so a 2x bodyweight bench press wouldn't be a superhuman accomplishment, but deadlifting 2x bodyweight would. If he was obsessed with deadlifting 2.5x bodyweight, he would have to specialize in just deadlifting and his squat and bench might suffer for a time.

The guy might be fast twitch dominant, so a pullup with 135lbs around his wieght might be acheivable, but he might never get more than 15 pullups in a row.


This thread is a real eye opener. Do you guys really think that an average trainee is incapable of a 2x bodyweight squat? That's 360@180, 400@200, or 500@250. A 1.5x bodyweight bench is 270@180, 300@200, or 375@250. These are good numbers for a high school student, but not a serious adult.


The vast majority of people are not athletes. The vast majority of people have never done anything seriously athletic in their lives. You're right, those are pretty good numbers for a high school athlete now think about how many people at a high school are athletes. When they grow up, almost all of the athletes will turn into non-athletes and very few of the non-athletes will turn into athletes.

Over the past 10-15 years, I've worked with a lot of trainers, I've trained a few people, I've been in a lot of gyms, but more importantly I've worked in a lot of offices and I've lived in a lot of places across the US. And your view of how athletic most people are is very, very off.

If you take the average guy off the street, even a fairly athletic guy, they're not going to be able to bench bodyweight without several months of training. When I first started benching, I was about 35 years old and I weighed 175# and I could barely bench 135# after several months in the gym. It took me several months to work my bench up to 175#... and by that time, my weight was up to 200#. :frowning:

There was recently a challenge on a certain football site and one of the regular posters on this blog, who's a 43 year old guy, lost a bet and had to do 25 pushups. He couldn't do it. That's most guys out there.

However, I think with training, and it might take several years, I think most guys can squat/deadlift 2x bodyweight and bench 1.25x bodyweight. But saying that a regular guy is going to be able to squat 500# and do 50 pullups is ridiculous.


Maybe I'm misunderstanding your post, but I think you misunderstood the original query: "What do YOU think are some standards that EVERY healthy male *****could***** achieve, naturally and honestly, will good ole' hard work and some time. I'm not saying easily achieve, but achievable." (I added the *'s)

I think 500/400/550, 50+ pullups and a 5:30 mile are certainly achievable by an average young male with many years left to train. (basically what Dirty_Bulk posted). I'm not sure if the 500/400/550 could be achieved at the same time as the 50+ pullups & 5:30 mile, but at least if separated into 2 groups, they are very achievable in an average young male's lifetime.


The goals I mentioned were to be performed in the same week.

Otherwise the question is silly.

They are also based off a short guy (me!).

Perhaps add a few pounds on the lifts for you bigger guys.

Still gotta run the 3 miles in 18 minutes though.


A six minute mile is nothing special. A fat kid could do it if you gave him six months to train, and he was motivated. Doing it while simultaneously keeping bench, chins, squats, and deads up there might be another issue.


I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that the average person could not acheive those kind of numbers across the board at the same time.

Most people, after a year or two of training would find that they are well suited to a few lifts, or types of training, and could go on to acheive very good numbers in those few lifts.

But if they were a squatter, and they wanted to get that 5:30 mile, they'd have to drastically cut back on their squatting, and lose a lot of weight. Then their squat and bench would go to shit, and somewhere along the way one of their knees would get fucked up.