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Good Bench Press for Average Women?


Very very board question but what's a good bench/squat/deadlift 5RM target to set for average woman in mid 20's about 120lb?

What weight would they have to push for YOU to be impressed (on the 3 lifts) if you saw them for the first time at the gym? Here I'm referring to just a 1RM.


I don't know about a "target" weight, but I'd be impressed if I saw a woman benching at the gym period


Are you trying to figure out what we would think of your gf/sister's lifts before you tell us what they are to see if we would be impressed? (I'm bitchy again and saw some of your post history...)

Anyways, assuming the "average woman in mid 20's" knows where the gym is (which is not an accurate assumption, but regardless...), she most likely is familiar with the cardio equipment and maybe the light dumbbells. Therefore, I'm not impressed by anything she does and wouldn't waste my time trying to figure out a 5RM for her because she'd think it would make her bulky.

NOW, let's assume by "average woman in mid 20s" you mean one that is actually serious about lifting and has good form (ie. No quarter/half squats). Or at least not opposed to lifting heavy. As a raw 1RM, I would be impressed (used loosely here) with 185/100/225.

As for a 5RM, I would suggest you pick a weight, get them to do as many good reps as they can do and adjust accordingly. It's all relative to their strengths/weaknesses.

That's my snarky post for the day. I'm going back to working...


I've been using these charts:

Which tell me I am beginner/intermediate after 8 months and my squat is horrible. :slightly_smiling:

But matsm is right. For me, even putting the bar on the ground to deadlift it elicts comments like "holy crap!" in the gym.


snorts @ Court


arachne12 >> nice link

Court >> "Are you trying to figure out what we would think of your gf/sister's lifts before you tell us what they are to see if we would be impressed?"

Rather, I'm seeing what people think of someone that claims to be elite and bench presses 145. I don't know anything about how much girls are expected to push but I thought to myself I've seen tiny guys like 110lbs (I didn't measure them of course) push 145 so I didn't think it was elite. Arachne12's link was pretty helpful though. 145lb for a 120lb female is pretty elite. For comparison, elite for a 120lb guy is like 240lb.

I wonder how much of this guy-gal difference is attributed to actual physical differences between males and females and how much it is attributed to simply that there are far less girls training so it is easier to have super genetic freaks to miss out on setting a new record for girls.


Perhaps use your bodyweight as a benchmark. If you can bench your body weight, squat 1.5 x BW and dead lift 2x BW, that's pretty good for the average person. From there, you can aim for increasing that multiplier by 0.5 for each lift (1 x BW -> 1.5 x BW, etc). Unless you're planning on competing in powerlifting, don't worry about impressing people. If I saw a woman benching 135, I'd be impressed.

From this article:



i'd say a good way to look at it is the body weight comparasion.

for a bench- 1 x body weight is good! great would be anything better then that--in my wierdo opion.
dead lifts 2x body weight, and squats 2x body weight. all with great form, depth and pretty ness. but seriously, whatever you can get , nice and strong and clean would be great in my opionion. for me, anyone who benches more then i do--which lots do! i've yet to get a body weight bench- is enviable and cool. :stuck_out_tongue:


wahoo, I would impress the heck out of Court if she saw me in the gym! :stuck_out_tongue:


Lucky you, I think I just made it past ridicule level. (maybe).


It really has to do with the different body structure between men and women. You will see a greater disparity in bench press as opposed to squat and deadlift due to the fact that women generally do not carry as much muscle mass in their upper bodies.

Do not compare what men and women bench press or any lifts for that matter.


By "elite" do you mean a wilks total or making an elite level in a PL federation?
A BW press for most small framed women is pretty good, particularly if it's raw. So if your little girl is pressing 120 in good form, I'd say she's got some upper body strength.


I'm a powerlifter and I can't raw bench 135. I only recently hit 120. That just about killed me too.


It's not just the bench press. Squats and deadlift have huge discrepancy too....at least according to arache12's link. However, now that I think about it, I don't think the men-women discrepancy is that high for Olympic lifts.

Looking up the figures right now: 123lb(65kg) weight class (all in pounds)
Website Elite Bench Press: 242(m) 142(f) - 70% more
Website Elite Squat: 346(m) 199(f) - 74% more
Website Elite Deadlift: 414(m) 263(f) - 61% more
Olympic Lift Combined Record: 671(m) 596(f) - only 13% more for men

This leads me to believe that even though there are physical difference between a man and a women, the lifting potential (at least applied to olympic lifts) shouldn't be too insanely different. 13% sounds about right. 70% sounds like too much.

What do you guys and gals think?


there are 123lb guys competing to compare numbers to?


Your 120lb girlfriend and all 123lbs of you are both very strong.


Where are you getting the combined lift for women? I'm looking at Wiki and the record total for women at 53 kg is is 495 lbs while for men at 55 kg it's 671 lbs for a 35% difference. Still less than the discrepancy on exrx.net, but still.


120lb is too much girl for me. gotta be <100lb 5'10" supermodel who's breaking lifting records :stuck_out_tongue:


LOL, nice


Holy shit you're right. I jumped a line as I looked down the list. The thing I quoted was Youth Mens instead of Women's.