T Nation

How Much Stronger Are You Now?


... than when you started?

I don't mean when you were relatively new....like how strong were you the FIRST time you picked up a weight?

I was a junior in high school in February 1999, and was attending college full time on a state sponsored program (secret brag thread), and was scheduled to graduate a year early from high school. The credit I got from college classes was also counting towards h.s. credit.

The only thing I hadn't replaced was a gym course. I decided I would start working out at my colleges gym, and have a trainer sign off that I was working out several times per week. Well, at my initial fitness test the numbers I put up were pretty humbling:

Height: 5' 10"
weight: 138 lbs
Bench Press: 1RM: 65 lbs.
Squat: 85 lbs.

I finished a bulk back in March and benched 340 lbs, and squatted 400. It's weird to think of, because you hopefully make strength gains week to week, so it's easy to forget where you started, and to think that I can squat and bench about 5x more than when I started years ago is kind of humbling. As much as I want to shit on everyone who's dicking around in the gym wasting there time, I started out just like them.


I think the first weights I can remember lifting were my Sophomore year in HS.

A rough guess would be like 155lbs in the bench, just under 200lbs for squat, and like 135lbs for a clean..and DL according to my journals was 225lbs . At the time I was around 205lbs and pretty chubby haha (5'8")

End of junior year my maxes came out to be like 265lbs in bench for 1 RM, 405lbs squat, 415lbs DL, and my favorite and most exciting lift was 255lbs for a clean and jerk. (196lbs around now)

Now I'm back doing the velocity diet going into the third year of college and I really can't touch these numbers at all, but I'll be back and stronger soon!

Just a little story, I did a ton of manual labor with my dad as a child so I was pretty thick back than compared to most kids and I was lucky enough that when I started HS track and field as a thrower the 2nd day in someone told me to do what Dan John says. I wasn't bright enough to take everything word for word but no shoulda woulda couldas here! Gotta love beginner gains too!


I haven't made any progress.


^^ many many burgers ago in a galaxy far far away....



Deadlift 140kg
Bench 70kg
Squat 90kg

Haven't made a massive amount of progress due to injuries and what not. About year and half training (not consistently because of injuries) properly. Leg training about 3/4 of a year

Deadlift 170kg
Bench 102.5kg x 4
Squat 165 kg


I'm way weaker in most everything.

Too many years off in between and too many injuries.


Don't forget the ice cream.


I've always wondered what Jaleel White aka Urkel has been up to these past few years


Bench:55 lbs.
Squat:135 lbs.
Deadlift:100 lbs.
Incline bench: 45 lbs.
Military press: 25 lbs.(couldn't even handle the bar)

Bench:345 lbs.
Squat:450 lbs.
Deadlift:420 lbs.
Incline Bench: 225 lbs.
Military press: 180 lbs.

Looking back not nearly as much progress as i should have made over 7 years, and between 2007-08 i more or less turned into a pussy about doing lifts that i sucked at like military, dead lifts, and squats so that set me back quite a bit.


Well,lets just say this;When I first touched a barbell I remember benching 2 35 plates for 8 reps now I im benching 305lbs for 8 reps so thats cool I guess. But what really matters is that you get stronger on the inside too.


First time in a real gym I was 20 and only benched 95lbs, maybe 10 reps. After 2 years I think I did up to 265x5 without a spotter. How does everyone remember their squat when they just started, don't most newbies only do leg press and calf raises?


I remember back in 1988 when I was 14 took "weight training I" because I was on the football team. I was about 5'7" weighed in at 130lbs for wrestling that year and couldn't bench 135! (I started at 110 BP, 95 PC, 135 SQ and 185 DL) I did weight training every semester (Bigger Faster Stronger program, I'm sure a lot us did that) and my my senior year I had made the power club by "body percentage" but was 30 lbs short on total weight (you needed 1200)

BW ~165
BP 210
PC 225
SQ 305
DL 430
TOTAL 1170

Then I went to prison for a few years and did nothing but eat and lift for 2 years, but after that, ended up in the boot camp program where they ran the shit out of us and did calisthenics for six months, so I came out at about the same weight I went in at, but looking quite "diesel"

Then I got into rugby and started hitting it HARD and by the time I was 29 (after several cycles of AAS) weighed in at 245 lbs and was strong as shit - even by T-Nation standards (pretty much multiply those HS figures by 1.5).

Then "LIFE" happens (three knee surgeries and two screws in teh shoulder) and I found myself back at HS!

Albeit a "wee bit" heavier...




Being forced to look at your numbers on a whiteboard every time you enter the weight room helped. My introduction to weight lifting was football so i thankfully didnt have a choice on lifts otherwise i probably would have just did curls, abs, and bench and called it a day.


i started in january 2010
Bench max - 40 kg
dumbbell curl - 10 kg 5 reps
military press 22 kg 8 reps( in summer that same year)
Clean and jerk 40 kg( in summer that same year)
Deadlift 95 kg ( in summer that same year)
squat 60 kg ( right after summer )

Now i bench 95, squat 110, deadlift 150, clean and jerk 70 kg, curl with 20 kgs, clean and jerk 70, military press 45 for 8 reps

weight before: 62
now 80


Well when I first started at 16 years of age I was about 6"2 170lbs, was doing 10-12 rep range on many excersises with the 10kg (22lbs) dumbells. And it gave me a great workout.

3.5 years later, I'm 20, 6"5, about 230lbs, bench 260lbs, squat ~350lbs, deadlift 500+lbs. Been some good times.

I remember doing about 3 reps of smith machine squats with a 20kg plate on each side (first time I ever squatted, there was no squat rack don't hate) and I can remember my legs feeling sore as hell the next day.


Squat= +150lbs 180-330
bench= +150lbs 100-250
deadlift= +175lbs 275-450


First time:
October 2009
Cross country practice in beginning of 12th grade.
Weight: 145lb, height 6'0"
Bench press: 95lb x10 was quite difficult.
Squat: 115lb x15 was easy.
Deadlift: 95lb x1 not hard, but didn't want to break my back.
Then I bought a barbell for Christmas, and lifted in the snow during the winter.
April 2010
Weight: 175lb
Clean and jerk: 135lb
Overhead press: 100lb x2
Front Squat: 120lb x10
Deadlift: 280lb x1

June 2011
Weight: 180lb, height: 6'1"
Bench: 170lb x5
Squat: 265lb x5
Deadlift: 340lb x5
Overhead Press: 115lb x5
Clean: 155lb x5
Could have made better progress this year. Everyone else gains freshman 15 easily. Hell, I've see hot girls turn from a lean 120 to a chubby 160. I guess I'll blame it on crew practice first semester and all-nighters 2nd semester. More squats and milk, and better sleep/lifting schedule during the summer and following semesters...


Started when I was 12 and was a pudgy 130lb. I remember being able to bench 65lb for a moderate set, maybe 6-8 reps. Started training full body with the football team at 14 at about 150lb and deadlifted around 200lb, probably squatted 135.

Now, 17 yrs later, weighing 220 at the same height I was when I was 12. Recent raw meet lifts are 512 sq, 380 bench, 585 DL, but I'm a PL gear whore so those raw max numbers haven't gone up much in the last few years due to neglect.


When I was 15 I would go to a local Y that had one of those old chrome Universal machines...you may remember them...leg press, bench press, military press all in one big square boxy contraption.

Well, I told the guys at school I could bench 185 because I was benching 150 or so on that thing.


In 1989 I was 13, 5'10 and 130 lbs. I benched press 90 lbs in my friends basement. He mentioned on my Facebook he has a VHS videos of our bench sessions back then. I need to get my hands on those bitches lol.

I didn't lift seriously until July 2008 and have benched 345 relatively easily.