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Optimum Powerlifting Ratio

I have recenty started powerlifting to increase my strength for submission wrestling. I am somewhat concerned about becoming unbalanced in strength gains though. What I mean by this is what is the optimum ratio between lifts for athletic performance?

For instance if you bench only 200lbs what should your squat and deadlift be around? Is there any sort of ratio I should strive for like for instance to be able to squat double what I bench or anything like that? Am I making any sense whatsoever? Sorry if I am not making myself clear.

I’d look to the top competitors in the sport and check the ratios of their lifts. That should give you a reasonable range to shoot for. You should be able to Google that information.

Look at your liftr in relation to your Lean Body Mass (unless you are a heavyweight), not in relation to your other lifts. Remember, if you are going to compete (in MMA or grappling), you are in a weight class sport.

Good numbers might be:
Bench 2xLBM
Squat 2.5xLBM
Deadlift 2.75-3xLBM

These might not be spectaculer powerlifting numbers but you are NOT a powerlifter - even though you may incoperate some powerlifing training.

Most important, don’t focus too much on max strength to the detrement of other very important strength qualities… speed strength, endurance strength, strength speed, etc…

Also keep up with the conditioning and skill work.

I’m assuming that you’re merely doing the powerlifting lifts, not actually competing in powerlifting.

I’d say that you should be squatting in the low 300’s and deadlifting in the low 400’s if you’re benching around 200. This is just an estimate though, and it shouldn’t take that long to accomplish. You never mentioned your weight, which does play a large role in this.

If you’re going to be competing in powerlifting, you really should be pulling 500 even if you’re around 175 (I don’t know the exact weight classes, I’m not a powerlifter). And yeah, you’ll probably be wearing a suit to do this…but from what I’ve heard, it’s not that much help in the deadlift.

Coach Dan John posted an interesting ratio.

He said to start at 200, 300, 400 (200 Bench Press / 300 Squat / 400 deadlift)
then work up to 300/400/500 and so on.

Thanks for the good ideas guys. One thing I forgot to mention is that I’ll be competing at the 66Kg to 76 Kg weightclass, and no I am not planning on competing in Powerlifting; I just meant that my routine is based around the 3 powerlifts. Thanks again for the replies.

I don’t think that there is an ideal ratio. Aiming to increase your overall strength, in rowing exercises as well as the bench will serve you well. As far as needing a 2xBW bench press and all that, it seems a bit overdone. There are plenty of great figthers who I am sure have had nowhere near that level of strength.

Of course, it could not hurt if you were INCREDIBLY strong in the powerlifts. And I do think that a raw double bodyweight bench is very strong. We’re not talking about the use of bench shirts. I don’t know many guys who can bench double their bodyweight, specifically those that start weighing around 200 lbs and upwards.

So it’s not that having excellent strength in the powerlifts would hurt you, but your time might be more well spent developing yourself fully as an athlete. This includes muscular endurance, anaerobic endurance, speed training (which you might include in training the powerlifts), and technique practice.

For the average guy (genetically speaking) trying to achieve numbers relative to their bodyweight such as those in CW’s articles, they’d have to spend at least 4 days a week of lifting for the most part, on top of training sessions to work on your technical proficiency, and cardiovascular componenets. Unless a person is a fulltime professional fighter and does not have to work for a living, I see it as being pretty tough trying to develop very impressive amounts of strength, technical proficiency, and endurance.

I’d say to look at what needs the most work. If you can’t bench your own bodyweight but your technique is excellent, then some strength training focus might be in order. Then again, if you can bench double your bodyweight but your endurance sucks, you might want to look into some conditioning. It’s a balancing act that you have get a hold of to find out what will give you the most bang for your buck in terms of training time. Good luck.


Thanks for the replies guys. I have set my powerlifting goals for:
Bench Press: 1.5x bw
Squat: 2x bw
Deadlift: 2.5x bw
I currently only weight it an 153lbs so I don’t think these numbers will be TOO unrealistic. These goals will be in addition to several endurance goals I have as well as technical. Thank again for the replies.