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Push-Up to Bench Press Ratio?



Just curious. If you weigh, say 150 and can bang out 20 pushups, what should that roughly translate to in bench-pressing?

I ask only to relate to the people who insist on putting a 5 lb plate on either side of the bar and making the bench into an effort. What gets me is that they can make it an effort.

Sorry, ranting.


I'm not sure what you're getting at but if someone can only do 20 push-ups, they have no right to bench press at all.


I'm not quite sure what you mean either but I have done tests with several people and pushup weight seems to be roughly 70% of body weight. You can test this yourself, just do a pushup on a scale and see what it reads. So a 150 lb. person is roughly lifting 105 lbs. each time they do a pushup. The angles and such are not exactly the same in a bench press and pushup so I don't know if you could directly translate one to the other. I think what you are getting at is that someone who can only lift the bar should just do pushups. Sorry, I have to disagree with that. Lifting is a part of life, be it weights or whatever, why wait. On the other hand, if lifting the bar is a max effort or close to it, then I agree they should work with lighter weights or exercises such as DB's and/or knee pushups. I've trained a lot of women who started with only the bar but they could do 10-12 reps or so without too much struggle on flat bench. With inclines we had to use a lighter bar or DB. Everbody has to start somewhere and sometimes that means only the bar and light weights.


Jeez- 20 push-ups is pretty rough for me and I am closing in 400. The funny thing is when I could do 50 reps in a set for push-ups, I could barely take 135 for 5 with a barbell. I'm not sure you can correlate these two exercises all that well.


One rep max for 20 pushups at 150 lbs would be approximately 175lb bench. This is a crude estimate using 70% body weight and Epley formula.

Please do not have try to do a 175lb bench. Try 130lbs for 10 reps (Epley formula gives an approx. 173lb one rep max).

Do a pushup on a scale and see how much weight it reads at the bottom and top of the pushup. Depending on your body shape you may not fit with the 70% number. If you have very skinny legs and big upper body that would change the %. If you have big legs and hips but have a skinny upper body the % may also be different.


Thanks to all but the last answer was what I was looking for.

Basically, there are these guys who put 5 lbs on the bar on each side (I kid you not) and rep out 8 bench presses huffing and puffing and generally sounding like they're benching heavy. Yet they can bang out 20 push-ups. So I was looking for something along the lines of "Hey, you should at least be able to move X lbs at your bodyweight since you can already do pushups".

In other words, they should up the weight a bit. I don't know where they got their routines from but they seem content to not move up just in case of injury.

Thanks again.


Very well said!


I doesn't matter, some slow twitch people can do 50 push ups and can't bench for their lives...


Pushups are incredibly subjective.

1.) Some people go halfway down
2.) Their torso is not aligned properly



very true, I think a better push up exercise would be blast strap/ring push ups.


The other thing you have to consider is that you are much more stable doing pushups than bench presses, and to go along with beefcake, few people touch their chests to the ground when they do pushups. Also 70% is incorrect, that might be true at the bottom of the pushup but at the top it would be significantly less.

I think knuckle pushups would be a better way to approximate pushups as they mimick benchpressing more closely.


I think that bench being open chain and pushups being closed chain can affect the results as well. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't closed chain exercises recruit more muscle fibers than their open chain counterparts? It'd probably get too complicated to find a 1RM from just pushups, seeing as how body types, hand positions, form, etc. can affect the "load" of the pushup.


20 pushups at 150 lbs. comes out to 175 lb. bench...? I don't think so....


Absolutely not. Don't they activate different muscle fibers when it is endurance vs. 1 rm? I can do 60 pushups at a clip, and max out at about 230 on bench. I'm not sure one has much to do with the other.

Ted Williams used to do hundreds of fingertip pushups, but I don't know that he could bench 150.