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Relative Strength Standards for Everyday Living?

What relative strength standards do you recommend for someone who just wants to be strong for everyday life?
Thank you.

What kind of stuff do you have to pick up and carry around in your every day life?

How big are you?

An 150 pound office brah doesn’t need to be as strong as a 235 pound roughneck.


People I work with (steel erector) tell me I’m strong. So I’ll use this as a benchmark.

I’d ignore most gym lifts for an assessment of strong for life. And go Strong man strong. It is more realistic. The objects are more awkward ETC.
I’d say:
100kg / hand farmers walk or 250kg yoke - 20m drop and return no drops.
200kg dead lift 4-6 reps
100kg log for a few reps
100kg atlas stone/sand bag for a few reps over a 4f bar

If you could do all those, or even a few - 90% of things that need doing you’re covered.

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  • Squat 2 times your bodyweight
  • Deadlift 2 times your bodyweight
  • Bench Press 1.5 times your bodyweight
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Be able to pick up and carry a sandbag loaded to bodyweight a distance of 50’ in 10 seconds.


For everyday life and being able to participate in pretty much any activity?

  • Run a 5K in less than 25 min.
  • Do 30 push ups
  • Do 10 pull ups
  • DL 1.5x your bodyweight

(Before I get criticized, these would place someone in the “much fitter than most” category as it pertains to everyday activities and living)


There is such a small requirement on strength for everyday modern western life that unless you have a physical job then being young and male is alnost certainly above the standard for everyday life*.

The sandbag standard is handy one to meet, though. Being able to carry a human body like weight in a humanish body type shape for a decent distance might save someone’s life one day.

*I don’t consider carrying grocery bags from the car to the kitchen in one go a display of strength as my 70+ year old mother can do that.


Like @FlatsFarmer and @strongmangoals said, it’s tough to say across the board. My everyday life barely requires me to make it to my gate without dying, and my suitcase has wheels


I’m pretty sure the OP means:
“What strength standards make sure I’m the first guy any one calls when they are moving house”.


Cue all of us asking if he’s really thought about his goals…


For my part, I don’t necessarily love the relative strength standards where we say 2x your body weight or whatever. My 8-year-old can crush those, and she’s not moving anyone’s couch.

I’ve always found simple comfort in the 300 bench, 400 squat, 500 deadlift as a generic benchmark.


I noticed the OP didn’t mention man or woman, so it got me thinking of the minimum physical standards a new employee needed to be acceptable to meet those required to perform the duties of the job classification. The company did that to meet EEO requirements, making fair treatment regardless the sex of the applicant.

Along with the companies human resource office a few of our job group met to determine what strength and endurance was required to reasonably perform the requirements of the job. The job was Instrument & Controls at a fossil fuel power generation plant. There wasn’t intense labor required, but some minimum strength was. They came up with a test:

  1. Be able to lift a 50lb box off the floor and place on a table that was 36’ high.
  2. Be able to climb the stairs to the top of the boiler (about 10 stories high) and walk at the top to the other side and back down in a specific time (I don’t recall the time, but it wasn’t a challenger as long as you didn’t have to stop too long.) A psychological aspect of the task was that the stairs and floors were metal grating. You could see down to the ground.

I would consider this the bare minimum of “relative strength standard”

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Crap sake people: if you are really going to be nerds about this be done with it

Average strength score is 10. You’re welcome.


Like some of the guys have said, what I recommend depends on the person and what their daily life entails. In my “daily life” (outside of exercise), the heaviest thing I pick up is a bag of dog food. Or occasionally one of the dogs.

In general, daily functional strength is more about “strength for reps” or strength-endurance instead of a 1RM. So, something like bodyweight squat (any variation, not just back squat) for 6-8 or farmer’s walk with bodyweight total for a minute-ish rather than a high deadlift 1RM.

What if I told you that certain mobility standards are likely more important than strength standards for most people. Sitting in a third world squat and getting a few good reps of scapular wall slides (low back, shoulders, head, and wrists touching the wall) will have a bigger influence than deadlifting 405, for the overwhelming majority.

Thinking out loud here… the Turkish get-up might be the most all-in-one assessment of functional strength. Requires mobility in pretty much every joint from ankles to shoulders; requires a strong core and head to toe stability; has a long time under tension; requires the real-world abilities of getting up off the ground, squatting, and reaching overhead.

Maybe handling 20-ish pounds for a rep or two per side would be worth chasing for everyday strength and mobility. A little weight goes a long way (no pun intended) with TGUs.


One great thing about my job is we pick up stuff daily that ranges anywhere from ounces to thousands of pounds :joy: no shortage on things to attempt your “everyday strength standards” on

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If you can throw a football over them mountains, you’re strong.


Not a bad shout to be fair.

@T3hPwnisher where is that table from? And what constitutes light/medium/heavy?

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It’s from Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition

Oh - oh no. 100% caught out.

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In modern society, you rarely have a need to be very strong. I’m assuming you don’t have some labor-intense job.

I think the movements you see most often in life are:

(With either one or both hands)
Pick something up and carry it
Push on something
Pull on something
Squeeze something with your grip

With that in mind, barring any crazy circumstances, I offer that you should be able to handle most anything that comes your way if you can:
Bend over and pick up 50 pounds off the ground and carry it 50 yds
Bench press your body weight for a few reps
Perform at least 5 strict chin ups
Tear a pizza box in half with your bare hands.

Of course, none of this will make you a Chuck Norris, or competitive in any kind of sport, but you should be good to go in normal everyday life.

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