T Nation

What makes a strong man?


#1

I'm pretty new to this forum, and I'm loving it. I have a question. I'm wondering what amount of weight a person should shoot for to be considered strong? I'm talking about like "squat 2x your bodyweight", "bench 1.5x your bodyweight", etc. I can dead and squat 2x my bodyweight easily, but my bench is just 30 lbs over my bodyweight.

Also, I'm trying to revamp my program. Currently I do chest(mon), legs(tue), shoulders/tris(thurs), back(fri) and cardio when I feel like it. I go as intense as I can all the time, and virtually never miss a workout.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


#2

Below is a quote ex CT in relation to BW.

Re the Also, what is your goal?


#3

how much do you weigh?

a double body weight bp is very very strong and a 3xbw squat and dl as well


#4

strong, 1.5x bench and 2.25x bodyweight, really strong, 2x bodyweight bench, 2.75-3x dead and squat. bodyweight military for 3


#5

Well, I dont think strength is something thats measured by workout weights. ACTS of strength impress me more. Hauling big heavy things on your shoulders, packing around things, heavy manual labor.....loading furniture etc.

Think of this....
Whats more impressive some dude squating 400

OR some fellla hauling around several bags of quickcrete, like they were small children?

You know what I am saying?


#6

Here's a previous post made by Christian T. (these are given in relation to body weight):

"1. Here are my personal numbers:

a) back squat

575lbs (close stance, upright trunk, butt to calves, nylon weight belt only) at 215lbs so a ratio of 2.67

b) front squat (full)

440lbs (same as above) at 215lbs so a ratio of 2.04

c) deadlift

575lbs (regular stance, nylon weight belt only) at 215lbs so a ratio of 2.67

d) stiff legged deadlift

Never maxed out, but have used 400lbs for sets of 5 on the romanian deadlift, which is similar)

e) barbell hack squat

N/A

f) power clean / hang clean

Power clean 352lbs x 1, hang clean 320lbs for 4 reps, hang squat clean 370lbs x 1 all of those were done at a bodyweight of 207lbs so respective ratios of 1.7 / 1.54 / 1.78

g) snatch

Power snatch 275lbs, full squat snatch 291lbs (with straps) at a bodyweight of 230lbs so respective ratios of 1.2 / 1.26

h) barbell bench press

415lbs (established 7 weeks ago) at a bodyweight of 212lbs so a ratio of 1.95

i) barbell split press (push press)

335lbs push press, 362lbs split jerk

Both done at a bodyweight of 223lbs so ratios of 1.5 / 1.62

What I consider average, strong and very strong:

  1. Team sport athletes

a) back squat (proper/competiton type)
Average: 1.6 - 2.0
Strong: 2.1 - 2.5
Very strong: 2.6 +

b) front squat (full)
Average: 1.3-1.6
Strong: 1.7-2.0
Very strong: 2.1 +

c) deadlift
Average: 1.6 - 2.0
Strong: 2.1 - 2.5
Very strong: 2.6 +

d) stiff legged deadlift

No guidelines

e) barbell hack squat
No guidelines

f) power clean / hang clean
Average: 1.0 - 1.25
Strong: 1.3 - 1.5
Very strong: 1.6 +

g) snatch
Average: 0.7 - 0.9
Strong: 1.0 - 1.2
Very strong: 1.3 +

h) barbell bench press
Average: 1.25 - 1.5
Strong: 1.6 - 2
Very strong: 2.1 +

i) barbell split press (push press)
Average: 1.0 - 1.25
Strong: 1.3 - 1.5
Very strong: 1.6 +

  1. Strength athletes:

a) back squat (proper/competiton type)
Average: 2.0 - 2.2
Strong: 2.3 - 2.8
Very strong: 2.9 +

b) front squat (full)
Average: 1.6-1.9
Strong: 2.0-2.2
Very strong: 2.3 +

c) deadlift
Average: 2.0 - 2.2
Strong: 2.3 - 2.8
Very strong: 2.9 +

d) stiff legged deadlift

No guidelines

e) barbell hack squat
No guidelines

f) power clean / hang clean
Average: 1.2 - 1.4
Strong: 1.5 - 1.8
Very strong: 1.9 +

g) snatch
Average: 1.0 - 1.2
Strong: 1.3 - 1.4
Very strong: 1.5 +

h) barbell bench press
Average: 1.5 - 1.7
Strong: 1.8 - 2.2
Very strong: 2.3 +

i) barbell split press (push press)
Average: 1.2 - 1.4
Strong: 1.5 - 1.8
Very strong: 1.9 +

  1. Bodybuilders

a) back squat (proper/competiton type)
Average: 1.5 - 1.9
Strong: 2.0 - 2.4
Very strong: 2.5 +

b) front squat (full)
Average: 1.1-1.4
Strong: 1.5-1.8
Very strong: 1.9 +

c) deadlift
Average: 1.5 - 1.9
Strong: 2.0 - 2.4
Very strong: 2.5 +

d) stiff legged deadlift

No guidelines

e) barbell hack squat
No guidelines

f) power clean / hang clean
Average: 0.8 - 1.1
Strong: 1.2 - 1.3
Very strong: 1.4 +

g) snatch
Average: 0.6 - 0.8
Strong: 0.9 - 1.1
Very strong: 1.2 +

h) barbell bench press
Average: 1.3 - 1.6
Strong: 1.7 - 2.1
Very strong: 2.2 +

i) barbell split press (push press)
Average: 0.8 - 1.1
Strong: 1.2 - 1.3
Very strong: 1.4 + "

Hope this helps!


#7

Think of it this way....
If you were gonna fight someone, would you rather fight a pro athlete, or a construction werker?
I would fight the athlete. Some manual laborers become tough as hell. My cousin is an ex-marine, and works for pillsbury, loading freight cars. He GRABS 100 pound flour bags, 1 in each hand, and SLINGS them into a freight car. Would you wanna take him on? prolly not.


#8

Tiree: The person who posted the question was looking for answers to what feats of strength in a gym constitute levels of strength. What does fighting have to do with this? By the way, my neighbour is 5'6" at about 140lbs, probably couldn't even bench press his own bodyweight or in your case lift a bag of flour but having mastered over 32 years of Wing Chun(and witnessing what he's capable of), I would much rather meet your cousin in a dark alley.


#9

Man, I didn't think this would post. I got that error message and when I went back, my message was gone.

I currently weight 185 at about 15% bf (yeah, I could lose some, and I'm trying). I can dead and squat 370, but my bench sucks. I can't even do 2 plates - how sucky is that!! I'm trying to prioritize it, but I have no idea how. Here's my chest routine; please critique away

Flat bench
warmup 135 2 sets 6 reps (don't want to waste energy)
165 2 sets 6-8 reps each
185 1 set 8 reps
205 1 set 4-5 reps
215 1 set 2 reps
165 12 reps

Incline DB
55 lbs each 8-10 reps 1 set
60 lbs each 8 reps 1 set
70 lbs each 6-8 reps 1 set
75 lbs each 5-6 reps 1set

Dips
Bodyweight 3 sets 10-12 reps

Cable Crossovers
3 sets 8 reps each
try to crossover "high" on the chest to simulate incline flyes

Notes: I can't start with incline bench, as my left rear delt will hurt like hell after 3 sets and I can't do anymore - don't know why.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Wing Chun is some serious shit. That's what Bruce Lee first studied before he invented Jeet Kune Do, martial arts with no set movements. I definitely would have a better chance against a Marine than some quick guy that can make me look stupid.

Thanks again.


#10

I may sound dumb for asking this but I honestly don't know the difference between hang cleans, jerks, snatches, etc. Is there an article out there that details the differences?


#11

Forgot my goal - My goals are strength and muscle size/density.

My shoulders seem to dwarf my chest and my back is really strong. I used to be a pitcher in high school (could've played college ball) so my right shoulder used to be much larger than my left, but it's getting pretty even now.

This may sound naive, but I want my muscles to be dense and hard all the time. My one lifting buddy has muscles that are rock hard all the time, no matter if he is flexing or not. My muscles can go "soft" if I am not lifting, and I don't want that. Make sense?


#12

JWright,

You’ve used the search engine and read all the excellent articles on benching at this site, right??? Please tell me you have! Dave Tate has a couple that are really good.

Anyway there are probably more good suggestions in those articles than you’ll know what to do with. Now, after you read the articles, find your technique trouble spots and weak points, I would add one suggestion. Stop wasting energy on all that light crap at the beginning of your workout! Do a warm up set and get down to business.

Also, I think you might be overtraining your chest, and possibly overtraining in general. If you want a big bench focus on bench. You don’t need to do 3 or 4 other chest exercises. If inclines are hurting your shoulder stop doing them! You sound like the kind of guy that never takes a day off. It’s okay to take a day off, it helps you grow. Also, make sure your nutrition and recovery are in order. Finally, make sure you are periodizing your training. If you don’t know what that is, use the search engine.

I bench over 1.5x bw and I train chest 2x a week with back. I only do flat bench and one tricep exercise per workout. I used to do all sorts of exercises but all that did was lead to overtraining. I never got stronger/bigger. Obviously there lots of different w/o plans and everyone likes their own thing. The main thing is to periodize.

If you take all the information available on this website and apply it you should have 225 in no time.


#13

Yeah, I have read MOST of them and I'm kinda confused. There are so many of them I just don't know where to start.

With cleans et. al. where should I place them in my workout? Back or shoulders?


#14

I take the entire weekend off, just active recovery, no lifting. I also have wednesday off to facilitate full-body recovery. I try to eat as healthy as possible, but I am a college student, and we can't eat in class or carry a lot of shit around. It's hard with 3 roommates too, who just happen to hog the damn fridge all the time. I'm graduating in 2 weeks and getting my own place, so things should be brighter soon.


#15

It's hard to help when you don't know what your weak points are. But I'm gonna take a stab at it. Assuming you read Dave Tate's bench articles and get your technique down?

Have you been at the same bodyweight for a long time? If so, try and put on 5-10lbs ? that might be enough to get you going again.

Like I said before, don't wear yourself out on the warm up. Do a set with the empty bar to get your joints warmed, then a light set, then spend your time at 205+. If you can get 4-5 with 205 I'd think you'd be really close to getting 225. You might want to try a warm up, then do 5 sets with 205, do that for a few weeks or until you can get like 8-7-6-6-5. The main thing is to improve by at least one rep on some set every workout.

Is 225 a mental thing for you? If so, start doing reps with two 35's on each side to sort of simulate it and trick your mind.

Finally, you may just have a shoulder problem that shuts your muscle down as a defense mechanism. I can't help you there.

Good Luck!


#16

i've been looking over the figures listed in the post.
What about the figures for females? How similiar would it be?


#17

Actually, this year, I've gained 20 lbs of muscle, and all my other lifts went up a lot. I did 2 cycles of mag 10, and ate like a horse, and each time I gained a little under 10 lbs.

Yeah, 225 is a goal of mine. After that, it will be 250. Just a mental thing. A lot of my friends can do it, but I can't - on the other hand, I can dl and squat more than they can. It's just a goal, and I've gained some lbs on my bench this year, but I feel I'm stuck. I can do 215 for 2 reps, but then 225 alludes me. I'll get it, with your guys' help.

Thanks again