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Beginning body builders often get stuck on setting bench press goals. And, while there aren’t technically any true standards for an average bench press across the board, it’s quite possible to determine a goal range based on a few different factors.
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Average Bench Press: Setting Goals
According to Robert Kennedy, author of the book Mass: New Scientific Body Secrets, the average 175 pound man can bench about 135 pounds—however, Kennedy affirms, this is an average which includes men from every fitness level, including those who don’t work out at all.
Certain factors must be considered when setting your goals. These include things like body weight and current fitness level. Obviously, a man who has never worked out before would set a lower goal than a seasoned bodybuilder.
The chart below indicates what Kennedy says are appropriate bench press goals. The first column indicates the weight range for the goals, listed in the right two columns. The one rep max listed in the second column indicates the goal range for bodybuilders, while the second column indicates the goal range for men who would just like to stay in shape and strong (or, for beginners.)
105-120 / 260 / 156
121-135 / 285 / 171
136-155 / 310 / 186
156-170 / 335 / 201
171-185 / 360 / 216
186-205 / 385 / 231
206-225 / 410 / 246
226-245 / 430 / 258
246+ / 440 / 264
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Average Bench Press: Tips for Increasing Yours
Work Your Triceps
Many bodybuilders don’t realize how important the triceps are in raising their bench press max or 1RM. According to bodybuilder and fitness expert Damian Mase, “You need to hit your triceps hard with big exercises like close grip bench press and skullcrushers. Don’t waste your with cable machines, stick to heavy dumbbells and barbells."
Push Yourself, Carefully
It’s a fine line, but pushing yourself to your maximum ability (without hurting yourself) is another way to increase your 1RM. Simply put: challenge yourself. Don’t let the workouts get “easy"…and when they do, remember that it’s time to take it to the next level.
Getting at least 8 hours of sleep between workouts is an easy way to help raise your 1RM. This is because during quality sleep, muscles repair themselves and grow—making sleep essential for muscle development.
Believe it or not, you may not be eating enough to effectively feed your muscles. Bodybuilders must have a diet high in protein to effectively build muscle. Try eating up to seven times each day, including protein and complex carbs in your regular diet.