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What Is the Average Bench Press for a Man?

written by: Angela Atkinson • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 4/29/2011

Are you having trouble setting your bench press goals? Do you know what the average bench press is? Here, learn what fitness experts say is an acceptable goal range for bodybuilders as well as other fitness enthusiasts.

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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.)

    Body Weight/Bodybuilder/Beginner

    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.

    Sleep More

    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.

    Eat More

    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.