The Intelligent & Relentless Pursuit of Muscle™

How Much Can You Lift (Wimp)?


A few years back I remember reading Charles Poliquin's article on upper body structural balance. It was very intriguing.

Since then, over seven years have passed. I've graduated college and trained high school, college, and pro athletes, along with regular gym goers. During this time I've been asked one question more than all of the others combined. Nearly ten to fifteen times a day I hear, on any given exercise, "What weight should I use?"

By sheer observation and trial and error, I was able to figure out how much weight someone could do on one lift, by how much weight they did on a different lift. I've been refining this info for a while now, and it's finally time to share it.


A Few Formalities

Before we dive right in, there are some important things to consider prior to using this:


Finding Your Balance

The following three percentage charts are each based off a major lift. You can use anything from a max to a ten rep set. Just be aware that it'll stay at that rep range for all the lifts and poundages given. So if you use a five rep max on the bench press chart, you'll get a five rep weight for all the lifts.


Deadlift Based


Back Squat Based


Bench Press Based


Front Squat and Close-Grip Bench Press Based


Calling All Curl Junkies

This final percentage chart is humbling for anybody, but especially you curl junkies. Be prepared to complain, cry, or maybe do both when you see how much you should be lifting based off the weight you curl. Remember, cheat curls will bump up your weights on everything else making it inaccurate, so try to be as true to strict form as possible.


Dumbbell Curl, Barbell Curl, or Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension Based


How Balanced Are You?

Now it's time to breakout your training logs and calculators and start crunching those numbers.

Let the madness begin.

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