Tip: Are You Strong for a Non-Freak?

How much should you be able to squat, deadlift, and bench press if you're NOT a drugged genetic freak? Guidelines here.


With the increasing popularity of strength training and strength sports, the upper limit seems to be getting pushed higher at a fast rate. World records are climbing, and more freaks are appearing every year.

This makes it hard for us to decipher what constitutes "strong" for us mortals.

Luckily, we can use strength standards as our guide. I've laid out some fair standards for most of the population to shoot for in the three powerlifts. And depending on where your numbers are within those standards, you'll fall into one of the following categories:

  • Killin' It – You'll be among the strongest in most regular gyms.
  • Good – Respectable, you've done good, kid.
  • Less Bad – Keep working at it.
  • Seek Help – Do it now.

Bench Press

  • Killin' It – Over 1.5 x bodyweight (male), over 1 x bodyweight (female)
  • Good – 1.25 to 1.5 x bodyweight (male), 0.75 to 1 x bodyweight (female)
  • Less Bad – 1 to 1.25 x bodyweight (male), 0.5 to 0.75 x bodyweight (female)
  • Seek Help – 1 x bodyweight or less (male), 0.5 x bodyweight or less (female)

Squat and Deadlift

Since people are usually built for one or the other, go with your strongest.

  • Killin' It – Over 2.5 x bodyweight
  • Good – 2 to 2.5 x bodyweight
  • Less Bad – 1.5 to 2 x bodyweight
  • Seek Help – Less than 1.5 x bodyweight

So, are you strong?

Tom Sheppard is a strength coach and competitive powerlifter. As a competitor, Tom broke European and World Records as a Junior and now runs a large UK-based powerlifting team. Follow on Instagram