What is a 'respectable bench press'?

Depends who's asking and where you are!

For a man, of normal health, not competing in powerlifting:

  • Three plates (140k, 315lbs) = respected everywhere
  • Two plates (100k, 225lbs) = respected in most commercial gyms unless you clearly weight 400lbs and are muscular
  • Bodyweight x1.5 (this is a good goal for intermediate lifters, but is much harder for the heavier lifters) is ‘respectable'.

For a man, being unable to bench press bodyweight will not generally be considered ‘respectable' unless you are carrying an injury or are old/very young/handicapped in some way. Being an elite marathon runner and able to bench ‘close to' bodyweight, however, will be respected.

Leaving the poundages aside, the ability to bench press with correct form will gain respect from those who understand lifting. Correct form is very rarely seen in a commercial gym.


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