In any endeavor, it helps to have benchmarks to aim for so you can tell if you’re making progress or not.
If you’ve taken up barbell training (and I hope you have, not only because every man should be strong, but because weight training is simply a blast), you might be wondering: “How much weight should I be able to lift after training for a certain amount of time?”
Well, today we answer that question with the help of my personal lifting coach and head of Barbell Logic Coaching, Matt Reynolds.
Below, Matt shares the strength benchmarks he thinks the average man should be able to achieve after training for six months to four years.
His benchmarks are based on relative strength, that is your strength relative to your bodyweight.
These numbers/timelines are rough benchmarks. They’re not absolutes. You might hit these strength benchmarks sooner or later. Your mileage will vary depending on your unique circumstances.
Novice Weightlifting Goals (6 Months of Consistent Training)
After six months of training, the average guy should be able to hit the following weights on the four main barbell lifts (note that we aren’t tracking 1 rep personal records at this point. You’ll start going for 1 rep PRs one year after you’ve completed a linear progression, which takes about six months):
- Squat: 3×5 @ 1.25x bodyweight
- Deadlift: 1×5 @ 1.5x bodyweight
- Press: 3×5 @ 0.70x bodyweight
- Bench Press: 3×5 @ 1x bodyweight
So if you’re a 200-lb man, your numbers would look like this:
- Squat: 3×5 @ 250 lbs
- Deadlift: 1×5 @ 300 lbs
- Press: 3×5 @ 140 lbs
- Bench press: 3×5 @ 200 lbs
Intermediate Weightlifting Goals (1-2 Years of Consistent Training)
After one to two years of consistent training, the average guy should be able to lift the following weight on the four main barbell lifts:
- Squat: 1.75x bodyweight
- Deadlift: 2x bodyweight
- Press: 0.9x bodyweight
- Bench Press 1.2x bodyweight
If you’re a 200-lb man, your numbers would look like this:
- Squat: 1 rep @ 350 lbs
- Deadlift 1 rep @ 400 lbs
- Press: 1 rep @ 180 lbs
- Bench Press: 1 rep @ 240
Advanced Weightlifting Goals (3-4 Years of Consistent Training)
After three to four years of consistent training, the average guy should be able to lift the following weight on the four main barbell lifts:
- Squat: 2x bodyweight
- Deadlift: 2.5x bodyweight
- Press: 1x bodyweight
- Bench Press: 1.5x bodyweight
Our 200-lb man’s numbers would look like this:
- Squat: 1 rep @ 400 lbs
- Deadlift: 1 rep @ 500 lbs
- Press: 1 rep @ 200 lbs
- Bench Press: @ 300 lbs