According to the article Are You Strong? Find out right now with these strength standards! by Tim Henriques, a decent bench press for a male is 225 or 1.25 times body weight.

My average weight is 210 pounds. This means I should be able to bench press 262.5 pounds. Sadly, I can’t bench near that much. Prior to my wrist surgery in 2004, I had worked up to a 210 bench press. After the surgery, I scaled back to 155 and worked on volume. Whenever I exceeded 155, wrist pain would return.

All that changed earlier this year. The wrist suddenly felt great. And I started loading up the weight again. Just before the dead-lift injury, I had set a personal best of 215 pounds (1.02 x body weight).

I agree with the author that my bench press is not yet decent, however, I do think there are 2 other variables that factor greatly into how much one can bench. The first is wrist size and the second is arm length. Ectomorphs have long arms and small wrists. This means I need to lift the weight higher and with less support than a thick-wristed short man. Tall people may make more money, but they tend not to bench press as much.

My goal this year is to finally have a decent bench press. A good bench press would be 420 pounds for me. That would require years of injury-free training and many visits to Mexican pharmacies. I don’t see that happening.

Legacy Comments


Damn, I’m only “decent” too, currently benching between 65 and 70 pounds. Apparently, I’m on my way to “Good” with a 250+ leg press and a 100 squat. All of those are my current set weights though, I haven’t done a one-rep max in a really long time.


My personal best on the bench press was 325 when I was in high school (I probably weighed around 190 and probably cheated the form).

My best in ‘adulthood’ was 315 twice when I weighed probably around 220 and with perfect form. I worked up to that and wanted to reach 400 but stopped at 315 and went to on to lean out (this was probably about 4 years ago). Since then, the best I’ve done is 225 four times (I don’t lift much for strength building anymore).

Given that I am short with short arms (but LONG in other places!) and have thick wrists, these are decent numbers.