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How Well Do YOU Compare to These Strength Standards?

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

Want to see where you stand compared to others?

Fit and strong man doing heavy sumo deadlift to test his one rep max and compare himself to strength standards


Do you want to see how well you compare to the male strength standards or female strength standards?


Us humans, by nature are very competitive creatures.


We're always trying to one up the other people around us, even if we don't realize it.


Even if we won't admit it, we always want to be better than the person next to us at whatever it is that we're doing.


And in the gym regarding our lifting capacities, the story is no different.


Wouldn't we all like to see whether we're stronger and fitter than the average man or woman?


In this post, I'll be sharing with you the strength standards for both men and women surrounding the most popular exercises, in order of the following list:


  • Push ups

  • Pull ups

  • Barbell back squat

  • Barbell bench press

  • Barbell deadlift

  • Running speed (not really a strength standard but we'll include it)


Then, towards the end of the article we'll also give you some tips and strategies you can use to help you reach the next training level with your performance!


With that being said, let's get into it!


Before we jump into the first strength standards for the number of push ups you can do, I do need to clear something up.


There are always going to be lots of genetic factors that are out of our control, but have big impacts on our ability to lift heavy weight in the gym.


For example, a person with naturally longer limbs (perhaps a taller individual) is going to likely struggle on exercises such as the pull up and bench press, where the range of motion is considerably longer than that of a shorter person.


Aside from this there are other genetics factors such as our ability to put on size and gain strength, which can differ greatly from person to person.


I know guys that have been training for over two years, and were quickly overtaken in deadlift maxes by a guy that had been training for less than a year.


I know both the guys train hard, and I'm sure there's just a big difference in genetics there.


Some people are also going to start out stronger than others, for no apparent reason at all.


Some people will get to the gym and be able to bench press 135lb or 60kg their first time, whereas others will struggle to do half or two thirds of that weight.


Some people will be able to deadlift 225lb or 100kg first try, whereas others might have to lift consistently for a couple of weeks or months to get there.


Now I could ramble on and on about this, but I think you get the point.


There are always going to be genetic differences out of our control that have an impact on how we compare to the strength standards.


Sometimes, technique can be modified and training can be adapted to suit this, but otherwise it's not really something that we can change, and therefore not something that we should be worrying about.


The strength standards that I am giving you today are going to be collected from various powerlifting results, as well as existing strength standards such as the one at strengthlevel.com.


Oh, and if you don't know what your one-rep max is, you can head over to this calculator here and plug in a recent set that you took to failure and you'll get a rough estimate of what your one-rep max would be.


Now we can actually get into the strength standards.


Each strength standard will be split into 5 levels of training experience:


  • Noob

  • Beginner

  • Intermediate

  • Advanced

  • Pro


For the barbell exercises, we'll give you a strength standard relative to your bodyweight, and also give you guidelines for absolute weight for the heavier individuals (as the relative strength standards start to break down once you get really heavy).


Strength Standards for Men and Women


Please note that we are assuming you have proper technique on all of these exercises and are not cheating in any way to try and gain a competitive edge.


Remember, you are only cheating yourself.


How Many Push Ups Should I Be Able To Do?


Ah, the push up.


The classic bodyweight exercise that we all learnt how to do as kids.


Great for building strength and muscle mass in the chest, shoulders and triceps.


Almost everybody on the planet has attempted a push up at least once in their lifetime.


But just how many push ups should the average man or woman be able to perform?


Training Experience

Men

Women

​Noob

0 - 10 reps

0 - 3 reps

Beginner

10 - 20 reps

3 - 8 reps

Intermediate

20 - 40 reps

8 - 20 reps

Advanced

40 - 50 reps

20 - 35 reps

Pro

50 - 60+ reps

35+ reps



How Many Pull Ups Should I Be Able To Do?


Next we've got the pull up.


Another classic bodyweight movement that's great for targeting the muscles of the back and the biceps.


The pull up, along with several other exercises we're covering today are part of the list of the 7 foundational exercises that you should be performing to build foundational strength and muscle mass.


Many actually regard this to be the king of all bodyweight exercises, as having the ability to pull one's own bodyweight up against gravity is a pretty impressive feat of strength most can't perform.


They truly are one of the toughest exercises to master.


Here's the number of pull ups you should be able to do.

Training Level

Men

Women

Noob

0 - 3 reps

0 - 1 reps

Beginner

3 - 8 reps

1 - 3 reps

Intermediate

8 - 15 reps

3 - 6 reps

Advanced

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