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Strength Standards: How Do You Stack Up?

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Performing resistance training can be a rewarding journey. We willingly expose ourselves to a form of stress, we adapt to it and overcome it by becoming stronger bit by bit.

Every decade after 30, you lose 3-8% of your muscle mass which is an inevitable part of life.

Therefore, strength training is imperative because we can slow down the rate of muscle loss or even increase it if someones past training methods have been ineffective or done little to no resistance training.

Strength standards can help evaluate where we fall on the spectrum of strength for the average human capacity.

The stronger we are now, the more we can keep as we get older as muscle loss is inevitable.

The numbers below are to be multiplied by our bodyweight therefore we measure relative strength. A 100kg bench press isn’t overly impressive if the person is also 100kg. However, a 60kg person doing 100kg is much more impressive.

Therefore, we can either get stronger, lose excess body fat or a combination of both to improve our relative strength.

The charts below are based on a one-rep max which can be roughly calculated with a calculator such as this one so you can get a rough estimate with your current personal bests.

As an example, if a 75kg male can squat 120kg for one repetition, we divide the squat 1RM by his weight: 120kg/75kg = 1.6

This means this individual has just reached the intermediate stage for his back squat.

At the end of the day, these are guidelines which can be pushed beyond the elite level although those people are far and few. For most of the population, these charts give us a way of honestly evaluate the effectiveness of our training.

The intermediate standards are generally achieved within 2 years of consistent training. The advanced standards can be achieved within 3-5 years and the elite goals may be achieved within 10 years.

If you’ve been training for a while and fall short of the expected time frame, it should serve as a wakeup call to start getting serious about training. I have personally wasted many of my training years diluting my focus on training fads when the key to training is actually very simple.

Perform high quality repetitions whilst progressively overloading your core lifts.

It should be noted when it comes to building strength, longer rest periods are warranted. Upwards of 3+ minutes between the same exercise.

If you’ve been wasting your training years just as I have, know that it is very normal in this day and age. With a million different methods of training, secrets, celebrity transformation programs, fat loss challenges, supplements, etc, etc, it’s all too easy to be confused.

Know today is the first day of the rest of your life and if you want to learn how to achieve the above goals.

Get in touch for some personal training to start making progress

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