How much should I bench?
This morning at the gym, I heard it again. The question I hear numerous times, how much do you bench? Lots of people hit the gym and try to outdo the other people in the gym without asking themselves, “ how much should I bench? ” Some say the bench press is important for bragging rights, but it’s also one of the greatest measures of overall upper-body strength. If you are able to press your body weight above your chest, it does something in our primal self. It shows other men in the gym that you are hitting the mark. That you are breaking the boundaries of your body.
When it comes to working out exactly “how much should I bench”, we suggest testing your 3-rep maximum (3RM) .
THE 3RM BENCH
Age Total (weight)
20-29 100% of your bodyweight
30-39 90% of your bodyweight
40-49 80% of your bodyweight
50-59 75% of your bodyweight
Checkity check Yourself.
- Make sure you always have a spotter. You don’t want to wreckity wreck yourself.
- Always warm up, no matter how good you think you are, never forget the warm-up.
- Do 5 to 10 reps of a weight that’s equal to half your body weight.
- Do 3 sets and increase the weights by 10 to 15 percent each set
- Rest for 1 to 2 minutes between each set to make sure you get enough blood to your muscles to help with the next set.
- On your fourth set, choose a weight that you can bench for ONLY 3 reps in a row.
- Once you have done this set, compare your weight to the 3RM BENCH chart above.
Be the best that you can be.
If you don’t quite hit the mark set for your age, don’t worry. Things can always be improved upon. Most guys fail in one of two places: when attempting to move the weight off their chests at the bottom or when trying to straighten their arms – like the couple inches at the top of the move. You need to strengthen the weakest parts of your lifts with eccentric training.
Your muscles can handle more weight during the lowering bit of the movement. Meaning you can use a bigger weight to build strength and power throughout the movement, eliminating your sticking points over time.
The “how to” guide on increasing your bench press
- With a spotter, load up a barbell with weight that is 10 to 20 percent heavier than your 3RM.
- Instead of performing the move from start to finish, take 5 to 7 seconds to lower the bar to your chest.
- Then have your spotter assist you in pressing the bar back up to the top.
- Perform 3 sets of 3 to 5 reps, resting 2 to 3 minutes between sets.
- Do this for 4 to 6 weeks before testing your 3RM again.
There you have it ladies and gentlemen, your “How to” guide on How much should I bench?
So instead of asking yourself “How much should I bench?” you can start answering the age old question of “How much do you bench?” and you can start by telling us in the comments below!