After the post Realistic Squat, Bench And Deadlift For Naturals: How much? was published a few days ago, many people wanted to know whether a 225 lbs bench press is a respectable accomplishment for a natural lifter. The answer is: ‘Yes, a 225 lbs bench press is a very good number for a true natural bodybuilder’. However, there are also a few fine points that have to be made in order consider the lift ‘legit’.
If you are fat, it does not count.
If you weight 250 lbs, benching 225 lbs is not particularly impressive. However, if you are fairly lean – 5% to 15% BF a 225 lbs bench press is a great number. Out of the big three the bench press is the lift which is the most affected by your bodyweight. The minute you lose significant amount of weight, even if it’s fat, your bench press prowess will go down. The squat is also heavily dependent on bodyweight.
If you don’t use full range of motion, it does not count.
In the video below you can see a couple of heavy steroid users compete in the so-called 225 lbs bench press competition. As you can see all ‘competitors’ are doing half reps except for the winner who was doing less than half-reps. A lift that’s not locked out and did not start after touching your chest is considered a poor attempt. We don’t care whether you’re Mr. Olympia or not, Phil! Your reps were highly incomplete too.
For a 225 lbs bench press to be considered a solid lift, it must be done under a complete range of motion. Half reps as well as the typical powerlifting arches are not allowed and are considered cheating. We are sorry to bring you the bad news, but the only one you’re cheating when doing half reps is yourself. You are essentially using a weight that’s too heavy for your which means more stress on your joints and higher chances of hurting yourself.
What’s the point really? It’s not like people are saving the world with their bench press numbers.
Get, real! You are a natural lifter.
It seems like videos of 20 years old lifters bench pressing 500 lbs are being uploaded on a daily basis. That creates unrealistic expectations and distorted ideas of what’s achievable naturally without anabolic steroids. Steroids not only help you build muscle. They can also make your super strong when you use the right compound. If steroids were removed from the strength sports, the world records would drop by a good 200-300 pounds. As a natural lifter you have to know that and recognize your limitations.
Related article: Why are ectomorphs so bad at the bench press?
Anybody bench pressing over 315 lbs is a suspect!
There is no doubt that 99% of the people bench pressing 315 lbs and above are not natural unless they weight 315 lbs of pure fat themselves. Moving up such high numbers requires muscle mass and strength that are simply out of most people’s reach. Of course, that does not mean that there aren’t plenty of people who can’t bench press 315 lbs and are also on steroids.
What’s a realistic bench press number for a natural girl?
A really good bench press number for a girl is a bodyweight bench press for reps. That’s something really hard to achieve when you’re a female since women tend to have lanky upper bodies in the first place. However, it’s possible to get there with dedication and right programming. Yes, we are aware that this sounds like a filthy bodybuilding magazine talk but that’s how you can get that bench. There is no doubt that most girls will never bench press 225 lbs unless they weight about as much and/or use the classic powerlifting arch which is a nothing more than a cheat move.
Who cares anyway?
There are more important things than you bench press numbers. For example, being lean and overall athletic is more essential to your health than pushing some stupid barbell. You are not 10 years old anymore and your lifting numbers should not be the main base of your self-esteem. Dick measuring through ego bench press contests is not recommended.
In the end of the day nobody really cares how much you bench press. Last time we checked the portals of heaven do not have a minimal bench press requirement. It’s all in people’s heads who believe that reaching some magic number would make them happier. Well, it’s a bit like making money.
This year you make 10 dollars and 100 dollars look like a real fortune. Somehow the next year you make 100 dollars and 1 000 dollars now look like a real fortune. It’s seems like the richer you get, the more expensive things become and the more money you need. It never ends. That’s one of the characteristics of this dimension. It’s a never ending cycle. We end but the loop continues regardless of how much money we have acquired or how many plates we were able to bench press. If that’s the case, is the only thing we’re left with enjoying the song while it’s still playing instead of rushing to the final?
Not so sure about that one.