Every day natty lifters are bombarded with videos of professional bodybuilders and powerlifters pushing extraterrestrial weights.
Few realize that the numbers of the pros are unattainable by individuals who don’t use anabolic steroids.
That’s a fact of life, and yet many are still suffering from a severe delusion that needs to be destroyed.
Today, I present you what I consider realistic squat, bench press and deadlift numbers for naturals.
The squat may be a great exercise, but not everybody is built to squat big numbers.
People with short upper legs (femurs) have an advantage over tall lifters with long legs.
For people with average genetics, 1.5 times their bodyweight (1.5 x BW) or a little more is the point beyond which things start to get really hard.
Anything above that could be considered a great achievement by a natural.
If you are a medium size 170 lbs natural who can squat over 255 lbs for 6-8 reps with good form, consider yourself golden.
If you have really short femurs and a stocky build, you can reach a 2 x BW squat or more. That means that if you weigh 170 lbs, you may be able to squat 340 + for a solid set of 6-8 reps.
Finally, we arrive at the guys with the sucky genetics. If you fall into this category, (long legs, short torso and ecto) don’t feel too bad. Michael Jordan is right there with you, holding your hand. For those individuals, the squat is a really hard lift. That’s why your numbers will be a bit low, although you should still be able to reach at a decent squat. It will just take longer.
THE BENCH PRESS
Let’s be honest for a second. The bench press is why you’re reading this. You don’t really care about squats and deadlifts. You just want to know how much you will be able to bench without pinning your obese glutes with extra long needles.
Lifters with really short T-rex arms and broad shoulders make the best bench pressers. This structure shortens the range of motion and naturally allows the lifter to push more weight. Not only that, but the recovery from training is faster.
An average person should eventually bench press 1 x BW or more for a solid set. This means that if you weigh 170 lbs and have average genetics, things will start to get real hard after you reach 170 lbs x 6-8. Anything beyond that will take more effort than normal. I don’t expect this crew to ever bench anything over 1.5 BW. In the case of our 170 lbs natty lifter that would be 255 lbs.
If you’re one of the chosen ones, you will be able to reach a little bit above 1.5 BW and maybe even get close to 2 times your bodyweight.
If you weigh 170 lbs and have good bench press genetics, doing 255 lbs for a solid set of 6-8 reps is where you will peak.
However, regardless of your gift, this feat will still take a significant amount of work and time.
At the bottom, we find lanky dudes with long gorilla arms, thin wrists, and naturally narrow shoulders. For those guys, bench pressing is an ego-shattering activity. Don’t feel bad guys. You have the whole NBA on your bench.
Most guys from this crew are delt and triceps benchers relying on a close grip. This increases the range of motion even further. If you fall into this category, you will be able to reach 1 x BW relatively quickly. You will also hit 1.5 BW eventually, but it will take a certain type of crazy to get there.
Who knows, maybe if you ignore everything else in your life, you could push the limits even further.
The bench press simply does not love tall guys with long arms.
In order to bench something really heavy, you will have to weigh 300lbs or more to balance out your levers.
Just like the other lifts, the deadlift is also facilitated by a specific body type.
If you have really long arms, consider yourself a lucky monkey.
You will eventually pull bending barbells off the floor.
Furthermore, the recovery will be shorter – something that people with short arms and legs won’t enjoy.
If you are a person with average proportions, you will be able to easily deadlift over 2 BW. You may even go beyond that. However, it will take a lot of effort and won’t be easy at all.
People with long arms, naturally strong spines and long fingers (better grip), will be able to deadlift over 2 BW in their first year of training. Those guys will eventually pull 3 x BW with the help of serious programming and dedication. If you’re a 170lbs natty lifter built to deadlift, you may pull between 450 – 510 lbs naturally, or maybe even more in extreme cases.
The deadlift, unlike the squat and the bench press, does not require the lifter to have an insane amount of muscle mass because you’re not supporting the bar. You are pulling it. For that reason alone, many people consider the deadlift the natural’s opportunity to shine.
Unfortunately, or not, people with T-rex arms get owned when they deadlift. The range of motion is just way too long. In addition, having shorter arms forces you to bend over more, and thus the stress on the lower back is higher.
If you are a member of the T-rex arm crew, you may eventually reach the numbers of the average group, but the process will be much longer.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself, bro. You are probably a great bench presser anyway.
Hate it or love it, but this is how I see things.
P.S. For more training secrets, check out Training Focus.