Is a 225lbs Bench Press Good For a Natural?

| by Truth Seeker |

After publishing the post ”Realistic Squat, Bench and Deadlift For Naturals: How much?”, many people have been asking whether a 225lbs bench press is a respectable accomplishment for a natural lifter. The answer is yes. A 225lbs bench press is a very good number for a true natural bodybuilder. However, the lift has to meet certain criteria to be considered legit.

Bench Press Myths


If you are fat, it does not count.

Out of the big three, the bench press is affected the most by your bodyweight. The second you lose a significant amount of weight, even if it’s fat, your bench press prowess goes down. Therefore, it is easier to bench heavy when you are a fatso swine. However, benching 225lbs when you weigh about as much yourself is not particularly impressive. Conversely, benching 225lbs when you weigh 170lbs in a somewhat lean state equals a pretty decent lift.

If you cut the range of motion and bounce the bar off your chest, it doesn’t count.

In the video below, you can see a few heavy steroid users compete in a ”225lbs bench press competition”.  All competitors in the clip are performing half reps except for the winner – he is performing less than half-reps.

A proper bench press repetition requires the lifter to touch his chest with the bar at the bottom and to lock out at the top. A pause at the bottom is optional but highly recommended. We don’t care whether you’re Mr. Olympia or not, Phil! Your reps were incomplete too.

We don’t care whether you’re Mr. Olympia or not, Phil! Your reps were incomplete too.

No Excessive Back Arching

Powerlifters, and especially the girls, love to abuse their back flexibility in order to create a big arch shortening the range of motion and subsequently allowing the lifter to move more weight. This doesn’t count as a legit lift either. You should arch your back, but not more than you need to perform the bench press with proper form.

Get, real! You are a natural lifter.

Videos of 20-year-old lifters bench pressing 500lbs are uploaded every day on YouTube. That creates unrealistic expectations and a distorted notion of what’s achievable naturally without anabolic steroids.

If steroids are removed from sports, the world records would drop by 200-300 pounds if not more. As a natural lifter, you have to know that and recognize your limitations.

Anyone bench pressing over 315lbs is a suspect!

Undoubtedly, 90% of the people bench pressing 315lbs and above are not natural unless they weigh 315lbs of pure fat themselves. Benching such high numbers requires muscle mass and strength that are simply out of most people’s reach.

Of course, there are plenty of people who can’t bench press 315lbs despite being 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. That’s something really hard to achieve when you’re a female since women tend to have lanky upper bodies, narrow shoulders and naturally small chest muscles. However, most girls will never bench press 225lbs naturally unless they weigh about as much and/or use the excessive powerlifting arch, which is essentially a cheat move.

Who cares anyway?

There are higher priorities in life than your bench press numbers. For example, being lean and athletic is more important to your health than pushing a stupid barbell. You are not 10 years old anymore. Your lifting numbers should not be the main base of your self-esteem. Dick measuring through ego bench press contests is not recommended.

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  1. Riaan

    Hi, i am a natural raw benchpresser. My max is 460 pounds and i weigh 200pounds. I never used any suplements and was benching for 1 year. I rested for 2 years now and started this week with 330 pounds and 280 pounds 10 reps. Is that bad or good. I would like a reply. My mail is

      1. PF

        My name is peter pan…..and I fly

    1. Jason Blaha

      I would like people to take note that there is no such thing as a competitive natural bench presser (raw or not).

      The person speaking here is either lying or has taken/takes steroids.

      Do not believe people. Always go by your personal experience first before what nobodies on the internet tell you.

      1. Adam

        finally reached my goal of benching 205 7 times I’m only 150lbs started at 130lbs I’m benching 55lbs more then my body weight 7 times does this mean I’m on the steroids lol

      2. Adam

        finally reached my goal of benching 205 7 times I’m only 150lbs started at 130lbs I’m benching 55lbs more then my body weight 7 times does this mean I’m on the steroids haha

      3. Dominique Locas

        Absolutely! Personal experience is your best teacher. I don’t really care about what the others are lifting; it’s all about how I improve myself. I keep a log and always look back to learn what works best for me.

        I’m not a bench fan, and I’m even less a fan of fake naturals! I’m working my ass off to get my strict clean and press from 210 to 225. I’m finding this takes a lot of dedication when you do it the honest way.

        If you car about watching a drug-free 40+ year old lifter who’s been at it for over three years, you can see me on my facebook page hitting a triple at 195.

      4. joe

        I think the person who wrote this article is angry about how they can’t bench press their own body weight so they try to call people fat because they can put up their body weight on bench press despite weighing 315lbs based on the article. Besides the fact that anyone weighing 315lbs and being able to bench that is probably a high schooler. So they’re also butt hurt that a high school can put up more weight than them. A very special boy we got here ! I can put up 340lbs at 270lb body weight. I worked out hard for 4 years. I was not naturally strong but now i’m at a place where i need to be. clearly you haven’t found the place in your mind that you need to be to stop judging people that are better than you at something you think you’re good at.

        1. Court

          Joe is right 100%, the person who wrote is mad because they can’t do it.

    2. Lift for you, not for them

      My Dad is turns 60 in less than two weeks. Loves to lift and train young athletes. He got hurt squatting when he was younger, so he started bench pressing. He has had a shoulder surgery less than 2 years ago, weighs 265 and benches 295 for 10 reps. He had a max of 405 at 53. He does not take steroids, use a shirt, bounce, and has full extension. He has his records of what he benches from the 70’s. He has never really taken more than a month off except after his surgery and when he has had back problems. He doesn’t use supplements but he heats a ton of meat, and pretty much no fruit or vegetables. His pictures as a fifth grader, 8th grader, HS, and College show that he has always just naturally been strong. He grew up in a rural community and always bailed hay, constructed grain bins, and worked on farms. So, I believe that some people can just be different and get a larger percentage of their muscle fibers to fire. There are more people out there benching crazy numbers due to supplements and steroids, but some people are just strong.

      1. Francis Clark

        Hi I had an APF wr when I was 57(100 kg class). Drug tested Only supplement I have used is creatine. There are specific body types that have a definitive advantage in the bp. I have a 51 inch chest and short arms. The bar does not have to move as far. The best pound for pound bencher I ever saw was 5’5″ with an absolutely enormous chest.

        1. Brent

          One of my best friends is about 200lbs, somewhat lean, 6 feet tall, and can bench 315 for about 5 reps and is as natty as they come. He’s too poor to afford steroids, we work out together every Sunday and I see it myself. I myself am natty, weight 185lbs at 5’9 and can bench roughly 265. My max several years ago was 285. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that one day I’ll hit 315.

    3. Steel nation

      Gotta be 1 of the biggest lies I’ve heard bro u can’t seek true advice with a falsified story like that….super man couldn’t bench that much in a year let alone that much weight at all specially that fast when your only 200….I’ve been in the gym for just about 9 months and I weigh 180 lbs I started off benching the 135 for proper form 10x’s worked my way to 185 10x’s behind that & followed up to 225 8x’s and honestly made it to 290 1x as of now with creatine being the only supplement I just started using not even a month ago so for u to say what your saying is more then unbelievable especially when I have a gym partner who weighs a little close to 240 pounds and max out at 405 and has also been working out for about a year-and-a-half now if not a little more so the only way to do what you’re speaking of or to even be capable of accomplishing that means you’re on a super jacked steroid a steroid that I damn sure never heard of….no disrespect just being honest.

    4. Dom

      If u can really bench that much at your weight then why r u asking… u would obviously know the answer… smh… some people just want attention ig

  2. Dizzle

    What the hell? A “powerlifting” arch is not allowed in a bench press competition, which is (wait for it…) POWERLIFTING?!

    What a stupid article.

    And, for what it’s worth, I’m a 34 year old ectomorph, and natural who just PR-ed at a 320 bench (@ 6’2″ 225 lbs). I probably had more bounce than what the author tolerates, but I cab destroy 225 by even the most uptight standards. And I’ve been training for less than 2 years.

    There are only two requirements to get big and strong enough to bench well over 225, and that’s progressive overload and a nutrient surplus (I don’t say calorie surplus because eating a stick of butter a day won’t cut it).

    In my opinion, most males who train on a good full body routine (which may or may not include daily full body workouts, but one where you are at least squatting and benching weekly, if not twice a week) and eats enough to support that routine (I’m guessing 3500 kcals per day relatively healthy for guys under 200 lbs) can bench 225 with great form within one year.

    The average guy may need drugs to bench 405, but certainly not to bench 225 for clean reps. And, it’s highly judgmental for the author to dictate what’s important. If a bench press bench mark isn’t important, then why write an article about it? And, often times, “athleticism” comes at the expense of “lean”. The NFL is filled with highly athletic guys who may or may not be lean. The two criteria are only loosely correlated.

    Terrible article. Absolutely nothing redeeming or factual here.

    1. Jason Blaha

      I would like to point out that this person is not lying about his lifts, but is about his natural status.

      In this world you will see many fake naturals, they will try their best to convince you by all means they accomplished everything naturally.

      The reality is a 34 year old would have a hard time making any strength progress naturally due to older age. A 25 year old would struggle to ever bench over 225 naturally and with good form.

      Notice the man’s anger towards rejecting the bounce and arch. He will do whatever it takes to get that bar up, he will bounce, he will arch, he will reduce ROM, he will get fat, and he will also take steroids.

      Stay smart people, and don’t let nobodies on the internet take precedence over personal experience, if you never got to 315 bench press naturally lean (or 275, or even 250 for that matter), then it’s likely other fellow humans did not either and simply took steroids.

      1. Dizzle

        LMAO @ Mr. Blaha. The Jason Blaha I’m familiar with from his youtube channel I thought was smarter than this. I’m assuming this is an imposter.


        That has been my experience in myself and others.

        That being said, my 320 (and now 325) bench were natural, but I confess I had to sacrifice my leanness to do it. When I started training in July 2014 I was 160 lbs at roughly 10% body fat. Now I’m 235 at roughly 20% body fat, so I gained over 30 lbs of fat during the last two years.

        You can be big/strong and natural, you can be big/strong and lean, or you can be natural and lean.

        Where I agree with Mr. Blaha (regardless of who it is) is that you are unlikely to be big/strong AND natural AND lean (lean being sub 12% body fat and big/strong being over 220 with a raw power total of at least 1400).

        My two cents.

        1. mario

          id like to point out i am 43. i used to lift as a teen and started lifting again about 2.5 months ago. I NATURALLY bench 270 with good form after this short a time. I have never taken a steroid or any drug stronger than tylenol and i was a smoker for half my life. i question the validity of your article but don’t outright dismiss all of it.
          PS wth does being fat have to do with anything. same muscles underneath not to mention more arm weight to lift lmao

          1. LeaguePlayer:D

            1- When you gain alot of weight (like fat people do) your body will make a bit of muscle. In a study people who overate and didn’t work out gained 13% muscle of the weight gained (not a great ratio but it’s something :D)
            2- Being fat DOES make you stronger. One reason is your muscle fibers have a better angle. Lots of articles about this on google.

      2. Steve

        “A 25 year old would struggle to ever bench over 225 naturally and with good form.”

        This is the biggest bullshit. Blaha, It’s good to expose steroid use but you take it too far.

        1. Braden

          Seriously lol I’m 18 and %100 natural and my bench is 280. Only been lifting for 2.5 years and I’m only 160.

      3. LeaguePlayer:D

        Ok this is bullshit.
        I was benching 240 lbs around 25 years old when I was a student after a few months of lifting, I barely trained and I went out for heavy drinking about several times a week every week. I didn’t eat breakfast either. I just had the standard 2 meals a day.
        Now I’m 30 I started working out again, more seriously, and I get much stronger with smart working out and eating and sleeping correctly.
        Jason Blaha post is complete bullshit.
        Seriously a 25 year old would struggle to lift 225 lbs? wtf XD
        That guy must be very very very bad at lifting and probably seriously lazy to have such low expectations.

        1. Tom Lidbury

          It seems some people are too jealous to be objective. Anyone stronger than them must be cheating. No one could possibly be genetically superior to them. No way. Pathetic. Sure, as one approaches world record levels natural status comes into question simply because it is hard to believe that a natural can compete with a real steroid monster (and testing isn’t very effective for a lot of reasons so they are competing). But this author has no concept of what a robust natural male can lift. The author’s limits are not representative of natural male limits. Not even close. Sorry, but statistically some people simply have to be on the weak end of the gene pool. But they can have other fine qualities.

  3. Evan

    This artical makes no sense “it doesn’t count if your fat” someone’s weight has nothing to do with there lifts I started the gym at 340 pounds benching 135 I have since got down to 290 at 6 feet tall now benching 490 after 1 year and 7 months of training, obviously who ever writ this artical does not lift or train, weight has nothing to do with lifts, you still do nearly the same range of motion

    1. Truth Speaker

      When you first start you can easily gain strength and lose weight. This is because most people start off with high body fat and underdeveloped muscles.

      You did not achieve a near 500 lb natural bench.
      This is a lie. Either you are e-stating, a fake natural, or both, but I hope people who are inexperienced in this muscle game do not believe your bullshit.

      1. MrCutsteel

        500 lb natural bench is pretty unlikely, but maybe just possible for a very small minority of guys. Reg Park hit that number in the 1950s and I doubt he was on roids – they weren’t really around then. He was exceptionally genetically gifted though.

        1. Truth Seeker Post author

          They were around. Sorry.

  4. Lia

    What a load of rubbish! My trainer is natural and benches around 315, just a little less. I am over 250Ibs (female, fat not muscle) so apparently should be able to do 225??? Wtf 110Ibs is my max and my weight has gone down yet lifts still have gone up! Muscle would affect it, but for me, fat hasn’t at all

    1. Jason Blaha

      Let me explain this very carefully to you.

      1) Your trainer is not natural. The business is simple: You take steroids, become a certified trainer, pretend to be natural and sell yourself.

      2) His numbers for bench press for women were actually high. Women should aim for 60-75% of their bodyweight bench press for just a single 1 rep max. You are extremely fat, so you actually skew not only his rather high standards, but mine as well. You need to drop down to a healthy weight before attacking this, get down to like 170 lbs first.

      1. Steve

        Jason Blaha gives incorrect “advice.” 315 natural is completely reasonable with a few years of work.

      2. Realist

        That’s inaccurate and you should stop showing your ignorance. I’m 41, 6’2″ and 230 lbs. My max bench is 330. When I was 25, I weighed 180 and was benching 270 as a max. I have never used steroids, and while I was taking supplements at 25, I don’t take any supplements now. Some people are naturally stronger than others. I know people that are stronger than me, that don’t take any supplements or steroids, either. You can’t generalize people and make such outlandish comments and expect people not to comment back

  5. Lia

    Clearly the author never set foot in a gym! As i’ve lost weight (fat) my lifts have increased. Right now I weigh over225 and couldn’t bench it. I manage 110Ibs/female and that’s my limit atm. Trainer (male) does around 315, a little less, and isn’t on anything!

    1. Jason Blaha

      Your lifts will go up even if your body-weight goes down when you start.

      The author is talking about experienced lifters.

      When you start you will lose excess fat quickly and your underdeveloped muscles will gain strength and mass quickly, once the initial gains (first 3-6 months) cease, you will be unable to lose weight and go up in strength naturally.

      Again your trainer is lying to you about being natural… Unless he’s fat.

  6. sean

    I loved this article. Ive been training for four months now and I Squat 225 Bench 180 and Dead lift 250. I am strong naturally( but fat I am five nine and weigh 230lbs) and It is good to hear realistic goals being set and not this 500lb bench press crap like everyone talks about being natural. Thank you for your articles and keep up the good work.

  7. Gaz

    I benched 320 at 180 bodyweight. I have long arms but still bench close grip. I’m natural and by no means exceptional in terms of ability.

    400 yeah sure may be out of reach, but three plates is definitely achievable without steroids at a decent level of leanness. It took me ten years to get there, but it’s doable.

    1. MICHAEL

      I benched 315 max at age 18. Used creatine and was 160lbs. So………. now I’m 41 and 215 and can bench 220-250 on a good day. It hurts too much to go higher. 6 ft tall

  8. Tony

    Lets not forget that there is a bellcurve here.
    What I’ve observed Is if you’re at the top of the genetic bell curve and train religiously hard with great diet from 17-25years old the results are can be pretty unreal. Full muscle bellies, great proportions and good functioning endocrine systems go a long way.
    Of the handful of guys I’ve met who fit the criteria one peaked at age 24, at 5″8′ and 190lbs I saw him bench 180kg(395 lbs) for reps regularly. His 1rpm was 186kg on decline. 10 years later at 180lbs he still benchs 160kg for reps albeit with a partially ruptured bicep.

    Most won’t have the genetics for that or make the sacrifices to get and maintain that.

    Personally I’ve got sh!t genetics, 5″11′ Ectomorph, at a modestly lean 180lbs most I can bench is 235lbs. Trying to put more muscle on I just get fat, it seems I’ve reached my limits….

  9. Tony

    Full myscle bellies, great proportions, barrel chested and T rex arms go a long way.

    180kg for reps is the best natty lifter I met; at 190lbs (12% bf) and 5″8′. From age 15yrs old he ate, breathed and slept weights. He peaked at age 24 with the 180kg reps and 186kg 1rpm on decline.
    10yrs on at 180lbs he’ll bench 160kg for reps.

    On the other hand I’ve got sh!t genetics at 5″11′, 110kg bench is killing my Ectomorph frame at 180lbs. Seems to be my limit….

  10. Lee

    At age 17 I was benching 225lbs weighting 165lbs. Vegetarian, no supplement.

  11. The Shrike

    Hey bud,
    While I like the idea behind your site, you do to tend to exaggerate the numbers down a bit. It’s quite easy for most people to achieve a 225lb bench press within a couple years of training.

    I am currently about 12%BF 163lbs and can hit a triple at 250 fairly easily without a spotter. I have video to prove it if you need it.
    For the record, I have lost about 20lbs with 5-7lbs of it being muscle. At my heaviest I was benching 275 for a triple.

  12. Nikita

    Im kind of grateful that i have good genetics. Because im 17 year old and i dont take any supplements, and obviously no steroids. My bw is 85kg and i can bench 145kg for one rep. Train a bit more than a year. I think it all depends on hard work and not giving up. If you cant increase your bench press, try to do a dumbell press and work on shoulders more)))

  13. joelc

    Fat people are not stronger than lean people. They may have better leg strength due to supporting their girth but there is no correlation to chest strength.

  14. Dizzle

    SRS question to Mr. Blaha and the author:

    What is the beef with the powerlifting arch? Yes, I have seen silly youtube videos where some teenage girl could fit a basketball behind her back, but most sane people realize that is not the normal arch.

    The powerlifting arch helps pin the shoulders back with allows the lifter to safely touch the barbell to their chest. If you stand up straight against a doorway (perpendicular) and raise a broomstick in front of you and pull it back like you were performing a bench press, you may not even be able to touch it to your chest. So, if that is you and you do touch the barbell to your chest during a bench press, the weight is forcing your shoulders to retract more than they normally do, which can be dangerous.

    The solution is the powerlifting arch. Not only that, but it decreases range of motion and improves leg drive. The author and Mr. Blaha may disapprove of this, but the whole point in powerlifting is to see how much you can lift without a) getting hurt and b) breaking the rules (some federations drug test, some don’t).

    It is silly for non powerlifters to tell you that powerlifting form is wrong when doing powerlifting. And any form of a bench press contest is powerlifting. It’s like someone who never played baseball claiming that you shouldn’t be allowed to catch a fly ball two-handed because it’s cheating.

    If you want to see how much you can bench (again, this is powerlifting) you should use mechanics and form that allow you to move the most weight while staying safe. If you just want to bench press to work your pecs/shoulders/tris, etc. and aren’t interested in a one rep max, then bench however the hell you want….and stop googling/writing articles about max effort bench presses because that is wildly inconsistent and dumb.

    1. Dizzle

      That guy is an elite bencher. Think of him as the Arlodis Chapman of bench press (google Arlodis Chapman if you don’t know who that is).

      I have no idea if he does drugs or not, but benching 2.5x your body weight is freakin’ amazing. He is clearly gifted and very few people will ever do that regardless of whether or not they do drugs. Also, notice that despite his low body weight his chest is pretty swole. He may have had to sacrifice his other big 3 numbers (squat, deadlift) to preserve such a high bench at such a low body weight, but I’m not sure.

      Identifying drug use in lifters is kinda like identifying boob jobs in women. Sometimes, it’s obvious when they’ve had it (i.e. Pamela Anderson) but more often it’s much more subtle and unnoticeable to the average guy who doesn’t have the “pleasure” of an up-close examination. Point is, the haters and the oblivious commentators out there (like Mr. Blaha here) have no idea whether or not a stranger is a juice user. Maybe, maybe not.

      I will say this, most natural healthy male lifters between the ages of 18 and 55 should be able to achieve a 1.5x body weight bench press IF THEY TRAIN FOR IT. That means intelligent training, enough food, and making a big bench a top goal. If you don’t train for it (you have more body building/aesthetic goals) and you just bench in accordance with your overall routine, it may or may not happen.

      Like I said above. You can be big/strong, lean, or natural. Pick two of the three and you’re all good.

  15. Brad

    315 isn’t that out of the ordinary for natural lifters to achieve after training for a while.

    The first time I touched the bench (9 months ago) my max was 185. Now its 265, and I plan on hitting 315 well within a year.

    Im 22 and weigh 190. These results are average for someone who has put in the consistency I have (3x/week).

    It is total garbage to say things like “natural lifters will have trouble ever lifting 225 with good form” or “99% of all people who can lift 315 are on roids.” These false statements simply lower the standards to justify someones lack of gains when really the problem is that they haven’t put forth any real effort.

    1. Steve

      This website is a very unreliable resource. Sometimes I wonder if their goal here is actually reverse psychology, intending to get people to think that their goals are unachievable without steroids.

      1. Truth Seeker Post author

        What would I gain from that? Am I factory for steroids? The site was born out of frustration if you can’t see it.

        1. Dizzle

          Why did you write a bench press article when a big bench press clearly isn’t a priority of yours? And why do you set the standards for an event you admit that you don’t think is important?

          I’m not a pole vaulter, so I sure as hell am not going to write an article about how pole vaults don’t count if you take a running start…

          Your “article” is just a rant, nothing more. While I believe that a 225 and yes, a 315 bench is totally possible for non-injured adult males, I admit that you have to train for it. Not everyone (including you) has the goal of achieving a big bench. Maybe you just want to be lean, maybe you just want to be better at soccer, maybe you have no specific goal and kinda suck at everything…whatever.

          The point is: this article sets rules that are followed by no powerlifting federations (i.e. the bench press experts), then states that a big bench isn’t important anyway, despite it being about a very specific bench press bench mark. How dumb is that?

  16. Hey

    It’s all relative. I’m 6 2″ 215lbs. I can rep 10 at 225, don’t know what my 1mr is, don’t care. I’d be reasonably impressed by me, I have long arms, obviously less compact at 6′ 2″. Then u have age, body type, even just overall genetics, etc. It’s all relative.

  17. Nero

    LMAO You are highly underestimating the potential of a natural lifter. They floor pressed more than 400 pounds at 1880s bro ! 400 pounds floor presses are lifted decades before steroids and exercise knowledge. And at 2016 your saying that 315 lbs bench press is nearly imposible for a natural lifter ? You clearly don’t know what you are talking about. It is a lift ANY adult male weights around 180lbs can achieve in 3 years. Heck there are highschoolers benches above 600 pound. They are using steroids but do you really believe that they couldn’t bench 315 without steroids ? You are not different than popular fitness chanels. (rich piana, ct fletcher…) In fact you are same. Claims you make are dangerous and your followers are teenager kids who don’t know anything about real training just like followers of those chanels.

  18. LittleBulk

    All this talk saying people cant Bench over 215 if they aren’t natural, Everyone’s training and body is different how they gain muscle and fat is different how they lose fat is different, i myself have being training for 3 years just under 3 years of them was natural since i have started my first course of anavar for cutting benefits not gains, but i have benched 220 pound for reps naturally after 2 or 3 sets before hand i also have a PR of 440 in deadlifts and 330 on my squat all these have now increase with the anavar but was totally achievable naturally with the right programme drive and Diet, Anyone who says it cant be done was either affraid to take the risk of putting this weight above or under them or was never natural long enough to try it takes time kids these days dont have that want it over night.

  19. Trich

    Yeah, this is article is poorly written by an uneducated fool. Unnatural lifters are so far past the 315 range it is ridiculous, so saying 315 lifters are juiced is idiotic and… well, wrong. I’m clean as a whistle and can press over 300 (and murder 225 all day) @ 215 BW. I’m honestly a little insulted that someone is discrediting my accomplishments to something I’ve never touched.

  20. Robert

    This was the most ridiculous article ever, my 17 year old friend benches 370, and he’s all natural. He weighs 226, and he’s been training like hell. It’s all about the work you put in.

  21. Robert

    This article is wrong on so many levels. I came here looking for natural bench press without steroids because I was starting to stall. But 225 hahaha. I didn’t even stall till I was benching 240 doing stronglift 5X5 knowing nothing about body building or powerlifting. All my knowledge was stronglifts ebook, and then starting strength and videos by rippetoe and several other videos to get me through. I have since ran Texas method, Sheiko, 5/3/1 and have benched 315 without any steroids. I just had 8 hours of sleep, lots of beans, brocolli, spinach, bellpeppers, mushrooms, eggs and beef. BCCA during workout and whey post workout, thats all. I am not that fat either. I have maintained my weight between 90-94 KGS (207 lb max) by adjusting my carb intake as well as conditioning. I don’t plan to compete. I just wanted to be as strong as I can. Oh and the 5X5 I mentioned above was the first time ever that I set foot in a gym at the ripe age of 33. And I was never an athlete in school because I was too weak and too slow. Being that I still don’t look like a body builder despite adding tons of high rep accessory work, I believe that one may need steroid to become jacked and swole. But getting strong is mostly about your mental strength (and grip strength I guess). Just keep adding weight to the bar, eat well, rest well, drink water, rinse repeat. Oh and follow a program.

  22. Jonathan

    A 225 bench press is a good natty press depending on weight. At 235 I put up 385 raw. All my supplementing cosisted of is lifting heavy on all major lifts bench,dead and military and curling and after every heavy workout I took 4 scoops of whey protein and every morning my fish oil pills for joints and that it. At my strongest I was able to hit 225×38 at 240ish. So you can definitely do 225 as a natty!!

  23. Henry

    This is the stupidest article I’ve ever read. I weigh around 230 and over the last 3 years progressed form 185, 205, 225, 285, and now 315. No steroids just preworkout, pro tine powder, and creatinine. I now do sets of 225 in 10 reps. Reading through some of these articles makes you sound completely naive and pedaling false information to the masses.

  24. Paul

    I have to disagree with the article’s data.

    My height is 1.76 m (5.8) and wrist circumference is 21 cm (8.5 inch). Prone to big limbs. Very good triceps.

    When I was 26 years old and 95-97 kg I’ve benched 195 kg (430 lbs). I have the video tape.

    When I was 36 years old and 115 kg, I’ve benched 210 kg (463 lbs) and even 220 kg (485) at my peak.

    The difference between 97 kg and 115 kg is purely fat. Believe me or not, I’ve never used steroids. Why should I lie here ? Didn’t like the risks & cheat and I had no motives & moneys for drugs. Not even for supliments. I’m a little bench champ in my county.

  25. Bo

    I haven’t benched in 10 yrs. I used to max 350 at a bodyweight of 175. I had a good diet but no drugs. People say you have to pig out with food and I have to call BS on that, I know this for a fact. I weigh 205-210 now and still fairly lean at 5′ 11” . I benched 220 recently for reps. So if I decide to max again I’ll beat my old max for sure. Bench pressing is not even a true measure of overall strength, I’ve seen plenty of skinny weak looking guys hit good bench press numbers. If you can’t overhead press you’re body weight or close to it than you’re not really strong.

  26. Bo

    Nobody gives a shit about what you pepole bench. Fucking pussys

  27. Dannyraycarr

    This article is crazy….or the writer is.
    I am 40 and have only been back lifting for 14 months after a 10 yr hiatus. When I first started back I weighed 180 pounds and couldn’t even do my own body weight. Now with the help of calories and protein I weigh 230 and maxed 355 after a warmup of 20×135, 20×225, 8×275 and 1×325. Not to mention that was with a broken finger and 3 bad disks.

  28. Tony

    This whole article is bullshit! I have been religiously lifting from 16 to my age now of 34 and very heavily in the military for 7 years of that, I’m 5′-7″ 208lbs at 12% bf and I have a bench max of 345lbs. With that being said almost anyone can do that with proper diet and training unless genes or an illness prohibits, not every man or women is equal in that department and maybe instead of discussing in a bullshit forum you should all hit the gym harder and find out for yourselves, just because you’ve been lifting for a year or two it doesn’t make you an expert in strength or what natty vs. unnatty is!

  29. jophn

    is this article a joke?

    “the typical powerlifting arches are not allowed and are considered cheating” what??

    “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. ” what??

  30. Dominique Locas

    First of all, incredibly strong men lived before steroids came. Hermann Görner pulled 840 lbs with a mixed grip in 1920; he also deadlifted 730 using only his right hand. Josef Manger won the Gold in 1936; he had a very large bone structure and was, I think, the first weightlifter who achieved 300 lbs in the clean&press. Back then, the best lifters – even the larger ones – were capable of a clean&press exceding their own bodyweight. Had they trained the bench press, both Manger and Görner would have maxed out well above 400 lbs. At any rate, they would have benched 315 lbs for reps and made it look like a toy.

    Second, I’m not saying any natural can reach such high numbers. Both afore-mentioned lifters were freakish outliers. However, natural lifters would do well not to sell themselves short. Physical limits do exist; each lifter has a cap, but it’s impossible to know one’s exact “cap-number”. I do know that my best close-grip bench thus far is a triple at 250 lbs and I’m gonna work hard to make it 275 in a not-too-distant future! After this milestone, 300 will be the obvious goal, and then 315… The very essence of strength sports is: always strive for that extra pound.

    (Note: I primarily train the overhead press, and the bench/floor press is an assistance lift I just started to use again; all in all, I think I have about 1 year of training in this lift, against 3 years for the cl&Press.)

  31. Dominique Locas

    Before I forget… If I were one of those guys who’s been benching a max single at 205 for a couple of years (I actually was one of them back in my twenties, before I quit and started training again at 40 yo), I would spend two months training the bench press, doing the following on three non-consecutive days per week:
    95 lbs 2 sets x 5 reps (warm up)
    135 lbs 2 x 3 (warm up)
    155 lbs 5 x 3 (work sets: put as much force as humanly possible into the bar on each and every rep, and stick to good form; if you don’t know proper form, learn it, because it’s essential) If all sets feel fast and easy, add 5 lbs for next session, but spend at least two sessions without increasing weight. No failed reps, not even a single sloppy press. Do this for two months, then take 5 days’ rest and test your max; it is likely to be around 225 by then.

  32. splattenburgers

    I disagree with your claim about bench presses not being “real reps” if the bar doesn’t touch the chest. This ignores arm length. I have long arms and if I let the bar go all the way down to my chest my elbows go WAY past 90 degrees and this hurts my shoulders a lot. And plz don’t give me some stupid lecture about “form”, the guys with the short arms are using the same range of motion as I do (stop just slightly below 90 degrees), they merely don’t have to stop before the bar touches their chest because they have short arms anyway. I guy with long arms who goes all the way down is actually doing GREATER range of motion than someone with shorter arms.

    In fact I would argue that this is actually why powerlifting is a joke. How is it even fair when people are all built completely differently?

  33. paul

    “I disagree with your claim about bench presses not being “real reps” if the bar doesn’t touch the chest. This ignores arm length.”

    The claim is correct. If you have longer arms, you have to take a larger grip. The bar should touch the chest for a valid rep.

    claim 1 : “…the guys with the short arms are using the same range of motion as I do…”
    claim 2 : “I guy with long arms who goes all the way down is actually doing GREATER range of motion than someone with shorter arms. ”

    So, who does a longer/shorter range ? 🙂
    1 & 2 are contradictory. In fact, the short arms guy does a shorter range ONLY if the grip length is the same. If the long arms guy would take a larger grip, the range of motion is almost the same. I know some tall guys doing a relatively short range simply because they use a longer grip.

    “In fact I would argue that this is actually why powerlifting is a joke. How is it even fair when people are all built completely differently?”

    No, it’s not a joke. It’s simply about adjusting the body parts. Besides, that’s why weight category exist in sports. 🙂

    1. splattenburgers

      “The claim is correct. If you have longer arms, you have to take a larger grip. The bar should touch the chest for a valid rep.”

      Wide grip=ruined shoulders

      1. Paul

        “Wide grip=ruined shoulders”
        Yes and no. It’s a matter of adjustments and body proportions. That grip could be wide for a short arms guy, but for a long arms guy, the grip could be normal. Depends on the length of the clavicles.

  34. your mother

    What the fuck is this retard saying? 315 bench above not natty? This stupid fuck is probably 16 and never hit the gym before.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Video of your bench over 315lbs?

      Don’t bother if you weigh about as much…

      1. Paul

        @Truth seeker
        315 lbs benchpress is not a common record among ectomorphs or guys under 220 lbs bodyweight. But over this bodyweight and a favourable bone&muscle mechanics is not uncommon or unheard. In my opinion, at least 20% of these guys are naturaly capable in doing at least that 315lbs benchpress with proper training. You have to understand that not everybody is cheating with drugs. For those naturaly capable and hardworking guys your claim is an offense.

    2. splattenburgers

      lel looks like somebody is butthurt.

      I agree with him pretty much. My father has pretty much the ideal benching body (heavy, short arms, very large forearms/wrists), and yet after a few years of training he still only had a 1 rep bench max of about 286lbs.

      Fake natties have given people unrealistic ideas of how heavy they can lift without drugs.

      1. Paul

        “My father has pretty much the ideal benching body (heavy, short arms, very large forearms/wrists), and yet after a few years of training he still only had a 1 rep bench max of about 286lbs. ”

        I’ve met that kind of guys. Impresive only by visible structure. But it’s not enough. For a good power record it takes a combination of nervous system, types of fibres, insertions of muscles, natural testosteron, training program and psychology. Maybe more. If he begun his training around his 30 years or older, that explain much.

        1. splattenburgers

          “If he begun his training around his 30 years or older, that explain much.”
          I think he was about 43-45 when he started.

          1. Paul

            “I think he was about 43-45 when he started.”

            That’s why his bench max was about 286 lbs. For a natural guy, over 45, with diminishing testosterone, 286 lbs is still a very good record. In his twenties, that would be another thing. I bet he would do naturaly at least 330 lbs like a breeze.

  35. Matthew

    25 yrs old, all natural

    5’11 255lbs

    435 bench
    610 squat
    374 clean

    Was stronger when I played college ball as well. All this talk about “natural lifters” and what the limits are and how if u do this much, ur on something…ha that’s what people who either do not have the work ethic or GOD given genes have…I respect all levels of lifters, but the ones who accuse others of juicing or improper titles are just jealous, and quite pathetic…

    1. Paul

      We are very closed. When I was 26-27, my best bench record was 430 lbs, 210 lbs bodyweight. Of course, we have to admit that is very uncommon or unusual. It’s not the rule, but the exception.

  36. Tank Hill

    Is there even one f***ing person on here that can spell or write a complete sentence besides the author? When you f***ing morons learn proper grammar then I will believe your stupid bullshit posts. How am I supposed to believe you when you can’t even spell protein (pro tine??? WTF)

  37. Larry

    This article forgot to cover short people. These people who are between 5 foot to 5 feet 7 can bench more because they have short arms. A guy who is 5 feet 4 inches that is 200 pounds can out bench a guy who is 6 feet 200 pounds.

    1. splattenburgers

      You are wrong. Shorter people have less total strength potential. Having shorter ARMS compared to your torso is what actually helps, not merely being short. The strongest men in the world are all tall.

      1. Paul

        Not so.
        Yes, the strongest men in the world are all tall, but Larry talked about outbenching only, not total strenght potential. Besides, a 5 feet 4 inches 200 pounds guy realy outperform a 6 feet 200 pounds guy, if the first is not fat or little and have thicker bones and muscles.

  38. Sam

    I think this is correct.

    Look at Ronnie Coleman now he is dumbell benchpressing with 80 Lbs dumbells.

    In his prime he was doing with 200 Lbs.

    So high dose steroids ( Like 3000 Mg / Week ) makes someone 2.5 times stronger.

  39. Luis

    Lifting heavy is about firing more neurons and activating your nervous system. Not about muscle mass at all.

  40. Luis

    Benching 225 for 40 reps is more impressive than benching 400 one time. Just my opinion.

    1. Paul Dan

      You bech 400 then we talk. 🙂 Both things are impressive because both tell different succesful stories. 🙂

  41. Matt

    LoL, retareded morons are just putting fake numbers. If you are on roids and growth hormones, just fucking admit it.

    While I was in college football… Yeah right you men when you were sticking the juice up your ass.

    Every fucking Moron who’s is Juicing say he has “good genes” and others don’t.

    P.S. I am 160 pounds and 10% BF

    If your bench press is more than 1.5 your weight, it is very likely you are on some gear.

  42. Nate

    This article is bullshit. 225 bench press is not that big of an accomplishment and is easily obtained with a few months of hard work and sticking with a good program.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      At what bodyweight?

      1. Nate

        At 200 pounds I have benched 225 for 17 reps, and benched over 330. I’m also 18 years old…

        1. Truth Seeker Post author

          Good for you.

          1. Nate

            I just think your article is sending out the wrong message. Also by saying a 225 bench is good, that’s also not true, it is a good milestone, but by no means good if you take lifting seriously at all. Also saying natural people can’t have a 300+ bench is bs. They can, it’s not easy to do but I think anyone taking it seriously and working hard could do it. Took me 2 years to go from 225 to 315 and how easy would it have been to say “oh, I’m natural, I can’t bench 315” pretty easy and I think that’s what you’re saying to people. Lazy

  43. Dominique Locas

    “Anyone bench pressing over 315lbs is a suspect!” I understand that you need to have somewhat realistic expectations as a natural lifter, but you don’t want to sell yourself short either. 315+ is indeed achievable with lots of work and dedication, especially when you don’t have the six-pack obsession.

    There are some natty guys who seem to think anyone who is stronger than them must be on gear. They should learn some weightlifting history. I’ll cite two very well documented cases: John Davis and Doug Hepburn.

    Some skeptics may claim that John Davis started to take some form of testosterone in the early fifties, so I will only state his lifting from 1941-1943. Back then, he weighed just shy of 200 lb and at one point, he strict pressed as much as 322 lb… yes, OVERHEAD press after cleaning the barbell. He was given testosterone in 1943? Very unlikely.

    Doug Hepburn lived and trained in Vancouver, Canada. He didn’t have a lot of money; he had some issues with raising the funds to go and compete in the 1953 Worlds, which he won. In Hepburn’s case, steroids are even less likely than John Davis. Doug Hepburn was already pressing 350+ in 1951 in Vancouver on a pauper’s income. Steroids? Come on!

    Just train and have fun! Get better, get stronger. Don’t put yourself below a mental ceiling because some weaker guy told you such and such number is too lofty for a natty. Remember that freaky strong men walked the Earth long before this little prick was born.

  44. Vitaliy

    Im only 15 and I can bench 205.I have been training for 7 months.I went from 95 pound max to 205.I might get to 225 withing the next 3-4 months.I have one friend who is 17 and can bench 265 for a max and he only weights 175.Another friend tried 305 yesterday and almost did it but hes 6 foot 3 and weights 210 and 16 years old.Saying its extremely hard for a natural lifter to bench 315 is a false statment.

  45. Ronnie

    I’ve been benching for 4 years, after a 15 year hiatus, I’ve made tremendous strides in strength at age 53.I got 485 for 3 on decline yesterday and I will transfer that to the flat bench within a couple weeks. Flat bench is 475 right now, I weigh 234 and I’m 5.9. I eat 12 egg whites each day,along with protein shakes and preworkout and I use Testo Fuel. No steroids here, just extreme determination and hard work, reading my body and studying lifting alot. Just info from a natural ordinary guy, who wants a 500lb bench before I die.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I plan to do the same. But instead I will shoot for Spoto’s record…because I will also take creatine.

  46. Blank

    My friend weighs 280lbs and he is a fatso as you put it but he can barely lift the bar so your weight isn’t the only thing to take into account you also have to take into account how much muscle you have. I weigh 250lbs and I can out lift my heavier buddy any day.

  47. Joe

    Don’t think this guy knows what he’s talking about. He severely underestimates what natural lifters are capable of. I’ve never taken steroids or pro-hormones or any other type of banned substance. I don’t take creatine, BCAAs, and whey protein and eat a clean diet. I’m 165 lbs with 11% bf (if you believe the 3-site caliper test).

    I can easily bench 225 lbs several time legit–I can even do pause reps with them (stopping for a second or two after the bar touches my chest). And I hardly arch my back at all. Right now my max bench press is 280 lbs because of tendinitis (golfer’s elbow). Before that, my max was 300 lbs. And I’m by no means at the top of strength for my weight class.

    I have no way to prove to anyone on here that I’ve never taken PEDs (unless creatine & BCAAs PEDs) nor am I on TRT. But the fact is I know for myself I’m not. So when people like the author or Jason Blaha say that I’m someone who is lying, either about my lift or my natty status, then I know for myself that they don’t have any credibility.

    Fact is if you’re a natural lifter, 225 lbs is definitely NOT out of your natural limits so long as you’re relatively young (50 or younger), and don’t have any physical conditions that would hinder your abilities.

  48. Dominic

    This is stupid… I’m 17 and my PR is 225 and I’ve only been lifting for 2 weeks… I weigh 190 so ik it’s not the best pound for pound but my training partner does 10 reps of 225 and he weighs 170… and I know for a fact he’s natural… he’s been training for about 6 years now… sorry but even as a noob I can see that this article is a bit stupid…(btw pls let me know if my PR is good or not for never training before… I honestly don’t know lol, thx!)

  49. John

    This guy has no idea what he’s talking about. Above 315 is suspect? Bullshit.
    I did 4 years in prison over some dumb shit I got myself into almost a decade ago. No one in there was on any sort of steriods or other shit for obvious reasons. The strongest I saw was benching 585 and weighed around 300lbs. I saw lots of guys in the 220-250lbs range doing 405. Hell I saw one guy that couldn’t have weighed more than 190 hit 405. My PR was only 295 at 185, and it pissed me off that I never hit that 315 (and dammit I tried.)

  50. Brian

    There’s a large range of builds, genetic settings to put on muscles, capacity for sprint or distance aerobic events.
    I fairly easily to do dip sets with 100 lbs on a belt. Total 275 on my arms. But in my entire life I have never benched past 185. Believe me, I’ve tried and trained. Those muscles just won’t. Other guys keep gaining in bench. I don’t.
    A friend who never did steroids, grew up doing heavy farm labor started back at bench at 60. Said he benched 400 in high school. He’s classic. Short arms, double wide shoulders, short legs. Fairly wide hips. Built like a truck. First day he barely lifted 90 lbs. 2 months later he repped 260 for 5 no problem.
    People vary. People vary a lot. Genetics matters.

  51. T

    I think you should just press what
    feels comfortable and taps you out after a few sets of reps. Max one offs are fun, but dangerous. As for what is possible
    naturally, when I was in high school (17.5 years) I maxed out at 440 lbs one rep, no spot. No steroids, 6 foot, 185 lbs. I was a top 5% in our school gym, but not #1. So ranges are pretty wide imo and just depend on muscle and body shape (geometry matters alot).

  52. T

    Btw — Im now 53 (God help me) and I do multiple reps at 225 lbs a couple times a week. I have put on some Dad weight in the years since high school (now 220 as opposed to 185), but fairly healthy (except I cant run distances any more — my cardio ai t what it used to be). But love bench since it really keeps the upper body strength maintained / lots of muscle groups worked / burns calories. Keeps me coming back to the gym ?

  53. smith

    im a natural power lfiter and i bench 550 piunds for reps
    u guys just have the worst genes ive ever seen
    im a 100% pure bred aryan

    1. Tony

      Benched 425 at 17 years old 208 lbs all natural. Lift heavy, do pump work, eat meat drink, get laid and don’t let incels tell you you can’t bench over 225

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