Do you need more upper body strength? Start bench pressing.
The bench press is an effective exercise for working out your upper body, but the average person can’t bench press more than they weigh.
So, what does it take to bench massive weight?
Obviously, you need upper body strength. Performing a bench press engages the following muscles:
Bench pressing can also help work your core.
How long does it take to start benching 225? That depends on your current level of fitness. The average guy can bench about 135 pounds. This refers to an untrained man over the age of 20.
With a few months of weight training, you may start benching closer to 175 pounds. To bench 225 pounds could take a couple of years of consistent weight training.
Reaching 225 pounds would put you in the “intermediate” lifter category. With multiple years of training, you could reach close to 300 pounds for the bench press.
Keep in mind that a wide variety of factors help determine how long it takes to start benching 225 pounds. Here’s a closer look at these details.
- 1 What Factors Determine Your Ability to Bench?
- 2 Does Age Impact Your Strength?
- 3 Can Women Bench as Much as Men?
- 4 Genetics Play a Role in Your Fitness
- 5 Analyzing Body Mass and Body Fat
- 6 Previous Training May Help You Gain Muscle Mass Faster
- 7 You Need to Bulk Up to Start Benching 225 or More
- 8 How Much Should You Eat to Start Bulking Up?
- 9 How Long Does It Take to Start Benching 225 Pounds?
- 10 How Do You Start Benching 225 Pounds or More?
- 11 Conclusion – Bench Pressing 225 Takes Hard Work
What Factors Determine Your Ability to Bench?
As mentioned, the timeframe for reaching these milestones depends on your fitness level. You can think of your fitness as a combination of the following factors:
- Body mass
- Body fat percentage
- Current muscle strength
- Previous training regimen
- Current training regimen
If you’re ready to start lifting the serious weight, go through each of these areas and consider where you currently stand.
Does Age Impact Your Strength?
First, let’s consider the importance of age.
As you get older, it takes longer to get results.
Getting older isn’t ideal, but it’s inevitable. When you get older, an important bodily process starts to fail.
Researchers have discovered that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) slows down as you age. AMPK is essential for burning fat and fueling muscle development.
After the age of 30, you may find that you recover more slowly from your workouts. This means that you need to increase your recovery time, limiting the amount of training you can squeeze into your routine.
Can Women Bench as Much as Men?
What about gender? Can women bench 225 pounds or more?
Keep in mind that women tend to have less upper body strength.
On average, women have about 1/10th the amount of testosterone as men.
High levels of estrogen drive increased bone density in relation to muscle mass while high levels of testosterone fuel both increased bone density and more muscle mass.
What does that mean? Testosterone helps you build muscle mass faster.
If you’re a woman, you may need to work out a little harder and ensure that you get enough protein and carbs to promote muscle growth.
The average woman weighs about 170 pounds.
According to a leading health site, a woman weighing about 181 pounds should be able to bench 85 pounds. A woman weighing 131 pounds should be able to bench close to 70 pounds.
So, at 170 pounds, benching around 75 pounds should be normal.
Elite female weightlifters may be able to bench press up to 195 pounds or more. Reaching 225 pounds would be an impressive achievement, but it’s not impossible.
Genetics Play a Role in Your Fitness
Besides gender, genetics impact many areas of your health and fitness, but there is some debate about how much.
Genetics play a role in almost everything, including your height. If you have tall parents, you’re more likely to be tall.
If you’re short, you can blame your parents. However, being shorter means that you have shorter arms, and arm length has a minor impact on bench pressing.
With shorter arms, you have less distance to press the barbell, requiring less strength and stamina to extend your arms.
Unfortunately, the advantage is almost insignificant.
Researchers in Brazil completed a study in 2003 which found that no body measurements predict strength.
So, if your arm length isn’t very important, what about other genetics?
Scientists have uncovered a wide range of genes that impact your bone density and muscle mass.
Again, you can blame or thank your parents for your current fitness. If your parents have thick bones, you may have a slight edge.
Analyzing Body Mass and Body Fat
If you weigh more, you may find it easier to lift more.
According to researchers, the biggest factor is your current body mass – not muscle mass.
If you weigh more, you should be able to press more.
The average man weighs about 197 pounds and the average woman weighs about 170 pounds. The average heights are about 69 inches for men and just under 64 inches.
As mentioned, a guy should be able to bench press about 135 pounds and a woman should be able to bench press about 75 pounds.
Where you do you fall on the scale?
If you weigh more than average, or if you’re shorter than average, your starting weight for bench pressing should be a little higher than average.
You also need to consider body fat.
Fat may not impact how much you can bench press right now, but it can affect how long it takes to reach your goal.
If you’re packing a lot of extra weight, you may need to burn some fat before adding muscle.
Previous Training May Help You Gain Muscle Mass Faster
Of course, your previous training affects your ability to eventually bench 225 pounds.
If you’ve benched that much in the past, you’ll likely get back up there quicker than someone that has never benched a day in his or her life.
A study published in 2003 found that the number of years spent strength training correlates to current bench press strength.
So, if you’re a former college or high school athlete that hasn’t worked out in a few years, reaching 225 pounds may not be a big deal.
But for those that are new to bench presses or haven’t passed 135 pounds, it takes longer.
You Need to Bulk Up to Start Benching 225 or More
Your age, genetics, and current fitness all determine how much you can bench.
Unfortunately, there is a lot more to consider, such as your fitness goals and diet.
For example, if you’re focused on bulking up, you may experience gains faster than someone who is cutting.
If you’re not familiar with the term, cutting refers to the process of burning fat without losing muscle mass. It’s not a self-harm thing.
Most people don’t start cutting until they reach their goals when it comes to bulking up.
To gain muscle mass, you need to eat at a caloric surplus, providing your body with more calories than you burn.
Hopefully, your body uses most of the extra calories for muscle repair, helping you bulk up.
While your body may need excess calories to gain muscle, some of those calories will translate to fat.
That’s why most people start cutting after bulking. They want to achieve a ripped or toned look by getting rid of the fat they’ve gained while building more muscle mass.
Basically, to start bench pressing 225 pounds, you’ll need to focus on bulking up instead of cutting.
How Much Should You Eat to Start Bulking Up?
If you want to avoid unnecessary fat gain during this process, you need to pay attention to what you eat and how many calories you burn.
If you’re not interested in complicated math formulas, use this simple one – multiply your bodyweight in pounds by 15 calories.
Use that number as your base number of calories and build your diet around it as you start working out. If you don’t make any gains or you start to lose weight, increase your calorie intake by 10%.
Your diet should include at least one gram of protein per pound. If you weigh 150 pounds, try to eat 150 grams of protein each day.
You need protein to support muscle repair and growth.
Don’t adjust your calorie intake too frequently. You don’t gain muscle mass very quickly.
How Long Does It Take to Start Benching 225 Pounds?
The truth is that a wide variety of factors influence strength, not just your muscle mass. However, to make things simple, we’ll estimate that one pound of muscle gain equals three pounds of extra force.
If you can bench 135 pounds, as with the national average for men, you still have 90 more pounds to reach 225.
To add 90 pounds to your bench press, you may need to gain about 30 pounds of muscle.
For a healthy man in his mid-twenties, it may take several months of hard training just to add eight or nine pounds of muscle mass.
If it takes three months to gain nine pounds of muscle mass, you may only gain about three pounds of muscle each month. Let’s use that as a base figure.
It would take a healthy guy in his twenties about 10 months of hard training to reach 225 pounds.
Are you a healthy guy in your twenties? If not, it’s likely going to take longer.
You also need to factor in everything else discussed, such as genetics and current fitness level.
Overall, it may take two to three years of hard work to reach 225.
How Do You Start Benching 225 Pounds or More?
If you want to bench more weight, you need to bench more frequently. It’s that simple!
But it’s not as easy as it sounds.
You need to bench more, but you also need to follow a routine.
People achieve the best gains to muscle size when they lift heavier weights and perform fewer reps. With lighter weights, you need to perform more repetitions.
Some fitness experts recommend six repetitions for increasing strength and twelve repetitions for increasing endurance.
So to start experiencing fast muscle development, determine your max weight for six repetitions and use that as your base.
But don’t start lifting just yet. Before you begin your routine, you need to ensure that you perform the bench press safely and accurately.
Lay on the bench with your legs on either side of it. Make sure that your entire foot, including the heel, stays pressed to the ground, as this gives you a sturdy foundation for pressing.
Keep your entire body tight and squeeze your shoulders together while driving your heels into the ground, creating an arch in your back.
The bar should remain directly above your eyes. Put your arms straight up and grab the bar, ensuring that your thumbs wrap around the bar.
Lift the bar and bring it down to your chest. Repeat to perform six repetitions.
As an extra tip, pay attention to the way that you lift the bar off the rack. First of all, don’t lift it. Allow the bar to slide off the hooks instead of pressing it up and out. This helps you keep your shoulders positioned.
Before you start lowering the bar, allow it to settle. Hold it for a few seconds to make sure you’ve got a firm grip.
Lowering it instantly increases the risk of losing your grip or messing up your position.
As you lower the bar to your chest, bring your chest up, maintaining your position with your shoulder blades tight and your back arched.
That’s about it. Perform several sets and stick with it, but avoid working the same muscles every day of the week.
You need to give your muscles time to repair. Take at least one day off per week.
Conclusion – Bench Pressing 225 Takes Hard Work
In the end, the bench press is a great exercise for developing your upper body strength.
When you perform this exercise, you engage most of your upper body muscle groups, including your arms, shoulders, and chest.
The average guy should be able to bench about 135 pounds while the average woman can bench close to 75 pounds.
If you weigh a little less, you may have a lower starting number. If you weigh more, you may be able to bench more right off the bat.
Going from 135 or 75 pounds to 225 pounds or more takes hard work.
To bench more weight, you need to gain more muscle mass. There’s no way around it.
Remember to determine your total calorie needs and then gradually increase your calories until you start to notice gains.
If you stick to a workout regime, you may start benching 225 pounds or more within one to three years.