What qualifies as strong?

just curious

I seem to have lost my perspective of how much someone is supposed to be able to lift

I don't really consider myself strong and I'm almost always disappointed with my lifts

I know I can lift more than several people who are heavier than me by a fair bit (but they're taller too, hmm, but it can be a big weight difference too), but I just see that as them being weak

maybe it's because I work out in a college gym and i see some guys doing 300lbs+ for reps (like 6 or more sometimes) on bench, and military pressing 200lbs+

(but not really that often, i suppose...but i tend to go at around 7 or 8 am, so i miss the busy times where this would be more frequent)

it makes me feel kind of pathetic, even moreso because i'm only at 90% of my all time best condition (1yr ago, why do i start and stop so much?)

anyways, i remember a similar thread being posted here and someone answered something along the lines of "when the sum of your bench/deadlift/squat is 1000 lbs+"

if that's the case, then i've got quite a way to go still and that bothers me

for somewhat of a reference

bench press 1.05 * body weight for sets of 6

deadlift 1.49 to 1.63 * body weight for sets of 6-8

as a side note, Dan W's thread about being able to bench bodyweight in dumbbell bench press didn't seem like a big deal to me at all, but i thought that was pretty strong when he mentioned it was 95lb dumbbells

i suppose i need to increase my bodyweight (and lifts proportional to the increase in bodyweight) to feel better about my lifts

which brings me to another point

when can i consider myself not scrawny, and maybe even built

i guess it's a hard question to answer, i guess what i really want to know is when do you see someone and think "they're strong/built"

(and why do i care about what other people think anyway? well, i do, i'm embarrassed to wear t-shirts...sometimes?)

i look at my wrists and i feel pathetic, but sometimes i can feel pretty good about arms/chest/shoulders, but that can change within a day and i can consider myself too thin again

i guess this part belongs more on a mental health forum or something, whatever, nevermind then

i'll leave it at this: do any of you feel like you are where you want to be in terms of size and strength? how did you get there? do you ever doubt yourself and see a scrawny person in the mirror?

hmm, this turned out quite long, and i doubt many people will read through it, but damnit i didn't type all of this for nothing

How Good Are You?
These are all factors of bodyweight for men at or under 220#.
Use this a guide and help, not as a diabolical tool to beat yourself up over.

Lift OK-- Fit Guy-- Animal-- Holy S**t!!

Hi bar Squat* 1.25-- 1.5-- 2-- 2.5--

Pwr Squat** 1.5-- 2-- 2.5-- 3--

20 rp Squat 1-- 1.25-- 1.6-- 2--

Deadlift 1.5-- 2-- 2.75-- 3.5--

Bench press 1-- 1.15-- 1.55-- 2--

Bridge press 1.25-- 1.5-- 1.75-- 2.25--

Strict oh Press .5-- .75-- 1-- 1.5--

BB Curl .4 .5-- .75-- .9--

Reverse Curl .35-- .4-- .6-- .7--

Pwr Clean .8-- 1.1-- 1.3-- 1.6--

Comp. Clean 1.1-- 1.25-- 1.5-- 2--

Pwr Snatch .6-- .75-- 1-- 1.25--

Comp. Snatch .6-- .9-- 1.25-- 1.5--

1h side press .4-- .55-- .7-- 1--

1h snatch .5-- .55-- .7-- .9--

1h Jerk .5 .6-- .7-- 1--

1h Clean .5-- .6-- .75-- 1--

1 DB Swing*** .3-- .5-- .75-- 1--

1h DB mil .2-- .3-- .5-- .6--

10 Rp DB C&P .35-- .5-- .75-- 1--

10 1h DB Swings .2-- .4-- .5-- .6--

1h Deadlift 1-- 1.2-- 1.5-- 2--

BB Bent press At all- .6-- 1-- 1.5--

Strict Pushups 30r-- 60r-- 100r-- 120+--

Free squats 100r-- 200r-- 500r-- 1000r+--

Chin ups reps. At all- 6r-- 12r-- 25r+--

1 Mi. Run 8 min-- 6 min-- 5 min-- 4.5 min--

Mate, I think there are times when everyone doubts themselves. Just keep lifting consistantly and stick to your basic compound lifts.

I can't remember where I found the above chart but I saved it when I first saw it.

All you have to do is buy one of those yellow rubber bands you wear on your wrist.

I'll add

100m dash 14--13--12--10

200m dash 30--28--26--24

400m dash 65--60--55--50

also i would throw being able to a full front and or side split in there as well in the holy sh*t column

Great comments along with the chart matsumi.


well, i guess i've got some clearly defined goals now, heh

thanks guys

Frequenting this forum and Jesse Marunde's forums keeps me real humble.

You see all these amazing lifts and workouts being posted that are no bullshit and you go to the gym and train your ass off to try and catch those guys.

And then one day you are at the gym and you look around and you realize that you are one of the few who actually train their ass off and handle any kind of serious weight or do any kind of high intensity training.

Hell my wife trains harder than 80% of the men at my gym and I train harder than probably 99% of them.

You get all swelled up because you are a stud at the gym and you log on here or elsewhere and someguy who weighs 30 or 40 lbs less than you is listing maxes that make you feel like a big old puss or a guy your size is squatting or deadlifting 100 lbs or more than you raw.

Train hard, have fun, and you'll never be strong enough but with enough work you will be strong whether you realize it or not.


Yes they are mate!

Sorry about the chart being hard to read. When I pasted it from a word document the spacing went crazy and it was impossible to read. What you see now was the best I could do as far as spacing goes.

And well said Mule!

I know what you mean about being humble and just training hard! I was chatting with a powerlifter from another site hes part of the team at www.elitefts.com and he squats nearly double what I can! I agree too that I don't think I'll ever feel "Strong Enough".

But by setting small achievable daily lifting goals that lead onto bigger goals, lifting and training become more enjoyable....and at the end of the day the only person that you can truely measure yourself against is YOU!

This is the Gold standard imo for many gym goers.

Military Press 1x bw
Bench Press 1.5x bw
Back Squat 2x bw
Deadlift 2.5x bw

If a guy can do all of that he is f0cking strong imo and I don't think many others would argue he is strong. That is a seriously rounded person imo.

But yeah it all depends on where your coming from. I know a bunch of Gymnasts and 50dips is nothing unusual to them. No way could they back squat 2x though.

OLers I see 2x back squat is nothing.

Snatch 1x = Good start
Sntach 1.5x = Good full stop
Snatch 2x = pretty Amazing
C&J 1.5x = Good
C&J 3x = Elite 3 to do it :P. I doubt anyone will be doing this anytime soon!


Hey Matsumi, It's pbradish from mmaathletes ;)

nice chart. I seem to be at that in-between stage of fit guy and animal at the moment.

i feel the same way about speed. i bust my ass off at the track and my times are not even in the same zip code with olympic athletes

that chart is right on the money. I work around high school and college athletes and they fall in the animal to holy shit range.

I also endorse the 4 exercises that HeangKoing posted.

Hey pbradish!

:) ttt

strong is being able to suspend your body perfectly level from a set of rings strapped to the roof and make it look easy

strong is being able to pull a greyhound bus strapped to your chest

strong is being able to put a shot 85ft+

strong is being able to knock your fresh opponent out with one right hook

strong is being able to propel your body 100m in 10 sec

need i go on

everything you mentioned is strong. The best way to get that strong is by lifting weights.


the point i was tryig to make is that there are as many different definitions of strong as there are people on this message board. and there are also just as many ways to achieve it outside of free weights.

Agreed with Atecexa..