Time magazine has reported on the increasingly popular trend of using technology to measure personal fitness. There are monitors and screens and timers on watches, equipment displays and gym walls. The idea behind all of this information is to let you know where you stand. Some people measure themselves against their past performance while others like to compete with their friends and gym buddies.
If you enjoy strength training, it is easy to feel discouraged when you see the massive weights begin moved by the people you are trying to measure up to. You might want to consider a few numbers to give yourself a more realistic perspective.
Natural Strength Standards
The standards discussed here are for natural strength training. That means these numbers are being put up by people who are not taking performance-enhancing drugs and are not using artificial aids like lifting belts and shirts.
There are several organizations that have been formed to foster natural strength training, and the weight ranges we will discuss for men are taken from the national records of those organizations. The numbers for women are suggested by Livestrong.com.
Strength is usually measured across three common lifts: the squat, the bench press and the dead lift. Standards depend upon the size, age, gender and level of training of the individual lifter and are based on a single repetition. Take as an example a 220-pound man in his prime. He is a very strong man if he can do a 350-pound squat, 235-pound bench press and 370-pound dead lift. If, however, he wants to compete at the highest levels of natural bodybuilding, he will need to aim for the records that stand at about 650 pounds for a squat, 450 pounds for a bench press, and almost 700 pounds for the dead lift.
Now consider a woman who weighs 132 pounds. If she has been training for a couple of years and has reached the point of being stronger than about half of her lifting counterparts, she will be able to do a 130-pound squat, 90-pound bench press and 160-pound dead lift. If she keeps training for a few more years and reaches an elite status of being able to out-lift 95 percent of other female lifters, she will be capable of a 210-pound squat, 150-pound bench press and 275-pound dead lift.
If you are dedicated to improving your strength through purely natural means, these numbers will give you something to shoot for. Whether you are just trying to improve your health and fitness or if you have competitive ambitions, you can achieve impressive gains the all-natural way.