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The Average Weight for Leg Press Exercises

by
author image Sarka-Jonae Miller
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.
The Average Weight for Leg Press Exercises
Leg press weight machines are standard equipment at gyms. Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

The average amount of weight a person can lift is measured two ways. One average range is based on your body weight and the other is based on your one repetition maximum. Both of these methods are necessary because people who are lighter will be able to lift significantly less on average than heavier people.

Average for Body Weight

The average person should be able to lift 1.8 to 2.2 times their body weight for a 1RM. Your 1RM is the maximum amount of weight you can lift once with correct form. If you compensate or need assistance from a spotter, then the weight is too heavy and doesn't count. For example, if you weigh 100 lbs., you should be able to do one leg press with 180 to 220 lbs. on average. Less than this amount means your ability is below average. Accomplishing a 1RM of 2.5 times your body weight or more is above average. But if you use this math and then try to lift the amount you calculate using this formula, you could injured yourself if your strength is below average. Use a safer alternative to estimate your 1RM so you will know if you are within the average range.

Test for Your 1RM

An easy way to estimate your 1RM is to perform five to 10 reps of a leg press with the most weight you can handle and then use a weight load calculator to estimate your 1RM. There is a cushion using this method so injury is less likely. If you use a weight that you think you can lift 10 times and you actually become fatigued with fewer reps, you can simply use the number of reps you actually can perform for the calculation. If you can do a leg press with 100 lbs. for five reps then your 1RM is 120 lbs., according to the free online weight load calculator from the American Council on Exercise. However, if you can press 100 lbs. 10 times, then your 1RM is 141 lbs.

Average 1RM Percentage

Knowing if you fit into the average of a 1RM for a leg press is a useful test, but this doesn't tell you how much you should lift for a real set. The average amount of weight that a healthy person should be able to lift for at least one set of eight to 12 reps is 60 to 80 percent of his 1RM. A range of eight to 12 reps is an effective range for strength and muscular conditioning gains. Simply figure out your 1RM and multiply that by 0.6 and 0.8 to discover a starting range of what to lift.

Leg Press

The leg press allows you to lift heavier weight in general than other exercises for the thighs and glutes, such as the squat. During a squat, stress from the exercise extends not just to your legs and hips, but also to your back and shoulders. This limits how much weight you can use. The leg press exercise only places stress on the targeted muscles of the lower body as the upper body rests against the backrest of the machine. Therefore, do not try to lift the same amount of weight you can press with your legs when you do a squat, lunge or leg extension.

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