The Average Weight for Leg Press Exercises

Many are competitive by nature and like to know where they stand compared to other gym goers. Know the average weight used on the leg press so you can see where you stand.

There are different ways to look at average leg press weight. Credit: CreativeDJ/iStock/GettyImages

The average amount of weight a person can lift is measured in 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

There is no one "average" according to the website Strength Level. For example, a 150-pound man at the beginner's level should be able to press around 172 pounds. If he was an elite weight lifter who weighed the same, he should be able to press 791 pounds.

It differs according to sex as well. A 150-pound woman who's new to pressing should be able to handle 104 pounds. Your 1RM, or one-rep maximum, 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.

Read more: Is The Leg Press a Good Machine to Use?

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, according to Brian Mac. This method offers a range of weights so injury is less likely.

If you use a leg press machine 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 pounds for five reps, then your 1RM is 120 pounds, according to the free online weight load calculator from the American Council on Exercise. However, if you can press 100 pounds 10 times, then your 1RM is 141 pounds.

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 multi-rep set.

An article by Arnold Schwarzenegger for Muscle & Fitness says that eight to 12 reps is an effective range for strength and muscular conditioning gains. He also said that he had great gains doing 15 to 20 reps with a higher weight. But that doesn't mean you should throw caution to the wind and try to be like Arnold. Safety comes first and always.

Read more: Dumbbell Substitute for Leg Press

Leg Presses Are Unique

The leg press allows you to lift heavier weight than many 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. ExRx.net recommends pushing with your heel and forefoot together and to not let your heel raise off the platform at any time.

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