How Much Weight Can the Average Man Lift?

An effective way to evaluate the average's man strength is to look at familiar exercises that work multiple muscle groups. With this in mind, the average untrained man can squat 125 pounds, bench press 135 pounds and deadlift 155 pounds.

Bodybuilder Training
An average man can bench 135 pounds. (Image: Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images)

Let's Set Up Standards

man with dumbbell weight training equipment  gym
Strength standards should reflect different training levels. (Image: LUNAMARINA/iStock/Getty Images)

Strength standards for the bench press, squat and deadlift reflect different levels of training such as untrained, novice and intermediate. These were developed by Lon Kilgore, a researcher at the University of the West of Scotland's Institute for Clinical Exercise and Health Science. In the U.S., the average male over the age of 20 weighs 196 pounds. Since only 29 percent of Americans weight train enough to meet recommended guidelines -- according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- the average male is considered untrained.

For the Nitty Gritty

Powerful Muscular Man Lifting Weights
Novice weight trainers will likely lift less than those that have been lifting for years. (Image: Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images)

Novice weight trainers -- weighing 198 pounds, the nearest cutoff to the average American male -- with several months of experience average 230 pounds for the squat, 175 pounds for the bench press and 290 pounds for the deadlift -- according to Kilgore's strength standards. Intermediate lifters with a couple of years in weight training average 285 pounds for the squat, 215 pounds for the bench press, and 335 pounds for the deadlift. Advanced lifters with multiple years of training experience average 390 pounds for the squat, 290 pounds on the bench press, and 460 pounds for the deadlift.

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