If you are looking to improve the tone of your upper body, an effective exercise to undertake is the bench press. This can be done at home with dumbbells or at the gym with a barbell. The bench press is a great exercise that can benefit anyone.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional lifter, it doesn’t matter. The beauty of a bench press is that you can customize the weight you are lifting easily. So, when you can easily bench a certain weight, you can up the KGs to challenge yourself further.
A bench press targets the arms, shoulders, and pectoral muscles. If you are a beginner, why not start with a lightweight or just use the bar at the gym. If you can successfully lift the bar with ease, you are already lifting 20KG.
So, what is a good weight to bench press? It all depends on your skill, your body weight, and your age. Below, we have put the average bench press by age.
- 20 - 29 years old: 100% of your body weight
- 30 - 39 years old: 90% of your body weight
- 40 - 49 years old: 80% of your body weight
- 50 - 59 years old: 75% of your body weight
These stats show how impressive your bench press can get. Believe it or not, with regular training and commitment to lifting, you could not only hit but exceed these average weights.
What is the average weight a man can bench press?
On average, men can lift heavier weight than women. Of course, there are some exceptions, as always, but this is usually the case. Men can lift their heaviest in their twenties and thirties. After that, the weight they can lift starts to decline slightly.
The average weight of a 20-year-old American man is 197.9 pounds. A good weight for the average man to bench press is roughly between 175 to 215 pounds. This is considered a novice to an intermediate level so don’t worry if you can’t bench this weight just yet.
If you’re new to the bench press, we always recommend starting light and adding extra weight if you feel like you’re ready throughout your training session. The average man should be able to bench press 135 pounds with no issues.
This may sound like a high number but once you are warmed up and at the gym, you will soon realize that you are capable of much more than you first believed. If you are thinking about trying a bench press for the first time, you should get someone to spot you.
Having a friend nearby spotting you can prevent injury. If you do not have anyone with you and are nervous about hitting the bench press alone, just ask someone nearby or one of the gym workers. The worst thing someone could say is no, which is not a big deal. A gym worker will always be there to spot you if you need any assistance.
What is the best form for a bench press?
Part of being able to lift heavy is having the correct form. Using the proper form to bench press can allow you to bench heavier than you could have imagined and also can help to reduce any muscle strains or injuries.
Here is our quick guide on how to bench press with good form at the gym.
- Head to your bench and lie flat on your back. Your feet should be placed flat on the floor and feel steady before you attempt your lift.
- Now it is time to grip the bar. The best way to do this is to place your hands just wider than your shoulders. To check if you have done this correctly, ask someone to spot you or try out the following method. When you have benched the bar towards your chest, check that your wrists are parallel to your elbows. Creating a ninety-degree angle with your arms.
- When you bring the bar towards your chest, do this slowly and inhale.
- To finish, push the bar back up and exhale. Our top tip is to keep your eyes on the ceiling above, rather than the bar itself. This will help to ensure that the bar travels in the same path each time you bench.
If you feel as though the weight was bearable, you can add more weight plates to the rack. Try not to go too heavy during your first few sessions as this could cause injuries and prevent you from sticking to your training plan.
How to bench press with dumbbells at home?
If you are too anxious to hit the gym, you could try a bench press at home with dumbbells. You can pick up dumbbells at an affordable price from many different stores.
If you’re unsure of what weight you can bench, maybe invest in a set of different weights like this one below. They are a little more expensive but will give you the best workout.
- papababe Dumbbell Set - pairs of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25-pound dumbbells.
Once you have the right equipment, you are ready to try out the dumbbell bench press. To begin, read through our simple steps before trying to do the exercise.
- Lie flat on your back, either on the floor or preferably on a bench. Hold a dumbbell in each of your hands.
- Ensure that your palms are facing towards your feet before starting to bench the dumbbells.
- Lift the dumbbells above your chest by extending your arms. Our top tip at this point is to make sure that the dumbbells do not touch each other at the top of your lift.
- Slowly bring the dumbbells back towards your chest and try to maintain the position of the weights throughout the entire movement.
Carrying out a bench press is a great way to grow your pecs, arms, and shoulder muscles. You can do this exercise at the gym or at home. No matter where you choose to do the exercise, make sure you continue to challenge yourself. It’s what makes it so fun!