How much should you lift?

People have lots of different reasons for getting fit.  Some people want to be stronger, other people have specific objectives around sports or performance, others simply want to look great, while for others, the main objective is just to be stronger.  Of course, one of the big questions that you should ask about improving your strength is how much should you lift.

How much should you lift?

How much should you lift?

When a lot of people start strength training, their objectives are fairly fluid – simply to be able to lift more, and there is a lot of debate about exactly what your goals should be.  Ultimately strength is relative, and is also largely dependent on your size, because the amount of leverage that you have is always relative to your own body.

How Much Should you lift?

Different exercises use different muscle groups with different levels of strength – you can’t expect to be able to curl as much as you can squat, because the capacity of your leg muscles is much higher than your arms, so how much you should lift is entirely dependent on the type of exercise.

We’ve spoken to a number of fitness professionals to find out how much weight they consider to be representative of true strength as a ratio of body weight.  They suggested the following as targets to aim for as part of your strength training for key exercises:

Squats – Aim for 200% Body Weight as maximum weight to lift for squats

Dead Lifts – Aim for 200% Body Weight as maximum weight to lift for dead lifts

Bench Press – Aim for 150% body weight as maximum weight to bench press

Barbell Row – Aim for 150% body weight as a maximum weight for barbell row

Incline Press – Aim for 130% body weight as a maximum weight for the incline press

Bicep Curls – Aim for 50% body weight as a maximum weight for bicep curls

As an example, if you weigh 100KG, then you should aim for the following:

  • Squats – 200KG
  • Dead Lifts – 200KG
  • Bench Press – 150KG
  • Barbell Row – 150KG
  • Incline Press – 130KG
  • Bicep Curls – 50KG

It’s really important to remember that overall, you probably want to combine targets about how much you should lift with other elements of fitness such as endurance and weight loss in order to get the best overall results from your regime.

If you’re ready to start on a new fitness programme to improve strength and build up better fitness, check out our online personal trainer system, in the meantime, why not tell us how much you can lift in the comments!