PowerliftingTechnique.com is independent and supported by our readers. We may earn a commission if you buy through the links below. For more, see our disclosures page.
Bench pressing 225 pounds or “2 plates” is a huge milestone for lifters and exercise enthusiasts.
So, how many people can bench 225? Approximately 1.3 million Americans can bench press 225 lbs, or about 0.4% of the population. To be able to bench press 225 lbs, you’d probably need to be an intermediate male lifter (trained for a couple of years) who weighs more than 220 lbs. You’d need to be an advanced or elite lifter if you weigh less. Only the most elite women would be able to bench 225 lbs.
Here’s the official data. According to the Strength Standards compiled from more than 70 years of records on lifters aged 18 to 39. Here’s the likelihood you can bench 225 lbs:
- Untrained and novice male lifters of any weight will never bench 225 lbs.
- Intermediate male lifters who weigh 220 lbs and above can bench 225 lbs.
- Advanced male lifters who weigh 148 lbs and above can bench 225 lbs.
- Elite male lifters who are 114 lbs and above should be able to bench 225 lbs.
- Only elite female lifters who are 199 lbs and above should be able to bench 225 lbs.
This gives us an idea about the type of person that can bench 225 lbs, but there’s more to it. Here are a few more facts to help us understand how many people can bench 225 lbs:
- Powerlifters aim to bench 160% of their body weight. Therefore, a good 140-lb powerlifter and above would be able to bench 225 lbs. This is only a small percentage of people.
- In 2019, about 1 in 5 Americans belonged to a gym or health club.
- But only about 82% of Americans with a gym membership use it regularly.
- The average American man weighs 197.9 lbs, so most men couldn’t bench 225 lbs if they were intermediate lifters.
- 20x increase in online sales of home gym equipment on eBay could mean non-gym goers can bench 225 lbs. But this would be difficult to track.
Plus, globally, most people live on less than $10 a day, so they wouldn't have access to gym equipment and, therefore, wouldn’t have a chance to bench 225 lbs.
Anyone interested in increasing their bench press won’t want to miss out on the rest of this post. Bench pressing 225 lbs is a big goal we often work towards with clients; if they can achieve it, this is no small feat.
Below is a table with average bench press standards for all weights. I’ll share some expert insight from my years of personal training into the chances you can bench 225 lbs. You’ll also learn what type of person can usually bench press 225 lbs (hint: NFL players are required to).
In this article, I will discuss:
- How many people can bench 225 pounds?
- Why a 225-pound bench press is significant
- Tips on how to achieve a 225-pound bench press
- How long does it take to reach a bench press of 225 pounds
- How much should you be able to bench press?
If learning more about the facts and process behind bench pressing 225 pounds is what you’re looking for, you have found the right place.
How Many People Can Bench Press 225 Pounds?
I estimate that about 1,392,922 Americans can bench press 225 pounds. I compared the data on how many people go to the gym with data on body weight. How much you weigh is a big factor in how much you can bench.
Unfortunately, no database reports how many people can bench 225 lbs. There are no official recorders at gyms worldwide tallying this for us. That would simply be too difficult to keep track of in a database. However, through different analyses, we can give a pretty good estimate.
Here are the Strength Standards compiled since the 1950s:
|Pounds||Bench Press Strength Standards for Adult Men|
|Pounds||Bench Press Strength Standards for Adult Women|
Training levels used in performance standards are as follows:
- Untrained: An individual who has not trained on the exercises before but can perform them correctly.
- Novice: An individual who has trained regularly for up to several months.
- Intermediate: An individual who has trained regularly for up to a couple of years.
- Advanced: An individual who has trained for multiple years.
- Elite: An athlete competing in strength sports. Remember that the standards in the tables do not represent the highest level of strength performance possible.
How Many People In The U.S. Can Bench Press 225?
From my calculations, about 1,392,922 Americans can bench press 225 pounds. In the table below, I will break down how I gathered the data to reach 1,392,922 Americans.
|How Many Americans Can Bench Press 225 Pounds|
|USA Population: 335,511,650|
|Americans Who Hold An Active Gym Membership: 64,190,000|
|Active Members Who Visit Gym At Least 2x/Week: 32,095,000|
|About 50% of Gym-Goers Are Male: 16,047,500|
|Gyms Typically Lose 50% Of Members Within The First 6 Months: 8,023,750|
|Young Adults (18-34 Years Old) Make Up 31% Of The Gym Population: 2,487,362|
|Average of 28% Of Americans Weigh 220+ lbs: 696,461|
|Addition of Females & Home Gym Lifters: 1,392,922|
|How Many Americans Can Bench Press 225 Pounds? 1,392,922|
- I started with the American population of 335,511,650.
- In 2019, 64,190,000 Americans held a gym membership.
- It was reported that only 32,095,000 Americans went to the gym 2x/week. It can be assumed that somebody will need to go to the gym at least 2x/week to build enough strength to bench 225.
- Since it is more common for males to lift 225 lbs, I narrowed down the number to 16,047,500.
- Benching 225 takes some time, we need to look at people who stayed at a gym for more than 6 months. That number is 8,023,750.
- 18-34-year-olds will have the highest number of individuals who can bench 225, so I pulled data of that demographic. The number is now 2,487,362.
- Weighing 220+ pounds is advantageous to reach a 225 lb bench, so we now have 696,461 Americans.
- I multiplied that number by 2 to account for elite females and people who lift at home to reach 1,392,922.
That math led me to 1,392,922 Americans who can bench press 225 pounds.
Next time you’re at your gym, look around to see how few people will bench with “2 plates” out of every person in the gym. That will give you a good perspective on how rare it is.
Working with a trainer will be the most beneficial tool to reach 225 pounds. As a trainer, I have the expertise in assessing fitness levels, program workouts, cue proper technique, and pushing somebody to reach their goals. I tell my clients that 225 wouldn’t come overnight, but it will come as long as the training plan is followed.
Why Is A 225 Pound Bench Press Significant?
A 225-lb bench press shows that a lifter is in a small minority who has uncommon strength and power. 225 lbs is also “2 plates,” which is something lifters talk about. Two large 45-lb plates on each side, plus the 45-lb bar, equals 225 lbs.
This achievement also carries various implications for athletes, powerlifters, and bodybuilders, indicating a level of strength and dedication that separates the serious trainees from the novices.
Here are some reasons why the 225 lb bench press is a notable benchmark:
- NFL Combine Benchmark: The NFL Combine uses the 225 lb bench press to measure an athlete's upper body strength and endurance. Athletes must lift this weight as often as possible, with higher repetitions indicating greater strength and endurance.
- Intermediate Level Strength: Attaining a 225 lb bench press often signifies that an individual has graduated from the novice level and has reached an intermediate level of strength. It's a common goal that motivates individuals to progress in their training.
- Muscular Development: A 225 lb bench press requires a solid foundation of muscular development. Achieving this milestone is often accompanied by visible changes in muscle size and definition, especially in the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
- Health Benefits: The process of working towards a 225 lb bench press can contribute to better overall physical health, including improved bone density, enhanced metabolic rate, and a lower risk of chronic diseases.
In conclusion, the 225 lb bench press is more than just a number; it's a significant milestone in a strength athlete's journey, embodying physical prowess, discipline, and a dedication to continuous improvement.
Tips on How To Achieve A 225-Pound Bench Press
Below, you will find my best tips on finally hitting the magic number of 225. These are tips that I used to lift 225 for the first time, as well as how I coach my athletes and clients.
Progressive overload, or increasing the weight over time, will greatly help benching 225 lbs.
You’ll want to increase the amount of sets, reps, or weights you are doing over time. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) suggests increasing the intensity 10% or lower to allow for gradual adaptations from week to week.
For novice and untrained lifters, it will be better to base a progressive overload based on feel of difficulty and not lift maximally based on numbers. It is not safe for an untrained person to max out their lifts.
I like to use a scale of 1-5, where 1 is very easy, 2 is easy, 3 is medium, 4 is hard, and 5 is very hard. When the weight is no longer challenging, increase the weight a bit. If completing the amount of reps is not challenging anymore, increase the amount of reps.
Below are two 4-week example programs with example weights for an untrained lifter:
Increase The Weight Weekly
- Week 1: 5×5 @ 100 lbs (3/5 difficulty)
- Week 2: 5×5 @ 105 lbs (3/5 difficulty)
- Week 3: 5×5 @ 110 lbs (4/5 difficulty)
- Week 4: 5×5 @ 115 lbs (4/5 difficulty)
Increase The Sets Weekly
- Week 1: 3×5 @ 100 lbs (3/5 difficulty)
- Week 2: 4×5 @ 100 lbs (3/5 difficulty)
- Week 3: 5×5 @ 100 lbs (4/5 difficulty)
- Week 4: 6×5 @ 100 lbs (5/5 difficulty)
Check out our guide on the Bench Press Pyramid, and give it a try yourself!
Practice Proper Form
To practice proper form, maintain rigidity through your core, manage your breathing pattern, squeeze your scaps into the bench, and achieve full depth.
Proper form is key. Make sure every training rep is performed with proper form, as well as the 225 lb lift itself. I have often seen people miss the 225 lift, not because they are too weak, but because their form breaks down.
For a more detailed guide on how to perfect your bench press technique, check out our article, The Ultimate Bench Press Guide.
Maintain Lean Body Mass
Maintaining your lean body mass is an important aspect of the road to 2 plates. If you are in a caloric deficit, you may begin to lose lean body mass, therefore losing strength gains. You must keep lean body mass to grow and support your lifting weight.
Heavy resistance training will stimulate muscle growth and strength processes in your body. Your body will need to overcome that heavy load and adapt to it.
Responses from lifting heavy weight include an increase in cross-sectional area of muscle fibers, increased volume of myofibrils, and increased enzyme activity among many other biological benefits to get you stronger.
To make sure you get all these benefits, choose a weight that you can successfully complete all the desired reps for. It should be heavy, but do-able.
Check out this quick upper body push workout to get started with lifting heavy:
- BB Bench Press – 4×5
- Incline DB Bench Press – 4×8
- Seated DB Overhead Press – 4×8
- Close Grip Push-Ups – 3xAMRAP (As Many GOOD Reps As Possible)
- Cable Tricep Pressdown – 2×10-15
Check out our guide on how to Increase Your Bench Press By 50 Pounds.
How Long To Reach A Bench Press of 225 Pounds
To reach 225 pounds, it could take between 3-24 months, depending on the individual. For beginners, it will take longer to develop the size and strength needed to produce enough force to lift 225.
A more trained and advanced lifter may only need a few months to perfect the little details they need.
It took me 1 month of intense training to add 10 pounds to my bench when I lifted 225 for the first time. I have also had clients who took 6-12 months to finally reach 225.
The exact time frame varies between individuals greatly. I wish I could give you an exact time frame, but factors like training age, body anthropometrics, strength level, and effectiveness of programming all influence how long it will take to reach 225 pounds.
Remember, benching 225 is a very challenging metric. So do not get discouraged if 225 takes some time to get.
How Much Should I Be Able To Bench Press?
A common method to guide how much you should be able to bench press is based on your body weight and gender.
The chart below demonstrates an appropriate amount of weight that males should be able to bench press on average in relation to their body weight. For example, the average 19-year-old male who weighs 129 pounds should be able to bench press 180 pounds.
Here’s how much you should be able to bench press based on your age and body weight:
|How Much Men Should Be Able To Bench Press|
|Age||Times Body Weight|
|19 - 20||x1.4|
|21 - 25||x1.5|
|30 - 37||x1.6|
|38 - 39||x1.5|
The chart below demonstrates an appropriate amount of weight that females should be able to bench press on average in relation to their body weight. For example, the average 19-year-old female who weighs 129 pounds should be able to bench press 116 pounds.
|How Much Women Should Be Able To Bench Press|
|Age||Times Body Weight|
|19 - 20||x0.9|
|21 - 35||x1.0|
For a complete breakdown of the average bench press from 19 – to 39-year-old lifters who have competed in the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), check out our article, How Much Should You Be Able To Bench? (By Age & Weight). Or read more about the Average Bench Strength For 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 Year Olds.
Use Your Squat To Estimate Your Bench Press
If you know your squat numbers, you can estimate a good number to bench press based on that.
- Men should be able to squat 250% of their body weight and bench 160% of their bodyweight for a squat-to-bench ratio of 156%.
- Women should be able to squat 200% of their body weight and bench 120% of their bodyweight for a squat-to-bench ratio of 167%.
These numbers vary across different weight classes, but that is an overall assessment.
If you’re curious about squat-to-bench ratios, check out our guide on Squat to Bench Press Ratios: How Much More Should You Squat?
Bench Pressing 225 Pounds at the NFL Combine
As part of the NFL Draft Combine, the athletes must bench press 225 pounds for as many reps as possible.
This is an example of how many times top athletes can bench press 225 lbs.
Below is a chart of the 10 highest number of reps of 225 lbs in one sitting from NFL.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Heavy Is A 225 Pound Bench Press
A 225 pound bench press is synonymous to a 102 kilogram bench press if you go by the metric system.
A 225-pound bench press includes a 45-pound barbell and 4 45-pound plates (2 on each side of the bar) to equal a total of 225 pounds. A refrigerator is an everyday object that weighs around 225 pounds to paint a picture of what you’re lifting.
Can An Untrained Person Bench 225?
On very rare occasions, an untrained person could bench 225. They would have to naturally have enough muscle size and strength, which some people do. Following a training program will be the best way to reach 225 pounds.
How Many Reps Of 225 Is Good?
1 rep of 225 is an achievement in itself of how rare it is to reach 225. Doing 5 to 8 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press would translate to a rep range to target strength, so that would be really for 225.
Is It Impressive To Bench 225?
Benching 225 is an impressive marker for the gym. Just over 1.3 million Americans are strong enough to bench 225 pounds. That is an impressive feat which should not be taken lightly.
Can Women Bench 225 Pounds?
Although more difficult, women can absolutely bench press 225 pounds. Women who can bench 225 pounds are typically athletes in the sport of powerlifting. The world record for heaviest bench press by a woman is 605 pounds, proving women can bench 225 pounds.
Benching 225 pounds is not an easy task. It requires immense amounts of strength and training.
Both men and women can achieve this special number on their bench press. Progressive overload, proper form, maintaining lean mass, and lifting heavy will be the best way to finally reach that goal. Everybody has a different time frame, but 3-24 months is a good line to reach this marker.
So, will you be joining the 2 plates club?
About the Author
Jake Woodruff has an MS in Sports Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently a strength and conditioning sports performance coach at a private Pittsburgh facility. He is a former college athlete and currently plays semi-pro soccer. You can connect with him on Instagram.