If the bench press a regular exercise for you then it is important to know what is considered a strong bench press. I used to think that being able to do a 500 lbs raw or unequipped bench press was a realistic goal for anyone if they were willing to work hard enough.
Although this may be true, the challenge of a double bodyweight bench press is like climbing Mount Everest – seldom have succeeded in this endeavour. Some attempting to climb Everest have died. Some attempting to bench press 500 lbs have torn a pec and never recovered.
In fact, there are only a few people that can bench press over 500 lbs. It is usually powerlifters that are over 300 lbs bodyweight – which makes it less than double bodyweight. If you don’t believe me, you can do the math based on the IPF World Men’s Classic Powerlifting results. These are the world’s best powerlifters and only less than half of them can bench press double bodyweight.
This means that in order to bench press over 500 lbs, chances are you are an elite world class powerlifter weighing over 250 lbs minimum. It takes a lot of strength, but also a lot of size to move this kind of weight. People tend to take this for granted.
So the next time you hear someone tell you they can bench twice their bodyweight don’t believe them unless you know they are actually a world class powerlifter. Knowing that less than half of the world’s best powerlifters can bench press double their bodyweight unequipped makes evident how great of an achievement it is – it is like climbing Mount Everest.