How Many People Can Bench 225? Full Results from Actual Study

Workout Plans | Written by Nathan Petitpas | Updated on 4 June 2024

A man in a blue shirt and black shorts is lying on a bench, pressing a barbell with two plates on each end.

Some individuals wonder about the number of people who can bench 225, as it represents a significant achievement for many gym-goers at some point in their fitness journey.13

They’ll be happy to know that an actual study provides the answer they’re looking for and the full results of the findings.

In addition, this guide educates readers on recommended bench press lifts for men and women, the bench press average of NFL players, and advice on achieving a 225 bench press.

How Impressive is Benching 225 Pounds?

A person who’s able to bench 225 pounds is quite impressive to the general population because that weight is equivalent to lifting a washing machine and a watermelon at the same time. (It’s also about 10 times the weight of a water cooler.)

It’s also quite the feat because even many people in the gym are unable to lift this much, or at least not if they’re somewhat new to lifting. It’s not uncommon for it to take people years of consistent effort to push up 2 plates – or 225 pounds.

Though it’s possible to bench press that much with the right discipline, there are reasons why some people can’t achieve it.

One reason is being too busy to go to the gym since they work or are enrolled in school.

For other people, money is an issue; they want to practice, but gym memberships are out of their price range.

With that said, it begs the question of the approximate number of individuals around the globe who can accomplish this feat.

How Many People in the World Can Bench 225 Lbs?

Many people wonder about the number of individuals who can bench 225 worldwide, so we conducted an independent study to find the answer.

Researchers gathered data from the World Health Organization (WHO) physical activity report, Pew Research Center, World Bank, and the International Health, Racquet, & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) to analyze its findings.

According to the WHO physical activity report, 25 percent of adults aren’t meeting the weekly recommended activity levels (about 75 to 300 minutes per week).

Additionally, it features the benefits of physical activity on the body, mind, and overall well-being.1

In the Pew Research Center study, 70 percent of people worldwide live on $10.00 or less each day, and the World Bank press release states that 50 percent of the globe makes $5.50 per day.2,3

The IHRSA said that in 2019, around 71.5 million Americans went to a gym. This is equivalent to 21 percent; breaking it down by gender, half were men or about 10.5 percent.

To summarize this:

  • WHO – The amount of adults worldwide who do get enough physical activity is 75%
    PEW Research Center – The percentage of the world that has access to gym equipment and lives on more than $10 per day is 30%

When combining data from WHO and PEW, we can conclude that out of the 75% of people who get enough physical activity, only 30% have access to gym equipment and 30% of 75% equals 22.5% of the world population who gets enough exercise and lives on more than $10 per day.

But when we add data from IHRSA, these numbers dwindle even further.

IHRSA – Only 21% of Americans go to the gym. It’s rare for women to bench over 225 so we’ll use 10.5% moving forward to simplify things.

While this doesn’t account for people who are inconsistent or the rest of the world, it’s a great data point because the vast majority of America lives on more than 10+ dollars per day and gym attendance in the U.S. is likely equal or higher to other developed countries.

Now, 10.5% (men in the U.S. who lift) of the 22.5% brings us to 2.3% of the population who can bench over 225 pounds.

Putting this information in another way, it’s about 36 million men, and approximately 1 to 3 percent of this population can bench 225 pounds.

The 1-3% is a conservative estimate on both ends and the 36 million is derived from dividing the world population (7.837 billion (7,837,000,000)) by two since mostly men can bench 225 pounds, and then taking that and figuring only 1% of them can bench 225 which brings us to the 36-39 million seen above.

These reports demonstrate that keeping in shape maintains physical and mental health, plus economics play a role in the affordability of a gym membership.

Therefore, it appears that approximately 1 in 1000 of the global population can bench press 225 pounds because remember, the findings above are based off of people who get enough activity, people who have access to gym equipment, and from data on the amount of people who lift in American alone.

But, there are certain flaws in their research and conclusions in addition to this:

The first one is that the data doesn’t account for sick people. Sure, the WHO report lists advice for those living with chronic conditions, but many of them can still lead a healthy lifestyle as long as they keep their conditions under control.

Someone with an ailment like influenza wouldn’t be able to exercise since they have severe chest and muscle pains.

Plus, the Pew Research Center, World Bank, and the IHRSA studies were conducted in 2015, 2018, and 2019 respectively, so they’re a bit dated.

Fortunately, we came across an updated report on global poverty levels.

The Development Initiatives website has global poverty trends that were updated in 2021. According to its calculations, about 1.1 billion individuals lived in deep poverty in 2010.

Once 2021 arrived, the global poverty rate decreased to 698 million or 9 percent.

Furthermore, about 40 percent of people currently get by on $5.50 each day, 10 percent less than World Bank’s 2018 report.4

A man in black shorts lying on a bench with a barbell on his chest while performing on a bench press of 225 pounds.

Source: Ibrakovic via Canva.com11

The point is that 1 in 1000 people being able to bench press 225 is likely lower due to current world events even though poverty levels decreased.

Therefore, the real estimate is approximately 0.75 in 1000 individuals.

What Percent of the World Population Can Bench 225 Lbs in the World?

Based on the aforementioned data, about 0.075 percent of the world’s population can bench 225 pounds and that comes out to about 581 million people worldwide.

Even though the poverty rate is lower today than it was a few years ago, many people still lack the financial means of purchasing a gym membership.

Also, some individuals may dwell in a rural area, making it a trial to access a gym let alone buy a membership.

How Many People in the U.S. Can Bench 225?

As mentioned earlier, the data from the 2019 IHRSA study is slightly out of date. Unfortunately, there are currently no 2020 or 2021 statistics on gym attendance because of recent world events.

Nonetheless, there’s information about health clubs available to make a hypothesis. For instance, there were 41,370 in 2019, and that number declined to 34,337 in 2020, 32,269 in 2021, and 31,028 in 2022 so far.5

From this data and the information in the previous section, it can be inferred that there are currently about 3,400,000 American gym visitors today.

Therefore, about 17,000 people in the U.S. can bench 225 pounds.

What Percentage of Americans Can Bench Press 225 Pounds?

It was previously stated that only 1 to 3 percent of the country can accomplish this, but that was before we considered other possible factors.

That said, it’s estimated to be approximately 0.075 to 2 percent of Americans can bench press 225 pounds.

How Much Should I Be Able to Bench Press for My Weight & Age (Men & Women)?

Even though a handful of individuals can bench 225 or more pounds, it shouldn’t discourage those wanting to take it up.

Before starting bench press exercises, interested parties should consult charts with bench press averages for men and women by weight and age.

AgePercentage of Body Weight
20 to 29100% of body weight
30 to 3990% of body weight
40 to 4980% of body weight
50 to 5975% of body weight

Note that everyone’s different, so the below recommendations won’t fit perfectly, but they do give readers a rough idea of what to aim for:

Bench Press Averages for Men

The data below is the bench press strength standards for men at various weights:

Body Weight: 114 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 85 lbs
  • Beginner = 110 lbs
  • Intermediary = 130 lbs
  • Experienced = 180 lbs
  • Professional = 220 lbs

Body Weight: 123 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 90 lbs
  • Beginner = 115 lbs
  • Intermediary = 140 lbs
  • Experienced = 195 lbs
  • Professional = 240 lbs

Body Weight: 132 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 100 lbs
  • Beginner = 125 lbs
  • Intermediary = 155 lbs
  • Experienced = 210 lbs
  • Professional = 260 lbs

Body Weight: 148 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 110 lbs
  • Beginner = 140 lbs
  • Intermediary = 170 lbs
  • Experienced = 235 lbs
  • Professional = 290 lbs

Body Weight: 165 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 120 lbs
  • Beginner = 150 lbs
  • Intermediary = 185 lbs
  • Experienced = 255 lbs
  • Professional = 320 lbs

Body Weight: 181 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 130 lbs
  • Beginner = 165 lbs
  • Intermediary = 200 lbs
  • Experienced = 275 lbs
  • Professional = 345 lbs

Body Weight: 198 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 135 lbs
  • Beginner = 175 lbs
  • Intermediary = 215 lbs
  • Experienced = 290 lbs
  • Professional = 360 lbs

Body Weight: 220 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 140 lbs
  • Beginner = 185 lbs
  • Intermediary = 225 lbs
  • Experienced = 305 lbs
  • Professional = 380 lbs

Body Weight: 242 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 145 lbs
  • Beginner = 190 lbs
  • Intermediary = 230 lbs
  • Experienced = 315 lbs
  • Professional = 395 lbs

Body Weight: 275 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 150 lbs
  • Beginner = 195 lbs
  • Intermediary = 240 lbs
  • Experienced = 325 lbs
  • Professional = 405 lbs

Body Weight: 319 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 155 lbs
  • Beginner = 200 lbs
  • Intermediary = 245 lbs
  • Experienced = 335 lbs
  • Professional = 415 lbs

Body Weight: 320 lbs or more

  • Inexperienced = 160 lbs
  • Beginner = 205 lbs
  • Intermediary = 250 lbs
  • Experienced = 340 lbs
  • Professional = 425 lbs

Note, this highlights just how challenging it is to reach a 225 bench, but it also shows that far fewer people can bench 315. Those aiming to progress from 225 to 315 might wonder aboutthe number of 225 reps are needed to bench 315. While the exact number varies for each person, generally, if you can do 10-13 reps of 225, you should be able to bench 315.

What Percent of Men Can Bench Press 225 at Each Weight?

Considering how many men can bench press 225 at any given weight is crucial because a man weighing 130 pounds is far less likely to bench 225 pounds than a man at 190 pounds.

In general, we can segment the population by the inexperienced, beginners, intermediary, experienced and expert at the following percentages:

  • Professional = 1% of the population
  • Experienced = 10% or less of the population
  • Intermediary = 20% or less of the population
  • Beginner = 30%
  • Inexperienced = 39%

These are rough numbers figured from the data above, and when considering the obesity rate in the world is 13% across the globe and around 41.9% in America, it’s safe to say this is a very conservative, and rough estimation.

But if we combine the strength standards data above with our estimations on the population skill level, we can get an calculation of the percent of people at each given body weight can bench 225 pounds.

Body Weight% of People Who Can Bench 225 at a Given Body Weight
114-123 lbs<1%
132-181 lbs<10%
198-320 lbs<20%

Clearly, those who weigh more are more likely to have the ability to bench 225 while those who weigh less need far more training and experience.

Bench Press Averages for Women

A woman is wearing a black tank top while lying on a red bench as she's pressing a barbell upwards.

Source: Slatan via Canva.com12

Body Weight: 97 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 50 lbs
  • Beginner = 65 lbs
  • Intermediary = 75 lbs
  • Experienced = 95 lbs
  • Professional = 115 lbs

Body Weight: 105 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 55 lbs
  • Beginner = 70 lbs
  • Intermediary = 80 lbs
  • Experienced = 100 lbs
  • Professional = 125 lbs

Body Weight: 114 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 60 lbs
  • Beginner = 75 lbs
  • Intermediary = 85 lbs
  • Experienced = 110 lbs
  • Professional = 135 lbs

Body Weight: 123 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 65 lbs
  • Beginner = 80 lbs
  • Intermediary = 90 lbs
  • Experienced = 115 lbs
  • Professional = 140 lbs

Body Weight: 132 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 70 lbs
  • Beginner = 85 lbs
  • Intermediary = 95 lbs
  • Experienced = 125 lbs
  • Professional = 150 lbs

Body Weight: 148 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 75 lbs
  • Beginner = 90 lbs
  • Intermediary = 105 lbs
  • Experienced = 135 lbs
  • Professional = 165 lbs

Body Weight: 165 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 80 lbs
  • Beginner = 95 lbs
  • Intermediary = 115 lbs
  • Experienced = 145 lbs
  • Professional = 185 lbs

Body Weight: 181 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 85 lbs
  • Beginner = 110 lbs
  • Intermediary = 120 lbs
  • Experienced = 160 lbs
  • Professional = 195 lbs

Body Weight: 198 lbs

  • Inexperienced = 90 lbs
  • Beginner = 115 lbs
  • Intermediary = 130 lbs
  • Experienced = 165 lbs
  • Professional = 205 lbs

Body Weight: 199 lbs or more

  • Inexperienced = 95 lbs
  • Beginner = 120 lbs
  • Intermediary = 140 lbs
  • Experienced = 175 lbs
  • Professional = 220 lbs

(Age recommendations for women aren’t listed because fitness level and size play a bigger role for them concerning bench pressing than age.)6

How Much Can the Average Man Bench Press?

An individual needs to examine the above data to determine the bench pressing level of the average man.

After calculating the numbers, the total comes to approximately 220 pounds or 100kg, putting it at the intermediary, experienced, and professional levels.

What Percentage of People Can Bench 135?

So far, this guide’s been focusing on the number of people who can bench 225, a rare and incredible achievement. But, someone may want to know the percentage of people who can bench 135 pounds.

While a specific number is tough to pinpoint, it’s somewhat astounding since many males can accomplish this within a year, about 11 percent.

How Many Times Can Prospective NFL Players Bench 225?

Plenty of members in the NFL (National Football League) can bench 225!

If someone’s interested in trying out for the NFL, they need to achieve a certain number of 225-pound bench presses depending on the position they’re eager to join:

  • Defensive Backs and Receivers: 15 to 20 repetitions
  • Running Backs: 20 to 25 repetitions
  • Tight Ends and Linebackers: 25 to 30 repetitions
  • Linemen: 30 to 39 repetitions

The highest record to date is 49 repetitions performed by Stephen Phea, former defensive tackle.7

That being said, there are many other players who possess good bench records as well.

Ranging from 11 to 37 reps, the average among them is about 24 reps, meeting the running backs requirement.8

Tips to Achieve a 225 Bench Press & Get Stronger

This article has covered the facts, statistics, and speculations behind bench presses and exercising in general.

As a result, many readers are likely eager to get started with bench pressing.

Here are step-by-step tips on getting started:

Read up on strength training: Before an individual begins bench pressing, they need to educate themselves on strength training basics. They can start by studying a guide for beginners on the topic.

Examine bench press averages by gender, age, and weight: As stated in a previous section, it’s crucial for someone to know their bench press averages before exercising. After all, lifting at an inappropriate weight can make workouts too easy or too difficult (and possibly dangerous).

Set up proper body position: First, the person has to tuck their feet behind their knees while pushing the floor.

Next, they contract their shoulder blades together, grasp the barbell a bit wider than the width of their shoulders, tuck their elbows close to the torso, and ensure the barbell is in line with their forehead. (This setup keeps the body from shifting, which leads to reduced power.)

Perform warm-ups: Bench press warm-ups strengthen someone for exercises without tiring them out. Some examples of warm-ups include eight reps at 95 pounds, six reps at 135, three reps at 185 pounds, and one rep at 225 pounds with two to three-minute breaks in between.

Begin exercises: After finishing the warm-ups, an individual can commence special exercises to prepare. One of them is weighted pull-ups, which focus on building up the lats and front-to-back muscle balance to aid in lifting.

Another exercise for a person to consider is the chain bench press, a type of training technique that offers varied resistance and strengthens the triceps and pecs. In addition, they can train their grip since the bar feels lighter in their hands with practice.

They can improve their grip strength by utilizing thick bars during warm-ups and exercise sessions.

Wear wrist wraps: Wrist wraps, sometimes called resistance bands, allow people to increase their power and speed while training.

They may especially come in handy if someone wants to work their way up to benching 405 pounds.9,10

With these tips, enough persistence, and adequate food, most people can achieve a 225-pound bench press, even though the percentage of people who currently can is less than 2-3% of people in the U.S. and less than 0.075% of people in the world.


References

1World Health Organization. (2020). Physical Activity. Detail. 3 August 2022. Web. <https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity>

2Pew Research Center. (2015). Seven-in-Ten People Globally Live on $10 or Less a Day. Fact Tank. 3 August 2022. Web. <https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/09/23/seven-in-ten-people-globally-live-on-10-or-less-per-day/>

3World Bank. (2018). Nearly Half the World Lives on Less than $5.50 a Day. Press Release. 3 August 2022. Web. <https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/10/17/nearly-half-the-world-lives-on-less-than-550-a-day>

4Development Initiatives. (2021). Poverty Trends: Global, Regional, and National. Resources. 3 August 2022. Web. <https://devinit.org/resources/poverty-trends-global-regional-and-national/>

5IHRSA. (2022). Sharing the Benefits of Physical Activity. Media Center. 3 August 2022. Web. <https://www.ihrsa.org/about/media-center/>

6“Bench Press Strength Standards.” ExRx.net, <https://exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/BenchStandards>

7Bodybuilding.com. (2017). NFL Combine Trainer: 225 Bench Press For Enduring Strength. Fun. 4 August 2022. Web. <https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/nfl-combine-trainer-225-bench-press.html>

8NFL.com. (2022). 2022 NFL Combine. Combine. 4 August 2022. Web. <https://www.nfl.com/combine/tracker/live-results/bench-press/all-positions/all-colleges/>

9NFL.com. (2014). How to Master the 225 Pound Bench Press. News. 4 August 2022. Web. <https://www.nfl.com/news/how-to-master-the-225-pound-bench-press-0ap2000000315772>

10NFL.com. (2016). Training for the NFL Combine Bench Press Test. News. 4 August 2022. Web. <https://www.nfl.com/news/training-for-the-nfl-combine-bench-press-test-0ap3000000637311>

11Ibrakovic. “Chest Workout On Bench Press.” Canva. Accessed 7 April 2023. <https://www.canva.com/photos/MADBbFBi-JM-chest-workout-on-bench-press/>

12Slatan. “Fitness Girl Doing Incline Bench Press.” Canva. Accessed 7 April 2023. <https://www.canva.com/photos/MAEiP5d8gVk-fitness-girl-doing-incline-bench-press/>

13Jun. “Man during bench press exercise.” Canva. Accessed 7 April 2023. <https://www.canva.com/photos/MADerDLNFkE-man-during-bench-press-exercise/>

About the Author

Nathan Petitpas

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.