Bench Press One Rep Max and Percentage Calculator

Bench Press One Rep Max and Percentage Calculator

The Tiger Fitness bench press calculator performs two functions:
  1. You can calculate an approximate one rep max using a weight and rep total from any set.
  2. You can calculate percentages of your one rep max without actually testing your one rep max.
These numbers will be particularly useful to lifters who rarely, if ever, test their limit strength on the bench press. There are many size and strength workout programs that reference percentages. This calculator allows you to gather some reasonable rough estimates so you can hit the gym and start making progress.

Calculate Your Bench Press One-Rep Max (1RM)

Bench Press One-Rep Max (1RM)
Weight Lifted:
Number of Reps:

How to Warm-Up for a Max Bench Press Attempt

Ready to get under the bar and test your bench press one rep max? A quality warm-up session should prepare the muscles and central nervous system (CNS) for a heavy attempt, without fatiguing you prior to the big effort.

When your warm-ups reach about 60% of your one rep max weight, start moving up in 10% increments, performing only singles. This will allow you to better engage your CNS without fatiguing your muscles.

Here is a sample one rep max warm up protocol for a lifter with a bench press around 300 pounds.
  • Bar x 10-15
  • 135 x 5
  • 185 x 3
  • 225 x 1
  • 255 x 1 (10% jump)
  • 285 x 1 (10% jump)
  • 305 - New bench press max effort
  • 310, 315 or 320*
* If your new one rep max effort felt very difficult, add 5 pounds to the bar and make a second max attempt. If your new one rep max effort felt moderately difficult, add 10 pounds to the bar and make a second max attempt. If your new one rep max effort felt somewhat easy, add 15 pounds to the bar and make a second max attempt.

Here is a second warm up example, this time for a lifter with approximately an 180 pound bench press.
  • Bar x 10
  • 95 x 5
  • 115 x 1
  • 130 x 1 (~10% jump)
  • 150 x 1 (10% jump)
  • 170 x 1 (10% jump)
  • 185 - New bench press max effort

Sample Set and Rep Schemes Based on Percentages

Now that you are equipped with some approximate percentages of your bench press one rep max, here are some training protocols you might want to try. Keep in mind that everyone is unique. You may need to adjust the weight up or down slightly.
  • 95% - 2 heavy singles
  • 90% - 2 heavy doubles
  • 85% - 5 sets x 2 reps, or 5 sets x 3 reps
  • 80% - 5 sets x 5 reps, or 8 sets x 3 reps
  • 75% - 6 sets x 6 reps

Bench Press Trivia

  • President Barack Obama can bench press 200 pounds.
  • Most men over the age of 18 can bench press 88% of their weight (in pounds).
  • Most women over the age of 18 can bench press 55% of their weight (in pounds).
  • The bench press was originally performed on the floor. In 1899, strongman George Hackenschmidt performed a 362 pound floor press from the chest up. It wasn't until 18 years later that this record was beaten. In 1916, Joe Nordquest bested Hackenchmidt's attempt by a mere 2.2 pounds.
  • During the last 100 years, the bench press world record has improved from 362 pounds to 1,100 pounds with bench shirts and over 700 pounds raw.
  • In 1999, Eastern Kentucky defensive tackle Justin Ernest performed 51 reps with 225 pounds at the NFL combine.
  • Doug Hepburn was the first man in history to strictly (no bounce) bench press both 400 and 500 pounds.
  • Pat Casey smashed through the 600 pound bench press barrier in the 1960s.
  • Ted Arcidi crushed the first 700 pound bench press in the 1980s. It should be noted that he was wearing one of the first early bench press shirts.
  • Epic Spoto holds the current raw bench press record. He performed a 716 and 722 pound bench press at the same meet in 2013.
  • A 500 pound raw, natural bench press is extremely rare.
  • Most male lifters will never achieve a 300 pound bench press max. If you reach this level, consider yourself to be very strong.
  • April Mathis holds the all-time raw bench press record for women. In 2010 she was able to press 402.3 pounds at a body weight of 258.5 pounds.
  • For women, a bench press over 300 pounds is extremely rare.
Editor's note: What is your calculated max? Let us know in the comments section below.

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