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What Is Strong? Real World Strength Standards For Raw, Natural Lifters

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Eavesdrop on a conversation between a powerlifter and an average Joe talking about their lifting PR’s…and you’ll see disbelief on the face of the average guy, regarding the numbers that get moved around by the strength athlete.

1,000lb squats and 800lb bench presses aren’t uncommon to find on YouTube, in an era where men are seemingly trying to become a modern-day Hulk.

However, many of these people are taking anabolic steroids, giving them a superficial advantage. Thus this article is dedicated to the lifter who wants to know the benchmarks for natural strength (outside of the steroid realm).

What is strong?

We know what strong is in natural powerlifting, because we have charts for each weight class that define state/provincial/national standards, see such charts below:

Record-Breaking Strong

Squats
National Raw Records for Men
Weight Class USAPL 100% Raw NASA ADFPF UPA-AD
 132  479.50  530.90  275.58  247.50  None
 148  473.75  550.90  473.99  445.50  220
 165  534.50  530  512.57  447.70  529
 181  562  601.10  540.13  500.50  529
 198  573  610  644.85  550  600
 220  650.25  650.30  699.96  583  633
 242  705.25  700.70  650.36  621.50  705
 275  766  850  755.08  599.50  640
 308  854.25  826.70  766.10  599.50  704
Bench Press
National Raw Records for Men
Weight Class USAPL 100% Raw NASA ADFPF UPA-AD
 132  314  330.40  231.48  187  None
 148  337.25  360.40  294.31  302.50  165
 165  402.25  400  363.76  374  314
 181  385.75  385  363.76  385  364
 198  443  425  418.87  374  412
 220  523.50  490  451.94  423.50  425
 242  462.75  485.60  415.57  451  457
 275  501.50  585  507.06  511.50  440
 308  546.50  520  476.19  484  501
Deadlifts
National Raw Records for Men
Weight Class USAPL 100% Raw NASA ADFPF UPA-AD
 132  578.50  450  358.25  341  None
 148  523.50  540  567.68  473  353
 165  661.25  630  567.68  535.70  567
 181  677.75  641.10  617.29  638  600
 198  706.50  661.30  661.38  671  630
 220  727.50  672.40  677.91  654.50  677
 242  699.75  760.50  722.01  704  645
 275  832.00  800  705.47  632.50  650
 308  843.25  760.50  810.19  665.50  744

How Strong Are You?

Thus by taking the above records into consideration, we can work out what strong is by natural standards (via doing some quick maths):

  • Elite strong = Raw record x 92.5%
  • Extremely Strong = Raw record x 75%
  • Very Strong = Raw record x 67.5%
  • Strong = Raw record x 57.5%
Pro Natural Raw Strength Standards
Men – By Weight
Weight Squats Bench Deadlifts
 132  430  270  440
 148  460  300  470
 165  500  330  540
 181  540  350  580
 198  570  380  610
 220  610  410  640
 242  640  430  660
 275  670  450  680
 308  700  470  700
Elite Natural Raw Strength Standards
Men – By Weight
Weight Squats Bench Deadlifts
 132  400  250  410
 148  425  280  435
 165  465  305  500
 181  500  325  535
 198  530  350  565
 220  565  380  595
 242  595  400  610
 275  620  420  630
 308  650  435  650
Extremely Strong Natural Raw Strength Standards
Men – By Weight
Weight Squats Bench Deadlifts
 132  325  205  330
 148  345  225  355
 165  375  250  405
 181  405  265  435
 198  430  285  460
 220  460  310  480
 242  480  325  495
 275  505  340  510
 308  525  355  525
Very Strong Natural Raw Strength Standards
Men – By Weight
Weight Squats Bench Deadlifts
 132  290  185  300
 148  310  210  320
 165  340  225  365
 181  365  240  395
 198  385  260  415
 220  415  280  435
 242  435  290  445
 275  455  305  460
 308  475  320  475
Strong Natural Raw Strength Standards
Men – By Weight
Weight Squats Bench Deadlifts
 132  250  155  255
 148  265  175  270
 165  290  190  310
 181  310  205  335
 198  330  220  350
 220  350  235  370
 242  370  250  380
 275  385  260  390
 308  405  270  405

The average American man is natural and weighs 198lbs, thus as a general rule of thumb – being strong translates as having a 330lb squat, a 220lb bench press and 350lb deadlift.

Again this only applies to natty lifters, if you’re injecting anabolic steroids these numbers are going to be significantly inflated; especially when taking AAS like anadrol, tren, deca and dianabol.

One study found that in the first 10 weeks of taking steroids, participant’s strength increased by up to 20% (2). It’s also worth pointing out that in this study, the steroid-users only gained 5kg in weight (lean mass). This is a very small amount for taking roids, thus they may have been taking low doses. This means that a bodybuilder taking moderate doses can expect to increase their strength even more than this…especially after running cycles for several months.

These are some serious strength gains, thus if you’re natural and you can lift bigger poundages than a guy who you know is juicing – props to you.

How do you compare to these numbers? What is your ultimate squat/bench/deadlift PR? Let us know in the comments below!

References

(1) https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr122-508.pdf

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15248788

 

Ernst Peibst

Ernst Peibst has spent over 3,000 hours researching anabolic steroids and PED's. He's also dedicated the last 7 years educating people about their effects, with hundreds of thousands of people reading his articles. He's studied countless science papers, read several expert books and has consulted some of the finest doctors in the world - on the topic of steroids.
Ernst Peibst

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