Bench Press by Age

As the age of the lifter changes, so does the average bench press by age. In this article, I will be giving some standards of strength for athletes of different ages. Younger recreational lifters can also use these standards.

If you are 21 years or older and interested in powerlifting, please see the weights for bench press article for appropriate standards. If you are just an average guy wanting to know what an okay bench press is, see the average bench press by weight article.

With that said, below is a chart representing the average bench press by age for high school athletes.Note that there are no weight standards. This is intentional – on the sports field, there are no weight classes.

In sports, athletes are competiting against players of all sizes and strengths so differentiating by weight is a waste of time.

Bench Press By Age – High School

 Average  Good  Great
 Freshman (14 years old)  95 pounds  115 pounds  135 pounds
 Sophomore (15 years old)  115 pounds  135 pounds  185 pounds
 Junior (16 years old)  135 pounds  185 pounds  215 pounds
 Senior (17 years old)  185 pounds  205 pounds  235 pounds

I think at first glance, a lot of people assume these are on the low side. However, all of these lifts assume good, clean form, and no help from a spotter (aside from a lift off). In high school weight rooms, this is very uncommon, as range of motion is never full and there is always a spotter pulling the bar off their friend’s chest while saying something like “all you bro”.

Additionally, this refers to average high school athletes. There are certain to be a few outliers who hit puberty at an early age and might be a lot stronger than this.

Breakdown by Class

Really, even benching 135 pounds as a Freshman in high school is a great bench, because most athletes have never done any regular weight training before entering high school. Benching bodyweight as a Freshman is a great accomplishment.

By graduation, I consider a 235-pound bench press a great accomplishment. As evidence, as the “High School Combines”, where college scouts look for talent, a position player pressing 185 pounds for 10 reps is enough to raise some interest in college coaches. If getting looks from scouts is not considered great by a high school athlete, I am not sure what is.

Bench Press by Age – College

 Average  Good  Great
 Freshman (18 years old)  225 pounds  255 pounds  275 pounds
 Sophomore (19 years old)  245 pounds  275 pounds  315 pounds
 Junior (20 years old)  265 pounds  290 pounds  345 pounds
 Senior (21 years old)  275 pounds  305 pounds  375 pounds


In college, things changes a bit. The average collegiate athlete by default benches more than a teenager, as most weak high school athletes do not make collegiate teams.

Additonally, I realize there is a disparity between “good” and “great”. Part of this stems from the fact that linemen will be expected to bench more than wide receivers. Note that these numbers also reflect full range-of-motion and no “help” from a spotter. This is also rare in college weight rooms, and “it’s all you bro” is a common occurance.

What about non-college athletes? The same numbers should apply. You could argue that collegiate athletes may have superior genetics (as evidenced by playing sports at a high level), but I would argue that any genetic advantage would be off-set by the fact that athletes do not have much time for weight training during the season. The average college student has plenty of time to train.

Bench Press by Age – Beyond College

As has been stated before, once someone is older, standards mentioned in the weights for bench press article are applicable for adults.