Bench Press Calculator
Calculate your max bench press by entering the weight and reps.
Bench Press Max:
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How to Calculate Your Max Bench Press
The bench press is a cornerstone exercise in many strength training programs because it’s a robust measure of upper body strength. Calculating the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a single repetition (often referred to as a one-rep max or 1RM) provides valuable insights into your strength level.
While the most accurate method to determine your one-rep max is to actually find the max weight you are able to lift only one time, although doing so may increase your risk of injury. Fortunately, you can calculate your max lift while minimizing risk of injury by using one of the following formulas.
One-Rep Max Formula
The calculator above uses the Brzycki formula to estimate a one-rep max for the bench press. To use this formula, you will select a weight you are capable of lifting and perform repetitions to failure.
The number of repetitions achieved is then inserted into the formula to calculate your estimated 1RM. Keep in mind for all 1RM estimations, the greater number of repetitions you perform, the less accurate the formula becomes.
Ideally you select a weight that you can lift no more than 10 times.
The Brzycki formula is as follows:
1RM = weight lifted × 36 / 37 – reps
This formula was developed by Matt Brzycki and is a popular method to estimate a lifter’s one-rep max.
Alternate One-Rep Max Formulas
While the Brzycki formula is widely used, there are several other formulas that can also be used to estimate a 1RM. These include:
1RM = weight lifted × (1 + reps/30)
1RM = weight lifted × reps0.10
1RM = weight lifted × (1 + (0.025 × reps))
Each formula offers a slightly different estimate based on the weight and reps input. It may be beneficial to try multiple formulas to get a range of estimated max press lifts to determine the most realistic one-rep max.
It’s important to note that these formulas provide an estimate for the max weight lifted, but are usually accurate to within a few pounds when used with 3-5RM tests. However, the estimates are much less accurate as the number of reps for the test increase.
Tips For Improving Your Bench Press Max
There are several ways you can improve your bench press max.
- Progressive Overload: In order for an individual to achieve a certain training adaptation, the body must be stressed by working against a stimulus or load that is greater than that to which it is accustomed. For continued adaptation, the training stimulus must gradually and constantly increase. If overload increases too quickly, poor technique, and injury may result. If overload is progressed too slowly, improvements and adaptations may be slow or minimal. Gradually and consistently progressing the weight you’re lifting over time will challenge your muscles, promoting growth and strength.
- Training Intensity: Depending on your goals, you may implement different sets and reps to most efficiently induce muscle adaptation. For example, when training for muscular strength, it is recommended that you utilize loads that you can perform <= 6 repetitions, and you perform 2-6 sets. For training muscular endurance, performing >= 12 repetitions during 2-3 sets is recommended.
- Technique Refinement: Perfecting your form not only ensures safety but can also increase the amount of weight you can lift. Engage a knowledgeable coach or trainer for feedback.
- Accessory Exercises: Incorporate exercises like push-ups, dumbbell presses, and tricep workouts to strengthen the supporting muscles involved in the Bench Press.
- Rest and Recovery: Allow adequate rest between sets and sessions. Muscles grow and repair during recovery, not while they’re being worked. Depending on your goals, different rest periods between sets are recommended. For example, the NSCA recommends a 2-5 minute rest between sets when the goal is muscular strength, or less than 30 seconds when the goal is muscular endurance. It is also recommended to give your muscle groups a 24-hour period of recovery between sessions before working them again.
- Nutrition: Ensure you’re consuming enough protein and overall calories to support muscle growth. Use our calories burned lifting calculator to estimate how many additional calories you need. Depending on your sport or training, the NSCA recommends different nutrient intakes. For example, proper nutrition for strength includes a protein intake of 1.4-1.7 grams per kilogram body-weight daily, with 20-30 grams of protein consumption within 2-3 hours following training. 5-6 grams per kilogram body-weight of carbohydrates per day, with 30-100 grams of high-glycemic carbs being consumed following training is recommended, and adequate hydration to prevent water weight losses exceeding 2% of body-weight.
- Sleep: Our bodies recover and adapt while we sleep. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, adults should consistently achieve at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night in order to optimize recovery both physiologically and psychologically.
- Mindset: Mental preparation and visualization can be crucial. Believing you can lift heavier weights and visualizing the successful lift can make a significant difference.
You might also be interested in using our target heart rate calculator to optimize your workouts.
- Brzycki, Matt, Strength Testing – Predicting a One-Rep Max from Reps-to-Fatigue, The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 1993, 64.1, 88-90.
- Wong, D., Ngo, KL., Tse, M., Smith, A., Using bench press load to predict upper body exercise loads in physically active individuals, Journal of Sports Science Medicine, March 1, 2013, 12(1), 38-43. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24149723/
- Ribeiro Neto, F., Guanais, P., Dornelas, E. et al., Validity of one-repetition maximum predictive equations in men with spinal cord injury, Spinal Cord, 2017, 55, 950–95. https://www.nature.com/articles/sc201749
- Macarilla, C., Sautter, N., Robinson, Z., et al., Accuracy of Predicting One-Repetition Maximum from Submaximal Velocity in The Barbell Back Squat and Bench Press, Journal of Human Kinetics, April 26, 2022, 82, 201–212. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9465738/
- Klein, D., Post-Workout Nutrition—Nutrient Timing and the Anabolic Window, National Strength and Conditioning Association, https://www.nsca.com/education/articles/ptq/httpswww.nsca.comeducationarticlesptqpost-workout_nutrition_nutrient_timing_and_the_anabolic_window_u2014nutrient_timing_and_the_anabolic_window_/
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Seven or more hours of sleep per night: A health necessity for adults, https://aasm.org/seven-or-more-hours-of-sleep-per-night-a-health-necessity-for-adults/