Tip: You may bookmark this page so you can periodically assess your progress with these powerlifting strength standards.

These powerlifting strength standards are derived from lifter rankings across numerous powerlifting federations across the globe, with the majority of the data coming in from US and Canada-based federations. These are the only powerlifting standards to account for international/universal data and are not restricted to a single nation.

The data were statistically treated in a rigorous manner to come up with the weight standards across different classification groups. These strength standards help you assess your strength level for the squat, deadlift, bench press, and powerlifting total, compared to other lifters of similar body weight, regardless of BMI.

Powerlifting Strength Standards Guidelines:

  • These are powerlifting strength standards, not general strength standards. Meaning, the data only includes powerlifters who compete or lifters who train using powerlifting methods and does not include casual gym goers who “happen” to squat, bench press, or deadlift.
  • Standards reflect one-rep max (1RM) lifts
  • These are raw powerlifting standards. That is:
    • Standards apply to drug/steroid-free lifters
    • Only gear allowed is belt and straps. These standards do not account for other gear such as suits, knee wraps, bands etc.
    • Standards apply to qualified lifts with correct, proper form: below parallel depth for squats, pause in the bench press, and no hitching in deadlifts.
  • The numbers are in pounds(lbs) and already include the weight of the bar (20.4kg/45lbs). 1 kg = 2.205lbs, for reference.
  • The standards apply mostly to people between the ages of 18 – 50. Lifters younger or elder than the said range would have less strict standards.

Male Squat Standards (Lbs)

Men's Squat (Powerlifting Strength Standards)

Male Bench Press Standards (Lbs)

Men's Bench Press (Powerlifting Strength Standards)

Male Deadlift Standards (Lbs)

Men's Deadlift (Powerlifting Strength Standards)

Male Powerlifting Total Standards (Lbs)

Men's powerlifting total (Powerlifting Strength Standards)

Notice that the individual standards for the three lifts do not add up to the standards for powerlifting total. The single lifts take into account the ability to specialize, while the powerlifting total considers the all-around ability, weak points, and strengths of a lifter.

For instance, it is easier to improve your squat if you only train squats, rather than dividing your resources across all lifts. Similarly, a powerlifter may be Class II in all single lifts, but a Master in the powerlifting total since he/she would be more balanced.

Female Squat Standards (Lbs)

Women's Squat (Powerlifting Strength Standards)

Female Bench Press Standards (Lbs)

Women's Bench Press (Powerlifting Strength Standards)

Female Deadlift Standards (Lbs)

Women's Deadlift (Powerlifting Strength Standards)

Female Powerlifting Total Standards (Lbs)

Women's Powerlifting Total (Powerlifting Strength Standards)

Notice that the individual standards for the three lifts do not add up to the standards for powerlifting total. The single lifts take into account the ability to specialize, while the powerlifting total considers the all-around ability, weak points, and strengths of a lifter.

For instance, it is easier to improve your squat if you only train squats, rather than dividing your resources across all lifts. Similarly, a powerlifter may be Class II in all single lifts, but a Master in the powerlifting total since he/she would be more balanced.

Aren’t the numbers too high?/Aren’t the numbers too low?/I know many friends who can qualify as Elite! What explains this?

How you perceive the standards can be extremely relative, you may have your own definition of Elite, Master, Class I, etc. Elite, for example, simply means that these weights are in the highest weight class based on the data. We used all the information we could, and the data will never lie.

If you think the numbers are too light, remember that these numbers reflect raw lifts with strict proper form and no gear allowed aside from belt and straps. Most powerlifters violate this criteria and have lower numbers than they would think.

Generally, elite lifters are usually found within top 10-20 positions in local competitions. And Class IV lifters are usually beginner powerlifters just getting into the game, nevertheless eligible to participate in competitions.

On the other hand, these standards need to be relatively high for them to be relevant. It would not make sense if you have 100 Elite lifters for each weight class in your federation.