Originally Posted by Rickson
I've done pretty close to double my bodyweight. I was in the 180s with a 345 lb. flat bench press. All the other guys in the gym who could press 3 plates and up were all over 200 lbs..
If you were benching 2x your body weight, then you were in a pretty elite group. Probably a combination of good genetics and really hard work.
This reminds me...I was at the Arnold Classic a couple of years ago, and while strolling through the trade show, came across a display where you could sign a waiver and take a crack at benching 225 pounds. There was this one guy who must have cranked out 20 or 25 reps. But, he was about 5' 6" tall and had the shortest arms I have ever seen. When he benched, the bar probably didn't move more than six inches. Not to take anything away from the guy, 'cause I couldn't bench 225 once, let alone 25 times. Still, I don't know if I could call the guy an athlete. Later, I saw him walking past the Marines booth. They had a pull-up bar and were giving guys the chance to crank out a few reps. Our bench pressing friend wouldn't go near it. I bet watching him try to do pull-ups would have been ugly.
Anyway, I think the bench press is one (but only one) good measure of an athlete's strength. Personally, I'd rather be a good decathlete than hold the world bench pressing record. But...to each his own.