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How Much Do You Bench, Bro?

Ah, the age-old question of gym-manliness. Yesterday I was asked how much I bench. This time it wasn't by the elderly man at Costco or my friendly neighbor who's just looking to politely express interest. This time it was by someone who was truly looking for guidance and perhaps change up his own workout.


I gave him my standard reply, "heavier than some people and lighter than others."


Here's the deeper explanation: I'm turning 45 in a couple months. I have several herniated discs. I have arthritis in my lumbar region. My wrists ache.


Fortunately, you don't need to set power-lifting records in order to grow muscle.


Don't believe me? Compare Brian Siders (first photo) with Brandon Curry (second photo). Brian is considered one of the all-time greatest powerlifters for his overall performance in bench press, squat and deadlift. Brandon Curry won the 2019 Arnold Classic and the 2019 Mr. Olympia, the two most prestigious bodybuilding competitions in the world.


Sure, there are guys like Stan Efferding who is one of the strongest bodybuilders to ever compete in bodybuilding and powerlifting. And no one could create a list of strongest bodybuilders without the king himself, Ronnie Coleman.


Yet neither Stan nor Ronnie would top the list of power-lifters. Nor would Hafthor Bjornsson (a.k.a. The Mountain) be on the list of bodybuilders, even when he got "cut up" to be on Game of Thrones.


My point being this: yes, there is a direct correlation between muscle growth and the amount of weight lifted but only in as much as muscle needs to be stimulated beyond it's current capacity in order to grow.


So if your goal is bodybuilding, then don't lift like a power-lifter. Bodybuilders use a different form, different amount of weight (and different diets) from power-lifters. In upcoming videos we'll show proper form for muscle-stimulation that results in growth.



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