How Strong Are You?
Hail to the Dinosaurs!
We'll answer the "How strong are you?"
question in just a minute -- but first,
let me make a very important Dinosaur
Today is a very big day at Dinosaur
It's Trudi's birthday -- and although I
can't tell you her age, I will say this:
It's a big one.
So please head on over to my Facebook
page and wish Trudi a Happy Birthday --
or shoot an email to Dino Headquarters
and I'll be sure she sees your message.
And now -- let's answer the question.
How strong are you?
In response to yesterday's email, I've
been getting lots of questions about what
constitutes a good poundage goal for the
And since the Military Press was the
number one test of strength "back in
the day," it's a great way to compare
yourself to old school lifters.
So the question becomes, "What's a
good poundage goal for the military
The best way to answer this question is
to go back in time to the days when the
military press was part of official
weightlifting competitions, and when
virtually everybody who trained did
plenty of military pressing. (We're
talking back in the 1930's and 1940's.)
In 1939, Bob Hoffman published a book
called Weightlifting. In it, he gave a
table of lifting awards for 50 different
exercises and lifts, including the
military press and the military press
for reps. The former was a one rep lift,
and the latter was one clean followed
by five consecutive presses.
Hoffman's rating system used the five
weight classes then used in official
lifting competition. For each class,
he gave Gold, Silver and Bronze medal
ratings on each lift.
Here are the Hoffman standards for the
one rep military press (i.e., the clean
and military press). All weights are in
pounds -- and remember, this was back in
1939, long before roidskies hit the scene,
so don't think the guys were roiding up
to make these numbers:
132 pound class
Gold -- 165
Silver -- 145
Bronze -- 25
148 pound class
Gold -- 175
Silver -- 155
Bronze -- 135
165 pound class
Gold -- 190
Silver -- 170
Bronze -- 150
181 pound class
Gold -- 205
Silver -- 180
Bronze -- 155
Gold -- 215
Silver -- 195
Bronze -- 175
So Hoffman's gold medal standard was
roughly 25 or 30 pounds OVER your own
bodyweight in the lighter weight classes,
and something like your own bodyweight in
the Heavyweight class (where most lifters
of the era weighed in at 220 or 225 pounds,
which as BIG back then).
These were good standards in 1939, and
they're good standards today.
You can even use them to adjust your goals
based on your age. It's simple to do.
If you're in your teens, twenties or
thirties, shoot for the Gold medal standard
in the press.
If you're over the age of 40, shoot for the
silver medal standards -- and if you're over
the age of 50, shoot for the bronze medal
Let me close by saying this -- if you hit
the Gold medal standard, you're doing really
well. As in, better than 99.99 percent of
everyone on the planet who exercises. And
that's not too shabby.
As always, thanks for reading, and have a
great day. If you train today, make it a
good one (and do some heavy presses)!
Yours in strength,