How Long Does It Take To Bench 225?

bench 225
August 31, 2022 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “how long does it take to bench 225?”. There are many milestones when it comes to bench pressing, but a 225lb bench is the first significant one.

Everyone remembers when they first hit this number and how they felt. This article will examine various points to consider in determining how long it will take you to hit a 225lb bench press.

How Long Does It Take To Bench 225?

The exact time it will take to bench 225 will vary from person to person. But the general consensus for the majority of people who train is 3 months to 2 years.

How long it takes depends on your genetics, anthropometry, weight/size, consistency, approach, technique, etc. There are so many facets to this which explains why there is such a wide range of times.

Genetics And Starting Point

Fundamentally, how long it will take to get to a 225lb bench press will largely depend on your starting point and genetics. Everyone starts at different points in terms of strength.

The first time I ever tried bench pressing when I was 16 I couldn’t even hit one plate. I was working with 40kg for a bit doing rep work, after a while I got up to 50kg for reps and beyond. There are some people who may be able to hit one plate for reps the first time they ever go to a gym.

Those people would reach a 225lb bench press faster, all other things being equal. Likewise, anthropometry plays a big role in determining how strong you are capable of getting on the bench press. People with short arms and a barrel chest will always have a higher potential on the bench press.

Lanky people with very long arms will not have the same potential in terms of absolute strength on the bench press. But of course, even people who are not built for benching can still surpass 225 fairly easily with consistency and effort.

There is a good article from Strengthisfirst on “what is a respectable bench press for an average lifter?”. The article makes for a good read – take a look

Get Your Technique Right From The Start

Bench pressing correctly from the outset will shorten the time it takes you to reach a 225 bench press. It will also help to prevent injuries and perform the exercise most efficiently.

Unfortunately, many people don’t bench press with the right technique. Some flare their elbows out instead of tucking them in, others don’t pinch their shoulder blades back and are not on their traps.

By utilising better technique you can quickly increase your max bench press without even doing anything else. By starting off on the right footing you will be able to make a lot more progress long term.

The video below shows bench pressing legend Scot Mendelson demonstrating how to perform the bench press the correct way using chain drive.

Increase Frequency Of Benching

When you are first starting out lifting, you are in the “noob” stage and can make gains rapidly. You can literally be doing anything at all and make progress.

By increasing frequency of benching you will become better at the movement and be able to progress fast. By being consistent you will reach a 225lb bench press in a relatively short time span.

Bench pressing two or three times a week is a good ballpark to shoot for when you are early in your lifting career. You can make fast adaptations and will see your bench number climb. Be sure to vary the intensity on each of the days.

Don’t Max Too Often

When you are young it is easy to fall into the trap of maxing out too often. I made this mistake as well in my teens and would max out pretty much every week on the bench.

This is counterproductive and won’t help you to achieve your goals faster. Instead, it’s best to follow a training methodology and stick to it for the long term. In my case I was a fan of working up to sets of five and applying progressive overload.

Test your one rep max once every couple of months. Celebrate the small wins along the way and don’t compare yourself to others. 
bench max

Assistance Exercises

Assistance exercises are equally important to strengthen weak links and bring up your bench press. In my early days of training from 16-18 years old, I worked out at home. 

The ceiling was too low where I was training for me to do standing overhead presses. So I relied heavily on the seated shoulder press and the close grip bench press to improve my bench to 225lbs and beyond.

I found getting stronger on those exercises helped massively in strengthening my bench. In addition, I would do dedicated tricep work with dumbbell tricep extensions. I would also be sure to do a lot of rowing to balance everything out and strengthen my back.

Funnily enough, nowadays the close grip bench press is my main benching movement of choice. I don’t do wider grip benches as I find they put more stress on the shoulders. In addition, there is a higher risk of pec strains with the wide grip bench.

I believe the close grip bench press to be a very true press and more functional in the real world. In addition, you will benefit from massive triceps if you perform this exercise heavy and consistently. 

Quality Nutrition

The bench press in particular is an exercise that responds favourably to nutrition. If you eat under maintenance calories it is very difficult to make great progress with the bench press.

If you eat slightly over maintenance and quality nutrition, you will give yourself the best chance at progressing your bench press. 

To learn about a great bodybuilding diet that will accelerate your journey, read my review of Stan Efferding’s vertical diet

Nutrition was something that I didn’t take too seriously when I was 16 or 17, later I realised how crucial quality nutrition is to fuel your body optimally and reach your goals faster.

Final Thoughts

How long does it take to bench 225? Generally anywhere from two to three months all the way to two years in most cases. There will be some outliers to this rule on both ends of the spectrum. 

The important thing is to execute the bench press with the right technique, be consistent, follow a solid plan and get adequate nutrients into your body to fuel the process.

Lastly, don’t compare yourself with other people. This will only serve to discourage you and get you down. Realise that we don’t all start off on an equal footing. But what matters is that we work hard to improve ourselves and make progress.

Everything else is just noise that doesn’t matter. If you have any questions about this topic please leave them in the comments.

As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!


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