Your #'s when you first started lifting....

I’ve always been a pretty weak person, and today when I tried a few lifts just to get a feel for what I should use when I started lifting, I was extremely disappointed. I’m going to start lifting weights seriously on Monday. What were your numbers when you first started lifting weights seriously? Just curious, hopefully there are some stories of people who were like me here. Thanks in advance.

My interest in weight training came from reading X-men and other comic titles and seeing ripped bodies and so of course the next step in the ealy 90s was bodybuilding. No Mark Verstegen, No Boyle, No anybody. Just Arnold.

My training for two years in HS sucked since I was so weak I couldn’t lift 135 in the bench so I did dumbbells to mask my weakness since nobody used dbs in HS and the strength conversion was lost.

I went on and learned the science from college and texts and went from 152 to 195 body weightand now stay at a lean 180. My squat went from 165 to over 300 pounds and did 3 reps at 400 pounds. My bench never got impressive 3 x 5 at 225.

You shouldn’t be discouraged… I first started lifting as a freshman in high school… I remember very well not even being able to squat 185 lbs. for more than 3 reps. My bench was very weak as well, somewhere in the 110-115 lb. range for 4-5 reps. Continued to train and my strength went up pretty good… Now 5 years later at 19, best #'s are:
Bench Press: 225 x 6 reps
Squat: 315 x 9 reps
Deadlift: 385 lbs.
Hang Clean: 185 x 6 reps

Bodyweight from 9th grade to now also went from 150 lbs. to 179 lbs.

Peter Griffen,

Don’t get too down on yourself, brah. We all had to start somewhere and this is your starting place. Just accept it and know that you can build on what you have. Also, don’t worry about what others are doing in da weightroom–you are not them, they are not you, some have more lifting experience than you do.

As for me, I was a weakling. In 9th grade, I was 5’4" and 115 lbs. and I basically sucked. But, I pressed on. By my senior year in HS I was up to 5’9" and 160 lbs. and I could bench around 185 for 3 reps with a max of just over 200. My squat was much better–around 360 lbs. Other lifts, like military presses and power cleans were proportionate with bench/squat.

I grew three inches after high school and now am just under 6’ and 177 lbs. Looking back now, I realize how foolish my strength training was. Benching didn’t help me one bit for track/field, especially the 400/800 and long jump.

Now, starting off I would just do a general all-around weight program with out straining yourself, but eventually you’ll want to change your focus. After a few months of basic lifting, my advice to you is that if you want to get very strong, you should lift very heavy weights (whatever heavy is for you) and keep the reps under 5. Four sets of 3 reps with 80% of your max is good. Don’t sit there pumping away many, many reps with a medium weight, that won’t get you very far. Again, if you want STRENGTH, go heavy, keeps the reps low, and don’t do many sets.

If you have any more questions, please ask. I love to discuss weight lifting.

You shouldn’t give up on yourself yet. You have to work hard to get to where you want to go. When I started lifting, I was 14, I was 5’ 8" and skinny at 130 pounds. I could at most bench 100 pounds, and squatt 150. I’m 17 now and 175 pounds my max bp-265, squat 420, deadlift, 435. Just keep working hard and use your head too.

Thanks a lot for the support and encouragement guys, I really appreciate it :slight_smile: . Your stories were all really good, and encouraging. To be honest, my numbers are worse than yours, but I realize that all that means is that there’s more room to improve for me :wink: .

Also, thanks for the advice heatwave13, I do plan to start a program with lower reps like you said, thanks to yours and Juggler’s advice (in another thread I started), once I do just a few weeks of higher reps just to prepare and learn the lifts.

Thanks again for all the kind words!

Sounds like a good plan, Peter. After your general break-in period, if at all possible, get someone to teach you the olympic style lifts–clean/jerk, snatch–and their related lifts such as squats, mil presses, jerks, overhead squats, etc… These lifts will build strength, power, and explosiveness like no others.

Carefully consider what lifts will help you achieve your goals. I used to do olympic style competitions and trained with one of the best strength coaches in the country and he always stressed “don’t waste time on useless lifts” that have little bearing on what you’re trying to accomplish. In our case, we hardly ever benched and we never did arm curls, leg extensions and all those isolation exercises. Why? Because those movements would not improve my olympic lifts.

Thanks for the advice. Yeah, I’m going to avoid the single joint stuff, as I don’t think it’ll really help me like you said. I’m mainly lifting since I think the strength will add an advantage to the sports I play (recreationally).

As far as OL’s go, I don’t know anyone who can teach me them, but I can probably learn the simpler versions. Maybe I can include form work on the simple OL variants as a warm-up/cool down. Hopefully the simpler OL’s will have the same or near equal benefits, or I find someone who can teach the hard ones to me.

Many thanks for your help!

Here’s the one and only piece of advice you need:

“Progress slowly and at your own pace. And never believe a single word that anyone on the internet says about their lifting numbers because most of them are full of sh*t”

I remember when i started with my coach now when i was already 21 i coulnd’t even bench 135 for 4x10
i had no floor sqautr in existence and my clean single rep max was lik 155.
My bench 1 rep max now is 250
my sqauts 325 to the floor a
and my clean 225. and ive puton 20lbs of muscle
so just takes persistance really.

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement guys :slight_smile: .

i started lifting when i was 17 turning 18 i’ve only been lifting for a year now seriously here are my gains

bench 115-200lbsMAX
squat 185-300lbsMAX
power clean 115-165lbsMAX(recently)

DB bench flat press 35-85lbs for 3 reps

i still feel like i can improve though especially in the power clean, dont sweat it bro we all in this together.