Ever wondered how strong am I?   It’s only natural to want to know how your numbers stack up against others.  If asked, our stock response is that it doesn’t matter.  It’s you against you.  However, there are some instances where knowing how your strength numbers compare to others can be valuable.

  • If you’re an athlete it can be interesting to know how you rate against professionals.
  • If you’ve become a serious lifter then periodically checking in against peer groups can help you keep a track on progress.
  • We often use comparisons to ensure that the ratio’s between different lifts reflect balanced strength development.

Here is our quick guide to answering How strong am I?


How strong are the professionals?

Perhaps you’re an athlete looking to improve your performance level, or a weekend warrior that competes purely for enjoyment.  Maybe, you’re simply interested in what strength level is required to be amongts the best at a particular sport.  Whatever your reason, a good place to start is to research the strength levels of professional athletes.  Most sports will publish fitness testing data of professional athletes.  Over the years this information evolves but doesn’t change drastically.  Don’t expect an exhaustive list – different sports will measure the strength of their athletes in different ways.  This is because the sports scientists that teams employ have to use heavily regulated testing methods.

For example, a lot of the information may be in the format of a one repetition maximum score, which doesn’t compare to your 3 sets of 10 reps routine in the gym.  Some sites will publish the average fitness data for a sport, such as the South African rugby team fitness data found here.  If you’re able to make comparisons to those that are the best in the sport then this can go a long way to improving your own athletic performance.


Want more specific strength information?

For the strength training population, whether you’re an athlete or simply an interested gym goer, is the website www.strengthlevel.com .   The clever people here have inputted thousands upon thousands of data entries for lifters of different genders and different ages.  They’ve done this for all types of strength lift too.  Using these huge data fields they’ve been able to generate categories based upon gender, age and lift type to show wheter you’re a novice right through to elite.

We use strength level’s data regularly to answer how strong am I for our athletes and clients when designing programmes.  The variety of lifts that they cater for mean that as leading strength and conditioning coaches we are able to see where athletes require to focus their attention.  For example, we may find that a youth level rugby player is very strong on their lower body lifts but falling behind the rest of the population with their upper body strength.  Therefore, their programme may focus on more upper body lifts to close this strength gap.


Can knowing how strong am I help the general public?

Yes!  Whilst our stay at home parents and Ascot PT clients simply wishing to remain fit and healthy are not so interested in whether they can play professional rugby, using strength data can still be valuable.  In the same way as we use it for highligting potential weaknesses in athletes, we can use it to highlight strength imbalances in the general public.  A common example here may be to compare upper body pushing and pulling strength – after all modern day living means that many of us have weakened muscles in our upper backs.  Strength data can help us highlight this, and work on it, for clients.