How Much Do You Bench Press? How much do you Squat?


Friday March 28, 2014

Nope, don’t have my ExpoWest post ready. I have some research I am still doing PLUS waiting for a couple emails so… next week some time. I am going to mention a couple favorite finds at the end of this post though!

I do want to approach the whole weight lifting subject & what some people feel is the end all for being the most knowledgeable or most experienced in lifting weights.

People obviously notice that I lift weights when they meet me. MANY TIMES the first questions are how much do you bench press and/or how much do you squat.

Let me just say that the answers to these questions have nothing to do with if you are going have more muscle than another person or look aesthetically better than another person. Of course lifting heavy CORRECTLY does help you make gains but it does not always mean you are the “better person to ask questions on lifting”. Nothing against you guys BUT I have had times in my younger years when guys had me lifting in a way NOT right for me. What works for them is not always what works for another guy or another woman. As I always say – FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU OR a knowledgeable & reliable trainer!

What got me on this post. A couple Instagram comments. One was another best comment ever when a younger person tagged me to a couple other of her followers to show how much I had accomplished for my age. I am not bragging but it was how she wrote her comment to them – that I was more aesthetic than all the girls & most guys in her gym.. WOW! That sure made my day!!!

The second was a post by a very well built guy with a shirt on that said “I am Steroid Free” AND his post was that you don’t have to throw around heavy weights to gain muscle & look good.

My comment to his post was this & how I roll always: YES! It is not how much weight you lift…. I DON’T LIFT HEAVY, I LIFT SMART.

Yes, I lifted heavier when I was younger but it was never as heavy as some thought I was lifting to look the way I did back then.

Another thing, I never really bench pressed that much back then. I did way more DB presses – all kinds – than bench press. I could lift more & safer with DB’s than the bench press so I did more of the DB presses. Same with squats. I was better at the different leg press machines & the Smith Machine for squats (as much as many people poo poo that machine for squats). I had amazing legs when I was younger & lifting heavier so … it worked for me. These days I still do the Smith Machine & leg press but I also do a lot of variations of DB squats & my Olympic Bar squats that I showed in videos on Instagram.

So.. I guess what I am saying is that what a person squats or bench presses is not a reflection of them being the best lifter or even being the best built in the gymbelieve me! I see a lot of bad lifting in the gym with heavy weights & the people are not doing their body justice!

I have found what works for me to get this look. I have also been very focused on form & control & changing things thru time to make it all work from my 20’s to now. I have had very few injuries thru these 30+++ years.

I am not saying lifting heavy will not get you great muscles or gains or the bod you want. I am saying—> that lifting heavy to lift heavy with no purpose behind it or doing it just to say you lifted a certain weight or lifting heavy incorrectly will not always be the path to the muscles or body look you want to obtain from your training.

OK- thoughts????

AND AS PROMISEDhere are a couple favorite finds from ExpoWest 2014 for me. I will write more in another post but I will say about ExpoWest that there was a lot about organic, Non-GMO, gluten free, coconut everything, always too many bars & chips. Just because it was a Natural Products show does not mean everything was healthy. I found a booth serving up organic chicken & I almost moved in!

1. Essential Living Foods: Sprouted everything!!! I fell in love with sprouted when I found my love of Silver Hills Bakery Breads. Sprouted really helps my digestion! I saw this company & all their sprouted nuts & superfoods at the show & was all over them! Look for more info from me on them! They have fair trade practices. The support eco packaging – zero wasteThrough 1% for the Planet, they donate 1% of
sales (not just profits) to projects that support the ecosystems &
communities producing our exceptional foods
. Below is some of the goodies I got to sample & they are amazing!!!

Also from their website & LOVED this:


Not all corporations are created equal.
B corporations (the B stands for “Benefit”) are created to be a little bit
better. B corps don’t just exist to make money – b corps exist to do good in
the world even as they do business and make profits.
The non-profit B Lab supervises and audits a growing roster of B corps from
more than 28 countries, ensuring transparency, sustainability, accountability,
and making sure they adhere to rigorous standards of social and environmental

As they put it, “B Corp certification is to
sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic
certification is to milk.”

2. Crunchies Food Company: These are freeze-dried fruits & vegetables. That is all! A great snack for kids & adults!!! I tasted quite a few. Here is a pic of Cinnamon apples I brought home. Apples & cinnamon only – DELICIOUS! You can even add to your favorite batters, cereal, yogurt, salad & eat just right out of the bag!

From their site below:


Fresh fruits and veggies are harvested and
frozen within 24 hours, and then through a refrigerated, cooling process, are
freeze dried at the packing facilities.

97% of the moisture is removed, while
maintaining 94% of the nutrient and enzyme level of the whole fruit. Only about
44% of the water is removed from dried fruit, and the heat process destroys the
nutrients and enzymes.

Pineapples and Mangoes are grown in South
America, all other fruits and vegetables are grown in United States.

Everything is processed and packed in the

Crunchies have a 24 month shelf life +
re-sealable bags (which is very important, as air will re-hydrate and soften
the fruit)

3. Nutrex Hawaii: You all know my love of this company & their products! Wanted to remind you of their new green complete powder! I tried in water & it was OK! I am not a fan of green powders unless mixed in things but it really was OK! I mixed some in my turkey meatloaf & you can mix it in your smoothies & more! Don’t forget they also have new Spirulina tabs in Spearmint flavor! No chewing either – just a tab!

4. Silver Hills Bakery Bread: Yes, I talked about them before but had to again. New organic sprouted ancient grains bread! I tried the Big Red & it is amazing!!! I have more being sent my way so will have a review of those when they get here… BUT you all know I have their bread every single day!

OK, this post is getting too long! I will write more about the show another time!

Brand Love: Just ignore if not interested. 

1. Designer Whey Products – Full disclosure that I make a bit of money if you use my discount code ZDWHEY4 at online checkout for 20% off your total order – all products included and free shipping in continental US with orders of $50+! If you have a fit minded friend that loves their products, why not make up your own little gift cert, give it to them & let them know you will pay for it!

2. NEW COMMENT – new colors on the site & available for pre-order! KnixWear. I am one of their “knixperts”.  You get 15% off your order by putting my code knixpert25 when ordering online. I have tested the gusset lined ones for stopping “crotch sweat” – THEY DO!!! 

3. MixMyOwn Healthy Cereals: Full disclosure that I make a little money off them if you click my link but I LOVE THIS COMPANY & the idea of being able to make up your own special mix from 100+ choices! You can also buy gift certificates from their site for friends, family & coworkers!

4. NEW COMMENT FROM ME – HONEST, after my hard core workouts, I stick these clothes up to my nose & NO SMELL – even the sports bra!!!! FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!  

NEW Partnership! Silk Athlete: Line of 100% organic silk fitness apparel! Get 10% off your online orders with Discount Code silk-jody. This line feels amazing on, wicks sweat beautifully! There is no weighted silk, acid dyes, wild silk, silk noil etc. They don’t finish their products with anything. The garments are hand cut, individually, and sewn by hand, in an innovative production system- in a special purpose built sportswear factory. The factory is certified for low waste, energy efficient, responsible employer- with good inspection process by authorities. It can take 6 months to develop a color- some colors can’t be offered – for example white- given white is “made”- by coating the textile with a chemical. They don’t offer really deep colors that silk is renowned for as this requires acid.



  1. Really, I think so much depends on your body type (along with hard work of course). I tend to bulk up quickly, though I’m not doing much serious training right now.

    I wish I had gone to Expo West. So much great food! Maybe next year.


  2. So true Debbie – I got big very easily when I was young – It worked for bodybuilding but I had to watch it after that but as age comes at me – I can lift heavier without getting so big!


  3. I would love to go to expo west sometime–so much good stuff. And great strength training info, too.


  4. our local expert told me one day, “You have to get stronger to get bigger, and you have to get bigger to get stronger!”
    Makes sense to me.

    Perhaps the martial arts applies. I don’t have to be stronger or bigger than someone else to knock them out. Just strong enough 🙂


  5. Great advice Jody!
    Of course, you have to lift a little bit heavy to see results (heavier than your backpack or purse, right), but not so heavy that you risk injury!
    Echoing Carla’s comment!


  6. Hear hear! I despise the 1 RM & have no idea what mine is. Finding it seemed like such a waste of time since I can’t just guess, I have to start conservatively, and then I find I can lift the weight more than once… lather, rinse repeat. A lot of time spent that would have been better if I simply picked something I could lift 6-15 times or so.


  7. i agree with debbie. I’m a hard gainer, but I love lifting heavy when i can to keep some mass on.


  8. Lindsay – yes, I am an easier gainer. I guess the point I was trying to make is it fine to lift heavy if you are using proper form. Lifting heavy to just lift heavy but not the proper form – well, let’s just say I see many that look like they don’t lift even though they are pushing around heavy weights.


  9. Axel – I get that question too – the max lift – I have never ever done that! 30+++ years.


  10. Thx Tamara!  Yes, as I mentioned that lifting heavier is great with the right form & I just made that reply to Lindsay on peeps that lift poorly & don’t even look like they lift. OK, you & Carla – when I am rich, I will hire one of you to be my ghost writer!


  11. Krysten – You do lots more other stuff than me!


  12. DR. J – as long as you do it safely & with good form!


  13. I wish you had been there!!!!!


  14. Carla – as I mentioned to Tamara, I will hire one of you to me my ghost writer!


  15. I could care less what people bench or press. I just like to see they are doing it! It seems more of a guy thing to me (I could be wrong). Very much a dominance assertion.


  16. Years ago (like 20), I used to go to a gym every day. Every day these same 2 guys would do bench press and every day they would just see how heavy they could lift for 1 rep. That is the only exercise they ever did – I never understood what exactly they were hoping to do because the whole thing was so ridiculous.


  17. Oh wow, those crunchies look darn good! BTW, I never throw heavy weight around, and wouldn’t even if I could 😉


  18. Lori – yes.. but I do see some stuff on social media from women too.. more guys though…


  19. i agree that it depends on the individual body – i have made gains using a strengthening program as well as lifting heavy. I am usually always trying to beat my personal best – i just like feeling strong 🙂


  20. Lori – muscles are beautiful!! I just am more saying that is is about lifting with proper form & lifting smart.. not just lift to get a number with bad form & end up injuring yourself.


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