One of the big things I’ve learned over the years of training is that 1RM is not the most beneficial way to assess your strength. There are better ways. Today I will explain how many repetitions of 225 bench it takes to lift 315, and most importantly, how you can assess your strength without a high risk of injury.
On average, it takes around 11-12 reps of 225 to be able to bench 315, based on the Brzycki equation. However, the individual rep number will depend on the training experience, the optimal length of the arms, genetics, and the muscular composition of the person.
In other words, the 1RM strength testing may be highly inaccurate among individuals who have no previous lifting experience (more on that later).
225 to 315 Bench: Brzycki Formula
Many exercise tests and training prescriptions are based on 1RM bench press numbers. The good news is you don’t have to test your 1RM to know your 1RM.
According to Brzycki’s estimation, if you can do a bench press with 225-pounds on the bar for 11 reps, you will be able to lift 308 pounds as your one-rep maximum. Meanwhile, if you add extra rep and do the same 225-pounds bench press for 12, you will be able to lift 321 pounds.
So as long as you hit these numbers, I presume you are ready for 315.
However, please remember that these calculations may not always produce accurate results for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, with a higher number of reps (more than 10RM), the prediction error goes up.
Take a look at the graph below.
As you can see above, the graph on your right shows a higher discrepancy as the number of reps goes up. The most accurate estimation of your 1RM seems to be from 5RM.
This means it is much easier to estimate if you can bench 315 if your 5 rep max is 270, versus 12 rep max with 225.
Jeff M Reynolds from the University of New Mexico documented the accuracy of 1 repetition maximum strength test based on the multiple rep max ranges:
The results have shown that “Compared to the 5RM prediction, the error associated with using each of the 10RM and 20RM equations is considerably large. Of the 5RM, 10RM, and 20RM, the best repetition maximum range to use for prediction of 1RM strength in the bench press exercises is the 5RM” (Reynolds et al. 2006).
How Many Times Should I Rep 225 To Bench 315
To put that into the perspective, below you can see the calculations of your 1RM based on the 225 bench press with a variety of rep max ranges (from 1RM to 12RM).
For example, if you can do 4 reps with 225 (assuming that’s your 4 rep max), the estimation for 1 rep max is 252lbs.
|225 Bench||What is your 1RM?|
Now watch this.
As you can see in the table above, there is a linear progression between 2RM to 10RM that adds 7 lbs to your estimated 1RM. This means that with every extra rep you do on the bench with a 225-pound bar, your estimated 1RM increases by 7 pounds.
So far so good.
However, there is a non-linear progression once you pass 10RM. The progress from 10RM to 11RM is 14lbs (double of what was before) and from 11RM to 12RM goes up by 13lbs.
How many reps of 225 to bench 315? Overall, you need to perform anywhere from 11 to 12 reps of the bench press exercise with a weight of 225 pounds to be able to lift 315 pounds as your 1RM. This calculation is based on the mathematical equation and does not takes into consideration your training status, muscle fatigue, and body symmetry.
Is A 315 Bench Good?
In general, benching 315 pounds (three plates on each side) is considered good, according to Tim Henriques’s strength standards. Benching 315 is a great measure of upper-body strength and can be achieved by intermediate-level lifters within 6 to 12 months, depending on their workout program.
The most commonly used way to know if you can bench 315 is by doing a 1RM strength test.
What is 1RM? In general, the 1RM (the short for one repetition maximum) refers to the maximum amount of weight that a person can lift for one repetition. One rep max is considered the gold standard for assessing muscle strength for both trained and untrained people in non-laboratory situations.
In other words, you add as much load on the bar as you can possibly lift with the correct lifting technique. It’s not rocket science.
The one-repetition maximum test is not only used in the old-and-dusty gyms but also among the health and fitness professionals, as well as rehabilitation specialists to evaluate the level of strength, assess imbalances, and validate the efficacy of the training programs.
Studies have shown that “1RM is a reliable method of evaluating the maximal strength in untrained middle-aged individuals. It appears that 1RM-testing protocols that include one familiarisation session and one testing session are sufficient for assessing maximal strength in this population” (Levinger, Itamar et al. 2009).
You can use several others equations to know how many reps of 225 you need to bench 315. These include:
- Epley formula
- Mayhew et al.
- O’Conner et al.
On the one hand, these equations offer a safe, practical, and reasonably accurate way to assess muscular strength in most people. Plus, it is an inexpensive, convenient, and time-efficient tool that does not require a laboratory setting.
On the other hand, these numbers do not take into consideration things like anthropometric data, gender, age, workout history, muscle soreness, and overall health of the people.
From my experience, using 1RM (as the only way to measure your 315 bench press) is a bad idea for a few reasons:
- 1RM doesn’t provide enough time under tension.
- 1RM doesn’t provide sufficient metabolic damage to stimulate muscle growth.
- 1RM requires sufficient and targeted warm-up (which can be time and energy-consuming).
- 1RM requires considerable mental resilience and hard skin.
- 1RM requires spotters or training partners to be around to ensure safety.
I prefer using 5RM as your strength test not only because it’s safer, but also because it can be used as a regular workout, without compromising on training volume.
You don’t have to designate the whole workout to “really” know how strong you’re. The 5RM does the job, plus it has significantly more benefits in terms of mechanical tension and training adaptations.
- 5RM stimulates muscle protein synthesis and muscle growth better than 1RM.
- 5RM facilitates acute testosterone, IGF-1, and growth hormone response better than 1RM.
- 5RM is less taxing on your joints.
- 5RM can be used as a part of regular workouts.
Plus, assessing your 1RM bench has a high risk of injury because the bench press is a very technical exercise.
How Many Reps Of 225 Bench Press Is Good?
In general, how many reps of 225 bench press is considered good, will depend on your training status.
For people who have a normal life, 9 to 5 work, raise kids, pay taxes and drink beer on the weekend, lifting 225 for 5 reps is outstanding.
The normal guy who can bench 225 for 5 reps can be a hero in the gym, whereas the NFL players who can bench 225 for 10 reps are below average. The 225 bench record for the NFL Combine in 2022 was done by Zion Johnson with 32 reps.
I’m not gonna go into the details of how many people can actually bench 225. I’ve already covered that in my article “how many people can bench 225“, which I recommend you read.
How Long Does It Take To Go From 225 To 315 Bench
On average, it can take anywhere from 12 to 36 months to go from 225 to 315 in the bench press, depending on your strength and training history. Plus, anthropometric variables like total body mass, lean muscle, total arm length, and biacromial width also impact how much can you bench and how fast you can make a progress.
A study on 36 men from The University of Tulsa in Oklahoma has shown that body structure and conformation make significant contributions to maximum strength performance in highly trained strength athletes (Caruso et al. 2012).
On the other hand, the same bench press study done on untrained females has shown that anthropometric variables did not impact the 1RM results.
How To Go From 225 To 315 Bench
Here you can see the video from Glen Gillen where he describes how he went from 225 to 315 in 12 months.
225 To 315 Bench Program
The easiest way to go from 225 bench press to 315 is by doing a full-body split routine where you can hit the chest muscle in every workout. You can also reduce your reps and increase the resistance to around 70-90% of your 1RM for the most optimal hormonal responses, as well as implement progressive overload.
Let’s break that down.
- A full-body workout allows you to do the bench press even 3-4 times per week. If your goal is to reach 315, you can do even 2 chest exercises per session. One is a big heavy compound move (e.g. bench press) and the second one is the assisted lift (e.g. push-ups) at the end of the workout.
- Strength-focused training means you reduce the repetitions to 5 per set. At the same time, you want to increase the number of sets so you can maintain training volume. For example, 5×5 is the perfect combo to hit the strength as fast as possible.
- Progressive overload means you slowly add more weight to the bar. Instead of doing the same 225 for more and more reps until your reach 315, is better to increase the load.
Rinse and repeat. Keep in mind that it is hard to bench 315. It took me over 5 years. Now the ball is in your court. Good luck
Not everyone can bench 315. It takes around 11 to 12 reps of 225 on the bench press to hit the 315. However, the predictions are often inaccurate. The good rule of thumb is to focus on the small wins and don’t think of the number as the goal, but only as an indicator of progress.