I'm new to lifting. I have my own benchpress and dumbbells, I have 10kg on the dumbbell and 20kg on my benchpress. From what I seen on the net, I should (apparently) have more weight on. I myself am way out of shape (110 kg) and I've recently quit smoking as well, and was wondering how much I should be benching. I know the obvious answer would be "only as much as I can handle so I don't hurt myself." I start with 20 reps, then 3 sets of 10 and a set of 15. I also do 10 reps 4 or 5 different ways with the dumbbell. I just want to know what weight a 110kg, ex smoker at the age of 23 should be doing.


3 Answers 3


There isnothing about your age weight or ex-smoking status that is related to how much you should be benching. The only thing that matters is how strong are you, that is, what is the most weight you can bench for 1 rep. You don't know the answer to that question. But you have to know it before you can choose a weight to work out with. Everything is based off your approxiamte 1 rep max.

The thing is, finding that out on your own is dangerous. What if you try too heavy a weight, what are you going to do once you realize you can't get it off your chest?

For this reason you really should go to a real gym and have a either yoru friends or an employee stand over you ready to lift the weight off you while you try successively heavier weights.

Once you know what your 1 rep max is, then the susual advice is to take 75-80% of that and try to do 6-8 reps with it. That is your workout weight. If you can't manage that many reps, then lower the weight until you can.

When you can do more than 12 reps, up the weight by a very small amount such that the resultant weight is one you can barely get 6-8 reps with again.

This is called "progressive resistance" execise. Each time you work out you should be a tiny bit stronger and should should try to do more reps, or more weight or both. You don't need to do a lot of sets; there's even an entire weighlifting philosophy which says you should only do one set, if that set is hard enough, you will grow from it -after you've rested for 3-5 days.

Workout philosophies are like religions and I don't want to sparka religious war in a beginner's question, so the advice I gave you 75-80% of your max for 6-12 reps with days off in between is very mainstream advice.

Good for you for changing uyour life in this huge way!


There is no one particular weight that is appropriate for everyone who is 110kg.

Whatever weight you can do 8 reps with, do that.

If you find you can do more than 8 reps of something, increase the weight.

Just make sure you warm up properly beforehand.

  • thank you for answering, i might jist up it to 30kg cause i used to be able to lift that and do 10 or 15 reps
    – Kermzone
    Sep 24, 2016 at 22:10
  • 1
    Yeah, just keep trying to improve, and that's really what it's all about. It doesn't really make sense to talk about how much you SHOULD be able to lift. In that sense, if we're talking functional goals, I guess you should aim to be strong enough to take care of yourself in the case of any emergency, and additionally, you should be able to carry another person to safety. Fitness is a life-preserving activity.
    – Alec
    Sep 24, 2016 at 23:12
  • @Alec I really like that real-life aspect of weight lifting in your comment. Never thought about it like this. So i guess it would roughly equate to deadlifting and squatting about 1,5 of your body weight to accommodate for other persons clothes and whatever else (kind of a safety factor)?
    – ruslaniv
    Sep 25, 2016 at 6:30

There is no specific weight that you "should" be doing, it all depends on what you are able to handle. Obviously, the closer to you get to your capacity in any combination of X weight, lifted for Y reps is going to stress and work your body.

If you're new or just getting back into it, stay away from getting close to your maximum capability until you've done a few workouts, and your body is used to the activity, otherwise you'll be so sore that you won't be able to exercise for a long time, plus it will be unpleasant and de-motivating.

Also, what are your goals? If you are overweight and are interested in improving your stamina and fitness levels, then working lighter weights for higher reps per set will help develop more endurance. Less reps, higher weight, more strength or explosiveness.

Since it sounds like you are just getting back into it, and aren't sure about how much weight you can or should be doing, either start pretty light, or make sure you have a spotter. You are setting yourself up for a dangerous situation if you don't. Both, actually, would be best, but if you can't get a spotter, don't push too close to your limits.

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