I have been working out for a while, my weight is about 150lbs (68kg) and i am about 5'7 (1.70m). I bench press about 135lbs (61kg) and i can squat 250 (113kg). My question is: what kind of exercises can improve my bench pressing and squat?.

I want to be able lift heavier weights. I would prefer for exerices that can be done without buying any special equipment or going to a gym.

  • Have you thought about looking for a used barbell and squat rack on a website like eBay or Craiglist? You may find one for cheap.
    – DavidR
    Sep 2, 2012 at 2:04
  • Why do you need to be able to lift heavier weights if you don't want to get heavy weights to lift? There's always lifting up whatever heavy objects there are around the house.
    – Robin Ashe
    Sep 3, 2012 at 9:36
  • What's your current workout?
    – DForck42
    Sep 4, 2012 at 13:51

2 Answers 2


You're not going to like this answer, but it's a simple one. If you want to increase your bench and squat, you need to bench and squat more. That's all there is to it. Using a muscle makes it stronger. Now, if just doing more reps of Bench Press and Squat is boring, you can switch it up: incline bench press, one-legged squats, etc. But to make a muscle group stronger, you just have to use it.

edit: I'm amending my answer, since I failed to notice you didn't want equipment OR a gym. That's going to be hard, but the answer is even simpler: push-ups and body weight squats. A lot of them. Do things like one-arm pushups to make them harder if you need to. But you're not going to see huge improvement that way, and it's going to take a LOT of reps.

  • 2
    +1 mainly for the original part. push-ups and body weight squats will hit a ceiling pretty quickly.
    – Robin Ashe
    Sep 3, 2012 at 0:27

Best results for improving your bench and squat are to bench and squat heavy. It sounds, however, like you want to improve your barbell bench and squat strength by using bodyweight methods. This will be difficult. Here's what I would try:

  • Get good at pistols. As soon as you can do five in a row, add weight. Anything you can hold in your hands will work. Heavier is better.
  • Push-ups. Increasing the number of reps beyond, say, thirty or fifty or a hundred isn't going to much help your bench press, so look into harder gymnastic variations of push-ups once you're at that point.
  • Do you have a workout partner? Put them on your back and squat.
  • Handstands and handstand push-ups. The carryover to bench is not significant, but increasing your pressing strength might help somewhat.

If you're not looking for squatting or benching numbers specifically, but are interested in strength using bodyweight methods more generally, I recommend looking deeply into gymnastics. Coach Sommer's Building the Gymnastic Body is a good place to start, as is Ross Enamait's work.

But if it's really squatting and benching you want, best results will come from finding a barbell, weights, and rack for cheap on Craigslist or a yard sale.

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