What’s the Ideal Bench Press to Deadlift Ratio? (Revealed!)

Last updated on October 30th, 2022 at 01:26 pm

So, you want to know the ideal bench press to deadlift ratio.

This I can totally understand, as they are two of the biggest lifts in the gym, so it’s good to know how they measure up against each other.

In fact, many people also like to throw squats, overhead press, and even bent-over rows, into the mix for comparison purposes.

Basically, understanding the “ideal” ratios between lifts gives you something to aim for.

Plus, it can also point out potential muscle weaknesses. 

So, is there an ideal bench press to deadlift ratio you should be aiming for?

Allow me to reveal all.

Bench Press to Deadlift Ratio

The “ideal” bench press to deadlift ratio is 3:5 or your bench press should be approximately 60% of your deadlift. That being said, there are various physical factors which could make a difference to either lift. As an example, bench pressing is easier if you have short arms, and yet more difficult if you have long arms. But, this is complete opposite for deadlifts, as someone with long arms will typically deadlift more efficiently than their shorter arm counterparts.

Here’s the “Ideal” Bench Press to Deadlift Ratio

The Ideal Bench Press to Deadlift Ratio to Aim For is 3:5. In other words, your bench press should be approximately 60% of your deadlift.

Firstly, even though I’ve revealed the “ideal” bench press to deadlift, this may not be the case for everyone.

In truth, this is a ratio that we may all aim for, but not everyone will be capable of achieving.

Basically, our bodies are different to each other, and therefore our bodies may also react differently to the bench press and deadlift.

Plus, there are also certain other physical factors you need to take into consideration (more on this in a moment).

So, just because you’re not hitting the “ideal” ratio, this doesn’t mean that there is something wrong.

Yes, of course, this may point to a potential muscle imbalance, which can be improved, but this isn’t always the case.

That being said, the ideal bench press to deadlift ratio to aim for is 3:5.

In other words, your bench press should be approximately 60% of your deadlift.

In fact, there are a number of ratios typically aimed for when including other exercises.

As an example, bench press, squat, and deadlift is generally given the ratio of 3:4:5.

So, the easiest way to look at this is that if your bench press is 300lbs, your squats should be 400lbs, and your deadlift should be 500lbs.

This, of course, keeps to the 3:5 ratio between bench press and deadlift.

Another ratio is 2:3:4:5, which involves overhead press, bench press, squat, and deadlift.

So, sticking to the weights mentioned above, that same person should be able to overhead press 200lbs.

Obviously, you simply need to change the weights lifted to fit in with your capabilities.

That being said, your aim is to have a bench press that is approximately 60% of your deadlift.

Physical Factors That Affect Your Bench Press to Deadlift

As I mentioned earlier, there are certain physical factors to take into consideration.

And these physical factors can certainly affect your ability to perform either exercise.

This means that you may not have the physical capabilities of achieving a 3:5 bench press to deadlift ratio.

A prime example of this is that the best physique for deadlifting will generally involve having a short torso, short thighs, but long arms. 

Admittedly, you may not find many people who actually have these physical attributes, but these are the things that will help a person to deadlift more effectively.

However, the ideal physique for bench press requires wide shoulders, wide chest, and short arms.

So, immediately you can see that arm-length makes a huge difference to bench press and deadlift, but in opposing ways.

Someone who has long arms will have a greater range of motion to go through while bench pressing.

Furthermore, a long-armed person could find it difficult to maintain retracted shoulder blades and elbow tuck when they bench.

However, this same long-armed person would find it much easier to deadlift.

This is typically because they are able to maintain a better hip-hinge and back position when deadlifting, as their long arms don’t have as far to travel to grab hold of the bar.

Muscle Weakness/Imbalance & “Favourites”

To be honest, it’s not just arm length, limb length, height, wide chest and shoulders, etc, that can impact your bench press to deadlift ratio.

Basically, we all typically perform certain exercises better than others.

Additionally, whether we want to admit to it or not, we probably all have a favourite exercise.

And this exercise typically gets performed more often than others.

Therefore, you become more efficient and effective at your favourite exercise.

This can obviously create muscle imbalances.

Plus, the less you perform a certain exercise, the less likely you are to achieve optimum strength and muscle-growth for the body-part the exercise stimulates.

As an example, many people struggle with deadlifts due to weak or tight glutes and hamstrings.

And of course, regardless of the deadlift variation performed, many people complain of lower back pain.

In truth, this merely comes down to potential muscle weaknesses and the use of poor form.

Then again, you may have certain sticking points in the bench press.

At the bottom, out of the hole, this points to a chest weakness, whereas from the mid-point onwards, this is all triceps.

Something else that many of us tend to do if we struggle with an exercise, or simply find it too difficult, is to avoid doing it altogether.

Then, once more, you end up focusing far more on your “favourite” exercises.

Unfortunately, all these things must be taken into consideration when aiming to achieve that 3:5 bench press to deadlift ratio.

Powerlifting Leverages

Final Thoughts

So, as you can see, the ideal bench press to deadlift ratio is 3:5.

Therefore, your bench press should typically be around 60% of your deadlift.

As I say, this is the “ideal” ratio, although this may not be achievable for everyone.

In fact, there are certain physical attributes that will help you to bench press more effectively, while making the deadlift much harder, and vice versa.

A prime example of this is that short arms are ideal for optimal bench pressing, whereas long arms will make you better at deadlifting.

So, while the 3:5 ratio is something to aim for, just remember that there are certain physical limitations which may hold you back.

You can now take the opportunity to discover whether there’s an ideal bench press to squat ratio.

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