Are you wondering why you are bench pressing more weight than you are squatting?
Benching and squatting are compound lifts that are easily some of the most challenging exercises to perform but are also the most efficient for building overall strength.
They are both exercises that will allow you to put up some serious weight, but which exercise should you be able to press more weight on? Should you be able to squat more, or should you be able to bench more than you squat?
In most cases, you should be able to squat more than you bench; but this is not always the case.
Why do you bench more than you squat? Natural strength can play a factor in this as well, so that may naturally be the case.
It isn’t necessarily bad, but it may mean that you are not equally lifting your body. Typically, your squat should be higher than your bench, so there is a good chance that you aren’t spending enough time on other lifts if you find that your bench max has exceeded your squat.
Today, we’ll be exploring the reasons as to why you bench more than you squat, as well as how you can fix it.
Why Do I Bench More Than I Squat?
There are a few different reasons why your bench may be higher than your squat, which we’ll explore below.
Bad Workout Plan – Benching More Often Than You Squat
As mentioned earlier, you most likely are benching more than you squat due to an imbalance in your workout routine. The old phrase “Never skip leg day” applies here, and actually, there is quite a bit of truth behind that. You must make sure to work out every part of your body and not focus too much on one area.
Many tend to focus on their upper body much more than their lower half, which creates unproportionate muscles on their body. Many get the title of having “chicken legs,” or maybe you are stuck with a small jiggly booty that is nothing to look at whatsoever.
Don’t be a victim underneath this category, and make sure to get to the squat rack more.
However, if the numbers of your max presses on both squat and bench are close, then it may be purely from a genetic standpoint. Still, you should build more strength in your squat, as you will want that higher than your bench.
This is a rare reason, and generally speaking, this also will mean you aren’t an avid lifter as well.
Is it Bad That I Bench More Than I Squat?
Although it isn’t going to cause any serious health issues, if you are looking to be as fit and strong as possible, then it is a good sign that you have a flawed workout plan if your bench is higher than your squat.
For a short answer, yes, it is my opinion that it is bad that you have a higher bench max than squat. The great thing about working out is that imbalances can always be fixed with the right plan, and you can get yourself on track to become much more of a balanced lifter.
Ideal Bench to Squat Ratio
An excellent bench to squat ratio should be 3:4. Here is an example below:
- Squat: 300 lbs
- Bench-225 lbs
From here, you should be able to get a good idea of how well your ratio is balanced on your lifts. You can also give or take a bit of weight from this scale as well.
How to Improve Your Squat Strength?
Luckily, there are many ways to help improve your overall squat strength. The first (and obvious) way is to squat more in your workout routine. Start with back squats and focus on improving that area first.
Once you’ve adjusted to a more balanced workout, then you can implement more squat variations, such as the following:
- Front squat
- Overhead squat
- Pause squat
- Single-leg press weighted squat
Once you’ve begun to implement different lifts, you should start seeing your overall squat numbers improve dramatically. Another great way to help improve your squat numbers is to implement isolation with dumbells and help strengthen particular parts of the leg. From here, there is quite a bit you can do in terms of workouts, so a quick google search will bring up many variations.
Another great way to help improve your strength is to make sure you have the proper diet. This means cutting out junk foods and eating a clean, balanced diet.
Also, you’ll want to increase your protein intake, so picking out a protein powder will be essential to help with gains. You’ll want to make sure that the protein is clean and isn’t too much or too little. Don’t be fooled by the “mega” protein powders that contain 50+ grams of protein in a serving, as your body can’t absorb more than 30 grams at a time.
When you start to implement more squats into your workout routine, working off percentages is crucial to build strength and optimize your training time.
To figure out your percentages, you’ll first need to figure out your maxes of the compound lifts. I’d recommend starting a new journey on all lifts, which include:
Once you’ve obtained these maxes, you’ll be able to base your percentages around these numbers and go from there. There are quite a few different programs out there based on percentages, but the one that I follow is from “Built by Bergeron,” and best of all, it is free.
If you want to increase your max numbers, you need to put in the time and effort. Yes, I know in the age where fitness has become so complex that every calorie must be put into an app to see what exact percentage you should exert yourself on your workout and for how long, and I digress.
I understand that technology is making fitness better, but make sure that you aren’t wrapped up in it so much that you actually forget to put in the work. Hard work and dedication aren’t rocket science; all it takes is effort and a strong mindset to achieve your goals. If you find yourself mentally struggling, meditation is a great outlet that I use to help myself refocus on my tasks at hand.
If you find that it doesn’t do it justice for you, there are plenty of other mental training methods you can find online to help aid you in this particular area.
I do not mean to sound like every other motivational speech/book you’ve ever read, but the reality is simple, putting in the time and effort in the gym will produce results.
Still, Benching More Than You are Squatting? – My Thoughts
Overall, if you bench more than you squat, it isn’t the end of the world. Yes, it may mean that your lifting program is not well-balanced or it may be poorly constructed, but the great thing about fitness is that it can always be fixed and adjusted.
There are other reasons your bench max surpasses your squat, but those are pretty rare, as we explored.
Once you’ve figured out what you need to improve upon so that your squat strength improves, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your squat max. There is no secret science behind increasing your numbers besides simply putting in the hard work to achieve these numbers.
Also, don’t forget the importance of diet because the food you put into your body is ultimately what will supply it with energy. As tempting as pizza and ice cream always is (at least to me), a chicken breast with asparagus and cauliflower rice is always the better option. Remember to add protein shake in as well, considering you’ll want to increase your intake as you began to lift heavier weight.