College Football Weightlifting Stats Compared to Average Gym Guy

Amy DaughtersFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2013

Mar 9, 2012; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys receiver Hubert Anyiam performs the bench press during the Oklahoma State pro day at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Have you ever wondered how your individual strength stacks up against the most powerful guys in college football?

Yeah, those dudes are studs. But come on, man, you go to the gym and lift three times a week; you can’t be too far off the pace, right?

Well, before you and/or the luminary from the local LA Fitness decide it’s time to walk on at Alabama, take a look at the following stats.

The numbers compare the elite lifters in college ball to the average stats pumped out by guys who didn’t fax anything in on signing day.

The lifting data for the “average gym guy” comes from the individual exercise tables on  

The stats for college football’s elite come via Bruce Feldman’s 2013 Freaks List on and The 10 Strongest College Football Players for 2011 on



Bench Press

Though guys like ex-Alabama RB Trent Richardson and ex-Georgia Tech LB Julian Burnett benched more than  450 pounds while collegians, there are three beasts in recent memory who cleared more than 500 pounds.

Travis Frederick—a center who went to Dallas in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft—bench-pressed 500 pounds,  and former Michigan defensive lineman Mike Martin lifted 505 pounds.

At the upper echelon is ex-Crimson Tide defensive tackle Josh Chapman. He benched a whopping 580 pounds at Alabama.  

Comparing this to our average gym guy, a 200-pound man who is classified as “novice” lifter—as per someone who has “trained regularly for several months”—can bench-press 175 pounds.

A same-sized “intermediate” lifter—someone who has “trained regularly for a couple of years”—can bench 214 pounds.

Finally, an “advanced” male—who has worked out for “multiple years”—can bench 290.

This puts average guy 200 to 300 pounds behind the pace of elite college football guy.




Leading the way are senior Arkansas State defensive tackle Ryan Carrethers, who squatted 664 pounds, and junior Arizona State outside linebacker Carl Bradford, who posted a 641-pound lift.

Beyond the current crop of studs is ex-Wisconsin OL Travis Frederick who reportedly broke a school record by managing a beastly 770-pound squat.

Comparing this to the lifting laymen, a 200-pound novice male can squat 230 pounds, an intermediate lifter can squat 285 pounds and an advanced guy can pull 390 pounds.

This puts the gym guy’s best numbers nearly 400 pounds shy of Frederick’s eye-popping record.



Power Clean

Leading the way is former Georgia Tech linebacker Julian Burnett, with a 350-pound lift and Arizona State’s Carl Bradford, who posted a 385-pound pull.

Even higher, at the 400-pound level, is super-strong Arkansas State lineman Ryan Carrethers.

For the gym guy, a novice  lifter can power-clean 165 pounds, an intermediate lifter can manage 205 pounds and an advanced lifter can pull 280.

This puts the LA Fitness stud 120 pounds behind the college football stud.