15 Female Bodybuilders: How Much Can They Bench Press?

Bodybuilding is a sport that gets a bad rep. The average person can’t understand why someone would want to torture their body, dieting to the extreme and training like a maniac, all for the sake of getting bigger muscles. Competitive bodybuilders spend more than they make in preparation for competitions, and for what? Potentially a $20 trophy at the end of it. Looking at it like that, and it’s no wonder bodybuilding isn’t exactly a mainstream sport. People deem the athletes to be steroid-induced, self-absorbed individuals. That goes for men, and the female competitors too. In fact, female bodybuilders get even more grief, because a lot of people deem what they’re doing to be unfeminine, in a way, unnatural. But hey, each to their own, right? These women would say to heck with the norm, and a lot of them are bodybuilders simply because they love the lifestyle, are addicted to the iron game.

If any of you are into lifting weights, are into the whole gym culture, you’d know that when it comes to strength, there’s one exercise that demonstrates strength and raw physical explosive power like nothing else. That’s the bench press. Of course, strength is relative, depends on the person, how much they weigh etc. but still, stack the weights on the barbell and you’ll see people’s heads turn. “How much can you bench bro?” or in this case “how much can you bench sis?” is one of the most frequently asked questions in the gym. Well, a lot of the women on this list would be able to smash the bench press record in your gym without any problems. Be ready to be astounded, and you’ll find a few surprises along the way. These are 15 female bodybuilders and how much they bench.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

15 Erica Cordie - 150 Lbs (4 Reps)

Erica Cordie is one of the world’s biggest, best, and most successful natural – i.e. no juicing – female bodybuilders. I just mentioned that she’s natural, so straight away you can forget about Erica being able to bench around the 300 lbs. mark. If we were to hazard a guess based on training videos and various bits of info smattered about the place, then we’d say Erica could bench around 150 lbs. for about four reps. That’s if she wanted to. But Erica actually doesn’t train chest and therefore doesn’t bench press, which is the king of chest exercises. Part of her reasoning is that she’s got a lot of muscle in the chest area, packs on muscle and keeps it very easily.

It’s about whose body is in proportion, the most aesthetically pleasing. Erica knows her body, knows what she needs to do, and that doesn’t include benching. Not benching hasn’t held her back. She developed her chest muscles without benching, without training chest at all. That’s pretty remarkable.

14 Becca Swanson - 600 lbs. (1 rep)

via thevaliens.com

It’s important to differentiate between bodybuilders and powerlifters. Bodybuilders do whatever they need to do in order to get an aesthetically pleasing, well-proportioned physique. It’s not necessarily about lifting heavy weights. In fact, a lot of bodybuilders, men and women, find their bodies respond better to a lighter, moderate amount of weight, lifted with the correct form, enough reps etc. Powerlifting on the other hand is simply about who can lift the most weight. It’s all about stacking more and more plates on the barbell. Becca Swanson is someone who’s competed in both sports. She really is a massive, freakishly strong woman. She can bench press more than a lot of the guys out there. Her best bench came in 2005. She pressed a staggering 600 lbs. Just thinking about that is enough to get people running away from the gym!

13 Nataliya Kuznetsova - 375 lbs. (1 Rep)

Don’t think you’re going to see any more 600 lbs. lifts on this list. Becca Swanson is in a league of her own in that respect. Looking at Nataliya Kuznetsova, you may think she’d be the one woman who could match that feat. She does look freakishly strong, and she is. But it doesn’t take a genius to work out that she’s been juicing. She’s been open about using steroids. That’s why the sport and competitors get a bad rep. But she’s not cheating, the sports and competitions she competes in don’t require their athletes to be drug tested. All of her years of juicing have made Nataliya look like a cartoon character. Nataliya’s max bench press is 375 lbs. Although it’s no 600 lbs., that’s still a lot of weight.

12 Dayana Cadeau - 352 lbs. (1 Rep)

Dayana Cadeau is a Canadian-American pro bodybuilder, someone who’s been a pro for the past two decades. She’s regarded by many to have the best physique in women’s bodybuilding. She’s muscular yet lean and ripped, her muscles are all in proportion – just what the judges are looking for. But as she’s gotten older, longevity in the sport has begun to play on her mind, which is why she traded up bodybuilding for physique competitions. Now she’s 51, she’s got a lot leaner, many people would deem her to be much more feminine. Dayana still has a killer physique.

Dayana is someone who’s obsessed with keeping tight form when training. That’s why she doesn’t really pay attention to the amount of weight she’s lifting, just the technique of the exercise. But Dayana does bench and she is freakishly strong. She can bench 352 lbs. for a rep. It’s little wonder she has such massive chest muscles.

11 Iris Kyle - 375 lbs.

via wikimedia.org

For absolutely ages, Iris Kyle has been the face of women’s bodybuilding. Even those who don’t follow the sport have probably seen her picture, have heard her name. Iris is known for her freakish size, and amazing definition. And due to her accomplishments, what she’s done for the sport, she’s arguably the best female bodybuilder of all time. She’s won ten Ms Olympia titles, which is the biggest competition in the sport. Understandably, Iris knows how to train. The aim of bodybuilding is to create an illusion. You want to look really big and strong, but don’t necessarily have to lift heavy. To a lot of people, 375 lbs. just seems like a ridiculous amount of weight. To Iris it’s a moderate amount of weight. If she pushes herself, she could undoubtedly lift more. But she doesn’t feel the need to. She’s not a powerlifter and is smart with her training.

10 Debi Laszewski - 375 lbs.

Debi Laszewiski is a beast of a bodybuilder. Along with Iris Kyle, she’s regarded to be one of the best bodybuilders in the sport. She’s known for her freakish size, her male-like physique. It’s not a look that appeals to everybody, but Debi doesn’t care. She’s partaking in a sport she loves, has a physique which she’s built and sculpted and is proud of, and that’s all Debi cares about. She started out at the age of 20 and is about to hit the 50 mark. Throughout this period, the bench press has been one of her favorite compound movements. Having benched for so long, Debi’s made some impressive gains. She looks like she can bench a lot and certainly can. Debi can get 375 lbs. off her chest, and can probably bench more for a one rep max.

9 Pauline Nordin - 110 lbs. (for a set)

People’s bodies respond differently to different exercises. Although bench press might be the king of chest exercises, not everyone’s bodies respond the same in terms of chest development. Some might bench and not get anything out of it. Swedish fitness competitor Pauline Nordin is one of these people. She’s an IFBB fitness competitor, Pro Figure athlete and one steamy fitness model. Pauline might not be as huge as others on this list. But that’s not what she’s trying to achieve. Pauline has her own way of training, and that’s one that doesn’t include benching. But she does the next best thing which is dumbbell pressing – essentially the same exercise but using a dumbbell instead of a barbell. Pauline’s known to use 55 lbs. when doing the dumbbell press. We can therefore assume that if she was to bench, she’d be benching around 110 lbs. for reps, probably more if she was going for a one rep max.

8 Oksana Grishina - 200 lbs.

Oksana Grishina is a Russian fitness pro who’s currently living in sunny California. That’s the destination most bodybuilders go to when they reach a certain stage in life. The place just lives and breathes bodybuilding, it’s the ideal place to train and live that lifestyle. Oksana’s a big name in her native Russia and she’s acquired a great deal of popularity in The States. She’s won many of the top shows and is one awesome competitor with an amazing physique. Although she’s big, she’s still been able to maintain some level of femininity. That’s meant she’s got quite a fan following.

Oksana’s someone who leaves her ego at the door. She’s not preoccupied with benching crazy amounts of weight. If she tried, she could probably bench well over 200 lbs., which for someone who weighs around 115 lbs. is quite some achievement. Considering her weight, even benching 110 lbs. is impressive. That’s the weight Oksana tends to stick to when in prep. It’s certainly worked because her chest development is outstanding.

7 Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia - 375 lbs.

Here’s another woman who can lift a ridiculous amount of weight. As I’ve mentioned previously, to many people, a muscular 220 lb. female bodybuilder isn’t really attractive. People are more into those who compete in a lighter weight category, such as Oksana Grishina. But Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia does what she does because she loves it. She may be too bulky for some, but many would also rate Yaxeni as being a Venezuelan beauty. She’s 51 years old right now but still looks fabulous, still looks absolutely massive. The bench press has contributed to her size. It’s a great mass builder and it’s helped her increase her strength and pack some serious weight on her chest and upper body. Yaxeni is known to bench 375 lbs. That would eclipse a lot of guys’ best bench. But looking at her, it wouldn’t surprise you.

6 Dena Westerfield - 315 lbs.

via pinterest.com

Dena Westfield is another bulky bodybuilder, someone who’s tasted a decent amount of success. But tasting a decent amount of success in the world of bodybuilding is never going to put food on the table, especially the amount that Dena needs to eat! So, Dena also works as a personal trainer – as most bodybuilders do – and is a massage therapist. Imagine getting massaged by Dena – she’d squeeze the life out of you!

Dena doesn’t compete in bodybuilding for the money. She does it because she loves the lifestyle. Dena also loves bench pressing. She’s 5 ft 4 in, weighs 128 lbs., and benches 315 lbs. That’s mightily impressive considering her weight. Benching over twice your bodyweight is a remarkable feat. Many find it tough just to get up to their own bodyweight and bench it for reps.

5 Alina Popa - 242 lbs. (4-6 reps)

Alina Popa is a Romanian-born pro bodybuilder. The 39-year-old has been competing since the late 90s but only received her pro status in 2010. That’s how tough the sport is, that’s how long it takes for a lot of people to earn their pro cards. But Alina deserves her pro status and has become a massive hit since joining the pro ranks. Due to her size many would think that Alina would be able to bench somewhere in the region of the 300 lb. mark. She probably could if she’s attempting a one rep max. She’s revealed her physiological stats and measurements and her lifting stats on her website. She’s divulged that she lifts 242 lbs. for four to six reps. Alina doesn’t mess about with any of this powerlifting stuff. She does proper working sets, and when benching, 242 lbs. it is a decent amount of weight.

4 Kristy Hawkins - 319 lbs.

via pinterest.com

Kristy Hawkins has led one eventful life. She used to compete in bodybuilding, has done a load of powerlifting…oh, and she’s a chemical engineer. That’s quite a mix. That does away with the stereotype that big bulky muscle men and women have nothing upstairs, only know about pumping iron. After competing in bodybuilding since the late 90s, Kristy decided to make the move over to powerlifting in 2011. She didn’t bulk up like a lot of powerlifters do but maintained her lean physique. During her powerlifting days Kristy’s lifted a staggering amount of weight. Her best exercise is the squat. She’s naturally gifted in the legs’ department, can squat a big amount of weight. In some powerlift competitions, the way it works is that you do the three compound movements, i.e. squat, deadlift and bench press, and your weight and points get totaled.

In one of these competitions, Kristy achieved her best bench press score. A couple of years ago she squatted 490 lbs. and was able to bench press 319 lbs. Her muscles and tendons have taken one hell of a pounding.

3 Julia Vins - 264 lbs.

Julia Vins is the latest big thing to hit the bodybuilding world. The Russian beauty is only 21, but is already massive, seriously strong, and has gained a massive amount of popularity. That’s because she’s a bodybuilder and also a powerlifter. And she’s got the looks – because she’s young, all those substances she’s taking probably haven’t had time to affect her looks wise as of yet. Julia is known as the Russian Barbie. Look at her pics and you’ll soon understand why.

Julia hasn’t just made a name for herself because she’s beautiful. She’s already broken records in powerlifting. For someone of her age, she can already squad and bench press a crazy amount of weight. Her max bench has been 264 lbs. No doubt she’ll improve upon that as she gets older, reaches muscle maturity.

2 Dana Linn Bailey - 225 lbs.


A post shared by DayDay Knucks (@danalinnbailey) on

Dana Linn Bailey is a Pro Fitness and Figure competitor. A lot of female bodybuilders don’t get a huge amount of popularity on social media. Dana has over a million Instagram followers. That just about says it all, how people rate her looks and her physique. Dana isn’t massively bulky. She’s lean and is just incredibly ripped, possesses amazing muscle definition. She’s also beautiful too – that’s one amazing combination, one hell of a package. People want to see that package and Dana obliges. She’s worked hard to acquire that physique and loves to show it off. Being a Fitness competitor, Dana is all about shaping and sculpting, staying lean. So, she’s not going to lift massive weights – she could if she tries but isn’t going to do so just for the sake of giving her ego a boost. We know she benches 225 lbs., which is still a lot of weight.

1 Tina Nguyen - >200 lbs.

via twitter.com

Tina Nguyen has what many people deem to be the best sculpted feminine muscular physique in the business. She’s big and lean at the same time, is still all feminine. Hers is the very definition of beautiful female muscle, although her size would probably still intimidate a lot of people. Check out her physique – you can’t help but notice it! – and it’s fair to assume she works her chest muscles quite a bit. But bench press isn’t a part of her normal routine. Although having said that, Tina has revealed in an interview that she can bench more than Barack Obama, who apparently has a max bench press of 200 lbs. Obama probably went through what a lot of guys would go through if they tried to go head to head in a bench press competition with Nguyen.

More in Entertainment