How strong should you be?

"Expected" Strength Standards :

Being strong increases you athletic ability and in a self defence situation is important to maximise your chances of escaping unharmed.  Therefore it is a good idea to add strength training into your fitness training.  However, what sort of strength levels should you be aiming for?

I recommend Dan Jon as a leading authority in this area.  He proposes the following levels as being attainable for anybody who is consistently following a good strength program...


  • Bench press (Bodyweight x 1 rep)
  • Pull-ups (5 reps)
  • Deadlift (Bodyweight to 150% x 1 reps)
  • Squat (Bodyweight x 1 reps)


  • Bench press (Bodyweight x 1 rep)
  • Pull-ups (3 reps)
  • Deadlift (Bodyweight to 100kg x 1 reps)
  • Squat (Bodyweight x 1 reps)

Surprisingly, you can attain these levels with 3-5 core strength exercises that take only 10-15mins (including warmup) leaving you with plenty of time for Krav Maga or other sport training. Here are a couple of tried and tested programs.

Wendler's 5/3/1.... 3 or 4 workouts per week of 10-15mins.  No more than 9-15 reps total for one exercise per workout!

Another popular option is Stronglifts 5x5 .  There are 5 exercises in total with 3-exercises each workout, three times a week, for about 45 minutes per workout.  This is quite a good option to build strength from a low base before switching onto 5/3/1.  Because of duration and number of days it is harder to combine with other training.

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About The Author

Aaron Moore is the Head Instructor of Krav Maga Global in NZ.

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