What Is Strong? Real World Strength Standards For Raw, Natural Lifters

Steve Shaw
Written By: Steve Shaw
January 28th, 2013
Updated: April 15th, 2021
Categories: Articles Training
1.1M Reads
Strong man doing a deadlift at powerlifting meet in Russia
What is strong? I've analyzed the national records for several major drug-free powerlifting federations, and compiled my own set of raw strength standards.

What is strong? We live in a world filled with 1000 pound squat and 800 pound bench press Youtube videos. Kind of makes you feel weak, doesn't it? It sure makes me feel weak. There are a couple of key things you need to know about most of these lifts.

1000 Pound Squats and 800 Pound Bench Presses?

How are these guys able to move Herculean amounts of weight? Here are 2 major reasons.

#1 - Training Gear. The guys putting up these monster numbers are for the most part using training gear. What is training gear? Training gear includes the use of specialized squat suits and bench shirts that are designed to help powerlifters add hundreds of pounds to each lift.

So when you see a guy benching close to 800 pounds with a bench shirt on, there's a good chance he "only" benches 500 without a bench shirt. The same goes for squats suits. A squat of over 700 without a squat suit is fairly rare. Add in a squat suit, along with knee wraps and squat briefs, which go under a squat suit to help move even more weight, and these guys are squatting over 1000 pounds.

Training gear is not magical though. It requires an amazing amount of dedication and practice, and few can master it.

#2 - Drugs. Another factor adding to these monster totals is an obvious one - steroid and human growth hormone usage. Now it is certainly not my intention to label everyone with a big lift as a drug user. I've seen some pretty staggering natural lifts in my day. With that said, drug use is fairly common in the sport of powerlifting, and I'm not going to lie to you and pretend it's not.

There are some natural-only federations. Outside of this realm, your guess is as good as mine as to who is clean and who isn't.

Anti-Gear, Anti-Steroids?

Before we move on any further, I want to make something very clear. The point of this article isn't to bash lifters who use training gear or drugs. This article exists to provide natural and raw strength standards to lifters who will never use either. Period, end of story. I respect the iron, and the men and women who move it, and am not here to judge or stir up debates.

Raw, Natural Strength Standards

Let's dive into the topic of raw, natural strength standards by analyzing the national records of several drug-free powerlifting federations. Some of these federations are large, and some modest in size.

  • 100% Raw
  • NASA
  • UPA-AD

These numbers will give you somewhat of a reasonable look at "elite" strength levels. They are not meant to be elite standards in and of themselves. I will make an attempt to define my opinion of elite standards later on.

Natural Raw Records for Men


Weight Class USAPL 100% Raw NASA ADFPF UPA-AD
132 479.50 530.90 275.58 247.50 None
148 473.75 550.90 473.99 445.50 220
165 534.50 530 512.57 447.70 529
181 562 601.10 540.13 500.50 529
198 573 610 644.85 550 600
220 650.25 650.30 699.96 583 633
242 705.25 700.70 650.36 621.50 705
275 766 850 755.08 599.50 640
308 854.25 826.70 766.10 599.50 704

Bench Press

Weight Class USAPL 100% Raw NASA ADFPF UPA-AD
132 314 330.40 231.48 187 None
148 337.25 360.40 294.31 302.50 165
165 402.25 400 363.76 374 314
181 385.75 385 363.76 385 364
198 443 425 418.87 374 412
220 523.50 490 451.94 423.50 425
242 462.75 485.60 415.57 451 457
275 501.50 585 507.06 511.50 440
308 546.50 520 476.19 484 501


Weight Class USAPL 100% Raw NASA ADFPF UPA-AD
132 578.50 450 358.25 341 None
148 523.50 540 567.68 473 353
165 661.25 630 567.68 535.70 567
181 677.75 641.10 617.29 638 600
198 706.50 661.30 661.38 671 630
220 727.50 672.40 677.91 654.50 677
242 699.75 760.50 722.01 704 645
275 832.00 800 705.47 632.50 650
308 843.25 760.50 810.19 665.50 744

So, what do these numbers tell us? The first thing I noticed is that the following lifts are extremely hard to achieve:

  • Squat - 600 pounds
  • Bench Press - 400 pounds
  • Deadlift - 650 pounds

It's safe to say that if you hit these numbers, you're well into Elite territory for a raw, natural lifter. It should also be noted that it is darn near impossible to hit a 2000 raw, natural powerlifting total. Only a small handful of natural lifters have performed this amazing feat.

The lifting standards I am about to present are merely guidelines. Use them to assess your progress, and potential for future gains. Don't be discouraged by the numbers of the top one percent of lifters. You can make amazing strides forward without having the best genetics, so remain patient and train smart. If you do so you will exceed your expectations.

Before I move forward, here are some simple definitions for standards names.

  • Pro Strength - The very best of the best. Superhuman. Supreme strength.
  • Elite Strength - You should be extremely competitive at a National level powerlifting meet.
  • Extremely Strong - You will be one of the top lifters at most local, natural powerlifting meets. Your strength levels land you in the top 1% of humanity.
  • Very Strong - In the muscle building and strength training realm, this would be considered intermediate level strength.
  • Strong - Your lifts are around a 200 raw bench, 300 raw squat and 400 raw deadlift. This doesn't seem strong compared to powerlifting records, but you are still stronger than 90% of men walking the earth.

Raw Natural Strength Standards Based On Weight - Men

Pro Natural Raw Strength Standards

Weight Squats Bench Deadlifts
132 430 270 440
148 460 300 470
165 500 330 540
181 540 350 580
198 570 380 610
220 610 410 640
242 640 430 660
275 670 450 680
308 700 470 700

Elite Natural Raw Strength Standards

Weight Squats Bench Deadlifts
 132  400  250  410
 148  425  280  435
 165  465  305  500
 181  500  325  535
 198  530  350  565
 220  565  380  595
 242  595  400  610
 275  620  420  630
 308  650  435  650

Extremely Strong Natural Raw Strength Standards

Weight Squats Bench Deadlifts
 132  325  205  330
 148  345  225  355
 165  375  250  405
 181  405  265  435
 198  430  285  460
 220  460  310  480
 242  480  325  495
 275  505  340  510
 308  525  355  525

Very Strong Natural Raw Strength Standards

Weight Squats Bench Deadlifts
 132  290  185  300
 148  310  210  320
 165  340  225  365
 181  365  240  395
 198  385  260  415
 220  415  280  435
 242  435  290  445
 275  455  305  460
 308  475  320  475

Strong Natural Raw Strength Standards

Weight Squats Bench Deadlifts
 132  250  155  255
 148  265  175  270
 165  290  190  310
 181  310  205  335
 198  330  220  350
 220  350  235  370
 242  370  250  380
 275  385  260  390
 308  405  270  405

I used the following multipliers to determine these numbers:

  • Elite = Pro x 92.5%
  • Extremely Strong = Pro x 75%
  • Very Strong = Pro x 67.5%
  • Strong = Pro x 57.5%

The Last Word on Natural Strength

Most of you aren't competitive powerlifters, nor do most of you have the goal of weighing 270 pounds or more. So with that in mind, I want to end by presenting you with an easy set of natural strength standards to remember.

The following goals are perfect for the lifter who wants to get big and strong, but who may never have any interesting in competing in bodybuilding or powerlifting. Reach these goals while focusing on conventional hypertrophy (muscle building) rep ranges, and you will not only add muscle to your frame, but also have the power and strength to back it up.

  • Bench Press - 300 pounds
  • Squats - 400 pounds
  • Deadlift - 500 pounds
  • Power Clean - 225 pounds
  • Overhead Press - 225 pounds
  • Barbell Row - 300 Pounds

There have been fewer than 85 men who have ever hit a 2000 raw powerlifting total. Of these men, only a very small handful accomplished this feat while competing in major drug-tested federations. I hope this helps put powerlifting numbers in perspective.

The use of bench shirts, squat suits, steroids and growth hormone has made it difficult for most natural athletes to understand just what strong means. I see far too many strong forum lifters refer to themselves as weak, simply because they do not understand what reasonable natural standards are. They talk themselves out of competitive powerlifting because of a misguided vision that everyone is putting up 2000 pound totals. Not true at all.

A 1200 pound 3-lift total (bench press, squats and deadlifts) is more than 95% of gym rats will ever accomplish. A 1500 pound 3-lift total is a huge accomplishment, and will be hard to beat at most local, natural powerlifting meets.

For those of you who are doubting this, let me leave you with some numbers from my first powerlifting experience. In 2011 I competed at a local ADFPF meet. This was my first competition and I had no idea what to expect. I certainly had no clue that I would be the strongest lifter at the meet. My 3-lift total was 1501 that day. The second best total was approximately 200 pounds below this level.

This reveals that a 1300-1500 pound total at most local, raw and natural powerlifting meets is fairly impressive. Those that achieve these levels usually move on to national-level competitions.

I currently hold 2 national-level deadlifting records, one in the ADFPF, and one in the UPA. Certainly not a legendary achievement (far from it), but my records do provide further evidence that a 1500-1600 pound total is noteworthy in the natural lifting world.

Did this article help? Let me know in the comments. I would also like to know where your strength levels currently are, and what natural goals you are after. Good luck, and smash PRs!

John twineham
Posted on: Sat, 06/29/2024 - 13:44

Would enjoy an age+weight breakdown. Born 7/7/1948 and started lifting 8/9/23. 5'10", 190 weight. Best lift on bench is 8x190, no spotter, 4 days ago. Try not to go crazy with single lifts, since my muscles have overpowered tendons in the past - multiple major surgeries, both knees. Worked 0ut 40 years ago for 4 years, just getting back into it now.

Reece Anguish
Posted on: Fri, 04/12/2024 - 16:23

This was an awesome read! Real world application is very important to how I train, and I don’t like comparing myself to a “weight group” of professional lifters because they cut weight, and I don’t really care about that. I weigh 238 lbs and could stand to lose probably another 15-25 lbs to get down to a lean physique.

This article is the article I’ve been searching months for. I’m definitely the strongest guy I know with a 1400 flat total at 505lbs squat, 345lbs bench, and 550lbs deadlift (this was on hexbar, I can definitely do more on a straight bar but don’t care to test it). I don’t train for 1RM as I also need to run a lot as I’m in the military. I’m the last two weeks I hit that 1400 lbs benchmark I had, and even logged 26 miles on roads and cross-country routes while I was at it!

Your article was very well researched and exactly what I needed to read to put me back in a good mindset about my lifts. For some reason I have a crazy notion that someone my size should be pushing 1600+ pounds hahaha.

Wesley Hollins
Posted on: Sun, 11/19/2023 - 16:36

To the muscleandstrength.com admin, You always provide in-depth analysis and understanding.

Posted on: Fri, 07/14/2023 - 12:22

Excellent article. You certainly are qualified. It looks like my lifts are between the strong and very strong level depending on the lift. In my younger years I'd fall into the extremely strong and the elite. 67 now and lots of injuries. Knee replacements, fusion, but I still work out. I don't go to extremes though now.

Posted on: Wed, 03/15/2023 - 07:48

Thanks, finally some realistic natty real world numbers. I've just gotten into chasing higher powerlifting numbers after casual gym lifting for 30 years. I'm 51 and was looking for some real world indicators of how strong I am. I'm 51 and after a year of 'powerbuilding' have a total of 553kg or 1219lbs. It's not too far behind the 1300 minimum required to be relatively impressive at a natty meet. I might have a chance in a senior division some day!

Kaine O’Brien
Posted on: Sun, 01/08/2023 - 21:22

This is an awesome article! We live in a world full of Instagram 500lb bench presses and 800lb squats. Good to see what is actually realistic when you are flooded with superhuman monsters all of the time

Posted on: Wed, 09/28/2022 - 23:21

Its just a hobby for me. I've never seriously competed, mostly because I've always been natty and I feel like expecting your competition to be clean in a sport like powerlifting is a joke. I've always been big though, 6'2, currently 295 and my bench breaks this chart. I've gone over 500 on multiple occasions with an alltime PR of 515. I think these standards should be a little higher, not everyone you assume is juicing actually is.

Posted on: Mon, 11/07/2022 - 22:33

I know of a guy who is 5’8” 210 lbs who was repping 455 6x for bench and was fairly lean (very agile). He wasn’t on steroids wasn’t taking protein or even creatine. He could throw 225 over his head and rep it while standing like it was a toy. It’s a shame because I am confident he would have broken records; there are freaks out there that have done nothing with their blessed genetics and again are natural.

Howard Menkes
Posted on: Wed, 03/02/2022 - 10:58

I feel 600/400/600 raw, lifetime natural are excellent lifts. When I asked lifters who aren't, they agrees, too. Very good article!

Posted on: Thu, 12/02/2021 - 17:31

I used to be a bit of a gym rat and am looking at trying to regain some of my form, bench press specifically, as I rapidly now approach age 60. As I look at articles like these I am enthused as quite honestly, back in the day, in a tee and gym shorts (with no clue and no specific training) I could rep, bench only, levels that you list for "elite". I could "bounce a single here or there very close to your "Pro Natural" levels.
I won a few events here and there but I never thought and one ever said these might be pretty high level results. I'd like to see what I could do in my age group now with some direction. What are the best resources for finding proper training and outlets for competition?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 12/03/2021 - 21:21

Hi, MD. There are some powerlifting articles here on M&S, but you could also search YouTube for channels that focus on that sport to help you learn more about training for comps.

Posted on: Tue, 10/26/2021 - 09:52

The article is impressive, and informative. I have been lifting for almost 40 years and have never competed, other than having competed with myself. I simply love to lift. It's nice to have a general idea of where I would stand in a competition. I think the thing that surprised the most was finding out that I am at near elite level in some of the lifts, given that I am now at age 56. This may inspire me to explore some type of local competition. So, Thank You for a well written article.

Posted on: Fri, 07/16/2021 - 21:16

Nice job only talking about male lifters. Breaking news, female powerlifters exist too.

Posted on: Sat, 01/01/2022 - 09:54

I don't think he meant any negativity towards females, I think it was mostly just references based on when you see people hit those impossible numbers. Like, a 300 lb raw and natural lifter and a 308 lb geared and drugged lifter aren't going to have the same lifts. It was perspective. Age also wasn't being used.

Posted on: Sun, 08/21/2022 - 16:53

It’s likely the author did not want to provide conjecture outside of his own personal experience (a fellow can get in trouble for that these days) and would instead leave it up to females with expertise in female strength. Perhaps you should direct your energy to any female power lifters on this site who might be able to mirror this article based on female standards. Or we can pretend everyone is equal and males and females have no signifcant performance differences…seems to work for the US military.

Posted on: Sun, 06/20/2021 - 01:22

What about for women?

Posted on: Sat, 04/24/2021 - 09:54

Nice article. Not hating on this article or anything. But ive been lifting for about 4 years and recently been focusing on str training for about 7 months. I am now 24 years old with a 315 bench 520 deadlift and 415 lb squat. I weight roughly around 196lbs and want to compete in a local show. Thing is im ego driven in lifting and i dont wanna compete and not end up in the top 3 (yah im a sore loser and id probably take my anger out on myself and be obsess with improving )I honestly feel weak in contrast of what this article is telling me :/.

BRIAN Jeffery C...
Posted on: Mon, 06/14/2021 - 11:00

What would be really nice to know would be the number of years the lifter had been training seriously when they hit their top numbers. This would allow someone such as yourself to see that considering the number of years you have under your belt, 4 in your case, you are on track for your experience level.

Posted on: Wed, 04/07/2021 - 06:58

Interesting read! I went from 135Bench, 315Dead, 135Squat @165BW to 340bench 500Dead 455Squat in 5 years 100% natural now sitting @225BW. I would assume for a natural lifter i should be capable of reaching 405Bench 500Squat, 600Dead to have that 1500+ total. So then if you are a natural powerlifter you would never compete in the meet unless its drug tested right?

Posted on: Fri, 03/05/2021 - 07:08

Thank you for this! My husband has been working out for 25 years (never used anything ever) and recently did his record 415 bench he is 195 lbs I’m not sure what his squat and deadlift are but I know they are not as good as the bench though he has been focusing on them more over the years. I’d like to see him compete and get some training/advice to help him meet his goal he does a 1200 total lift of all three but he has more in him and I’d like to see what his max potential is. We are in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Do you have any recommendations?

Posted on: Fri, 12/25/2020 - 09:19

I’m 71 now and still lift. Back in the day I totaled a solid 1,500lbs in the 198lb class clean and raw. It was frustrating, however, to lose to the PED users that could total 10 times their body weight. In any case, you have provided an excellent guideline for natural and raw lifters. The truth is that very few lifters ever attain a 400lb bench naturally. Anyone who can bench 100lbs over their body weight is very strong. Keep up the good work.

Posted on: Fri, 10/23/2020 - 02:24

What is considered natural? Is using HD Testosterone Booster allowed if tested in natural competitions or is that not allowed?

Posted on: Tue, 03/30/2021 - 13:15

Testosterone "Boosters" are definitely allowed because they do not actually work. HD Testosterone Booster for example is just a combination of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Will this boost your testosterone if you are deficient in one of these vitamins? Sure. Are you deficient in one of these vitamins? Probably not. And even if you were, there are cheaper alternatives.

Posted on: Thu, 10/01/2020 - 21:29

Around 25 all i did was 225 every thing and one day i maxed out after 7 months of not trying one PR. The results were insane... bench 465 squat, squat 4 plates for 10, deadlift 6 plates on all sides and I never trained deadlifts.

Here was the workout fuck those guys in mags
4 sets of bench or 5. 10 reps of 185 3 sec up 3 sec down for 3 months.
185 squat 5 sets 10 reps slow and easy nothing crazy for 3 months.
bent over rows 135 10 reps 4 sets
no shoulders
arms and pullups on friday....

becnch 225 assutoding 12 times
bench week 2 astounding 15
bench week 3 astounding 18
bench week 4 asounding 20
week 5 22
week 6 25

Posted on: Sun, 07/10/2022 - 14:35

Can you please elaborate a bit for clarity. Please thank u

Brycen Sinkovits
Posted on: Tue, 02/25/2020 - 00:16

I just turned 18. body weight us 185. bench 270. squat 340. deadlift 415. (pounds not kg)
would I be ready to enter competition or should I do some more work???

Posted on: Fri, 11/01/2019 - 07:58

As an 11 year old drug-free lifter I'm happy to see my numbers aren't that terrible. I bench 600, squat 1000 and deadlift 1200 lbs raw. I guess those numbers are ok considering I only weigh 98 lbs.

Posted on: Sat, 01/04/2020 - 17:30

You know the word record on a raw deadlift is 1015 lbs held by Benedikt Magnússon. Pretty sure you're plate math is off and I doubt the rest of your numbers too Unless you're joking, then nevermind

Reece Anguish
Posted on: Fri, 04/12/2024 - 16:25

I’ve never even tried to type a max word count while deadlifting. That would be an interesting thing to consider as a competition..

Jimmy Johnson
Posted on: Tue, 02/11/2020 - 13:41

Pfft... I'm a 70 year old drug and alcohol free lifter and i bench 1200lbs, squat 2000lbs, and deadlifted my coffin to get back out of my grave to hit the gym! and I way 50lbs because i'm a skeleton!

lol very funny though.

Jeremy Sipple
Posted on: Thu, 06/10/2021 - 17:04

Hilarious!! This comment made my day haha!!

Posted on: Thu, 10/31/2019 - 08:52

GREAT ARTICLE! I've been lifting for 30 years now, life long raw, natural (creatine is the "strongest stuff" I've used) lifter. These are pretty good (as good as any) and accurate standards in my experience, too. Unfortunately, there just doesn't seem to be many people left that want to lift raw and natural, it's all about the biggest number possible in ANY manner possible.

Joe Blow
Posted on: Wed, 02/13/2019 - 01:27

A lot of strong e-stats in this thread. 12 year olds who can lift shit like benching 400 lbs raw and drug free commenting about how they thought that they were weak and the article convinced them.. lmao. If you're so starved for attention, go to a public gym around normal people who'd struggle under 130 lbs and put up 350+ lbs on the bench. Oh wait... No idiot who can do that is still sitting around wondering if it's a fuck ton of weight for 99% of people or not... lmao. You guys need to troll harder. You lack finesse. It's actually triggering me.

Posted on: Wed, 10/16/2019 - 23:10

Beta male problems lol

James Nichols
Posted on: Tue, 01/22/2019 - 14:27

Thiis was a good article. The gear does make a significant difference. I powerlifted in my 20’s and 30’s in the 165 class and 181 class and was able to achieve a 523 deadlift, 475 squat and 293 bench. These lifts were in sanctioned meets. After training and participating in a meet when we would go back to working out again the weight felt crazy heavy iwith the absence of knee wraps and a squat suit. Thank you for the article it was informative.

Posted on: Mon, 12/24/2018 - 09:22

Great article. I had a discussion with my nephews and sons about this same topic. We all lift and watch the videos on youtube. It was nice to find that we are all in the very strong group. Especially for me. I am 47Yrs young 6'1" 275lbs and a veteran. I have been lifting off and on (injuries, deployments, life) since I was 12. I should be stronger but I will survive. Best Lifts: 335 bench, 500 squat and deadlift Pre knee surgery. 405 for reps after surgery.
Thanks for the article. Makes an old soldier smile.

Eric Whitsitt
Posted on: Thu, 12/06/2018 - 22:18

I'm 148lbs I'm can bench 255lbs. Is that good?

Brian Santeramo
Posted on: Mon, 04/25/2022 - 22:18

Its very good, Im 51 and weigh 152 and bench 255 lbs, have been lifting for 20 years. How old are you?

Lydia Aultman
Posted on: Fri, 11/30/2018 - 12:19

Couldn’t be bothered with women’s standards?

Kieth Weinberger
Posted on: Sun, 02/03/2019 - 12:34

Women are as strong as men, so the same standards apply.

Heinrich Lang
Posted on: Fri, 05/31/2019 - 01:40

Sorry I had to re-read your comment twice -- "women are as strong as men?

Are you virtue signaling here? What planet are you from?

Durrant Miller
Posted on: Sun, 08/11/2019 - 00:36

If you actually believe this you are denser than a black hole. Among many other factors, the main thing that makes this untrue is that women produce only minuscule amounts of testosterone.

Posted on: Tue, 05/04/2021 - 06:00

Women usually have 60-80% of the strength men have, all else being equal(bodyweight and age). Grip strength standards are a good measure of this so I'd just apply the same ratio here.

Posted on: Fri, 11/23/2018 - 20:01

This was a really good article for me. I've been lifting for almost 2 years entirely natural not even using supplements. I'm 36 years old and weigh 165 lbs. I currently have 1rm of 225 on bench, 385 deadlift and 295 squat and haven't been doing strength workouts much because of my slim body type. My goal is two get into the thousand pound club by the end of next year.

Posted on: Thu, 11/22/2018 - 03:16

Wow, what an awesome article. I use as a standard for me to become the best that I can. Im 6,2 tall I weight 290, and I have 23% body fat. Just go started in strongman training. I used to think I had terrible strength levels when compared to pros but I'm not that bad.

Ive got a 515 deadlift, 505 squat, 365 bench press, 225 overhead strict press, 300 barbell row, and a 160 pound dumbbell clean and jerk. I am 100% natural Ive never even taken a single supplement in my whole life. Im at the 1385 total. I am looking into getting to 1500 in the near future and perhaps one day into the 2000 pound club. This would be awesome. Also looking into competing at State Level Strongman Competitions.

Posted on: Sun, 11/11/2018 - 06:11

Great Article! This definitely puts things in perspective. As a 41 year old intermediate natural weight lifter this definitely provides a healthy gauge of where I’m at and what I can work up too. I gotta say I was a bit discouraged before I read this article and now I feel a lot more confident in my numbers. Thanks for posting!

Posted on: Mon, 10/29/2018 - 17:31

6’2”209lbs 16%bf...... raw goals(with proper form): bench 315, deadlift 480, squat 405..... goal weight and bf: 240lbs 12%bf
Current raw 1rm.....bench: 245 squat:325 deadlift:420


Pete Peterson
Posted on: Sat, 09/22/2018 - 23:57

I weigh 180 pounds and bench press 385 natural. I have never taken and roids and don’t even diet properly. I’ve always wanted to enter an all natural bench press competition. Just a raw lift. Would it even be worth my time to consider a competition. I just always felt I would get embarrassed. Would that even be considered a decent PB for my weight.

Posted on: Wed, 09/19/2018 - 20:01

Steve, when I was younger I would do five sets of ten with 225 lbs. I weighed 145 and never thought that I was that strong. But talking to people now and them telling me that they can’t get 225 once I am floored. My max bench was 300lbs.

Posted on: Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:31

So what about those records of some guy benching 550+ at 165? I forget where I saw that but I do remember it was allegedly drug free. I've wondered if those records are just guys with questionable form who are pressing the bar only a few inches? I haven't measured my ROM on press but it must be at least 15", maybe a couple more.

I can bench 425 @ 200, and I am pretty fat, at least 25%. I could definitely see it's possible to bench 450 at 165 if you were extremely disciplined, but 550 bench @ 165 doesn't seem legit.