How Strong Should You Be To Get Toned


A couple times a week I hear “I don’t want to get bulky”. Typically in response to lifting heavy weights. As demonstrated by my clients already, lifting heavy will not make you bulky. If you’re predisposed to be more bulky than you will know. If you don’t currently look “bulky” then you will not become bulky lifting heavy weights.

what strength numbers should you aim for?

These numbers are goals for general health and looking great in a bikini. Of course you can push these higher but it’s not necessary when you just want to look good and balance your fitness and social life.


The squat is a staple movement of the lower body. For strong toned legs you should aim for squatting your body weight for 10 reps and 1.5x your body weight for 1 rep. This can take anywhere from 6 months to a year depending on where you’re starting from.


The pull-up is like what the squat is to the lower body. For a strong upper body, back and arms you should aim for 10 reps with bodyweight and ⅓ of your body weight for a weighted pull-up. This can also take from 6 months to 1 year or longer.


The deadlift is the staple of the posterior chain and with a greater risk comes a greater reward. The goal is for 2x your bodyweight for 1 rep. This typically takes longer and is progressed slower than the other lifts due to the nature of the movement and how recovery is affected. This shouldn’t be rushed and should be reached 1 year + from starting.

Bench Press

This is not as crucial as the above mentioned for looking great but if you are benching then you should aim for 1 rep with your own body weight and 90% of your bodies weight for 5 reps.


The push-ups is similar to pull-ups a bodyweight exercise that shows relative strength. The goal is 20 full push-ups from lockout to chest touching the floor.

Bulgarian Split Squat

One of my favorites for developing the glutes! The goal is to lift body weight for 6 to 8 reps using dumbbells. So if you weigh 120 pounds then using 60 pound dumbbells. This is a very challenging lift which typically takes a bit longer than the squat to progress. This could take up to 1 year or longer to reach.

These are some staple movements that build a strong, fit, toned and amazing physique. When you can reach these numbers and have a low body fat percentage around 15 to 18 percent you will look stunning!

see how my clients have progressed with these movements

Jamari Jackson