good mile time for lifters

What Is A Good Mile Time For Lifters?

Starting Strength Coach Grant Broggi explains what a good benchmark mile time is for weight lifters and how to achieve it.


What is a Good One Mile Time?

In the realm of fitness, strength training often takes center stage, but the importance of cardiovascular fitness shouldn't be overlooked. Running a mile is a fundamental measure of overall fitness and can complement your strength training efforts effectively.

The Importance of Running

Even if your primary focus is on building strength, being able to run a mile is a good indicator of your overall fitness. If you are dedicated to working out regularly but find yourself unable to run a respectable mile, it might be time to incorporate some conditioning into your routine.

Average Mile Times

In the United States, the average mile time for men is 10 minutes, while for women, it is 12 minutes. If you are lifting weights three times a week and maintaining a healthy body weight, you should be able to achieve a sub-10-minute mile for men and a sub-12-minute mile for women with a few weeks of dedicated training.

Setting Realistic Goals

For those who are new to running or have focused solely on lifting, achieving these mile times might initially seem daunting. Start by running for 10 minutes. If you cannot run the entire duration, alternate with walking and gradually build up your endurance. Once you can run for 10 minutes without stopping, increase your running time to 15 minutes, and then to 20 minutes.

Balancing Strength and Conditioning

As a weightlifter, you do not need to run marathons, but being able to run a mile in a reasonable time reflects a balanced approach to fitness. For instance, at 6'1" and 220 lbs, I can run three miles with an average time of 8 minutes per mile, which I consider above average for a weightlifter. This balance allows you to maintain your strength while also improving your cardiovascular fitness.

Setting the Bar

Aiming for a sub-10-minute mile for men and a sub-12-minute mile for women is a good starting point. Once you achieve this, set your sights on an 8-minute mile for men and a 10-minute mile for women to be considered above average.


Incorporating running into your fitness routine does not mean you have to sacrifice your strength gains. It is about finding a balance that enhances your overall fitness. Start by setting achievable goals and gradually improve your conditioning. This balanced approach will not only make you stronger but also more versatile in your fitness capabilities.By integrating running into your regimen, you can ensure that your fitness is well-rounded and that you are prepared for various physical challenges.

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