There are three options here. To highlight them lets make someone up to use as an example and call him ‘Person X’ . Person X is grown man who has been training for a few years and can squat 100kg.
A) The first option available to Person X is to compare his data against the untrained uninformed population. In this regard a 100kg squat might sound like a huge number – because his mate and his mum who have never set foot inside a gym can’t do it nor do they understand what that number represents in the broader scheme of things. Now, if it represents his best he should absolutely celebrate his progress, that’s fine. But remember who he is probably really trying to impress – the really really strong people, not his mates mum (unless he has a plan on over stepping an age old boundary).
B) Building upon that, the second is to compare the same data against the very best in the world. The 100kg squatter might be good, and the importance of his training undiminished, but in comparison someone who is also a grown man squatted 438kg last week wearing the same equipment. Now lets not get bogged down in weight categories here, lets just call this two grown men comparing numbers. So, grown man strength. From here he gathers an appreciation of where he stands in the broader scheme of strength standards and whatever component of it relates to his chosen sport if he has one. Basically, he’s on his way, but he’s not quite there yet, and that’s OK.
C) The third option is to do repeat option B but complain that its not a level playing field for whatever one or more of the billion excuses available to him are and proclaim himself a world champion despite never actually competing against anyone and selling online programming to people who unfortunately don’t know any better from option A.
Option A is a bit tragic but ultimately harmless. Live and let live.
Option B is great – celebrate your achievements and keep on trucking
Option C – Distinctly uncool but unfortunately common
Strong is strong, your strength is your own and how much of it you can accumulate will ultimately be a very personal endevour. Someone much smarter and stronger than me summed it up when they said ‘imagine a pyramid. At the very top is the best of the best, the top 1% of the top 1% (the 438kg squatter). At the base of the pyramid is the general untrained population (your mates mum). Now, imagine where you stand on that pyramid, then assume you’re probably a little bit below that point’.
When the dust settles the numbers will matter less than if you were a sap about it or not so just try to maintain a modicum of realism and integrity a long the way. Who knows, you might end up standing on top of the pyramid, and with any luck you’ll have a clear conscience and a hell of a lot of fun in the process.