The Bench Press
The bench press is an exercise done by almost any athlete, from golfers to linebackers. Male athletes as well as female use the bench press to gain upper body strength and size. Bench press exercises have many variations (standard, wide-grip, close-grip, etc…) and are normally performed in sets of 8-10 reps. However, the truest test of bench press strength has long been considered the max bench press lift. This is one repetition with as much weight as the lifter can handle. This is a standard used in many professional strong man competitions as well as the Olympic Games.
So, what is the world record for bench press? Well, throwing out weight classes, the overall most weight lifted bench press is 1075lbs. Although some people may make claims of more then this, 1075lbs is the most weight that has ever been documented. It was done by a power lifter named Ryan Kennelly in 2008. This is quite a remarkable accomplishment, as many people cannot even squat 1075lbs. To give you an idea on how much 1075lbs actually is, you could compare it to using eleven 45lb plates on each side of the bar when you bench (or 22 plates total). It would also be pretty equivalent to bench pressing two average riding lawn mowers.
Power lifting is a sport that has evolved greatly over the years. For example, in 1972 weight lifter Jim Williams set a record for benching 675lbs at the AAU World Powerlifting Championships. Thirty-seven years later, the heaviest documented bench press weight nearly doubled. Another notable lift was in 2003 when Gene Rychlak became the first person ever to bench press 900lbs.
At this rate it is very hard to predict what the future will hold for the bench press record as well as other power lifting records. In another 37 years, it is very unlikely that the bench press will double again, (that would make it 2,150lbs!), but records are made to be broken, and athletes are getting stronger everyday.
This kind of strength is obviously not possessed by the average man. If you want to find out what a good weight for you to be bench pressing is, you can check that out here.