Progression of the bench press world record

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Bench press world records are the international records in bench press across the years, regardless of weight class or governing organization, for bench pressing on the back without using a bridge technique.

The advent of bench press shirts, which support the lifter's shoulders and provide upward force, have increased records significantly since 1985 (for example, when the shirted record was 437.5 kg (965 lb), the unshirted record was 323 kg (713 lb)).[1] As of 2020, the world record bench press without any equipment ('raw') was set by American Julius Maddox at 349 kg (770 lb).[2] The current world equipped record (with shirt) is held by Will Barotti, at 501 kg (1,105 lb).[3]

The women's equipped bench press record belongs to Becca Swanson from the United States, who lifted 272.5 kg (601 lb) (2008, American Powerlifting Federation standards),[4] and the raw bench press record belongs to April Mathis also from the United States, who lifted 207 kg (457 lb) (2016, Southern Powerlifting Federation standards).[5]

Before 1973[edit]

Weight Year Record Gear
164 kg (362 lb) 1898 Neo Brandt presses 164 kg (362 lb) from the floor.[6] raw
165 kg (364 lb) 1916 Joe Nordquest presses 165 kg (364 lb) from the floor.[6] raw
227 kg (500 lb) early 1950s Doug Hepburn becomes the first man to bench press 400, 450, and 500 lb. In November 1950 he pressed 400 lb (181 kg). He pressed 450 lb (204 kg) in 1951, and 500 lb (227 kg) in December 1953.[1][6] raw
256 kg (565 lb) 1959 Bruno Sammartino presses 256 kg (565 lb).[7] raw
279 kg (615.5 lb) 1967 Pat Casey presses 615.5 lb (279 kg) on March 25, 1967 and becomes the first man to bench press over 600 lb.[8] raw
288 kg (635 lb) 1971 Jim Williams presses 288 kg (635 lb) at the Eastern USA Open. Then in November, he presses 300 kg (661 lb).[9][10] raw
306 kg (675 lb) 1972 Jim Williams presses 306 kg (675 lb) with only ace bandages on his elbows, wearing a T-shirt on November 9, at the 1972 AAU World Powerlifting Championships.[8][9][11] raw

Foundation of the IPF[edit]

With the foundation of the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), the federation began keeping "official" powerlifting world records as the international governing body for the sport of powerlifting. Previous records which hadn't been set within the newly established rules, were reset (for example, elbow bandages had been allowed prior to the formation of the IPF, but were later outlawed). These are the official bench press records after the IPF-reset until they surpass the previously set mark of 306 kg (675 lb) by Jim Williams.

Weight Year Record Gear
263 kg (580 lb) 1973 Don Reinhoudt presses 263 kg (580 lb) raw at the inaugural IPF World Powerlifting Championships in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on November 10, 1973.[12] raw
267.5 kg (590 lb) 1974 Don Reinhoudt presses 267.5 kg (590 lb) raw at the AAU Senior National Championships in Fort Worth, Texas on September 1, 1974.[12] raw
275.5 kg (607 lb) 1975 Don Reinhoudt presses 275.5 kg (607 lb) raw on May 3, 1975 in Chattanooga.[11][12] raw
276.5 kg (610 lb) 1977 Wayne Bouvier presses 276.5 kg (610 lb) in August, 1977.[13] raw
277.5 kg (612 lb) 1978 Doug Young presses 277.5 kg (612 lb) on April 3, 1978 in El Dorado, Arkansas.[11] raw
278 kg (613 lb) 1979 Lars Hedlund presses 278 kg (613 lb) on June 21, 1979 in Stockholm.[14] raw
280 kg (620 lb) 1979 Bill Kazmaier presses 280 kg (617 lb)[15] on July 8 at the USPF Nationals in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and then breaks his own record with 282.5 kg (623 lb) on November 4, 1979 in Dayton, Ohio at the IPF Men's World Powerlifting Championships.[16][17] raw
285 kg (628 lb) 1980 Lars Hedlund presses 285 kg (628 lb) on March 4, 1980 Copenhagen.[11][14] raw
287.5 kg (634 lb) 1980 Bill Kazmaier presses 287.5 kg (634 lb) despite quadriceps injury at the 1980 World Series of Powerlifting in May 1980 in Auburn, Alabama.[16][17][18] raw
300 kg (661 lb) 1981 Bill Kazmaier first presses 290 kg (639 lb)[15] and then 300 kg (661 lb)[11] at the USPF West Georgia Open Powerlifting Championships, held in Columbus, Georgia on January 31, 1981 to become the first human to officially bench press 300 kg (661 lb) (raw) in an IPF-sanctioned meet (and without elbow wraps).[16][17] raw
302.5 kg (667 lb) 1984 Ted Arcidi presses 302.5 kg (667 lb) without wrist wraps on April 1, 1984 in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Hawaiian Internationals at only 286 lb (130 kg) bodyweight.[11] raw

Equipped (with bench shirt)[edit]

Weight Year Record Gear
320 kg (705 lb) 1985 Ted Arcidi first presses 307.5 kg (678 lb)[19] and then becomes the first man to bench press over 700 lb with a lift of 705.75 lb (320 kg),[20] performed without wrist wraps, but with one of the first prototype supportive bench press shirts, which was 50% polyester and 50% cotton and only one layer thick.[1][21] shirt
326 kg (718 lb) 1990 Ted Arcidi presses 326 kg (718 lb) at the APF Bench Press Invitational on September 30 in Keene, New Hampshire.[22] shirt
329 kg (725 lb) 1993 Anthony Clark presses 329 kg (725 lb) in May and then on September 25, breaks his own record with a 333.5 kg (735 lb) lift at the USPF Northwest Open.[23] shirt
335 kg (738 lb) 1994 Anthony Clark presses 335 kg (738 lb).[24][25] shirt
335.5 kg (740 lb) 1995 Jamie Harris presses 335.5 kg (740 lb) at the APF State Championships in March 1995.[25][26][27] shirt
336 kg (741 lb) 1995 Chris Confessore presses 336 kg (741 lb) at only 236 lb (107 kg) bodyweight on June 17, 1995.[24] shirt
340 kg (750 lb) 1995 Anthony Clark presses 339 kg (748 lb) and 340 kg (750 lb) at the Great Bench Press of America Meet in Texas.[28] shirt
349 kg (770 lb) 1996 Anthony Clark presses 349 kg (770 lb) and later 354 kg (780 lb) in September 1996 at the Mr. Olympia.[28] shirt
356 kg (785 lb) 1997 Anthony Clark presses 356 kg (785 lb).[28] shirt
364 kg (802 lb) 1999 Tim Isaac is the first man to bench press over 800 lb* with a lift of 802 lb (364 kg) on July 24 in Phoenix, Arizona.[29][30] shirt
408 kg (900 lb) 2003 Gene Rychlak is the first man to bench press 900 lb (408 kg).[31] shirt
455 kg (1,004 lb) 2004 Gene Rychlak is the first man to bench press over 1,000 lb with a lift of 1,004 lb (455 kg) in November.[32] shirt
457 kg (1,008 lb) 2006 Scot Mendelson presses 457 kg (1,008 lb) (February 18) in a powerlifting exhibition called Fit Expo in Pasadena, California.[32][33] shirt
458 kg (1,010 lb) 2006 Gene Rychlak presses 458 kg (1,010 lb) (December 16).[34] shirt
470 kg (1,036 lb) 2007 Ryan Kennelly presses 470 kg (1,036 lb) (September 22–23).[35] shirt
476 kg (1,050 lb) 2007 Ryan Kennelly presses 476 kg (1,050 lb) on December 1, at the APA Northwest Open in Kennewick, Washington.[36] shirt
485 kg (1,070 lb) 2008 Ryan Kennelly presses 485 kg (1,070 lb) on April 12, at the APA Northwest Iron War in Kennewick, Washington.[37] shirt
487 kg (1,074 lb) 2008 Ryan Kennelly presses 487 kg (1,074 lb) (July 13).[38][39] shirt
487.5 kg (1,075 lb) 2008 Ryan Kennelly presses 487.5 kg (1,075 lb) on November 8, at the Pride Strength Wars in Kennewick, Washington.[40][41] shirt
488.5 kg (1,077 lb) 2013 Tiny Meeker presses 488.5 kg (1,077 lb) on April 13, at the SPF Texas State Powerlifting Championship.[42] shirt
500 kg (1,102 lb) 2013 Tiny Meeker presses 500 kg (1,102 lb) at the Cajun Hardcore Powerlifting Meet, December 14 in Buena, Texas.[43][44][45] shirt
501 kg (1,105 lb) 2020 Will Barotti presses 501 kg (1,105 lb) on June 20 at the Metal Militia Power Wars.[46][47][48][49][3] shirt

* note: Anthony Clark performed a controversial 800-pound bench press at the Arnold Classic in 1997, 2 years before Tim Isaac. This lift was, however, later turned down.

Unequipped (without bench shirt)[edit]

For the bench press to be considered raw, no bench shirts are allowed; however, wrist wraps, singlets and belts are allowed. Elbow bandages had been allowed prior to the formation of the IPF, but were later outlawed.

Weight Year Record Gear
320 kg (705 lb) 1996 James Henderson presses 320 kg (705 lb)[50] raw in a T-shirt without wrist wraps or a belt to become the first man to bench press over 700 lb raw in May 1996.[51] raw
322.5 kg (711 lb) 1997 James Henderson first presses 700 lb (317.5 kg)[50][52] and on a later attempt the same day 711 lb (322.5 kg)[11][50] raw without wrist wraps or a belt on July 13, 1997, at the USPF Senior Nationals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (full three-lift-meet).[53] Today, it is still the highest bench press ever performed in a drug-tested competition as well as the highest ever done in an IPF-sanctioned three-lift-meet.[54] raw
323 kg (713 lb) 2003 Scot Mendelson presses 713 lb (323 kg) on February 8, 2003.[52][54] raw
324 kg (715 lb) 2005 Scot Mendelson presses 715 lb (324 kg) with belt and wrist wraps on May 22, 2005 in Worcester, Massachusetts at the New England Bench Press Classic.[11][52][54][55] raw
325 kg (716 lb) 2013 Eric Spoto first presses 325 kg (716 lb) and then 327.5 kg (722 lb) with belt and wrist wraps on May 19, 2013, at the 2013 SPF California State Powerlifting Meet in Sacramento, California. Eric successfully benched 661 lb on his 1st, 716 lb on his 2nd and 722 lb on his 3rd attempt on the same day.[56] raw
335 kg (739 lb) 2015 Kirill Sarychev presses 335 kg (739 lb) with wrist wraps and without a belt on November 22, 2015, at the SN-Pro Cup.[57][58][59][60] raw
335.5 kg (740 lb) 2019 Julius Maddox presses 335.5 kg (740 lb) with wrist wraps and without a belt on August 31, 2019, at the Boss of Bosses 6.[61] raw
337.5 kg (744 lb) 2019 Julius Maddox presses 337.5 kg (744 lb) with wrist wraps and without a belt on November 17, 2019, at the Rob Hall Classic.[62][63] raw
349 kg (770 lb) 2020 Julius Maddox presses 770 lb (349 kg) with wrist wraps and without a belt on March 7, 2020, at the XPC Powerlifting Coalition.[2][64] raw

IPC powerlifting[edit]

International Paralympic Committee regulates unequipped paralympic powerlifting competition without wrist wraps or belt.

Weight Year Record Gear
291 kg (642 lb) 2011 Siamand Rahman presses 291 kg (642 lb) (December 4, 2011)[65] raw
295 kg (650 lb) 2015 Siamand Rahman presses 295 kg (650 lb) on July 30, 2015, at the 2015 IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan[66] raw
310 kg (683 lb) 2016 Siamand Rahman presses 310 kg (683 lb) on September 14, 2016, at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[67] raw

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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