In our current state, especially down here in Victoria, strangely we are becoming burdened with free time. Wow…that’s the last thing I’d ever thought I’d say. However in such a situation many people have gone to the effort of using this time to smash out many fitness goals they have been dreaming about for a longer than they can remember, yet haven’t had the luxury of time like we do now. We at Sportspower Geelong are encouraging you to start a journey that you won’t regret, or likewise, continue to achieve your fitness goals whatever they may be.
Everyone has their own personal goals, and nothing is better than finally being able to bench press your personal best or beating your personal best time in your weekly run. Often beating our personal best is the most efficient way to progress on our individual fitness journeys, however another source of motivation can be comparing your results to those around you. I am no expert, that is for sure, but having a look at those professionals who are the best at what they do is an interesting and informative way to see how I compare to others. Let us turn to the books, the records, the masters some may call them, and have a look at where they are sitting.
Julius Maddox, he is the pinnacle of the weightlifting realm. An American powerlifter, weighing around 200kg and standing at 191cm (6ft 3in) tall, he is the current world record holder for the heaviest raw bench press in the world, a raw bench press being without the assistance of a bench shirt. At age 32, on August of last year, Julius bench-pressed a whopping 335.5kg with only wrist wraps. To put that in perspective, Julius can bench 4 average adult males give or take some kilos. He beat the previous world record by only one kilo, previously set by Russian powerlifter Kirill Sarychev at 334kg. As unbelievable as this achievement is, it does not stop there, Julian went on to beat his own record by bench pressing 337.5kg on November of last year, beating is previous by another 2kg. You thought that was it didn’t you? Well guess what, in February of this year Julian went on to beat his own record for the second time when he benched an unimaginable 350kg at the Arnold sports classics in Columbus, Ohio, setting the current world record yet to be beaten. Have you ever heard the saying ‘I wouldn’t trust them as far as I can throw them’? This guy must be very trustworthy!
Julius Maddox was no prodigy growing up, Maddox’s weightlifting journey came from a rough past. In high school he was selected by several top division-1 football recruiters, however he suffered from depression and as a result his drug addiction worsened, and his life became difficult. This led to him getting into some serious trouble with the law and he faced a choice between two 5-year prison sentences or entering a recovery program. With no doubt, Maddox began his road to recovery and ultimately his powerlifting career. Like many people with their own nuances, Maddox used weightlifting to overcome his addiction, and general problems in his life, it became his therapy in a sense. Maddox now holds multiple bench press records other than the world record including 3 reps of 320kg, and 7 reps of 290kg bench presses. Julius is determined to keep improving and hopes to one day be able to bench press 800 pounds, equivalent to 363kg. His story is an inspiration to many and is great motivation for those who think that they can’t do it, he proved that even in his worst he was able to come out on top and achieve his best, well the world’s best to put it bluntly.
The bench press understandably is not for everyone, however an exercise that is extremely popular and well-rounded is the deadlift and believe me when I tell you it is unbelievable how much people can lift. Currently the world record for a raw deadlift (no additional equipment such as bench shirts, lifting belts or bench wraps) is a 461kg set by Icelandic strongman and powerlifter Benedikt “Benni” Magnusson back in 2014. The 5’11, 37-year-old has won first in multiple strongman competitions and holds other competition records for powerlifting with squats, squatting 420kgs, Bench Press, benching 220kg and deadlifting 460kg still set as the world record for over 6 years. Leading up to his world record Bennie was training 4 – 6 days a week and due to injury and rehab was forced to miss out on a lot of training, he came back from injury to break the strongman deadlift world record, at the Giants Live strongman competition held right here in Melbourne, deadlifting 445kg in 2011. After surgery on one of Bennies fingers and only 8 weeks of training, Bennie went on to set the current world record of a 461kg deadlift in the Europe strongest man 2014.
Bennies brother Magnus has also won Iceland’s strongest Man award, the dedication must run in the family. Benedict runs a heavy lifting gym in Iceland which ran monthly “raw” lifting competitions to continue to do what he loved and is also the father of 3 children. So other than his incredible strength and determination, he is in fact a person like the rest of us and living proof that with a bit of determination you can do whatever you desire.
Both these athletes are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to amazing achievements in the world of weightlifting. Use them as motivation, remember unless you’re in a ‘competition’, the only person you have to beat is yourself.
Get into SportsPower Geelong today, buy a few weights, and who knows, I mean Bennies record hasn’t been broken in 6 years, but who knows, maybe you’ve got it in you and you don’t even know it yet, only one way to find out.