Written by PYGOD on August 12, 2007
Let’s begin with the top of the troop:
700 pounds CLUB
|Bench World Champions
Scot Mendelson and Gene Rychlak
In my book, the most respectable bencher is the 6’4″, 400+pounds Jim “Hollywood” Henderson easily benched 711 lbs RAW & DRUG-FREE in a plain white t-shirt in 1997 at the age of 32 years old. He loves to brag and joke around (I would too), claiming to be the strongest bench presser of ALL TIME. Having never failed a drug test, I think he is the strongest bencher of all time.
|Larry Allen football lineman|
The late 6’9″, 368-pound WWE pro wrestler Big John Studd was rumored of a 705 lbs bench press. He even attempted a 700 lbs bench press on TV. I certainly didn’t mention some big time benchers in this select club. But the article is all about raw benching.
600 pounds CLUB
|Pat Casey Incline Press with a pair of 210 Pound Dumbbells|
The first man to officially bench press 600 lbs was Pat Casey. One of the most talked about member of this select club is certainly UFC brawler Tank Abbott. With his easy, unassisted 600 lbs RAW bench press. World’s Strongest Man Bill Kazmier had the world record in the 80s with a raw 660 lbs bench press with a narrow grip. Journeyman pro wrestler and biker gang enforcer Bruiser Bedlam aka Johnny K-9 (5’9″, 280) was known to bench press 625 lbs.
|Bruiser Bedlam/Johnny K-9
Maybe not a great wrestler but one hell of a bencher.
The ripped 6’3″, 265-pound football player Mike Kudla max benchs 610 lbs. Football offensive lineman Justin Geisinger benches 600 lbs along with 225 for 43 reps. Giant MMA fighter and former NFL player Bob Sapp’s max bench is over 600 lbs. MMA fighter Mark Coleman claims a 600-pound bench press when he was bulkier. Jeremy Hoornstra claims a 675 lbs raw bench but he “only” managed to do 605 lbs in an official powerlifting competition with a shirt?!? 80s wrestler Nikolaï Volkoff got a 635 lbs bench press. WCW/NWO pro wrestler Scott Norton is credited with a 650 lbs bench press. Pro wrestler Ice Train benched an official 600 lbs.
|Big Bully Busick|
Former WWF wrestler and powerlifter Big Bully Busick (6′, 280 lbs) was able to bench press 605 lbs at an official powerlifting competition. 6 feet 5 inches tall, 458 pounds King Kong Bundy is able to bench press 600 pounds if we believe the description of his WWF LJN wrestling figure. Physical specimen, pro bencher and pro wrestler Tony Atlas, at 6’3″, 297 lbs, 22″ guns and a claimed 4% body fat, benched 650 lbs. That’s a lot of weight!
supposedly won a Bodybuilding, an ArmWrestling and a Powerlifting championship
all in the same day?!? But that’s another story!
Bodybuilder Greg Kovacs and his team, claims he benched close to 600 lbs for 10 reps. But like all his claims, it’s probably B.S. He only lifts on smith-machine and all of his lifts seem to be partials and exaggerated.
And the dark horse of this club, French Canadian 80s WWE wrestler Dino Bravo. He attempted to break the time bench press world record with a televised 711 lbs lift. The only problem is that there were four bogus 45 plates on the bar which reduce the weight to 531 lbs. And he needed assistance from the spotter Jesse Ventura to complete the lift?!? But different witnesses claimed he regularly bench pressed 675 lbs (7 plates per side). Some official source said he was a legit 575 lbs bencher. But one thing for sure, he was a legit 500+lbs bencher.
500 pounds CLUB
The first man to bench press 500 lbs was Doug Hepburn. The 500 pounds club also includes Road Warriors Hawk and Animal, along with amateur wrestler and UFC fighter Ron Waterman. Wrestler and World’s Strongest Man competitor “Superstar” Billy Graham and, as witnessed by one of my friends on TV, French Canadian 300-pound wrestler PCO got it at 585 lbs.
One of the Greatest Wrestler of All Time
Legendary and herculean former WWE world champion Bruno Sammartino has a drug-free 565 lbs bench to his credit and a stunning 315 lbs for 38 reps bench. WWE attitude era wrestler “Lethal Weapon” Steve Blackman bench pressed 585 pounds and won several weight lifting awards and strength contest in the 80s. The late “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith claimed an easily believable 535 lbs bench. UFC heavy hitter Dan Bobbish also benches 535 lbs. Another MMA slugger that I suspect to be in this club is the huge Jimmy Ambriz and TNA wrestler Scott Steiner. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka claimed a 525 lbs bench press in his early years as a bodybuilder. NWA TV commentators used to say that powerhouse Lex Luger benched 500 lbs in his peak years. Not hard to believe since he was seen doing 5 reps with 405 lbs at the WCW Power Plant wrestling school when he was only 235 pounds. The Ultimate Warrior and the late Kerry Von Erich both claimed a 500 pounds bench press.
|Ryback bench press 550|
Modern-day WWE superstars are no sludge either. Ryback official bench press is 550. Titus O’Neil bench pressed 545 pounds. Antonio Cesaro bench pressed 405 pounds. Kane bench press 525 pounds with no bench shirt, no wraps, nothing. Jack Swagger bench press 315 pounds for 16 reps. Roman Reigns recently (November 2013) bench pressed 445 pounds. Big Show bench pressed 500 pounds for 12 reps. John Cena bench pressed 465 pounds. Big E Langston bench pressed 575 pounds raw. (paragraph added on November 21, 2013)
|John Cena bench press 465|
Crappy WWF jobber S.D. Jones claimed a 510-pound bench press in his Tony Atlas’s WWE Hall of Fame introduction speech. Tony Atlas also said in his book that jobber Pistol Pez Whatley also lifted an uneasy 500 pounds. It is rumored that the late Andre The Giant was witnessed in street clothes, on tv?, at 4 am bench pressing 505 pounds in 1992.
Acrobat & bodybuilder
And old-timer French wrestler, Edouard Carpentier said he was the first man to bench press 500 lbs in Montreal, Quebec. Other suspects are Warlord (gigantic wrestler who “made” 19 reps with 500 pounds on a wrestling show, probably a “work”), Olympian Ken Patera and others that I forgot.
400 pounds CLUB
|“Human Wrecking Machine”
“Human Wrecking Machine” Brock Lesnar’s max bench is 475 lbs. UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock: 475 lbs. Legendary football lineman William “The Refrigirator” Perry used to bench a max of 465 lbs. Arnold Schwartzenegger benched 455 lbs. “The Big Red Machine” Kane (Glen Jacobs) benched 405 x 10 easy reps. Big Shaquille O’Neil once made a 455 lbs bench off-season. Hockey goon Tony Twist also hits 455. MMA fighter Marco Ruas claimed to max bench 440 lbs. Movie star and wrestler The Rock got a max bench of 425 lbs. Olympic hero Kurt Angle used to bench 420 lbs and squat 630 lbs. Impressive for a 220-lb man. WWE wrestler Randy Orton benched 400+lbs coupled with a 525-pound squat. Physical phenom “Masterpiece” Chris Masters got a max around 400 lbs. UFC fighter Ian Freeman claims a lifetime best of 396 lbs for 8 reps on the bench. Bret “The Hitman” Hart claims a triple with 405 lbs. Cowardly former AWA world champion Larry Zbyszko used to bench press 400 pounds in his 20s when he was the training partner of Bruno Sammartino. Action movie icon Sylvester Stallone said that in his best years he benched between 385 to 400 lbs and squatted 500 lbs. And probably most NFL lineman are good for a high 400 to a low 500.
|Earl Boykins and Shaquille O’Neil|
Former WWF muscleman and politician Jesse Venture used to bench 390 pounds. The Undertaker failed to bench 365 pounds. Actor Will Smith got a lifetime best of 385 lbs. K-1 fighter Jerome LeBanner maxed out at 353 lbs. Female wrestler and porn star Chyna once claimed a 375 lbs bench press but was witnessed lifting 310. Golf champion Tiger Woods got a 320 lbs max bench. NBA “midget” Earl Boykins supposedly benched 315 lbs at 5’5″ and 133 lbs!?! And, surprisingly, huge WWE wrestler Triple H has only ever benched 315 lbs for 2 reps. As he said, he trains like a bodybuilder, not a powerlifter.
Even President Bush caught on to the bench press fantasy; he is able to bench 185 lbs for 5 reps. I Just hope that you enjoy this short list of benchers and hope that it’s inspire you to compare to famous people and athletes.
Always believe and hit the weight hard!
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