On Apr. 13, 2023, powerlifter Julius Maddox shared an Instagram clip of himself completing a raw 331.2-kilogram (730-pound) bench press during a training session. In his post, Maddox lists the weight as 330 kilograms, but that was a likely typo. To add an extra degree of challenge, the mighty Maddox performs the lift with a long pause at the bottom of his repetition. While it’s impossible to discern how much of a challenge this added for Maddox on a numerical basis, it’s undoubtedly an impressive feat for one of the globe’s premier bench pressers.
Maddox completed his feat while wearing wrist wraps and did not appear to have a lifting belt adorned around his torso.
Athletes who add any kind of pause to their bench press are likely looking for increased tension in their chest and arm muscles. Keeping their loaded barbell at the bottom forces the amount of time an athlete has to keep their weight stable before lifting it back up. In addition, adding a pause to a bench press removes the momentum athletes can sometimes use after lowering their weight. Some kind of pause is standard in almost all sanctioned lifting competitions.
All this to say: Maddox lifting 730 pounds while pausing for nearly two seconds is an accomplishment to behold.
For those who are rabid fans of upper body strength in the form of the bench press, Maddox usually offers a treat. The bench press extraordinaire owns the all-time raw World Record of 355 kilograms (782.6 pounds) in the +140-kilogram weight class. According to Open Powerlifting, the athlete scored that mark at the 2021 World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) Hybrid Showdown III. Notably, it was not in a full power meet, as Maddox only performed a bench press at the contest — a usual approach for the competitor whenever he appears on a sanctioned lifting platform.
Maddox has been in pursuit of a 362.8-kilogram (800-pound) press for some time. One of the last times Maddox shared significant progress on this strength journey was a 361-kilogram (796-pound) bench press personal record (PR) from May 2022. Maddox has not added to that weight or made a formal attempt at reaching the 800-pound barrier since. Though, it appears an attempt could be forthcoming in 2023.
At the time of this writing, only one other person, Daniel Zamani, has ever broached the 800-pound bench press barrier. The Iranian athlete notched a 365-kilogram raw bench press (804.7-pound) during a February 2022 training session. Maddox and Zamani had previously teased a friendly bench press battle at the 2022 Iron Wars V, but that entanglement fell through due to undisclosed reasons.
Tidbits like Maddox’s long-pause lift show that his remarkable milestone might finally be around the corner. Plus, given that no person has yet to eclipse the raw 800-pound mark in an official competition, Maddox can still win this all-time strength race.
Featured image: @irregular_strength on Instagram