People Want to Know: What is the World Record Bench Press?

The question, "What is the world record bench press?" is one of the most frequently asked questions her at Build Muscle and Burn Fat.

Not only are we going to tell you what the bench press world record is, we are going to show it to you as well!

On November 8, 2008, Ukrainian-American power lifter Ryan Kennelly set the world record bench press.

Kennelly performed the record bench press of 1,075 pounds (489 kilograms) at the Pride Performance Strength Wars in Kennewick Washington. It was his third successful attempt of the day, with each attempt greater than 1,000 pounds.

This lift bested his former bench press world record of 1,074 pounds (488 kilograms) at the United Powerlifting Association Bench Bash For Cash in Dubuque, Iowa (July 12, 2008).

It was the fifth time in a row that Kennelly had bested the bench press record.

A video of the 1,075 pound bench press is shown below.

At 6 feet, 2 inches tall, Ryan is one of the taller lifters competing in bench pressing attempts. His length provides a slight disadvantage to bench pressing, due to the increased distance of the lift.

So what does it take to perform a legal, world record setting bench press?

To perform a "legal" bench press in competition, the lifter must lower the weight to his chest, pause and return the weight to the rack. A lift can be disqualified if the bar does not continue is ascent (moves downward during the lift), if the bar fails to touch the chest, if the pause is not long enough (some sanctioning bodies require the bar pause on the chest until a "lift" command is given by a judge), if the lifter raises his rear of the bench or shifts his feet during the bench press attempt, among a few other things.

Previous record bench presses were performed by other members of the 1000 bench press club, Scot Mendelson (1008 pounds, 2/2006) and Gene Rychlak (1010 pounds, 12/2006)

Kennelly's world record is classified as a "geared" world record. This simply means that the lifter is allowed to use a bench press shirt. These shirts allow for additional muscle support and allow for heavier lifts with reduced risk of muscle tears and related injuries.

The "raw" (without a bench press shirt) world record bench press is held by Mendleson at 715 pounds, set in May 2005 at the New England Bench Press Classic.

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