The bench press is Julius Maddox’s domain, and with another recent impressive feat, it doesn’t look like that’s changing any time soon. On April 24, 2022, the powerlifter locked out a 318-kilogram bench press (700-pound) for four unbroken reps — a new personal record (PR).
Check out a video of the lift below, courtesy of Maddox’s Instagram profile:
Maddox powers through the set with relative ease. Three spotters are present to help Maddox, but they never intervene. For the lift, Maddox donned a lifting belt and wrist straps.
A Promising Rivalry
Outstanding feats on the bench press are nothing new to Maddox. To date, he has never recorded a squat or deadlift during a sanctioned competition, as he exclusively focuses on his bench press prowess. The focus paid off for the powerlifter when he captured the current all-time world record holder with a 355-kilogram bench press (782.6 pounds) at the 2021 World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) Hybrid Showdown III.
His next feat is to become the first man to bench press 800 pounds raw in a sanctioned competition.
Maddox’s rival, Daniel Zamani, is the first man to bench press 800 pounds, raw. The Iranian powerlifter notched the feat with a 365-kilogram raw bench press (804.7-pound) during a training session on February 21, 2022. As both men compete as superheavyweights, if Zamani had finished the press during a competition, he would’ve supplanted Maddox’s record.
Maddox and Zamani were to square off in a bench press battle for supremacy at the 2022 Iron Wars V, but for undisclosed reasons, that never happened.
The 800-Pound Barrier
The pair have also spent some of their recent time polishing up their work with other lifts.
In the two months since Zamani captured the unofficial bench press record, he’s been sharing videos of himself on Instagram grinding away with his deadlift. While adorned in lifting straps, the Iranian athlete has pulled as much as 345 kilograms (749.8 pounds).
Meanwhile, Maddox recently hit a 351.3-kilogram (775-pound) squat while using a Kabuki Transformer Bar during a training session. Notably, he didn’t wear a lifting belt or knee sleeves for the lift.
For Maddox especially, his squat was likely only a temporary break en route to climbing the 800-pound bench press mountain. Given his recent progress, it might only be a matter of time before the powerlifter joins Zamani in the hallowed territory. If or once that happens, the remaining elephant in the room will be whether Maddox and Zamani finally go head to head in a meet for the all-time world record. At the time of publishing, there are no plans in the works.
While Maddox continues to set PRs, the powerlifting world is certainly ready for an official round of this promising bench press rivalry.
Featured image: @irregular_strength on Instagram