When it comes to the bench press, only one other lifter can match Julius Maddox’s unique mix of strength and focus. On May 10, 2022, the powerlifter again showed why he’s one of the top two bench pressers on the planet when he logged a 361-kilogram bench press (796-pound) for a new PR. The mark exceeds his competition best of 355 kilograms (782.6 pounds) from the 2021 WRPF Hybrid Showdown III — the current all-time world record — and is the second heaviest bench press ever caught on camera.
This bench press is particularly noteworthy because it places Maddox on the precipice of history.
While Maddox is the current world record holder, he has never completed an 800-pound bench press, be it in training or a sanctioned competition. The powerlifter has had two previous attempts at the towering mark — in June 2021 and June 2020, respectively — but wasn’t able to lock out the rep on each occasion.
According to his Instagram post, the powerlifter still has his eyes on the ambitious prize.
“I’ve missed this weight 10-plus times. Hearing my little girls ask me when I will hit 800 pounds is enough for me to lay it all on the line,” Maddox writes. “This is bigger than a title for me. It’s about the long-lasting impact I leave for my kids and family. The times they fall on hard times and need some motivation!”
At the time of this writing, only one person, Daniel Zamani, has ever bench-pressed 800 pounds. The Iranian athlete crushed a 365-kilogram raw bench press (804.7-pound) during a February 2022 training session. Zamani also donned a lifting belt and wrist wraps for his staggering press.
Since Zamani’s figure occurred during training, it is not the official record. Notably, Maddox and Zamani were to square off in a bench press battle for supremacy at the 2022 Iron Wars V in January, but that fell through for undisclosed reasons.
Before this new one-rep PR, Maddox recently completed a 318-kilogram bench press (700-pound) for a four-rep PR in late April 2022. That he put himself on the 800-pound doorstep a few weeks later might signify that he isn’t messing around trying to notch this stellar achievement. Since Zamani left the door open for someone to beat him to the 800-pound mark in a sanctioned meet, it seems like Maddox doesn’t want to waste any time.
Maddox has not announced his next competition at the time of this publishing. That said, per Maddox’s overall competitive history, it will likely be a bench press-only meet. More importantly, in all probability, it’s where he’ll try for his 800-pound glory.
Featured image: @irregular_strength on Instagram