Sometimes when I watch videos of heavy lifts, or super strong athletes my mind starts to race. I start building scenarios and thinking of all the ‘what ifs’…and I know I’m not alone on this one. My job revolves around writing about strength athletes, so it only makes sense that I’m frequently thinking about strength match-ups.
In regular sports this is a common tendency, it’s like saying, “I’d love to see the ’96 Bulls play the ’16 Warriors (in-season)“. Of course this will never happen, but with strength athletes it’s a little different. A showdown of strength is entirely possible – not likely – but possible nonetheless. Strength is one of the most transferable attributes between athletes, especially in strength oriented sports. Let’s face it, at the end of the day a bench is a bench and a squat is a squat (relatively speaking).
Now that I’ve pleasantly swayed and enticed you into my strength fantasies, while justifying myself in a legitimate fashion (so I think). I want to bring up two athletes that I think would make an epic showdown of bench press strength.
Kirill Sarychev Versus Eddie Hall
Kirill Sarychev is the founder of the WRPF (World Raw Powerlifting Federation) and is the current world record holder for the super heavy weight raw men’s bench press with 335kg (738 lbs). Eddie Hall is a professional strongman and the world record holder for the deadlift with 500kg (1,102 lbs, done with straps and a deadlift suit in strongman-style competition).
Before I lose you, read on. Yes, Sarychev’s bench is much higher than Hall’s right now, but he also trains specifically for it. My scenario revolves around the question and evidence of…
“If Eddie Hall trained specifically for the bench press, could he eventually give Sarychev’s world record a run for the money?”
In the last two years alone, Hall has switched to only focusing on professional strongman training and has since set multiple deadlift records and only seems to be getting stronger in every competition and video.
In 2011, Hall benched 300kg (equipped). Keep in mind he was much lighter then and hadn’t focused his life around professional strongman training just yet.
Fast forward six years to the video below, and now we’re seeing Hall flat bench press 265kg for an easy six reps with no spotters.
It’s important to keep in mind that Hall doesn’t have a specialized focus on the bench press in his current training.
The LAD Bible shared a Facebook Live video on January 17th with Eddie Hall as they followed him through a chest day. At 27-minutes in the video, Hall finishes his last set of bench (265kg x 6) and starts talking about his current personal best and the world record.
Hall states his current personal best with no specialization is most likely around 300kg and then starts talking about the world record. He says, “I think with a few months of technique work and specializing on the bench, I’m pretty sure I could take the world record at bench press.”
Hall continues to say, “I think the record is 335kg at the minute, and I’m not saying it would be easy by any means, but I think with 6-months and head down targeting, I think I could definitely get it.”
All that being said, can you blame me for fantasizing about this bench press match-up? Currently, Hall has his focus set fully on becoming the World’s Strongest Man, but a future in powerlifting or other form of strength sport may not be that far off. Let’s face it, Hall is the type of athlete that will achieve what he puts his mind to (we saw it with his world record deadlift), who knows what he could do with the bench.
And let the record show…Hall hasn’t exactly said no to powerlifting in the future when people have asked him.
What do you think? Do you think Hall could break the world record if he trained for it?
Feature image from @sarycehvkirill Instagram page.