This year’s Arnold Sports Festival saw a number of historic lifts, from Thor Bjornsson’s elephant bar deadlift record of 1,046 pounds to Stefi Cohen’s unofficial world record squat of 495 pounds and Ray Williams’ raw squat of 1,080 pounds.
Blaine “The Vanilla Gorilla” Sumner was there as well. The man who currently holds the IPF all-time world records in the equipped squat, bench press, bench press single lift, and total competed single ply in a bench press only event, managing to beat his record by a huge margin.
Here’s the lift for the ages: a bench press of 1,003 pounds, or 455 kilograms.
1,003 POUND BENCH PRESS!!!! I did it!!!! All Time World Record!!!!
When asked in the comments if the assistants loaded the first 25kg plate facing the wrong way, he answered that he “turned them that way because the pins on the rack were clipping the plate lip.”
You can see another angle of the lift here.
This particular event was sanctioned by the IPF and Sumner holds the IPF world record in the single lift bench at 915 pounds. This was eighty-eight pounds heavier than that.
Afterward, he went ahead and competed in the Grand Prix three-lift event. After topping his world record by eighty-eight pounds.
Under a video of his heaviest squat of the day — a phenomenal 1,025 pounds, which deserves serious recognition as well — he posted a recap of the event.
Everything from this weekend still feels surreal and hasn’t fully settled in yet. Yesterday I competed in two events at the Arnold Classic. First up was the Pro Bench. I took 937# on my opening attempt which is 22# over my current World Record and smashed it. I knew I had the mojo. So I jumped to 1,003# on my second attempt and crushed it. 88# over my current World Record. I believe this is 118# over the next closest person ever in an IPF affiliate
Right after the Pro Bench I had to rush through the expo hall and weigh in for the Grand Prix (3 lift). I was far more exhausted after the 1,003# bench than I imagined – emotionally and physically, had a hard time finding the energy to turn around and do a full Powerlifting meet.
I opened with 1,025# in the squat and it felt great. I passed on my next 2 squat attempts because of the hip and back issues I’ve been dealing with, I was just relieved to get a squat on the board and move on and still felt set up to hit a PR and World Record Total.
I opened with 937# in the bench again and it moved great so I jumped to 1,003# again and dumped the weight. Hurt my elbow, wrist, and body pretty bad so didn’t take a 3rd attempt. Moved onto deadlifts and opened at 717#, then took 761#. The swollen hands and arms from the bench made that deadlift all I could muster.
I knew if I made the 1,003# bench for the second time in a day it would have set me up for another 2,800+ total. But even with only squat and bench openers and 2 deadlifts I hit a total of 2,723# which is the 3rd highest in an IPF affiliate after both of my 2,800+ totals
Congrats to the Vanilla Gorilla on his fantastic showing at the Arnold. We can’t wait for his next meet.
Featured image via @thevanillagorilla92 on Instagram.