Over the last year, 700 pound bench presses have been associated with one man — Julius Maddox. The man known as “irregular strength” currently owns the world record for the raw bench press at 355 kilograms (782.6 pounds). During his pursuit of an 800-pound raw bench press, he’s also pressed 710 pounds for three reps, 337.5 kilograms (744 pounds) for a single, and 525 pounds for a total of 50 reps. In the summer of 2020, Maddox even attempted an 800-pound press but missed the press due to a misload. It turns out, however, that he may not be the only one chasing that number.
On April 7, 2021, strongman Peiman Maheripourehir put strength sports fans on notice. He posted a video of his friend Danial Zamani bench-pressing 330 kilograms (727 pounds) raw for what appeared to be an easy single. You can check out the video below:
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“Danial Zamani controlled 330 kilograms of raw bench press today and is 20 kilograms away from the world record,” Maheripourehir wrote on Instagram. “Congratulations to my teammate and best friend.”
As the video shows, the bar exploded off Zamani’s chest with ease. Outside of a slight decrease of speed at the lockout with the triceps, Zamani appears to have no trouble with the massive weight. As of this writing, Zamani has not posted the lift on his own account. The lift is actually 25 kilograms away from Maddox’s record, which he performed at the Hybrid Showdown in February 2021.
However, this lift still puts Zamani in rarified air when it comes to the bench. There is no word as of this writing if he actually plans to go for Maddox’s record or even the elusive 800-pound mark. If he does, then fans and athletes will have something big to be excited about in 2021.
Maddox and Zamani actually exchanged comments on the post, showing a positive connection between the two powerhouses.
Zamani: “Thanks brother.”
Maddox: “I better get back to work.”
Zamani: “My brother.”
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Who is Danial Zamani?
Hailing from Tehran, Iran, Zamani is 29 years old. He’s been competing in powerlifting at a high level since 2014. According to Open Powerlifting, Zamani has competed in one full meet —the World Powerlifting Congrees European Championships — and bombed out on the bench at 190 kilograms (418.8 pounds). Since then, he has been focusing on the bench press, as evidenced by his latest lift. He has also performed in both equipped and raw meets. On his Instagram page, you can see clips of Zamani performing both the deadlift and back squat. In February of 2021, he back-squatted 250 kilograms ( 551 pounds) for four reps, raw. Before that, he deadlifted 325 kilograms (716 pounds) raw, meaning he wore just a lifting belt and weightlifting shoes. He didn’t use lifting straps.
Zamani has never competed below the 140-kilogram (308-pound) class and, in his last two meets, competed in the +140-kilogram division. His last contest was in 2019 at the World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) World Championships. He had missed all three of his attempts on the bench at 360, 370, and 370 kilograms in that contest.
Zamani didn’t compete in 2020, and there is no word on if he plans to do so this year. Though, one thing is clear: He’s looking primed to make a comeback.
Featured image: @peiman.maheri.wsm on Instagram