Hildeborg Juvet Hugdal of Norway is a veteran powerlifter, having competed for more than 20 years. Although mainly renowned as a bench presser, Hugdal is a two-time world champion powerlifter, having won gold in the super heavyweight class for the second time at the 2022 International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) Equipped World Championships in Denmark.
On Aug. 6, 2023, Hugdal competed at the European Powerlifting Federation (EPF) European Bench Press Championships in Bordeaux, France. Hugdal set a new IPF world record bench press in a single-lift contest in the +84KG class by locking out 235.5 kilograms (519 pounds). Not only did it break the record, it was also the heaviest female bench press ever recorded in IPF history. Check out the world record lift in the video below, courtesy of the IPF’s Instagram page:
2023 EPF European Equipped Bench Press Championships Results — Hildeborg Juvet Hugdal, +84KG
- Bench Press
- 222.5 kilograms (491 pounds)
- 230 kilograms (507 pounds)
- 235.5 kilograms (519 pounds) — New Open & M1 IPF Equipped World Record
Hugdal achieved the world record wearing a single-ply bench shirt, wrist wraps, and a lifting belt. Equipped benchers often use a belt to keep their bench shirt in place as much as to promote stability and tension.
The bench shirt provides resistance against the weight of the bar, which stores energy on the descent and then releases it to assist with the press. Equipped bench press is a highly technical lift in which any deviation from the correct bar path is heavily punished, but when mastered, it can add 50 percent or more to one’s max lift.
In the video, Hugdal pulls the barbell down slowly until it makes contact with her chest. Once she receives the judge’s command, she presses the weight to lockout. The press was faster than the descent, and two to one, the lift passed, exceeding Sandra Lönn’s world record after eight years. As Hugdal had her 40th birthday recently, this counts as a Masters 1 (ages 40-49) IPF world record as well as an open class record.
A Record-Breaking Career
Hugdal first broke the bench press world record in 2012 when it stood at 205.5 kilograms (453 pounds). She traded the record back and forth with Lönn for a few years.
However, Lönn’s incredible performance at the 2015 World Bench Press Championships, where she added eight kilograms (18 pounds) to the record, seemed untouchable. Hugdal took made unsuccessful attempts over the years before finally taking the top spot in the Open IPF bench rankings.
The IPF maintains separate records for bench presses performed as part of a three-lift competition versus bench presses achieved in single-lift events. The reasoning is that it’s much harder to perform well in bench press straight after performing a heavy squat.
Hugdal has owned the three-lift bench record since 2013, and it has never left her hands. She most recently extended it at the 2022 Equipped World Championships in Denmark, where she bench pressed 230 kilograms (507 pounds) on her way to overall victory.
Hugdal is expected to next lift at the 2023 IPF Equipped Powerlifting World Championships, which will be held in Druskininkai, Lithuania, on Nov. 13-18, 2023.
Featured image: @theipf on Instagram