The all-time heaviest lift in the entirety of powerlifting‘s history has been exceeded. At the 2022 IPA Pennsylvania State Powerlifting Championships held on Feb. 26-27, 2022, in York, PA, Jimmy Kolb laid down on a bench wearing a bench press shirt and tucked his head underneath a barbell loaded with an imagination-warping 598.7 kilograms (1,320 pounds) and locked it out. It shattered the previous all-time world record bench press by 190.2 pounds.
Prior to this lift, Kolb held the third heaviest bench press of all time of 508 kilograms (1,120 pounds) scored at the 2021 International Powerlifting Association (IPA) Strength Spectacular on June 26, 2021, according to Open Powerlifting. That means in eight months’ time, he successfully added a staggering 90.7 kilograms (200 pounds) to his bench press. Additionally, Kolb’s 598.7-kilogram (1,320-pound) is the heaviest lift ever recorded, besting the previous record — a 595-kilogram (1,311.8-pound) squat — scored by Nathan Baptist at the 2021 United Powerlifting Association (UPA) Utah Kick Off Meet.
Check out Kolb’s historic equipped lift in the video below, courtesy of Unleash’d Strength Gym’s Instagram page. Kolb’s official weight was 315 pounds, meaning he competed in the +140-kilogram division. He wore wrist wraps and a Forell Customs F8 bench shirt from Anderson Powerlifting. He was spotted by what appears to be five people, including Joe Strada, Dean Bedwell, and Brian Manning, and his platform coach was Amber Hansen:
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The all-time world record bench press has gone for a roller coaster ride since the turn of the decade. First, Will Barotti eclipsed the 500-kilogram milestone with an all-time world record 503.4 kilogram (1,109.8-pound) bench press at the 2020 Metal Militia (MM) World Championships on Dec. 12, 2020. Six months later, Kolb hit his 508-kilogram (1,120-pound) lift with a single-ply suit in the 140-kilogram weight class to claim the all-time world record. For reference, Kolb’s lift is still the heaviest bench press at 140-kilograms in the single-ply category.
Kolb only held onto the world record for five months. On Nov. 20, 2021, at the 2021 IPA Nationals, Tiny Meeker hit a 510.2-kilogram (1,124.8-pound) bench press to move into first place all-time. However, Meeker’s reign was even shorter than Kolb’s. Bill Gilespie scored a 512.5-kilogram (1,129.9-pound) bench press two months later at the 2022 365Strong New Year Power Bash. It held for just over one month before Kolb’s recent lift reclaimed the all-time world record by a margin of weight so large — 86.3 kilograms (190.2 pounds) — it seems unfathomable.
If history continues repeating itself, Kolb’s record should only last for a handful of months at most. But considering how much of a leap in weight the next strongest bench pressers on the planet would have to make, it’s likely safe to say Kolb’s record will last much longer this time around.
Featured image: @unleashdstrength on Instagram