Jimmy Kolb has done what no other human has done before. The bench press specialist competed at the 2021 International Powerlifting Association (IPA) Strength Spectacular Powerlifting Championships on June 27 at York Barbell Club in York, PA, and scored the all-time heaviest bench press ever of 508 kilograms (1,120 pounds) while wearing a single-ply shirt.
Kolb competed in the bench press-only competition in the 140-kilogram weight class and of course, won gold. You can check out a video of this legendary lift below, courtesy of his Instagram page:
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Heaviest bench in human history.
Not only is the lift itself one for the record books, but so is the rate at which Kolb added weight to the barbell in 2021.
Route to the Heaviest Ever Bench Press
Back in January 2021, Kolb appeared at the Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate’s (RPS) North American and New Jersey Championships at Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, NJ. At that event, he bench pressed 476.2 kilograms (1,050 pounds) and went home with the gold. According to Open Powerlifting, two months later in March 2021, Kolb competed at the IPA Bench Press & Deadlift Worlds where he tacked on an additional 13.8 kilograms (30.4 pounds) to score a 490-kilogram (1,080.3-pound) bench press. That was not, however, the heaviest bench press ever caught on film. That was still a feat, to the best of our knowledge, held by Will Barotti.
[Related: Roohallah Rostami (80KG) Hits World Record 241-Kilogram Bench Press at 2021 Para Powerlifting World Cup]
Barotti bench pressed 501.2 kilograms (1,105 pounds) in a multi-ply suit. That was an astounding lift because it was heavier than the heaviest deadlift ever caught on film — 501 kilograms (1,104 pounds) by 2018 World’s Strongest Man champion Hafthor Björnsson. Of course, single-ply and multi-ply are different and it is not entirely fair to compare them. However, when talking about which person has bench pressed the most weight for a single rep in all of human history, it seems appropriate.
Kolb’s recent 508-kilograms (1,120-pound) bench press is, to the best of our knowledge, the heaviest ever bench press. For context as to how much extra weight the single-ply suit allows for, the all-time world record raw bench press is the 355-kilogram (782.6-pound) lift by Julius Maddox at the World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) Hybrid Showdown in Miami, FL, on Feb. 21, 2021.
[Related: Weightlifter Lasha Talakhadze Bench Presses 180 Kilograms (396.8 Pounds) for Reps]
Kolb’s recent lift is not only heavier than Barotti’s lift, it is heavier by a rather significant margin. It may not seem like 6.8 kilograms (15 pounds) is much when there were 508 kilograms (1,120 pounds) on the barbell. But advancing the all-time world record by double-digit pounds is an otherworldly feat of strength. According to Open Powerlifting, the 30-year-old Kolb has competed in 29 sanctioned powerlifting meets since his debut at age 18. Twenty-one of those events resulted in gold and the remaining eight were all disqualifications.
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[Related: Strongman Robert Oberst’s 3 Tips for a Bigger Bench Press]
At the pace that Kolb is adding weight to his bench press, it is anyone’s guess as to how much heavier he will go. Everything beyond Kolb’s latest lift is unexplored terrain in the powerlifting world, but we’re excited to see where he goes next.
Feature image: @unleashdstrength on Instagram