Josef Eriksson Benches 223kg at 97.5kg for New European Record

Swedish powerlifter Josef Eriksson recently set a new European record for the classic bench press. He set this record at the Classic Bench Press European Championships, which were held August 9-13th in Ylitornio, Finland.

Eirksson ended up taking first for the 105kg weight class with his European record 223kg bench press. His lift had great speed, and we thought it looked clean, but it did receive one red light. Comments on the video are speculating that the red came from a possibly anticipated press, yet from the video angle below we think the lift looked solid.

It’s also worth mentioning that Eriksson opts for no lift off or wrist wraps for his presses (well, most of them), which is impressive in its own right.

Eriksson’s new record tops the current 222kg European record held by Finish powerlifter Sami Pullinen. This record is only 1kg off the current 224kg IPF world record bench that American powerlifter Garrett Blevins holds.

One thing to note about the above records and Eriksson’s recent lift is the bodyweight of his competitors. All of the above athletes are 105kg competitors, but Pullinen and Blevins weighed in at 104kg when their records were set. Eriksson’s weight was recorded at 97.5kg, which is an insane feat.

Eriksson is no stranger to huge bench feats; we’ve seen him press 230kg before with a much slower tempo. Check out the video below from April 2017. At the time of this video, Eriksson was prepping for the IPF Classic Bench Press World Championships.

At the April Championships, Eriksson ended up taking second with a 222kg bench press. He weighed in at 98.8kg, which made him the lightest competitor out of the top eight athletes.

And if you thought the 223kg at 97.5kg, or 222kg at 98.8kg was impressive, check out this 240kg bench at 95kg from 2015.

Will we see Eriksson pressing this much any time soon? That’s hard to say. This was filmed back in 2015, and his Instagram description clearly sums up the toll these heavy presses take on his body. Below is a roughly translated description on his video that someone shared within the original Reddit post.

Eriksson writes, “Not a competition lift! One of the most stupid things I’ve ever done… I recently put out a video where I thought I had lifted 240 kg but turned out to be only 230. I miscalculated somewhere during the process which probably explains why it went so smoothly. So I went back and loaded 240 out of PURE F*CKING VANITY FOR SOCIAL MEDIA because I miscalculated. Loaded the weights, calculated and found out I loaded 250.. deloaded the 20s on the sides and put on 15s instead. Wrap my wrists as a little “extra”, get into a unsatisfied state of mind, and grind the bastard up. I then stay laying down at the bench for several minutes because the body just doesn’t wanna respond, I’ve never pushed so hard in my life and I’m fairly certain you’re not supposed to. After about maybe 5 minutes I stumble over to turn off the camera and then go lie down on the floor for 20 minutes. Still shaky and uncomfortable. I should have been happy with 230..”

Regardless of whether the bar is loaded with 223kg or 240kg, Eriksson is a world class presser.

Feature image screenshot from @tyngre Instagram page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master’s in Sports Science and a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,300 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake’s bread-and-butter.

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