Julius Maddox Makes a 705-Pound Bench Press, the Cage’s Heaviest Ever

Let’s run down all the craziness we saw go down in the Cage at the 2018 Arnold Classic. There was the hour-long, 600-pound deadlift AMRAP between Steve Johnson and Rob Hall. (They both made over 60 reps each.) There was the 700-pound squat AMRAP from Andrew Herbert. (He got to 12.) There was Dan Green’s 900-pound beltless deadlift. And there was Stefi Cohen’s history-making 4.43x bodyweight deadlift: 545 pounds at 123 pounds bodyweight.

But we have to talk about the bench presses.

Julius Maddox, who says he wasn’t even planning on lifting, was convinced by Pete Rubish to try his hand at a max bench. He figured “Why not,” wrapped his wrists, and went ahead and made the heaviest bench press ever completed in the Cage’s 12-year history: 705 pounds (319.8kg).

He added the comment,

Wasn’t planning on lifting in the cage yesterday @pete.rubish made me do it. After driving 7 hours and a horrible hotel experience here is 705 on the fly

That’s actually the most weight we’ve seen Maddox bench since he joined the 700-pound club in January, though he first made the 705-pound PR a few weeks ago.

We also had to highlight another phenomenal bench press that took place in the Cage: the -220lb powerlifter Brandon “Popeye” Perdue made a lift of 605 pounds (274.4 kilograms). And right afterward, he benched with two 200-pound dumbbells for eight reps.

But let’s go back to that bench. Perdue currently holds the all-time world record in the lift for his weight class with 600 pounds, which he made at a WRPF meet this past August. That 605-pounder wasn’t just a PR, it was an unofficial world record. He wrote on Instagram that he hopes to make his record “harder to beat” — we can’t wait to see the numbers he puts up at his next meet.

Featured image via @irregular_strength on Instagram.


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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.