If you don’t know Julius Maddox, you’re missing out on something truly special in powerlifting. The Kentucky native is taking the world of strength sports by storm with what feels like an onslaught of PRs in the bench press, regularly putting up more weight than you’d find available in most commercial gyms.
His most recent achievement, which he posted on Instagram on Friday, July 16, 2021, is an astonishingly heavy two-rep set with 340.1-kilograms (750-pounds) raw — meaning he lifted it without the assistance of external equipment like a bench shirt or slingshot. In fact, Maddox smashed his PR while wearing little more than some sturdy wrist wraps and a pair of overalls.
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The denim-clad lifter remarked, “Lost traction on the second rep so I racked it for safety,” speaking to his confidence in his ability to repeat or even exceed the attempt in the near future. Maddox has had his sights set on the as-of-yet-untouched 362.8-kilogram (800-pound) raw bench press for several years, and while he has taken attempts at it in the past, it remains an elusive goal.
Earlier this year, Maddox surpassed his own 349.2-kilogram (770-pound) bench press record by lifting 355 kilograms (782.6 pounds) raw at the Hybrid Showdown in Miami, FL. He has regularly made waves on social media with several big multi-repetition sets. Hitting weights between 90-95% of your all-time best for multiple repetitions usually indicates your one-rep max may be outdated — for an athlete at Maddox’s level to do so consistently is truly remarkable.
However, Maddox is not the only one aiming for 800. Lifters like Iranian powerhouse Danial Zamani are nipping at his heels with their own ludicrous lifts, though Maddox has done well to set himself apart with official efforts like his 355-kilogram lift alongside big performances in the gym.
At 34 years old, Maddox still has plenty of room to grow in powerlifting, where it is not uncommon for competitors to pursue and achieve new bests well into their 40’s. Though it isn’t guaranteed that we’ll see Maddox conquer the 800-pound mountain first, if his recent performances are anything to go by, you might be foolish to bet against it.
Featured Image: @irregular_strength on Instagram