It seems as though every time Larry Wheels steps into the gym, he is of the mind to shatter whatever his previous best lift was. That was the case again on April 3, 2022, when the all-time raw bench press world record holder loaded 300 kilograms (661.4 pounds) on a barbell, laid down underneath it on the bench, and lifted it for a paused-rep PR.
Wheels’ lift is impressive not only because of the weight he lifts but the historic implications. According to Open Powerlifting, Wheels’ paused rep is 7.5 kilograms (16.5 pounds) heavier than his all-time raw bench press world record of 292.5 kilograms (644.9 pounds) in the 140-kilogram weight class from the 2020 Xtreme Powerlifting Coalition (XPC) Arnold.
Note: While most powerlifting federations allow athletes to wear wrist wraps during the bench press in raw competition, not every federation approves elbow sleeves.
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Although he did not list his bodyweight at the time of his bench press in his Instagram caption, Wheels’ paused bench press was over two times his competition bodyweight.
My best paused bench!
With the support of three spotters at the ready, Wheels lowered the barbell until it rested on his chest. He held it there for what appeared to be a full two seconds before initiating his leg drive to press the weight up and lock it out. While the bar path slowed towards the top of the lift — his shoes appeared to lose a bit of traction, and his feet slipped slightly forward — Wheels successfully locked out his elbows before re-racking the weight.
Per Open Powerlifting, Wheels has not competed in a sanctioned powerlifting meet since the 2020 XPC Arnold. At that contest, he hit his competition best squat — 394.6 kilograms (869.9 pounds) — his all-time world record raw bench press, and his career-best total of 1,075 kilograms (2,370 pounds).
He was scheduled to compete at the Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate (RPS) Long Island Insurextion in Farmingdale, NY, on Sept. 11, 2021, but was unable to due to suffering a quad injury during an approximate 900-pound squat in training.
If this latest PR by Wheels is any indication, when he feels ready to return to the competitive lifting platform, his all-time raw bench press world record may not be long for this world.
Featured image: @larrywheels on Instagram