A new raw bench press is scored Down Under. On Sept. 12, 2021, +140-kilogram powerlifter Andrew Cooper set a new Australian raw bench press record of 306.5 kilograms (675.7 pounds) at the 2021 Australian Powerlifting Federation (AusPL) Strength Quest. Additionally, Cooper’s link ranks as the 10th heaviest raw bench press ever in competition.
Cooper’s body weight at the time of his Australian raw record bench press was 147.1 kilograms (324.3 pounds). That means the lift was just over twice his body weight. At the AusPL Strength Quest, Cooper made three attempts — the Australian record was scored on the third:
Andrew Cooper — 2021 AusPL Strength Quest | Bench Press
- Attempt One —
280 kilograms (617.3 pounds)
- Attempt Two — 280 kilograms (617.3 pounds)
- Attempt Three — 306.5 kilograms (675.7 pounds) — Australian Raw Record
Cooper competed only in the bench press at the 2021 AusPL Strength Quest — he did not attempt a squat or deadlift. Officially, he competed in the Masters 40-44 division (he was 43 at the time of the contest). Check out Cooper’s lift below, courtesy of the video on his coach, Thomas Lilley’s, Instagram page:
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In terms of how Cooper’s lift stacks up against the other heaviest raw bench presses ever, Julius Maddox has a clear hold on the raw world record currently set at 355 kilograms (782.6 pounds). Before that, he set the record at 350 kilograms (771.6 pounds) in March 2020 and initially broke Kirill Sarychev‘s world record of 335 kilograms (738.6 pounds) in November 2019 with a 337.5-kilogram (744.1-pound) lift. Here are the top three raw bench presses in competition by different athletes, according to Open Powerlifting:
Heaviest All-Time Raw Competition Bench Presses
- Julius Maddox — 355 kilograms (782.6 pounds)
- Kirill Sarychev — 335 kilograms (738.6 pounds)
- Eric Spoto — 327.5 kilograms (722.1 pounds)
Maddox is set to square off against Iran’s Danial Zamani in a bench press contest at Iron Wars V on Jan. 24, 2022, at the Iron Addicts Gym in Signal Hill, CA. Although not confirmed, it is possible that Maddox and/or Zamani could attempt a 362.9-kilogram (800-pound) bench press at that contest.
Andrew Cooper’s Competitive Career
According to Open Powerlifting, Cooper has competed in five sanctioned powerlifting meets and has a perfect record, earning gold in all five events. He made his competitive debut in the 140-kilogram class at age 41 at the 2020 CAPO Queensland Push Pull. That was the only event where he logged a deadlift — his heaviest pull being 300 kilograms (661.4 pounds).
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Since then, Cooper has only competed in the +140-kilogram class and exclusively in bench-press-only contests:
- 2020 CAPO Queensland Push Pull — First Place
- 2020 CAPO Queensland State Bench Championships — First Place
- 2021 CAPO Queensland Bench Only Championships — First Place
- 2021 AusPL Queensland State — First Place
- 2021 AusPL Strength Quest — First Place
Even at age 43, Cooper shows no signs of slowing down as his bench press improves with each sanctioned event he enters. Since his debut in 2020, he has added 34 kilograms (75 pounds) to his bench press — a rather impressive jump in only a year and a half. It’s not clear when he will compete next, but hopefully, he’ll make another attempt to move up the all-time raw bench press leaderboard when he does.
Featured Image (left to right): @tombro7/@coop_strength on Instagram