60-Kilogram Powerlifter Emily Hu Bench Presses 137.4 Kilograms (303 Pounds) In Virtual Meet

Although it's not an official record, it was a kilo more than the current all-time world record bench press.

Some lifts trick the eye. Sometimes a powerlifter will perform a lift — squat, bench press, deadlift, some accessory movement — and it will appear as though gravity and the laws of physics have, but for a brief moment, shut off. That is what it was like to watch Emily Hu bench press a kilo over the all-time world record with her 137.4-kilogram (303-pound) lift at a bodyweight of 59 kilograms (130 pounds).

Check out Hu’s bench press in the video below courtesy of her Instagram page. The lift was part of a Mass Cast virtual powerlifting competition. The descent of Hu’s barbell has not been slowed down. It is worth noting that had this been done in a sanctioned competition, a judge would have likely wanted to see a pause on the chest at the bottom of the rep that Hu does not do:


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A post shared by Emily Hu (@amithebenchbrah)

[Related: Powerlifter Heather Connor Squats 147.5 Kilograms, 5 KG Above American Record]

Spoiler alert: I win

Hu’s training lift would have exceeded Jen Thompson’s current all-time world record bench press of 136.5 kilograms (301 pounds) from the 2012 North American Powerlifting Federation (NAPF) Raw Challenge by just shy of a kilo had it been done in sanctioned competition. To wrap your head around how heavy it was, the lift was 2.3 times Hu’s bodyweight.

[Related: Powerlifter Emily Hu Talks Bench Accessories, Press Misconceptions, And Future Goals]

Hu Power

According to Open Powerlifting, since Hu’s competitive powerlifting debut at age 30 at the 2012 United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) Sierra Nevada Open Powerlifting, she has competed in 26 sanctioned meets. Of those 26 events, she won gold in 17 of them, and only missed the podium on three occasions.

Hu’s current competition best bench press is a 127.5-kilogram (281.1-pound) lift from the 2017 Southern Powerlifting Federation (SPF) Reebok Record Breakers event where she placed fourth overall. That lift currently ranks as the third heaviest ever at 60 kilograms:

  1. Jen Thompson 136.5 kilograms, 2012 NAPF Raw Challenge 
  2. Marianna Gasparyan 132.5 kilograms, 2019 USPA The Tribute
  3. Emily Hu — 127.5 kilograms, 2017 SPF Reebok Record Breakers


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A post shared by Emily Hu (@amithebenchbrah)

[Related: Elite Powerlifter Jen Thompson Explains Her Diet]

The Future Is Hu

In her Instagram caption, Hu referenced not being “able to get those white lights in person yet” to compete in sanctioned competition during the COVID-19 pandemic. With proof that she is able to lift more than anyone else ever has in the 60-kilogram class, expect the barbell to be extremely heavy when Hu is able to step back up on the competitive stage.

Feature image via Emily Hu’s Instagram page: @amithebenchbrah