Powerlifter Eva Dunbar (67kg) Bench Presses 84kg (185 lbs) for 20 Reps

When you think impressive bench press feats, what comes to mind? Do you weigh 1-RM attempts or huge volume sets as more impressive? In my opinion, I think they’re equally impressive, but let’s call it what it is, anything over 15 reps could be classified as a form of punishment, as a 1-RM is something of enjoyment (typically).

Legendary 67kg (148 lb) powerlifter and bodybuilder Eva Dunbar posted an Instagram  video a couple days ago that not only stopped us in our tracks, but also reminded us just how strong she is under the bar. In her video, Dunbar is benching 84kg (185 lbs), which yes, is routine weight for her, yet she smokes this weight for a ridiculous 20-reps.

In her Instagram video’s description Dunbar writes, “Dieting for my next show and benching like a boss. Just cause I’m in “bodybuilding mode” doesn’t mean I’m not working on my bench. Precision is the key to a bigger bench. Here’s 185 x 20 reps.”

This set reminds us a lot of the bodyweight bench press challenge, aka press your bodyweight for as many reps as possible. The only difference in this case is that the weight Dunbar is pressing is around 1.25x her normal competition bodyweight, and let’s factor in that she’s in prep for a bodybuilding show, so more than likely she’s in a caloric deficit.

For those who are already fans of Dunbar, then you’re probably not terribly surprised by this high-volume set. After all, Dunbar currently holds the fourth all-time Wilks for women powerlifters in the raw+wraps division with a huge 637.9 (per openpowerlifting.org). 

Dunbar accomplished this feat in March when she competed at the RPS No Retreat No Surrender meet in Cherokee, North Carolina. At this meet, Dunbar put on a stellar performance going 8/9 and put up numbers with a 243.5kg (536 lb) squat, a 143kg (315 lb) bench, and 235kg (518 lb) deadlift. 

As the year progresses and Dunbar tackles her next bodybuilding show, we’re pumped to see what she moves to next. Could we see her top her previous Wilks set in March? Only time will tell for this dual-sport strength athlete.

Feature image from @evalaurabelle_ifbbpro Instagram page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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