Author’s Note: This article is intended to be a fun and lighthearted celebration of strength. None of these strength athletes are in a formal testing environment, nor are their guidelines for their bench press form. Any comparisons or references to previous NFL Combine test results are for fun contextual purposes only, and should be taken as that, as they’re completely different sports in different settings!
A little over a week ago, we wrote about Larry “Wheels” Williams benching 225 lbs for 50-reps with Terron Beckham, and it gathered a ton of attention. If you loved this video, then you’re in luck, about a day ago, Williams shared another 225 lb max rep bench press video, and this time he hit a ridiculous 57 reps.
This video was shot as a response to in Williams’ Instagram video description’s words, “225×57 PR. 3 weeks out from show. A certain world record breaker tied my previous best, had to unlock the secret character.” And we’re not naming names, but you could probably guess who this notorious Instagram “world record breaker” is. Check out the video below.
After seeing this video, and scrolling through some comments on the Reddit thread, it got me thinking, how many other strength athletes have put up insane max rep feats using the 225 lb bench test (or weight close to it).
Luckily, there’s been a few and we’ve listed them below. Something to note, the current NFL Combine Bench Press record stands at 49 and was set by Stephen Paea in 2011.
Sumner is a well-known powerlifter and regularly squats over 1,000 lbs, and he’s hit 900+ lb bench presses. At his NFL Pro Day in 2011 he hit 52-reps on the 225 lb bench press, which topped the Combine record, but was unofficial due to its performance setting.
We couldn’t find the original video of the 52-rep bench press, but we found a mock pro day video from 2011 featured below where Sumner hits 50-reps.
Finish powerlifer Freddi Smulter is no stranger to benching crazy amounts of weight, but he can also bench for reps. In April 2017, we wrote an article on Smulter benching 130kg for 48-reps.
In his video’s description Smulter writes, “Rest day bench press 48×130 kilo feets in the air.”
Then, to keep it relevant to our article’s title, Smulter has benched a max rep weight closer to 225 lbs. Check out the recent video below where Smulter benches 100kg for 99-reps.
Regardless you qualify these as half reps or not, 99-reps in one set of anything is crazy.
Professional strongman Eddie Hall has also done a max bench test with 100kg. This video is from 2012, and Hall ended up getting 52-reps, but if we had to guess he’d probably be able to get more if he retested now.
American bodybuilder Mike O’Hearn has also performed a 225 lb max bench press test in his career. The video shared below on YouTube from 2016 highlights O’Hearn’s 50-rep feat bench press feat.
The 225 lb bench press test has grown in notoriety due to the NFL, so it’s always fun to watch strength athletes attempt the test. Is every rep above performed with perfect form? Not necessarily, but the work capacity and strength all of these athletes possess is off the charts.
Feature image screenshot from @larrywheels Instagram page.