Very few people know what it is like to bench press 1,000 pounds. Even in a sport like equipped powerlifting, there are few opportunities to see that amount of weight being moved by the upper body. On March 20, 2021, seven men who have successfully done so gathered to see who would be the strongest bench presser of all.
The “Baddest Benchers” contest took place at the Nathaniel Center in Kingwood, Texas. The contest was sanctioned by the International Powerlifting Association (IPA) with Tiny Meeker serving as the promoter. There were no weight classes, and the contest allowed unlimited equipment, which meant that lifters could wear any bench shirt with no restrictions. The only condition was that no weight under 1,000 pounds would be on the bar. Fans that weren’t in attendance were able to watch the contest on internet pay-per-view.
Winner – Will Barotti
In June of 2020, Barotti had set the world record for the heaviest bench press ever by successfully lifting 1,105 pounds (501.2 kg). He added five pounds to that record in December when he lifted 1,110 pounds (503.4 kg) at the Metal Militia World Championships. He didn’t quite reach that mark at this contest, but his press of 1,090 pounds (494.3 kg) was good enough for him to take the victory as well as the ten thousand dollar first place prize.
Second Place – Tony Carlino
Carlino was able to press 1,085 pounds (492 kg) successfully, but he was unable to take the world record away from Barotti. While he didn’t take the win, this is a new personal record for him in competition. He had previously pressed 1,080 pounds (489.7 kg) in January 2021 at the SPF Tennessee State Championships while competing in the 275 pound class.
Third Place – Jimmy Kolb
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Kolb was the only competitor that opted to use a single-ply bench shirt in this contest. He is the record holder for most weight lifted with a single-ply bench shirt. He had pressed 1,050 pounds (476.2 kg) in late January. He actually opened this meet with that same weight. He then bumped up the world record another 30 pounds. His successful attempt of 1,080 pounds (489.7 kg) is the new world record. It is the sixth time that Kolb has broken the record. You can see Kolb’s record-setting lift in the video posted by Maximum Iron, starting at the 45 second mark.
1st – Will Barotti – 1,090 pounds, $10,000
2nd – Tony Carlino – 1,085 pounds, $5,000
3rd – Jimmy Kolb – 1,080 pounds, $3,000
4th – Richard Putnam – 1,025 pounds, $1,000
Featured Image: kolbstrong on Instagram