The typical crowds might not have been allowed at the Arnold Classic this year after the expo was cancelled due to the coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean that the incredible feats of strength were also cancelled. Powerlifter Julius Maddox broke his own world record in the bench press at the event by lifting a whopping 770 pounds.
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Maddox was the current world record holder for raw bench press, which he first set in August 2019. Maddox beat the previous record holder Kirill Sarychev’s 738.5 pound press by hitting 739.6 pounds, then bested his own record in November 2019, when he benched 744.1 pounds at the Rob Hall Classic in Austin, Texas.
But he’s piled even more plates on during his training sessions, outside of officially sanctioned events. Back in February, Maddox broke his unofficial PR of 755 pounds by benching 765 pounds, adding to his legend, if not moving the needle in the record book.
But the Arnold Classic gave Maddox his first opportunity to add to his world record in an official capacity in 2020. He completed his first lift of 700 pounds like a breeze before moving on to his world record attempt of 770 pounds.
Former World’s Strongest Man Eddie Hall (who currently holds the world record for the deadlift) was on-hand and gave his remarks on Maddox’s accomplishment on his YouTube channel. The two have trained together, so Hall was standing by to support his friend and witness history.
After Maddox’s first lift of 700 pounds, Hall quipped, “That was a 700 pound bench press. It looked like 100 pounds, if I’m being honest.”
And after the record-setting 770 pound press, Maddox spoke to Hall.
“That was so easy,” Hall said to Maddox.
“Love it, love these guys that have showed me support. Appreciate it,” Maddox responded.
During an interview in early February 2020 with BarBend, Maddox said he plans to beat the official world record in June 2020. Hall clearly agrees.
“That is absolutely incredible,” Hall said as he signed off from the bench platform. “That is the world record bench, plus, he’s just added like 10 kilos to it. Eight hundred pounds is happening.”
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