If you’re putting up 360lbs or more on a bench press, you may have the world record –if it was still 1898. A lot has changed since Georg Hackenschmidt held the now-laughable record in the late 1800′s.
Ryan Kennelly – Bench Press Record Holder
The top bench press has skyrocketed to an unbelievable 1,075 pounds, currently held by Ryan Kennelly. Kennelly does utilize a bit of assistance in the form of special supportive-shirts, wrist supporters and the like, but in interviews, articles, and his book he’s revealed some gems that you can start putting into practice so you don’t have to lie when someone asks you: “so, how much can you bench?”
- Train…a Lot: If you’re serious about boosting your 1 rep max, it’s not enough to get under the bench press bar once per week during your typical training split. Kennely trains 7-10 times per week –on bench presses alone!
Don’t Forget to Rest: Kennely takes three full days a week off from lifting anything. Because bench pressing, unlike triceps kickbacks, work your entire upper body, you need more rest than is typical.
- Leg Power: Before he broke the world record, Kennely was stuck in a rut that he couldn’t seem to dig his way out of. That’s when he realized that he never paid any attention to the two limbs hanging off the other end of the bench: his legs. Like throwing a baseball or a punch, most of the power comes from your legs. Sure enough, when Kennely started taking his leg-training seriously by incorporating squats and deadlifts into his regimen, he watched his plateau disappear.
- Go Crazy: Kennely likes to say: “Eat, sleep, and live it. Give 110%, or just show up and get your free t-shirt and watch.” A borderline psychotic mentality is a requirement if you expect to make real progress in such an intense lift.
- Train Triceps: The triceps are involved in the entire bench pressing motion. It’s important not to neglect them as they can hold you back from piling on a few more plates to the bar.
- Mix It Up: Kennely doesn’t stick to the standard bench press fare. It’s helpful to mix in a heavy dose of variety like speed benching and close-grip benches to help stimulate supportive muscles.