Progression of the bench press world record

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Bench press world records are the international records in bench press across the years, regardless of weight class or governing organization, for bench pressing on the back without using a bridge technique. The advent of bench press shirts, which support the lifter's shoulders and provide upward force, have increased records significantly since 1985 (for example, when the shirted record was 965 lbs (438.64 kg), the unshirted record was just 713 lbs (323.41 kg)).[1] Today, the world record bench press without a bench shirt still is 715 lbs (324.3 kg), set by Scot Mendelson in May 2005.[2]


Pre-bench shirt

1898Georg Hackenschmidt presses 361 lbs (164.09 kg).[3]raw
1916Joe Nordquest presses 363 lbs (165 kg).[3]raw
early 1950sDoug Hepburn becomes the first man to bench press 400, 450, and 500 pounds. In November 1950 he pressed 400 lbs (181.82 kg). He pressed 450 lbs (204.55 kg) in 1951, and 500 lbs (227.27 kg) in December 1953.[1][3]raw
1959Bruno Sammartino presses 565 lbs (256.82 kg).[4]raw
1967Pat Casey presses 615.5 lbs (279.2 kg) on March 25, 1967 and becomes the first man to bench press over 600 lbs.[5]raw
1971Jim Williams presses 635 lbs (288.64 kg) at the Eastern USA Open. Then in November, he presses 661 lbs (300.45 kg).*[6][7]raw
1972Jim Williams presses 675 lbs (306.82 kg) with only ace bandages on his elbows, wearing a t-shirt on November 9, at the 1972 AAU World Powerlifting Championships.[5][8]raw

Equipped (with bench shirt)

1985Ted Arcidi is the first man to bench press over 700 lbs with a lift of 705.5 lbs (320.01 kg),[9] performed in one of the first prototype supportive bench press shirts, which was 50% polyester and 50% cotton and only one layer thick.[1][10]shirt
1990Ted Arcidi presses 718.1 lbs (325.72 kg) at the APF Bench Press Invitational on September 30 in Keene, New Hampshire.[11]shirt
1993Anthony Clark presses 725 lbs (328.85 kg) in May and then on September 25, breaks his own record with a 735 lbs (333.39 kg) lift at the USPF Northwest Open.[12]shirt
1994Anthony Clark presses 738 lbs (334.75 kg).[13][14]shirt
1995Jamie Harris presses 740 lbs (335.66 kg) at the APF State Championships in March 1995.[14][15][16]shirt
1995Chris Confessore presses 741 lbs (336.11 kg) at only 236 pounds bodyweight on June 17, 1995.[13]shirt
1995Anthony Clark presses 748 lbs (339.29 kg) and 750 lbs (340.19 kg) at the Great Bench Press of America Meet in Texas.[17]shirt
1996Anthony Clark presses 770 lbs (349.26 kg) and later 780 lbs (353.80 kg) in September 1996 at the Mr. Olympia.[17]shirt
1997Anthony Clark presses 785 lbs (356.0 kg).[17]shirt
1999Tim Isaac is the first man to bench press over 800 lbs** with a lift of 802 lbs (363.78 kg) on July 24 in Phoenix, Arizona.[18][19]shirt
2003Gene Rychlak is the first man to bench press 900 lbs (409.09 kg).[20]shirt
2004Gene Rychlak is the first man to bench press over 1000 lbs with a lift of 1004 lbs (456.36 kg) in November. [21]shirt
2006Scot Mendelson presses 1008 lbs (458.18 kg) (February 18) in a powerlifting exhibition called FIT EXPO in Pasadena, CA.[21][22]shirt
2006Gene Rychlak presses 1010 lbs (459.09 kg) (December 16).[23]shirt
2007Ryan Kennelly presses 1036 lbs (470.91 kg) (September 22–23).[24]shirt
2007Ryan Kennelly presses 1050 lbs (476.27 kg) (December 1).[25]shirt
2008Ryan Kennelly presses 1070 lbs (485.34 kg) (April 12).[26]shirt
2008Ryan Kennelly presses 1074.8 lbs (487.5 kg) (July 13).[27]shirt
2008Ryan Kennelly presses 1075.0 lbs (487.6 kg) (November 8).[28][29]shirt

* note: Bill Kazmaier became the first human to officially bench press 300 kg (661.4 lbs) (raw) in an IPF-sanctioned meet on January 31, 1981. Jim Williams benched 675 lbs just prior to the formation of the IPF.

** note: Anthony Clark performed a controversial 800-pound bench press at the Arnold Classic in 1997, 2 years before Tim Isaac. This lift was, however, later turned down.

Unequipped (without bench shirt)

For the bench press to be considered raw, no bench shirts are allowed; however, wrist wraps, singlets and belts are allowed. Elbow bandages had been allowed prior to the formation of the IPF, but were later outlawed.

1996James Henderson presses 705 lbs[30] raw in a t-shirt without wrist wraps or a belt to become the first man to bench press over 700 lbs raw in May 1996.[31]raw
1997James Henderson first presses 699.97 lbs[30][32] and on a later attempt the same day 711 lbs (322.5 kg)[30] raw without wrist wraps or a belt on July 13, 1997 at the USPF Senior Nationals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[33] Today, it is still the highest bench press ever performed in a drug-tested competition as well as the highest ever done in an IPF-sanctioned three-lift-meet.[34]raw
2003Scot Mendelson presses 713 lbs (323.4 kg) on February 8, 2003.[34][32]raw
2005Scot Mendelson presses 715 lbs (324.3 kg) with only belt and wrist wraps at the New England Bench Press Classic on May 22, 2005 in Worcester, Massachusetts for the highest bench press of all time without a bench press shirt. It was however not performed in a IPF-sanctioned meet.[34][32][35]raw


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