Julius Maddox may not be a household name yet, but in heavy lifting communities, the man is already a legend. The reigning bench press king holds the official record for the heaviest single raw bench press (without a bench press suit) rep at 744.1 pounds, set in November 2019—but he was just getting started, with a stated goal of 800 pounds.
Maddox beat his own record in a training session in January, managing 755 pounds. But most recently, Maddox managed to best his own personal record again when he lifted a staggering 765 pounds last week. How did Maddox achieve such an ambitious goal—and what’s it gonna take to press 800? The inspiring bench specialist shared what was going on in his life before and during the attempt in this behind the scenes video.
“I failed ” starts Maddox from the front seat of his car, “I failed and I’ve been bummed all week.” Julian Maddox opens up by telling us about how much he’s been down. After failing to meet the previous week’s bench goal, we’re given a refreshingly honest account of the emotional ups and downs that someone can go through even after setting a record-breaking bench press.
“I know my capabilities are greater than what was displayed…,” adds Maddox. “I had a bad day and we have to embrace those bad days […] we’re gonna push it. Go hard or go home.”
We’re then taken back to the gym, where we’re given a behind the scenes view of Maddox training for his (unofficial) record-breaking moment. Just to give you an idea of how hard this guy went before he hit 765: Maddox warms up by pressing a whopping 585 pounds before adding another hundred pounds of weight for round two. We all know the end of this story, a massive, successful press—but the clip proves that only happened with hard work, ambition, and dedication.
“I just found what was optimal for me and my groove,” continues Maddox, “It’s just years and years and years of practice, man; that’s it.” He adds that while every person on the earth has a “certain level of greatness,” they shouldn’t compare themselves to their friends or heroes.
“I just found what I was good at,” adds Maddox. “If you figure out what you’re good at, put it on your plate.”
So, while not every powerlifter will ever be able to hit even 700 pounds on the bench, Maddox reminds us to keep our goals in check and find out what works for you. For a guy like Maddox who calls ambitious shots, 800 pounds is just another reason to train hard and another goal to crush.
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