T Nation

500lb Bench Press - How Common are They?


We have a guy in our gym that reps 500. I have seen it happen. Now, this isn’t a commercial gym, and is a true weight room. I do not know if the guy is natural or not, but it doesn’t matter. Watching a guy rep that much is crazy. There are more than a handful that can 1RM 500 or so.


I personally benched 505 freshman year of college raw and all natural I also weighed around 320lbs. I have not done it since that was 2008 also tore all the ligaments in my right should during that season of football in college. Currently I weigh around 280 and have a 405 raw natural pause press and am the strongest at my commercial gym it’s very difficult to get to that level. Trying to get back to it but it takes serious bench dedication as far as regular bench wide grip close grip rack press and all of your dumbbell work. Also since the bench press is considered by many to be a full body lift since you gain power by driving your feet into the ground while pressing my 405lbs clean played a big factor in reaching the 500lbs mark.


Very rare, I’ve trained in gyms around the world for 20 years and never seen one with my own eyes. Most I’ve personally seen for full rep/no spotter is 405 for like 3 clean reps and maybe a couple guys rep out 150lber dumbells


This thread makes me feel pretty good about my 518lbs bench at a powerlifting meet! :blush:

As far as 500lbs bench presses go. Natty or enhanced, in my experience it heavily depends on genetics and biomechanics. Some guys are just naturally very proficient at pressing be it bench or any kind of OH movement. It has always been a strong suit of mine. When you compary my squat and deadlift to the level my bench is at they pale in comparison.


Hey 500+ benchers,

Suicide grip or thumbs around grip?


Thumbs around.

Squeezing hard on the bar recruits more muscle fibers and thus potentially generates more force.

For warm-up sets I mix it up though.


Why do I feel like a 500lb bench is more common than a 700-750lb deadlift?


Pretty common. Especially former British Bench Press champions.


Dude named Burley Hawk trains at a Westside gym in my hometown, he has videos of him repping 500+. Including a 505x9 touch and go, and a 565x3 paused. He hasn’t done a meet since 2013 and nobody knows why, but he could break Malanichev’s total record if he trained specifically for a meet


I’m not even sure what you are trying to argue here. First of all, I said "no all-time bench records are held by lifters that compete in tested feds (if they aren’t natural they at least aren’t going all out) ", which implies that there is a possibility that they aren’t natural. However, for WADA drug testing you have to piss into a cup in front of another person and they take blood samples too, so it would be very difficult to consistently pass drug tests without cycling off prior to competition. They also get tested out of competition, like randomly in the middle of the night.

If more androgen receptors = more muscle, how does that not translate to a bigger bench? Many pro bodybuilders use synthol and all kinds of other stuff, so that argument doesn’t hold much weight. You seem to have a problem with me saying “much bigger” rather than “slightly”, but what about your statement here:

Looks like it is close to being true. We can debate minute details and slight differences in interpretation, but that isn’t going to get us anywhere.


It’s not. Look at IPF records, there are plenty of guys at 105kg and under pulling over 700, but only one (Dennis Cieri) benching over 500.


I don’t understand what you mean. What ratio?

Before anyone else jumps in and starts another mindless argument, I will let you know that I’m going by what I read elsewhere and is corroborated by Greg Nuckols. I accept that it might turn out to be wrong, but I have yet to see or hear anything to the contrary that has any credibility.


If the argument is that there are more androgen receptors in the shoulder area therefore an assisted person would gain more muscle there, that area would already be relatively more developed when a person is natural because the ratio of receptors among muscles does not change when assistance is used.


So… I should stop rubbing protein powder on my shoulders?


Try test cream. Localized receptor binding ftw!


Perfect! I’ll have my masseuse use test cream instead of lotion at my weekly massage.


That sounds logical, look at men compared to women. Am I missing something? You did say “I don’t see any way this logic can be applied”.


With a happy ending?


The ol’ rub and tug…classic


^Which would make this reasoning inaccurate.