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Franco Columbu

Okay guys (and ladies), I need a little help settling a bet. How much was Franco’s best bench? I say it wasn’t over 495, but a friend says it was at least 500. Franco’s website says 520, but we all know how figures tend to get inflated a bit as memory stretches… His book, published in 1977, says 465 or some such. Anyone have a good powerlifting link that shows historical records? Or any other independent link that could be used to settle this? Thanks!

Char: I think you’ve won the bet.

Now, the site I found was entirely in Italian. And if the words ain't on a menu, I'm lost. Anyways, I believe "di panca" means (to some degree) "benchpress." It shows Franco's bench to have been 220kg (roughly, 485 lbs).

For the record, here's what he did (according to this site): 305kg, squat; 335kg "di stacco" (deadlift?).

I'm still searching on the web, but does this help?

columbo did do 520,he also came in fourth in wsm,unreal for his size.bw under 200.that 520 bench is raw too in competition.

The August 1998 issue of Muscle & Fitness magazine lists Franco’s personal best in the bench at 535 lbs. He also benched 451 at a bodyweight of 181 in 1972 according to the magazine. Hope this helps.

I stand (or sit) corrected! I had thought that a Italian site would be pretty right on (why would they want to dispel a Sicilian Son’s accomplishments?). But, oy vay, was I incorrect!

Char: you may have lost this bet!

Well, I’m not quite ready to concede just yet. I thank everyone for their input, but it seems awfully strange to me that there are so many different figures floating around - and that the highest figures are from the most recent publications. ROB, do you actually have a LINK to back up what you said? Does anyone know of a real, official powerlifting link? Patricia, can you post the link that you found? Thanks to everyone!

Char: here’s the link to that Italian site:

I have found a couple of other sites. You know there's a discussion going on at www.elitefitness.com (Dave Tate's site) that's centered around Columbo. You should check it out. It's in the forums.

elitefitness.com is not Dave Tate’s site.

You’re right pda: www.elitefts.com is Dave Tate’s site. With apologies to Mr. Tate! (THIS is what happens when you’re getting over the flu and performing three different things at once…TOTAL confusion).

Patricia, thanks for the links. I checked out the Italian site. Pretty cool. Couldn’t find the thread on the Elitefitness site, though. Then again, it’s the first time I’ve ever checked them out, so I was probably just missing something obvious. Anyway, thanks again. You are, as always, the queen-goddess of T-dom!

Why not ask Franco himself? He does have a website

If memory serves, Columbo is Sardinian (they don’t like to be called “Sicilian”).

Char: What I did was go on “google” and performed a search using “Franco Columbo powerlifting”, “powerlifting” “powerlifting records” - ONE of those searches pulled up the www.elitefitness.com site. The “Franco Columbo powerlifting” pulled up the Italian site.

Swale: it's kinda like Asians. We hate hearing the "they're all alike". I'm sure Sicilians/Sardinians feel the exact same way (as you pointed out)! This is rather shameful of me, I've visited FC's site, read his book (own his book on bodybuilding) and have read numerous Aw-nold interviews (note: HAVE book by Aw-nold) and they all refer, at one point, to FC as "Sardinian". BUT NOOOO, I had to be a half-wit and say "Sicilian." *grumble, grumble* *incorherrent mumbling*

Years ago (dating myself here) I got to see Dr. Columbo rep with 705 deadlift, then exploded a hot water bottle with his breath! The whole building shook–THEN he blew up the bottle!

Did you not read the original post at all, or did you only skip the part that says “Franco’s website says 520”? :slight_smile:

Isnt Franco a chiropractor somewhere in california? If so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find his phone #. Call him up and ask him.

I think you can find him benching a bit in Pumping Iron, though i think that’s 315 for reps…The narrator may say what he benches when they show the clips of FC exploding the water bottle and deadlifting.

I’m pretty sure he hit over 500.


I read the post but I meant ask Franco. Who better than the man himself.

Guys, I appreciate all the replies, but really, what I want in an OFFICIAL record. I’m sure that if I call him he’ll tell me what’s on his website (if he even speaks to me at all - he’s undoubtedly a busy guy). And as I mentioned earlier, memories tend to inflate with the passing years. I opened up an M&F a little while back and was very surprised to see that Franco competed at a bodyweight of 205 during “most of his career”. I say “very surprised” because the weight listed in all the mags back in the 70’s was 185, and in his book (published soon after his O win in 1976) it was also 185, with 195 being listed for that last win. So again, does anyone know of an official (I don’t have to emphasize that word again, do I?) powerlifting site? If so, I’d really like to have the link.