Sport Stars & Celebrity Bench Press Rumors by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com
Disclaimer: This article is for amusement purposes only. The bench press statistics we have compiled are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate. Keep in mind that people's bench press strength will change over time. The celebrities mentioned in this article may be able to bench press more or less at the present time. Many of the stats came from television shows, articles, and word of mouth so do not consider this article to be completely factual. It's still fun to read though! This article excludes powerlifters who are by far the strongest bench pressers in the world.
Many people are curious to hear the big question "How much do pro athletes and movie stars bench press?" Well, before I start explaining how strong these athletes are we have to keep in mind that every one's best bench press is always changing. What someone maxed out 6-years ago would not be the same as what some athlete bench presses now. For example, if you watch the television show "Hogan knows best" you might see Hogan struggling to do reps with 205lbs on an incline smith bench press machine. That might not sound so impressive for the man who body slammed Andre the Giant at Wrestle Mania 3 and who always boast about his large 24 inch pythons but who knows how much Hulk Hogan use to bench press in his younger days?
I'm sure that many of you have heard of Lex Luger from the WWE and WCW! This is a wrestler who body slammed Yokozuna at the intrepid when all the other wrestlers could not. Sure it was an act but Luger is a very successful bodybuilder from ICO pro and a very strong lifter. In fact my powerlifting friend Mike Witmer who use to wrestle for WCW's Power plant saw Lex Luger bench press 405lbs for 5 reps with his very own eyes as Lex weighed in at a lean 235lbs. Obviously, Lex Luger is a very strong man. We still can't assume what Lex Luger could do for a 1 rep max though as who knows how tired Luger was when he went into that set of 405 reps? Apparently though it goes to show some athletes like Lex Luger are extremely strong and that there are in fact many other athletes out in this world who are also very very strong.
In this article we are going to give you an inside look about how strong at one time many athletes were when it came to bench press power!
600 Pound Bench Presses - Pro Athletes
The biggest bench press noted today outside of the realm of powerlifting was accomplished by Larry Allen of the Dallas Cowboys. Larry Allen has bench pressed 700lbs Obviously, Larry Allen didn't bench press 700lbs under powerlifting regulations that you would see in a powerlifting meet but Larry Allen has the biggest bench press reported in all of sports. (Non sanctioned of course.)
Other athletes and pro wrestlers who have been reported to bench press more than 600lbs go as followed: Bob Sapp from Pride fighting, Nikili Volkoff who use to wrestle in the WWE with his russian power, Tony Atlas and the former wrestler himself Pat Casey. Not only has Pat Casey bench pressed more than 600lbs, but Pat Casey was the first man ever to bench press more than 600lbs. Pat Casey broke a barrier and after Pat Casey bench pressed 600lbs then other strength freaks of nature started to follow Casey's lead.
Some full contact fighters have also been reported to bench press more than 600lbs. Mark Kerr who fought in full contact fighting was able to bench press 610lbs according to the Harold Sun as Mark Kerr told the world that he has bench pressed 610lbs in his own words. Mark "the hammer" Coleman former Olympic Wrestler and former UFC champion has also claimed to bench press 600lbs back in an interview years ago. Mark said that he bench pressed 600lbs well before his UFC days but once he became a fighter he cut back on the heavy powerlifting to train endurance, agility, and other athletic traits that were needed to be an effective fighter. He realized that strength was important in a fight but you only needed so much of it and that he needed more endurance than just quick spurts of power alone. Finally, Tank Abbott was seen bench pressing 600lbs in a video at the Iron Game powerlifting forum that rock many heads!
Some of the NFL players have also benched pressed more than 600lbs outside of Larry Allen. Justin Geisinger from the NFL was reported to bench press 600lbs as well as achieving a bench press of 225lbs for 43 reps in the NFL's rep 225lbs as many times as you can competition!
Powerhouse Jason Whitlock from the Kansas City Chiefs was also reported to bench pressing 600lbs. So, although a 600lbs bench press is very rare outside of powerlifting records, it is still sometimes accomplished in sports. We still have to keep in mind that athletes are athletes, and although athletes might be impressive animals of strength we have to keep in mind that athletes are not as strong as powerlifters who actually perform these lifts under the toughest of all conditions. For example, we have done an interview with Jeremy Hoornstra. Jeremy has bench pressed 605lbs in competition weighing far less than all of these athletes as he stands at a lean 230lbs. However, in training Jeremy is putting up 675lbs RAW. Therefore, Jeremy Hoornstra the powerlifter is stronger at the bench press than every athlete and wrestler in existence of all time for the exception of Larry Allen who is twice Jeremy's size and yet they are still close in strength.
editor's note* the most weight ever bench pressed under official rules in a raw competition was Scott Mendelson's 715lbs bench press which stands as the biggest bench press today. I'm sure this record will be broken someday.
500 Pound Bench Presses
One of the most impressive wrestlers of all time was a man by the name of Bruno Sammartino. He was the wrestling legend right before Hulk Hogan. Bruno was not one of the best wrestlers but he was as strong as nails! Bruno bench pressed 315lbs for 38 reps according to the natural strength weight room article online with pictures and everything. On top of that Sammartino was able to perform a 565lbs 1-rep bench press. Bruno was truly a man ahead of his time.
Another man who was well beyond his time was Super Star Billy Graham who use to wrestle in the 70s. If you go to Billy Graham's website you will see how he makes Arnold look small! Graham has pictures of himself bench pressing an unbelievable 585lbs!
The British Bulldog "Davey Boy" Smith has told the world that he has bench pressed 535lbs. Although, the British Bulldog might be gone, any strength guru will not forget how powerful of a man the British Bulldog was.
Finally, one of the strongest wrestlers to ever walk on the face of this earth who might surprise you was none other than the "SuperFly Jimmy Snuka" himself! Super Fly was a bodybuilder before a wrestler and he said that he had bench pressed 525lbs before at the angelfire/nowandthen wrestling interview. Jimmy might be remembered as a man who jumped off the top of cages but this man was one of the most powerful men during his time and during anytime for that matter.
Other really strong wrestlers from the WWE include men like Ken Patera, Ivan Putski, Jerry Blackwell, Phil Lafon, and Shane Halme. All of these men were very talented strongman/powerlifters as well as pro wrestlers but from long ago. In the past wrestlers were much stronger physically than what they are today as wrestling use to be the Land of giants and fans wanted to see the strongest men go to combat in the ring. Today wrestling is different and strength isn't as much of a priority. Although, I provided some big names to have benched over 500lbs we have to remember that there are many NFL powerhouses who bench more than 500lbs and even athletes that Critical Bench has interviewed such as Ron H20 Waterman!
400 Pound Bench Pressers
That takes us down to the athletes who have bench pressed more than 450lbs before. First of all we have to remember that a bench press max over 400lbs is a great lift based upon just about every single stretch of the imagination. Although, a 400lbs bench press probably won't give a weight lifter a world record, it's still huge. In fact there has never ever been a woman in the history of the world who has ever bench pressed 400lbs raw before, not even women who weigh 400lbs. Although the list of 400+ benchers is probably endless in pro sports we will name a few reported 400-500lbs bench presses.
If you take a sport like the NBA basketball you will have top centers such as Shaq bench pressing 455lbs who stated that is what he benched when he gave out his workout routine and diet awhile back.
In the sport of NHL hockey there have been athletes who have bench press just over 450lbs according to former L.A. Kings coach and player Barry Melrose. For example, top notch fighter in the NHL and Defense men Tony Twist can bench 405 with 25lbs plates added to the 405lbs barbell.. Who said hockey players weren't strong? There are plenty who can climb up into the mid 400s.
Let's move onto football now... I'm sure we all remember Will the Refrigerator Perry? Will Perry was the man who played for the 1985 Bears! Perry was a man who was considered huge and beyond his time. Well, the Refrigerator's biggest bench press ever was 465lbs according to Sports Illustrated magazine. Although this is pretty good, it goes to show how much stronger athletes are now than what they were 20 years ago. I think a 450+ bench is common for a monster who doesn't powerlift. Brock Lesnar is a great example. Lesnar from the WWE who was playing the role of an unstoppable monster has a bench max of only 10lbs more than Perry, benching pressing 475lbs.
Let's discuss the 400-450lbs best bench press now. Although benching between 400lbs and 450lbs might not sound so impressive with all the bench press equipment that is out there today we have to keep in mind that it's still quite impressive. If you take Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dave Draper back from their prime, who made bodybuilding into what it is today, you will see that they weren't the strongest men to ever walk on this planet. In fact neither Arnold nor Draper could bench press more than 450lbs or if they could, they never attempted to.
On that note top athletes and movie stars like "Dwayne Johnson" better known as Rock said that his biggest bench press ever was 425lbs. The Rock was a big 260lbs man at this time. Kurt Angle who won a Gold Medal in the Olympics with a broken neck and who is one of the most athletic pro wrestlers in the game or out of anyone in the world has bench pressed 420lbs. Finally, Bret the hit man Hart from the WWE achieved his big goal back in 1987 bench pressing an impressive 405lbs. Even Glen Jacobs, better known as Kane, who was once a school teacher has been reported to bench press easy sets with 405lbs. See some athletes were just born to be very strong even without all the proper training for a bigger bench press that websites such as critical bench provides now! So, just imagine how strong all of these wrestlers would be if they had access to all the information published on Critical Bench.
The 300 Pound Bench Pressers
Benching 300lbs-400lbs is also quite an accomplishment. Even if you look at women's powerlifting you will find that there has only been 9 women in the world in the history of human kind who have officially bench pressed 300lbs in a powerlifting meet. So, we still have to respect some of the athletes and stars who are 300+ benchers too. One very strong athlete that might surprise some people are the Olympic Sprinters. In particular Maurice Green who was a former World Record Holder in the 100-meter dash was very strong on the bench press. Maurice Green has bench pressed 365. Although that might surprise many it doesn't really surprise me. Sprinters are fast and explosive athletes, the Olympic Committee had to tell the world about Maurice's 365lbs bench press because many heavy weight football players don't even bench that much and here Maurice Green is benching 365lbs and he's a runner! That's more weight than what the Undertaker who isn't built for benching from the WWE benches. So, Maurice Green's 365lbs bench is impressive.
As far as 300lbs-350lbs benchers are concerned, well I think that any position that requires some degree of strength should have athletes bench pressing more than 300lbs. From a name like Michael Vick to a name like Marshall Faulk, you can guarantee that these men bench press more than 300lbs when not injured and in top physical condition. In fact I read that Michael Vick was bench pressing 335lbs as a max and maintained his strength around there for awhile.
Even an actor such as Jack Lemmon has told the media that he has bench pressed more than 300lbs. The thing is a 300lbs bench press is probably the number that proves a man to be strong, to be masculine. A 300lbs bench press is what separates the men from the boys in bench pressing. Many men get to bench around 300 and for sure they are strong men for doing so. However, once a man decides to climb past 300lbs, beyond 350 and even beyond 400lbs for that matter, then that is when you know that a lifter is serious.
If you want to set out on the journey to a 300 pound bench press and beyond check out the Critical Bench Program.
Bench Pressing Below 300 Pounds
Of course there are many pro athletes who don't bench press 300lbs. Who are these athletes? Well, sometimes QB's who win Superbowl's, tennis players, golfers, sometimes offensive hockey players and sometimes basketball guards can't bench press 300lbs.
Athletes like Michael Jordan, Yao Ying with his ridiculously long arms and Tom Brady can't bench 300lbs according to magazine articles nor can many baseball players although they bench press a little over 250lbs usually. I mean, maybe such athletes have trained the bench press and gotten stronger so they have bench pressed more than 300lbs which I can't prove but when these athletes are in the "SEASON" of training they really don't need to bench press very much and therefore they won't bench press very much. In fact if they were to bench press more than 300lbs it wouldn't be useful.
Take Tiger Woods for example, according to Golf Pro Magazine 2001, CA Tiger Woods was reported to bench press 190lbs. Take another athlete like Paul Hamm from Gymnastics, the Olympic Committe reported him to bench 165lbs. These men still love the bench press and need to bench press as a part of their training but they don't want to bench press too much, they need to maintain a certain rep range so they won't become too weak or too strong for the game that they play. So, as far as benching goes, to each their own. We will never know a one rep max for all athletes because maximum strength is not required in all sports therefore athletes don't train for it.
Interesting stat- One statistic that interested me relating to the bench press was when I heard that President George Bush bench pressed 185lbs on the radio in the car. That isn't too bad for a man of George Bushes age.
In conclusion, from a man and a monster like Bruno Sammartino, to the president of our Country George Bush, to you, to the world record holder, to the skinny geek, to the world record holders, the bottom line remains, everyone has been effected by the bench press in some way!