Owensboro is home to the world’s strongest bench presser. Julius Maddox lifted 744.1 pounds on Saturday at the Rob Hall Classic, in Austin, Texas, exceeding his previous world record of 740 pounds.
To put all this in perspective, 744.1 pounds is roughly the weight of a thoroughbred in the Kentucky Derby minus the jockey and the gear. Maddox is the only individual in the history of the world to bench that weight.
“It’s a big deal to me that I was still able to tap in despite having already achieved the record,” he said. “I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been with work and speaking engagements, so by default, I used more resting techniques this time around.”
In June, Maddox laid claim to the American record by benching 723.1 pounds before eventually lifting 739.6 pounds and securing the previous world record in September. That came with some controversy, however, because many in the lifting community disputed his lift, stating that the manner in which the bar dropped caused some discrepancies.
That feat still propelled him to fame in the sports community, securing him a headline in the renowned magazine, Sports Illustrated. With more to prove, Maddox set his sights on 744 pounds, a mark he desired to accomplish with no disputes.
“People tried to discredit my previous lift and that bothered me,” he said. “This one is officially the heaviest bench press in history. You can’t dispute that.”
Opportunities are in abundance for the young lifter who initially turned to weightlifting as a means of relieving stress and transforming his life. One such opportunity is a head-to-head competition against the previous world record holder, while various sponsors have also suggested a paid 800-pound lifting challenge.
Also on his agenda is the Log Press World Championships in the United Kingdom in April. Log pressing is slightly different from bench pressing, but Maddox intends on using a workout regiment that encompasses many of the same workouts that propelled him to the record books.
When he isn’t training, Maddox spends his days working at Friends of Sinners, a nonprofit organization that has been a guiding light during his transformation. He also serves as the character coach for the Owensboro High School football program, a position he uses to encourage young people to live a healthy lifestyle.
“I left Austin around 3:30 this morning and flew into Nashville. From there, I drove to the Perry County Detention Center where I spoke to inmates about following their dreams,” he said. “That’s my primary message – if you want something bad enough, go out and get it. Don’t let it pass you by.”