Julius Maddox was set to once again etch his name into the history books by becoming the first man to bench press 800 pounds raw (meaning without lifting gear) — but a mistake on the part of the highly publicized event’s organizers cost him that opportunity.
With the world watching on ESPN, Maddox attempted the historic lift at Beasts of the Bench at the East Race Muscle Gym in South Bend, IN. His first bench press was for 722 pounds — lightweight for the man who holds the all-time raw world record at 770 pounds.
Maddox asked for the bar to be loaded at 800 pounds for his second lift, which would’ve been 30 pounds heavier than the world record right now. Almost everyone had anticipated he would make it, despite missing a 790 pound attempt a few days ago.
An error, not a lack of strength, prevented that from happening. The event’s organizers had misloaded the bar, putting an extra 25kg (55-pound) plate on one side that led to an imbalance. You can see Maddox attempt the lift before quickly realizing something was wrong.
With the weight correctly loaded on the bar, Maddox attempted to do 800, but he was unable to lock out and required assistance to re-rack the bar — not only that, but according to several reports, he injured himself in the process.
Several fitness social media channels have heavily criticized the Beast of the Bench organizers for not ensuring the bar was loaded properly. Not only did it lead to Maddox failing, but it could’ve led to something worse than an injury. Others theorize the error might’ve taken Maddox out of his element and that he would’ve succeeded the first time around if the weight was set properly.
Maddox uploaded a quick Instagram video saying he’ll provide an update on his condition and plans going forward, but he’s already said in interviews that he’s not giving up on breaking benching barriers.
“I’m going to lose some weight, come back stronger, and next time I hit the stage next year or the end of this year,” FitnessVolt.com reported. “800 is not even going to be a number no more, we’re going to be looking for the next number.”
The Kentucky native became a bench pressing sensation last August when he set the world bench press record at 739.6 pounds, surpassing the former record of 738.5 pounds held by Kirill Sarychev.
After that, he broke his own record not once, not twice, but three times. His latest record-setting lift took place in March at the Arnold Sports Classic, where he lifted 770 pounds.
We look forward to his return and wish him a speedy recovery.