Angelo Samarripa, a 20 year old Samoan weightlifter and wrestler attempted to benchpress 725lb at Aloha Festival in Minneola on the 4th of October 2014. He was attempting to beat the current unassisted world record bench press of 722lb held by Eric Spoto at a SuperTraining Gym meet in 2013.

Nicknamed “The Beast”, Angelo Samarripa talks about the importance of mental strength over physical strength. However, it is extremely surprising that Angelo Samarripa would risk benching this weight when struggling with 400lb, especially given the high risk of injury. For example, Scot Mendelson was injured in March 2013 when attempting to press 716lb raw.

Watching footage of the festival, I expected that the entire lift would be assisted, but instead we got to watch the bar drop on his chest and fail. Not only once, but twice! Luckily he did not get injured but its hard not to cringe at his feeble attempts.


Who is J.M Blakely?

JohnMark Blakely is a powerlifter most famously known for inventing the JM Press. The term was actually coined by Louie Simmons and George Halbert of westside barbell whilst he was training there. It was one of the only triceps exercises that JM Blakely did and he credits it for building all of his triceps strength for bench pressing.

jm blakley

JM Blakely in the 90s

JohnMark competed in the early 90s and  was a bench press specialist. He holds 6 world records, is a 4 time world bench press champion and was also the 11th man in history to bench 700lb (raw). JM Blakely was well known for being able to quickly gain and lose bodyweight. He was notoriously well know for drastically changing his bodyweight and competing in different weight classes within months of each other. The well known powerlifter and strength coach Dave Tate from Westside Barbell recalls how this ‘dude’ could just magically go from 198 to 308 and back to 275. When Dave Tate asked him how does he gain weight so easily, JM told him to come outside and simple explained that he needed to stuff his face with Mcdonalds, chinese and pizza etc. He listen and a few months later he grew. Continue reading

Benedikt Magnusson currently holds the world record of 1015lb (460kg) for a raw deadlift. The deadlift was set at the Ronnie Coleman Classic in 2011 with a conventional stance using true Olympic plates.

Interestingly, the lift also currently higher than the equipped world record held by Andy Bolton who lifted 457.5 kg (kilograms) / 1,009 lb (pounds). With raw deadlifting world records you can only use a weightlifting belt. No wraps, hooks, straps, suit etc. However, most people do not deadlift with weightlifting suits as even when fully equipped with a weightlifting suit it may only add around 20-30lb Max (approximately 12.5kg) which when lifting 1000lb is a couple of percent.

Some men have lifted heavier, however these world record breaking lifts are discounted based the fact they are merely lockouts using specialized strongman equipment and the bar moves a couple of inches at best. Mark Felix for example, an experienced Strongman lifted 1128 pounds at the 2013 Arnold Strongman using the tire deadlift equipment.

There are currently a number of very heavy raw deadlifters who may look to set a new all time powerlifting raw deadlift record before the end of 2013 such as Brian Shaw. However, only time can tell and its extremely hit or miss when it comes to peaking 1000lb deadlifts in heavy strength cycles.