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Bench Press History Being Made... Again!

Months and months have passed and more and more lifters continue to make history in this sport. It's great because now the sport is getting more recognition, and the more of that we get the more people get to know about this sport.

Months and months have passed and more and more lifters continue to make history in this sport. Its great because now the sport is getting more recognition, and the more of that we get the more people get to know about this sport. It's one of the reasons I write article to support and to get more recognition for the sport. And it also things like the Bench America that reminds power lifters around the world why they are in the sport.

First off, John Galligan and Bill Gillespie are the sports two and only master lifters to bench 700!! This is amazing in itself and unheard of at the same time. Makes you wonder if the average strength level for humans is rising or not. I think so!!!

Tom Manno was hoping to break the barrier himself and be the only master lifter to bench over 700, but he's not finished yet and we'll see him do it before too long. As for the bench race, Ryan Kennelly suffered an injury but he will be back to bring yet another big bench.

But recently, Gene Rychlak comes out of nowhere and hits 810 at the Nazareth meet, the same one where Mike Miller almost hits 815. Gene lifts are almost unreal and to see what I'm talking about you have to venture over to and check out his lifts with 785!!

Scot Mendelson the day after Gene hits 810, hits an unfathomable 821!! Ryan was there to witness this lift and to support Scot as well. It mentioned at that time that Scot was to make history one more time at the Bench America.

Ok, history was to made again indeed at the Bench America this past weekend. I'll have more when it comes available to me but here are the results:

Name Attempts
Hung Pham (114) 270/290/305
Janet Farone 235/250/265 miss/265 WR
Andrew Hrencher 255/270 miss/270 miss
Steve Petrencak (123) 315/330/340
Rob Leoni 225 miss/225/250 miss
Chad Jasper 300/315 miss/315
Eric Knight (132) 350 miss/355 miss
Tina Reinhart 355/370/390 miss/390 WR
Joe Smith 360/375 miss/375 miss
Nick Hatch
(16 years old!!)
375/400/405/410 miss
Charles Johnson 260/285/300 miss
Brian Schwab (148) 445/455 miss/475 miss
Joe Mukite
(running the meet and lifting?!?)
410/425 miss/430 miss
Allan Myszka 405/410 miss/410 miss
Taylor Tom 425/445 miss/445 miss
August Clark (165) 455/505 miss/505 miss
Joseph Luther 435/450/460
Joe Mazza 525/550 miss/550 miss
Lance Kirchner 485/500 miss/500 miss
Erwin Chang 385 miss/385/400
Phil Harrington (181) 470/500 miss/500 miss
Leonard McCormick 500 miss/500 miss
Will Lynch 500 miss/500 miss
Kent Spires 500/510 miss/515 miss
Jim Kiltss 550 miss/550 mis
Jeff McVicar (198) 600/625/650 miss/685 miss
Stephen Webb 500 miss/500/no 3rd
Arnold Coleman 525/560/575 miss
Kenneth Palazola 585/625 miss/630 miss
Dennis Rickens 525/560/590 miss
Mark Carter (220) 565 miss/565/585 miss
Keith Parrish 550/575 miss/575 miss
Ralph Young 550/570/575
Paul Bossi 500/550/560
Bart Kelley 525/550/570 miss
Rob Capozzolo (242) 575/640 miss/640 miss
Bill Carpenter 630/680/700 miss
Brad Kelley 620/645 miss/645 miss
Jason Jackson 600/630/650
Bobby Fields 700 miss/700 miss/700 miss
Noel Levario (275) 600/635 miss/650 miss
Paul Springer 635/660 miss/665 miss
Joe Ladnier 625/665 miss/665 miss
Ben White 660/710 miss/710 miss
Scott Smith 600/640/660 miss
Paul "Tiny" Meeker (308) 705 miss/705 miss
Vincent Dizenzo 650/705/725 miss
Brian Riley 700/735 miss/735 miss
Tom Manno 705 miss/705 miss/735 miss
Paul Key 650 miss/670 miss
(SHW) John Galligan 700 miss/735 miss
Thomas Skiver 660 miss/670/700 miss
Michael Miller 730 miss/730/805 miss
Gene Rychlak 775 miss/775 miss
Scot Mendelson
(Is The Man!!!)
825 miss/825 WR/875 miss/900 miss

Look for a more personal interview with Bill Carpenter (shown to the right), who represented the sport well on TV, in a few weeks here but there is no doubt in my mind that he will hit 700 sooner than we all think. Joe Mukite didn't do too bad considering he was running this meet and competing too.

Not many can do that and still have a good day, but Joe managed to do so. Nick Hatch, a 16-year-old power lifter, managed a 405 bench in the 132s. He had hit 363 a few months before the BA and wowed everyone. And imagine that he has years and room to grow!!!

Metal Militia was represented well at this meet with Jeff McVicar taking best lifter honors by doing 625 in the 198s and has room to get strong when he gave 685 for a ride!! We'll be expecting a 700 from him soon and I know he has the guts to do so!! Bobby Fields had a bad day, but what a display of freakish strength though.

Not many 242s can do over 700, but that list is starting to grow though. Bobby has done up to 720 at the Beast of the East meet a few months back and we're looking for him to hit 800 soon as well. Don't believe me... go to and see for yourself!! Mike Miller, who gave 815 for a ride and was close to locking out, had done 730 here. It is only a matter of time when joins the growing list of 800 benchers.

But, hands down, Metal Militia has produced some of the world's strongest benchers at this meet with the likes of Jeff, Mike, and Bobby... way to represent fellas!!

Tina Rinehart had done 370 and attempted 390 for the world record. She'll be getting that world record and then some soon as well!! Paul "Tiny" Meeker, with whom I had to pleasure of meeting back in May, was also there. Tiny gave 705 a ride twice and from what I saw back in May where he did 700, he'll be in the upper 700s soon as well.

And last but not least, Scot Mendelson, the big man everyone was looking at. Scot up the all time bench to 825 but that wasn't all... the man was able to give two unfathomable attempts a ride... 875 & get this... 900!

To me, there are no words to form that can express when he gave 900 a ride. Maybe other than the fact that the man is beyond superhuman and is in a class all by himself!! I hope after giving 900 a ride, he's going to shoot for it in the future. 900 would be a mark unheard of in this sport.

The Bench America was represented by some of the sports best lifters from all over and history was made. Comments from other lifters express that the comraderie at this meet couldn't even be measured!! I believe plans are in the making for Bench America II next year but it will be a hard performance to live up to after the first but in this sport... all is possible... just ask Scot!

Well, I hope you all are motivated about hearing this contest as I am. I would like to end this article with a message I posted on a lot of powerlifting forums on the net.

"It's almost overwhelming to see the camaraderie in this sport... it's unlike anything I've seen before, especially this year. We can s**t talk one minute and the next thank that person for being there and pushing them. It's awesome to see that camaraderie doesn't die and the motivation you can get from one meet to the next is quite contagious. All of the lifters at Bench America represented what the sport is about and were proud to call ourselves powerlifters!"

Curtis D. "get strong or get dominated"

Until Next Time, Bench Big!