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Tuesday, May 16th, 2006, 4:03 pm

Benchpressing Benchmark

Roy as a baby
My days of innocence

I have never, in my entire life, not even after 10+ years of persistent training, attempted to find out how much weight I can benchpress. I am referring to a proper trial under good conditions and just one repetition, at maximum capacity. Perhaps I feared find this outing because of the possibility of injuries (particularly if the spine is permitted to bend). And yet, the curse has just been lifted, so to speak.

Today at the Health Club we undertook the second stage of the Mr. Fitness contest (I fortunately won the first stage). This time, for a change, the task was to benchpress the most weight just once, on a Scott Machine. Arms had to hover over the chest and the grip could be relatively wide if necessary. The back needed to stay tight on the bench. I started by securing a weight of 150KG (we get 3 attempts/goals in total), plus the bar which weighs about 5 KG. I then attempted 160KG successfully and finally I did 165KG, at which point it became hard. I could probably benchpress more, but I ran out of attempts (the third must be last). I later tried 170KG (175 including the bar, which bent under the heavy load), but I mistakenly allowed my arms go too low (below 90 degrees on the elbow), which botched it. I am still extremely pleased with this achievement.

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