Welcome! In this post, you will learn about some of the most incredible senior bench press records. They are higher than you might think!
The bench press is probably the most well-known gym exercise you can perform. In one word it’s iconic.
There is a reason people all over the world include the bench press in their gym routines.
There is also a reason why the exercise is a part of the powerlifting main events.
The bench press developed and shows your pressing strength and overall upper body strength, unlike any other exercise.
While most seniors don’t compete in powerlifting, the bench press is still a very beneficial exercise for you.
You might think that people over 60 can’t bench press heavyweights due to aging but you’re in for a surprise!
Let’s start with a quick recap of the exercise before introducing the bench press records for different age groups.
What Is The Bench Press
It’s likely you know what the bench press is if you wound up here through a search engine. But in case you don’t know what the bench press is here’s a quick recap.
The bench press is a pressing exercise that involves pressing a barbell up from your chest while laying on a special bench press bench.
Your back is supported by the bench and arms, shoulder muscles, and pectorals do the major work in lifting.
The bench press is a good gauge for your upper body strength because of the fixed position. You can’t effectively use the legs and hips to drive the bar upward.
A heavy bench press is still a full-body movement. The legs and hips do actually participate a bit in driving the bar up for most lifters. But it’s more of a stabilizing effect than an actual forceful drive.
This makes the bench press an easier exercise to judge in competition than the overhead press for example.
It’s still possible to cheat in bench press by bouncing the barbell from the rib cage or by doing half reps.
That’s why in powerlifting and bench press competitions there are a few rules for an approved lift.
The lift has to start from a full lockout and it needs to pause on the chest until a judge gives the press command. The lift finishes in full lockout as well.
The lockouts and the pause make the bench press a relatively easy lift to compete and judge. They take out the guesswork off the lift.
You can read more about powerlifting rules in the article Powerlifting For Seniors.
Raw Vs Equipped
Before we talk about the records for different age groups it’s important you understand the difference between raw and equipped lifting.
These days there are so many federations, clubs, and leagues of powerlifting and bench pressing that not all results are directly comparable.
The main lifting rules tend to be the same with most federations but one key difference is between the allowed equipment.
Raw lifting means that any equipment that helps to directly lift more weight is not allowed. This means that only accepted lifting belts, wrist rapes, chalk, and singlets are allowed.
In equipped bench pressing the typical equipment are a special bench press shirt that has a strong elastic pull over the chest. This adds a significant amount of force to the bottom movement of the lift and can increase the lift by over 100 lbs.
On an equipped bench press, also heavier wrist wraps and elbow sleeves can be used. I’m not going to go into detail about the equipment here.
Besides equipment, it’s important to understand that your sex and body weight affects your strength significantly. Especially in the bench press.
So an equipped, super-heavy male bench press record is going to be drastically heavier than a raw, lightweight female.
Senior Bench Press Records For Over 50
I want to start the records from the over 50 class. I realize that no one over 50 is generally considered a senior. But if you think about athletes it’s a different thing.
Just think about how many professional football or hockey players, gymnasts, or runners are there over 50.
It’s clear that when you are past 50, aging will have an effect on your athletic performance. No matter how good genetics you have.
So for powerlifting and bench pressing someone over 50 can already be considered a senior lifter.
The current raw bench press record in the Master 50-59 series is 562 lbs. It’s set by Kole Carter (USA) on 04/21/18 in the super heavyweight class.
Senior Bench Press Records For Over 60
Ovver 60 is generally considered a seniors even if you are not an athlete.
The interesting thing about powerlifting is that there are plenty of very strong people in their sixties.
If you’ve been lifting for decades and stayed healthy, at sixty the age-related physical decline might not be that significant. I talked more about this in the article Weight Training For Men Over 60.
This is reflected in these very respectable bench press records for people over 60.
The current raw bench press record in the Master 60+ series is 501 lbs. It’s set by Jim Ray (USA) on 04/19/18 in the super heavyweight class.
You can see the incredible lift on Jim Ray’s YouTube channel (YouTube Embed, content not owned or created by ElderStrength.com)
Senior Bench Press Records For Over 70 and 80
While you might be surprised at the amount of weight being lifted in the 60+ category, it doesn’t end there.
There are plenty of people over 70 or even 80 competing in powerlifting that can still put up significant numbers.
At this age general health and genetics really start to affect your physical performance drastically. But with years of training and avoiding serious injuries, you can maintain a good amount of strength even after 80.
There aren’t official categories for people over 70 and 80 in many competitions since they are usually included in the 60+ category. But here are a couple of impressive lifts in these age groups:
Ash Sinclairs 135 kg bench press world record for the up to 82,5 kg class. That’s about 298 lbs with a bodyweight of about 180. At that weight at the age of 71 that’s pretty incredible.
Phil Poppinos 330 lbs bench press at the age of 80 is even more incredible.
I hope you found this article about senior bench press records useful and interesting. If you have any comments feel free to leave them below.
The bench press is an exercise that aging doesn’t necessarily affect that much. You can do it slowly compared to Olympic weightlifting and is generally easier on the back than the squat and deadlift.
So there are plenty of seniors that bench presses respectable weight in competition. When looking at these records it’s very important to realize that they don’t reflect average or realistic strength standards for regular people in any way.
All these records have been done by athletes that have honed their skills for decades in most cases.
It’s also important to realize that many strength athletes might use performance-enhancing drugs even if they are in tested federations.
Aging reduces many key hormones but especially testosterone. So especially many senior men competitors might be on testosterone replacement therapy that’s allowed in the rules.
It still gives a significant edge over regular seniors, even if they have been doing strength training all their life.
So if you are seniors that like bench pressing it’s important to focus on your own results and health over anything.
I do understand that it’s fun to see what other people are capable of course.
Thanks for reading and see you next time!