So how much can you bench?

Monday, August 9th, 2004 @ 8:16 pm | Linkage

An oddly fascinating article in Slate today examines the recent string of broken records in the sport of powerlifting. In a sport where it took over 17 years to break the 800 lb. benchpress mark, it’s taken only a year or two to break 900. And two of the sport’s major competitors are close to breaking 1000.

The secret? Not steroids, but a sturdy garment called a bench shirt. Technological advances in making these high-tech shirts have allowed weightlifters to bench more weight than is humanly possible, or advisable — choice quote from the article:

“Mendelson says that when he’s pressing 1,000, “I can feel my bones flexing.” The first time Kennelly held a half-ton he heard a humming noise and had blurred vision. “Now my central nervous system has adapted to it. I’m used to it,” he says.”

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