Julius Maddox Breaks Down What Happened During His 800-Pound Bench Press Attempt

Powerlifter Julius Maddox attempted to break his own bench press world record over the weekend with a massive 800 pound rep. Maddox first took the world bench press crown in August 2019 when he lifted 739.6 pounds. After that, he beat his own record at the Arnold Classic earlier this year with a press of 770 pounds. The 800 mark was in his sights, and he set out on an ambitious training plan to work up to the feat.

Unfortunately, Maddox wasn’t able to complete the 800 pound lift. and took to his YouTube channel to discuss what happened.

“The day before I probably should have been more conservative and chilled out, but there were certain things I needed to handle,” says Maddox, like making sure his family arrived safely to watch his meet. “So from the jump, I was very fatigued.”

However, he was determined that he wasn’t going to let that get in the way.

“The day of the meet, I woke up and I was so anxious. I had a knot in my stomach, I couldn’t even eat,” he says, but he managed to get down a sausage-egg-and cheese McGriddle (“I can always hold those, those are always clutch”) and Pedialyte to keep him hydrated. While he says his pre-warmups went great, timing was an issue. The event started a few minutes earlier than scheduled, which threw off his last scheduled warmup.

“I hadn’t taken my last warmup yet when they started,” says Maddox.

Despite that, his first round of lifts went off without a hitch, knocking out 722 pounds.

“After that, my chest was cramping up a bit. It wasn’t due to a lack of hydration. When your brain knows that it’s game time, it wants to pump that fresh blood to your muscles, and that’s what it’s doing. So you’re twitching and spazzing out,” says Maddox.

His second attempt was his world record lift, something he’d been training his whole life for.

“When the weight came off the rack, instantly I knew something wasn’t right. A weight just doesn’t shift like that. And sure enough, on my second attempt, they mis-loaded the weight,” says Maddox. “They messed up, but I understand. Whatever is going to go wrong is going to go wrong. But I couldn’t even talk after the lift because of how mad I was.”

For his second attempt, he was angry, but had a couple minutes to re-group.

“I didn’t want to lose more momentum than I had already lost. So I tried to hype myself up, went back out there and missed the weight again. and by that time I had tweaked my back. And I scratched on my third lift,” he says. “I have every right to be pissed off, angry and mad, but I choose to take it out on the platform.”

Moving forward, he says the next 12 to 16 weeks of training, “you’re going to see a different person”.

“I’m done playing games, and we’re going to crank it up. One hundred percent all gas. Nothing is going to stop me,” says Maddox. “That meet gave me the fuel. This is exactly what I needed, and I’m going to take it and show the world.”

He says he’s back to the drawing board with his coach and team.

“My work ethic hasn’t been where it needed to be,” he says. “Forget the coronavirus, forget all of that, because there’s no excuse. You’re just gonna see a different side of me. No more games.”

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