BY MIKE STUNSON
A Kentucky man who has only been lifting weights for seven years is the new world record holder in the raw bench press.
Julius Maddox of Owensboro, Kentucky broke the record by lifting a whopping 739.6 pounds at the Boss of Bosses event on Aug. 31 in Mountain View, California.
He won his first-ever event just a few years ago at the Owensboro Bar-B-Q Festival, according to WFIE. In June, he set the American record by benching 723.1 pounds. The previous American record was 722 pounds, done by Eric Spoto in 2013, according to BarBend.com.
Now a world-record holder, Maddox told The Owensboro Times he is blown away by what he accomplished.
“We weren’t expecting a world record this early. We were hoping maybe by December,” he told the Owensboro Times. “But no one expected this to happen. Some people thought it would not be broken within 20 years, but I came in and changed the direction and changed everyone’s opinion. It’s crazy.”
PREVIOUS RECORD: 738.2
Russia’s Kirll Sarychev previously held the world record after he benched 738.2 pounds in 2015. Sarychev even took to Instagram to congratulate Maddox and thanked him for extra motivation.
The gym Maddox is sponsored by, Iron Edge Gym in Owensboro, posted on Facebook he will inspire people through his lifting but also his message, which is Train With Purpose.
His powerlifting journey began as Maddox was recovering from a drug and alcohol addiction, he told Tri-State Homepage.
Recently, Maddox spoke to Owensboro High School teachers and staff about not giving up on students who are troubled, just like he was, according to the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer.
“I just want these kids (to have) hope year in and year out,” Maddox said. “You can become great. We all have a certain level of greatness.”
Maddox, 31, told the Owensboro Times he is unsure if he plans on lifting after 2020 and he hopes to lose 100 pounds when he is done lifting.
“Ultimately, I want to inspire people — I want to be a motivational speaker,” Maddox told the Owensboro Times. “I just want to inspire the underdogs, those guys that society has counted out and viewed as a lost cause and let them know there’s a way to make it out.”