03-10-2005, 03:26 AM #1
WPO benchpress world championship
The WPO's Benchpress World Championships rocked the 10,000 capacity crowd like never before! Thanks to KK, the officials, massive Mike Miller putting in a word for us and the lifters and other coaches being really cool, our camera crew was allowed to film in the warm-up room while almost all of the other reporters were asked to leave to make room for the competitors.
This was one of the greatest gathering of benchpress superstars ever! There was no quarter asked and none given as each bencher laid it all on the line for fame and fortune. After an unfortunate back injury during the previous day's squats, Becca "The Iron Maiden" Swanson showed up with fire in her eyes and pushed up a 462 pound bench like it was an empty bar! The powerlifting world had been talking about the next epic showdown between defending champion Markus Schick of Germany and Joe "The Bench Bustin Detective" Mazza and they did not disappoint! Both men, lifting in the 165 pound class, went over 600 pounds each (that's not a typo) and Schick retained his title by becoming the first lifter to press 4xbodyweight with a 650! Vitaliy Ponomarenko won the middleweight division with a 716 in the 220 class and I think that that was the first time that an overseas competitor won a WPO benchpress belt. The giants who showed up for the unlimited class put the heavy in heavyweight with Clay Brandenburg and Shawn Lattimer weighing in at nearly 400 pounds each! Six of the heavyweights went over 700 pounds and half of those broke into the 800s! But this was to be Ryan "BenchMonster" Kennelly's day to be victorious on the benchpress battlefield. Kennelly had medaled in all three of his previous Arnold Classic outings and his quest to become the first bencher to win 2 gold medals was unstoppable! To the side of the stage I watched him inhale the ammonia until he reeled back from the fumes and then Kara "Benchpress Barbie" Bohigian laid into him with teeth rattling palm strikes to his face. At 304 rock solid pounds, he blasted up an 821 opener and as he marched back across the stage, his face streaked with blood from the blows and iron intensity, death before dishonor was written all over his gaze and the crowd cheered him on to the winning 848 pound new 308 class world record, heavyweight division gold medal and $3,500 prize.
On Sunday we had some of the craziest no bench shirt exhibition benching ever plus a 315 for reps contest where the lifter who got the most reps won a $795 FORZA adjustable pro bench! Ryan "BenchMonster" Kennelly showed up, the day after winning the world championships and smashed singles with 600 and 635! Markus Schick weighed in at 160 pounds and, because we didn't have any foot plates, he had to put his feet up on the bench and he still jacked up 500 pounds after hitting 4xbodyweight and winning the world championships the day before! Brian Siders had competed in the strongman all day friday and saturday but he really wanted to put on a good show for the crowd and, since he drove up in a truck from West Virginia to compete, he wanted to take home the pro bench grand prize in the 315 reps contest. He hammered 600 pounds for 4 freaky reps! And then he dropped the weight to 315 and rocked out 30 reps for the win! House of Pain sponsored Kennelly's and Siders' lifting and FORZA was so stoked that, when they heard that Siders had his truck with him, they also awarded him the $395 plate holder and the $295 chalk bowl and stand - $1485 worth of powerlifting gym equipment!
For the bodyweight benchpress contest, House of Pain supplied over 100 t-shirts and over a dozen gym bags and Powerlifting USA put up 40 one year magazine subscriptions for prizes! Also, Inzer and BenchAmerica supplied the booth with arm loads of t-shirts, wrist wraps and knee wraps which Kara Bohigian threw out to the crazee crowd between the seminar benching sets. Powerlifting USA also supplied over 1,000 free copies of some of their latest issues and Jennie Hollier, Kim Hooper, the lady from Germany who was with Markus Schick (I apologize that I can't recall her name) and the rest of the booth crew spent hours passing them out to the fans stopping by to check out the action.
A huge thanks to Inzer, BenchAmerica, House of Pain, FORZA and Powerlifting USA for sponsoring this killah benchpress promoting island! Thanks also to Mike Mastrean for making two trips out all the way from Pittsburgh to deliver and pick up 600 some pounds of Ivanko plates, a Texas power bar and a pair of ivanko collars from his gym. To make it more worth his while, FORZA gave him the super bench that we used in the booth and he deserved it because we called him with 48 hours notice, we couldn't have run the benchpressing without his bringing out those supplies and he spent all friday and sunday afternoon driving back and forth to save the show!
03-10-2005, 09:40 AM #2
Hey, I know some of those people.
03-10-2005, 09:42 AM #3
I can't believe a chick benched 462 lbs!
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