Highest Bench Press Done By a Woman?
The world of strength training and weightlifting has long been dominated by men, but women are increasingly making their mark in this field. One of the most popular and challenging exercises in weightlifting is the bench press, and women are achieving impressive feats in this area. But what is the highest bench press ever done by a woman? Let's delve into this fascinating topic.
The Record Holders
When it comes to bench pressing, there are a few women who have set remarkable records. These women have trained and competed at the highest level, pushing the boundaries of what is physically possible. Their achievements have not only set new standards in the sport but have also inspired countless other women to take up weightlifting.
It's important to note that there are different categories in bench pressing, based on factors such as weight class and whether the lift was equipped or unequipped. An equipped lift involves the use of a bench shirt, which can significantly increase the amount lifted. On the other hand, an unequipped or raw lift is done without the aid of a bench shirt.
Becca Swanson holds the record for the highest equipped bench press by a woman. Swanson, who is often referred to as the "Strongest Woman Ever," benched an incredible 600 pounds (272 kg) in 2002. This record has stood for nearly two decades, a testament to Swanson's extraordinary strength and power.
Swanson's record is all the more impressive considering that she also holds records in the squat and deadlift. Her combined total in the three lifts is a staggering 2050 pounds (930 kg), making her the only woman to ever total over 2000 pounds in competition.
Jennifer Thompson is another name that stands out in the world of women's bench pressing. Thompson holds the record for the highest raw bench press by a woman, having lifted 314 pounds (142.5 kg) in competition. Thompson, a high school math teacher, has been a dominant force in the sport for many years and continues to compete at a high level.
Thompson's bench press technique is often praised for its efficiency and precision. She has also been a vocal advocate for drug-free lifting and has passed numerous drug tests throughout her career.
How They Train
Setting a bench press record is no easy feat. It requires a combination of strength, technique, and mental toughness. The training regimens of record holders like Swanson and Thompson provide valuable insights into what it takes to excel in this demanding exercise.
Both Swanson and Thompson have spoken about the importance of a well-rounded training program. This involves not only working on the bench press itself but also strengthening other muscle groups that support the lift. Core strength, for example, is crucial for maintaining stability during the lift.
Volume and Intensity
Volume and intensity are two key components of a successful bench press training program. Volume refers to the total amount of weight lifted during a training session, while intensity refers to the percentage of one's maximum lift. Both Swanson and Thompson have emphasized the need to balance these two aspects of training.
High volume training can help build muscle mass and improve technique, but it must be complemented with periods of high intensity training to increase strength. Periodization, or the systematic variation of volume and intensity, is a common strategy used by elite lifters.
Recovery and Nutrition
Recovery is another crucial aspect of training. This includes not only rest between training sessions but also techniques such as massage and stretching to aid muscle recovery. Proper nutrition is also essential, with a focus on high-quality protein to support muscle growth and repair.
Swanson and Thompson have both highlighted the importance of listening to their bodies and adjusting their training and recovery strategies accordingly. This individualized approach is a key factor in their success.
The Impact on Women's Weightlifting
The achievements of women like Swanson and Thompson have had a profound impact on the world of women's weightlifting. They have not only shattered records but also broken down barriers and challenged stereotypes about what women can achieve in this sport.
By pushing the limits of strength and power, these women have inspired countless others to take up weightlifting. They have shown that with hard work, dedication, and the right training approach, it's possible to achieve great things in this sport.
As more and more women take up weightlifting, we can expect to see even more impressive feats in the bench press and other lifts. The future of women's weightlifting looks bright, and we can't wait to see what records will be broken next.