Video: Powerlifting champion beats challenging bench press record by lifting more than 4,000 kg

By David Stubbings
Heaviest weight lifted in two minutes bench press header

An Australian powerlifting champion has demonstrated his impressive strength by surging to a Guinness World Records title.

Mike Carroll lifted an almighty 4,080 kg (8,994.86 lbs) in Canberra, Australia, to earn the title for the Heaviest weight lifted in two minutes bench press.

Using an Olympic barbell with 20 kg (44.092 lb) disc plates on either side, the 47-year-old managed 68 reps in 1 min 57 sec to beat the target of 4,000 kg.

Mike, who's actually a full-time nurse, spent four months training and preparing for the attempt, bench pressing three times per week and doing two days for supporting muscles.

"I knew I was able to lift heavy weight for one repetition in competitions and have trained for many years to achieve this," he said.

"The appeal about this record is having to totally change my training, mentality and preparation. I had to focus on endurance. This was incredibly difficult at the start, but with much determination and good planning I was able to progress. 

"Initially the plan was to just bench press 100 kg for 40 repetitions. I chose this weight as it was considered quite light. However once the time limit of two minutes was factored in, I realised the plan would not work. I then chose a series of ever increasingly lighter weight and increased the number of repetitions."

Read more: 7 new strength records which raised the bar during 2017

Heaviest weight lifted in two minutes bench press

Mike is no stranger to these tests of strength having entered his first powerlifting competition in 1993 while living the UK, before winning silver in a national championship.

In 2015, he took gold in the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships in Vancouver, Canada, setting a new standard for weight benched with 170 kg.

For this record attempt though, Mike made sure he had family and friends close by.

"I timed the attempt to coincide with the arrival in Australia of my mum and dad from the UK and kept the attempt as a surprise, not telling them until they had actually entered the gym. I also had my two little daughters present as I think it important to show them that seemingly insurmountable situations can be managed with proper planning and resilience."

"I also had my gym buddies who had supported me through my training as I wanted them to share the experience. They were all a big help and no task or request was unanswered, everyone participated in this record."

Heaviest weight lifted in two minutes bench press 2

For someone who has conquered many powerlifting challenges put in front of him, the question is will he be tempted to try another?

"This record required a lot of exposure to pain and torment. Would I do it again? - no, but if someone breaks my record, I will have to retake my crown from them. I would love to have a challenge against the holder of the most weight lifted in one minute."