That’s how much Julius Maddox plans to bench press at South Bend’s East Race Muscle on Saturday.
If he does so, the 33-year-old professional powerlifter from Owensboro, Ky., will break his own world record for raw bench press. He’s already broken his own record twice within the last year. He set his latest record of 770 pounds in March.
Maddox will headline the “Beasts of the Bench” showcase that will be televised live on ESPN at noon EDT.
When Mike Baxter, owner of East Race Muscle, organized the event with CoreSports as part of its ongoing World’s Ultimate Strongman series, the plan was for it to be livestreamed online. The addition of ESPN means even more people will be tuning into South Bend.
“We’re making available made-for-TV sports, because there’s no sports on,” Baxter said. “We’re bringing lifting into the sports world.”
The event isn’t a competition between lifters. Instead, it’s an opportunity for several lifters to set records in various categories or new personal highs. A raw bench press, which can also be described as unequipped, means competitors aren’t using a bench shirt designed to aid powerlifters.
The “Beasts of the Bench” showcase will feature several powerlifters including three local competitors.
Thomas “TD” Davis will attempt the second-heaviest bench press of the event at 740 pounds. Davis, who lives in Mishawaka and graduated from South Bend Saint Joseph in 2011, pushed up 700 pounds at an event in March.
If Davis completes the 740-pound lift, only Maddox will have raw benched more than him. And he has the chance to do it in his hometown.
“It’s a blessing,” Davis said. “I’ve competed all over the world. I’ve competed in South Africa, Finland, Japan and all over the country. To compete here in my hometown so my people can see this — and on ESPN too — it’s like eating my cake and having it too. It’s awesome.”
Andy Bogard, a 32-year-old electrician, and Adrian Long, a 30-year-old powerlifting coach and personal trainer, will also represent South Bend. Bogard will attempt to bench 501 pounds. Long is aiming for the 470-500-pound range.
Their feats may be overshadowed by Maddox’s record attempt, but the ESPN spotlight will still be on.
“We’re pioneering a new lane for the sport of powerlifting,” Maddox said.
He’s ready for the 800 pounds.
“I’m very confident. I’m about 99.9% sure,” Maddox said. “But it’s different compared to football or basketball, because you can play at 90%, 85%. But when it comes to weightlifting, it’s nearly impossible to operate at 80% or 90%.
“That means I have to be at the top of my game on Saturday. Sometimes it’s unpredictable.”