Kolb can now count himself as a trailblazing pioneer.
When it comes to some of the most powerful lifts in recorded history, powerlifter Jimmy Kolb now stands alone. On Feb. 4, 2023, during the 2023 International Powerlifting Association (IPA) Hillbilly Havoc in Hurricane, WV, Kolb captured a 612.5-kilogram (1,350.3-pound) equipped bench press. The mark is an all-time World Record and is officially the heaviest lift ever achieved in a sanctioned competition. According to Open Powerlifting, Kolb surpassed his own previous World Record of 598.7 kilograms (1,320 pounds) from the 2022 IPA State Championships. The equipped press is also the first lift over 600 kilograms in any powerlifting division or category ever.
In addition to being adorned with appropriate wrist wraps and a lifting belt during his monumental feat, Kolb utilized a bench press shirt. The specialized equipment gives an athlete an assist in getting their weight off their chest while also “resisting” as the weight lowers towards the athlete. Kolb competed in the 140-plus-kilogram weight class, which he has maintained since January 2021, weighing in at an official 147.8 kilograms (326 pounds) for the most recent record-setting contest.
The video of Kolb’s massive lift features several spotters on hand, giving him the requisite support. The athlete lowered his loaded barbell to his chest and struggled into position, fighting against the durable bench press shirt, before receiving the judge’s command to lift up. There appeared to be a measure of a strain for Kolb, but he successfully locked out the rep eventually. Once in lockout position, the athlete held the weight securely before the official on hand finally allowed him to re-rack it.
In the same video post, Kolb’s pride in logging his record achievement was evident in displaying his official scorecard with a smile.
“Today was a good day.”
Before Kolb’s new bench press accomplishment, Nathan Baptist was the closest athlete to the 600-kilogram barrier on any single lift, per Open Powerlifting. Baptist successfully squatted 594.7 kilograms (1,311.7 pounds) for a 140-kilogram-plus World Record at the 2021 United Powerlifting Association’s (UPA) Utah Kickoff.
Notably, Kolb mainly participates in bench-press-only meets. Kolb has won his last nine contests dating back to February 2020, only one of which was a full-power meet in the 2022 IPA 814 Strength Spectacular. Ultimately, in a relatively prolific career that began in April 2009, Kolb has only fallen short of a first-place result on eight occasions.
Now, as he notches another legendary mark, Kolb can know all his hard work led to him making history once again.
Featured image: @kolbstrong on Instagram