After nearly 2 years out with Injury Mike Joseph has just regained his World Bench Press Title.
Mike had been world champion for 7 successive years prior to injury but after starting from the beginning in a local divisional qualifier, winning the British in July and then qualifying for the World championships in Montesilvano Italy.
Having dominated his category for so many years then having a long lay off Mike wasn’t sure what to expect, new names were now on the list and also still suffering from some of the effects of his shoulder injury, Mike weighed in over 2kg lighter than the upper weight limit in his 82.5kg class.
The 82.5kg is always a large and well contested category, this year however it was even larger than he had expected and he was in a class of 25, bearing in mind this was 25 of the best lifters in the world, Mike had a difficult task ahead of him if he was to regain his much coveted title.
1pm came and it was time to warm up, with the shoulder not quite 100% Mike decided to do a reduced warm up and hopefully save himself for the big event, the warm ups went well despite some discomfort and the competition began
The order of lifting was set by using a rising bar method, therefore with Mike attempting the heaviest opening lift he was last to lift in his class, the heaviest lifted so far was by Irelands Mark McConnell, a massive 160kg. Not fazed by this Mike successfully benched his opening lift of 175kg.
2nd attempts soon came around and Mark benched 170kg, leaving Mike still in front but with Mark having 1 lift left anything could still happen. Mike elected to attempt 182.5kg which he completed with some ease and for his final attempt Mark requested 185kg, should he successfully achieve this Mike would need to improve on his last lift, with the shoulder getting worse he was beginning to doubt himself.
Mark Gallantly attempted a new personal best but unfortunately didn’t quite have enough in the tank to complete the lift, leaving Mike victorious but still having a last attempt to complete, once again this was one lift too many and Mike failed to raise the bar more than a few inches from his chest, fortunately the competition was already won.
Mike now plans to have the rest of the year off before beginning training for next years competitions. He currently holds the World Record in his weight class with a bench press of 198kg achieved in the World Championships in 2005 and he hopes to join an elite band of people who have bench pressed 200kg (31.5 stones), a remarkable feat at any bodyweight let alone 82.5kg (13 stones).
Mike, an Insurance broker by day and star of his own DVD, LA Muscle produced “The Bench Press King”, is 36 years old and a father of Charlie 6.
His other achievements include World Powerlifting champion and world record holder and also he is in the “Guinness Book of Records” for setting a record for 24 hour bench pressing.
Mike can also help with training and advice and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
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