James Hollywood Henderson - The Greatest Bench Presser In History
700 lb. Raw Bench Press? No Problem!
Here I am flanked by bench press iconic immortal, James “Hollywood” Henderson. The then USPF president Peter Thorne is on my left. Hollywood stands around 6-5 and weighs around 370 and dwarfs my 5-10 235 body. James Hollywood Henderson bench pressed 700 pounds raw and just missed 730 later this same day. No bench shirt and no warm-up. Henderson would sit in the audience and commiserate with the crowd until his name was called for his first of three competitive bench press attempts. He would feign shock, stand up, strip off his track suit, wander to the stage and nonchalantly lie down and bench press 661 pounds without any warm-up. Astounding!
He would take a second attempt of 680, destroy that weight and finish with 700 + lift on his third and final lift. James Hollywood Henderson captured five straight IPF world bench press championships and bench pressed 700 over ten times in competition. He was always drug-tested and always lifted in front of the strictest judges in the world. Big James Henderson injured his knees playing college football and the NFL's loss was powerlifting’s gain: he is without question the strongest bench presser in history. Fifteen years after retiring he still is capable of bench pressing 600 for three paused reps.
About the Author
As an athlete Marty Gallagher is a national and world champion in Olympic lifting and powerlifting. He was a world champion team coach in 1991 and coached Black's Gym to five national team titles. He's also coached some of the strongest men on the planet including Kirk Karwoski when he completed his world record 1,003 lb. squat. Today he teaches the US Secret Service and Tier 1 Spec Ops on how to maximize their strength in minimal time. As a writer since 1978 he’s written for Powerlifting USA, Milo, Flex Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Prime Fitness, Washington Post, Dragon Door and now IRON COMPANY. He’s also the author of numerous books including Purposeful Primitive, Strong Medicine, Ed Coan’s book “Coan, The Man, the Myth, the Method" and numerous others. Read the Marty Gallagher biography here.