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Easy 250 kg/551 lbs RAW bench
(Read 15571 times)
Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« on: November 19, 2007, 12:23:47 am »

It was an insane Saturday at Metal Gym, Helsinki yesterday. Twenty-two lifters and twelve benchers had signed up to compete in the RAW Metal powerlifting and Big Boss RAW Bench meets (named in honor of Finnish strength legend Arto Lyytikäinen who suddenly passed away in October, R.I.P.).

There was plenty of good action; especially interesting was bench specialist Mikko Hämäläinen's appearance as a guest lifter in his first ever RAW powerlifting meet. Unlike everyone else, he chose to front squat his way through the first three rounds. He did an impressive 240 kg/529 lbs and 260 kg/573 lbs before dumping 270 kg/595 lbs (all links are to YouTube video).

But the real jaw dropper came in the bench meet where a 23-year-old by the name of Tommi Pitkänen broke the Finnish RAW bench record of 225 kg/496 lbs in the 110 kg/243 lbs weight class no less than three times. He opened with a ridiculously easy 215 kg/474 lbs, then went for 230 kg/507 lbs and finished with a convincing 245 kg/540 lbs. The awestruck officials gently suggested a fourth attempt and four minutes later he rounded off with 250 kg/551 lbs.   Now, there are a handful of Finns capable of benches of this caliber, but consider this:

 - Mr. Pitkänen is primarily a bodybuilder (picture here), indeed he was much beefier than anyone else in the line-up

 - he is only 23 years-old and weighed in at only 100.4 kg/221 lbs

 - he did not peak for the meet, apparently he prepared mostly doing sets of 10

 - he is said to have benched even heavier weights in the gym (no surprise here looking at what he did yesterday)

 - he spent the night before the meet working as a bouncer and only got about an hour of sleep

 - he unracked all attempts himself and used no wrist wraps

 - he benched nearly flat backed with only a slight arch

All the ingredients to create another legend are in place if he can stay healthy and interested. It's hard to describe the degree of amazement I felt when seeing this young man lift, it's right up there with Benedikt Magnusson's ground-breaking 440 kg/970 lbs deadlift during the WPO Semi Finals here in Helsinki two years ago. But where Magnusson psyched himself up to the max, Pitkänen did his job calmly and emotionlessly like there was nothing special to it at all (I did manage to catch a glimpse of a small smile after the 250 kg bench though...).

For those interested in the big picture, here are the results (Excel): Powerlifting, Bench Press

While we await the official pictures from the events, the gallery from the April 2007 RAW Metal event is well worth a visit. Those of you who read Finnish may also be interested in this Pakkotoisto.com thread.
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Christian Burger
Staff  [Moderator, German Translator]
 
Austria Austria Male 598 posts
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2007, 12:54:54 pm »

These are some insane numbers. Great lifts.
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2007, 08:23:14 am »

He has now posted plans (in Finnish) to do 260 kg/573 lbs at the Metal Gym X-Mas Bench Bash on December 8th by "preparing a little". Says that his current absolute RAW max is 280 kg/617 lbs touch-and-go. Yikes.

After that he will continue to focus on the bodybuilding shows coming up next fall.
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2007, 11:34:19 pm »

Full video coverage of this meet is now available at sporttube.fi. It's in Finnish only, but knowing that voimanosto = powerlifting and penkki/penkkipunnerrus = bench press you should have little trouble navigating. Photos of the event are also available at Finnishpower.net. Enjoy!
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2007, 11:14:01 pm »

He has now posted plans (in Finnish) to do 260 kg/573 lbs at the Metal Gym X-Mas Bench Bash on December 8th by "preparing a little".

Results, pictures and video are now out for the Bench Bash. This was an equipped meet, but Pitkänen won the junior's RAW with his 245 kg/540.1 lbs opener. He easily benched 255 kg/562.2lbs on his second attempt, but lost it due to an inadequate pause. After the meet he show benched 11 reps at 200 kg/441lbs... A video of his attempts is available at the GoMETAL.com YouTube channel. The show benching clip is also available here.
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Walter Kurda
Judge
 
Germany Germany Male 12 posts
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2008, 11:24:25 am »

really superb.

i am impressed Shocked
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