Author Topic: Reg Park and his heavy bench press of the 50S  (Read 7271 times)

Offline Sergio

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Reg Park and his heavy bench press of the 50S
« on: September 12, 2012, 06:12:06 PM »
Everybody knows that Reg was the first bodybuilder to press 500 lb in the bench press.  It was April 23, 1954, in Health and Strength Show in Bristol, one year later that Doug hepburn did himself the same on May, 28 1953.   But the comparation of BW has not similarity: 225 lb for Reg, 285 lb for Hepburn.
This dates appear in the interview "An Hercules of our time" (one of the best interviews made to him) but In Reg's DVD autobiography he talks about lifting the 500 lb BB one week later than Hepburn; may be the show in Bristol was not the first.   This seem correct because he bench press that weight several time around this years.  In 1951, one of the skills of the contest was the power lifting competition, and Reg press 435 lb in street clothes.  The foot note say: In another date he has press 465 with an small elevation of the hips;he just failed to make 480 and expects a good 500 lb soon. That was 1951!  Altougth we know that the last kgs of a PR are hard to beat, it seems that 1953 could be the year of the first lift.  As Reg said that he remember to press the 500 lb in that show of H&S in 1954, the picture of the press has to be in one volume of this magazine.  I try to find it. Any help is welcome, fir this press or another that show Reg Park making a bench press with 500 lb.

He said that along the 50s could made a 400 lb bench press without warming first.  a man in his prime.

Other good lifts of Reg along the 50s where this:

1) There is a famous video showing him pressing 455 lb in the Mr USA 1957; for some time some of us knew it was the video of the lift, several years ago, but was an error due to enthusiame.
2) In a tour along the USA in 1956 (the months of March, April and May of 1956, taking tours of America, Hawaii and Canada) in the Yarick show, April 21, 1956 he bench pressed 350 and 400 in strict style, followed by 430 for three easy reps, making a three second pause at the chest on the third rep. But the best bench of the tour was made in Vancouver, BC, April 28th with 440 at a bodyweight of 230.
3) Here are one unknow date photo showing him bench pressing 450 lb and a Press Behind Neck of 280 lb that later would be 300 lb.  Also Reg said that the 300 lb was made in a British weigthlifting championship, but dont's say the date.  It has to be around 1954-1955 because the 500 lb press was already known.
4)In June 1954 he made in a show in Ireland this progression: warming with 350 lb; 400 X 4 reps ; 440 x 3 reps and 460 X 2 reps. Also the page talks about a show in Stockport the same year where he made a Press behind neck 3 reps with 260 lb, so the unknow photo of point 3 could be 1953-1954.

We are looking into the true 500 lb photogrpah!!!!
« Last Edit: April 27, 2019, 12:30:49 AM by Sergio »

Offline Sergio

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Re: Reg Park and his heavy bench press of the fivties
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 06:13:22 PM »
The photo of 1951
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 09:12:36 PM by Sergio »

Offline Sergio

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Re: Reg Park and his heavy bench press of the fivties
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 06:14:13 PM »
One photo of the 1957 show:
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 09:13:15 PM by Sergio »

Offline Sergio

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Re: Reg Park and his heavy bench press of the fivties
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 06:16:08 PM »
The unknow date photography
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 09:15:42 PM by Sergio »

Offline Sergio

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Re: Reg Park and his heavy bench press of the fivties
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 06:17:08 PM »
The 1954 pic of an unknow irish maz of july 1954 where Reg made 2 reps on 460 lb!
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 09:16:36 PM by Sergio »

Offline Sergio

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Re: Reg Park and his heavy bench press of the fivties
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2013, 01:57:37 PM »
More dates:

From www.ironhistory.com

Here is a photo from "Muscleman" (Reg Parks Journal of Physical Culture) Jan. 1953 . The caption reads "Reg Park bench pressing 415 for 4 reps at the Brierfield P.C. show. The article mentions that" in 1952 he did an unoffical 460 lb bench press in Oldham.

The photo is not the sharpest , but I though you might want to see it anyway. Notice the bench appears to be a board resting on two cinder blocks or wood block, very scary !

Reuben
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 09:17:40 PM by Sergio »

Offline Sergio

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Re: Reg Park and his heavy bench press of the fivties
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2013, 02:00:49 PM »
From Johansburg 1954 physical culture show (RPJ June-1954). He was a guest poser and did a heavy bench press exhibition. 4 reps X 410 lb. also a 200 lb curl and a 260 lb PBN.


« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 12:10:44 PM by Sergio »

Offline Sergio

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Re: Reg Park and his heavy bench press of the fivties
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2019, 12:29:09 AM »
From 1954 unknow Reg Park magazine:

Note: we have now the original article in http://forum.regpark.eu/index.php?topic=355.0  As this was write in march 1954, before the 500 lbs bench press at 23 April, 1954, Reg said his best lift at that time, and was 480 lbs.

How I Train for the Bench Press - Reg Park (1954)

The bench press is without doubt one of the most popular of all body-building exercises. Here are some of the other exercises which I found beneficial in helping me to bench press 480 pounds.

 - Parallel bar dips with weight tied to the waist.
 - Bench press off boxes. For ligament and tendon power.
 - Bench press with dumbbells.
 - Press-ups with weight on back. Can also be performed between boxes.
 - Bench press to neck.

Include any two or the above exercises in your schedule and change them for another two each month. Perform 4 sets of 5 repetitions on any of these exercises in order to build body power.

When practicing the bench press itself, I always use a grip slightly wider than that which I use for military pressing. Many champion weightlifters (in particular Doug Hepburn) believe that if this grip is used and each repetition pressed from the chest (not bounced) it is also wonderful for improving one's performance on the military press, provided of course that you do practice the military press as well.

If you are training for heavy poundages however, do not perform these two exercises on the same day. 
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 11:30:15 AM by Sergio »

Offline Sergio

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Re: Reg Park and his heavy bench press of the 50S
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2019, 01:08:38 AM »
From the Reg Park Journal August 1954:

Offline Sergio

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Re: Reg Park and his heavy bench press of the 50S
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2019, 02:03:44 AM »
From Reg Park journal (Aug 1954)