I know you can't get his size without them, but that's not my mission. I want to be as strong as him. You can be as strong as someone without being as big -- and vice-versa. From watching his videos on YouTube I know he can bench press 405 lbs. for at least 8 reps fresh -- and that's with full, perfect form -- no "bouncing." I know he's strong and he is a bodybuilder, but I don't aspire to be one.

I am 5'10" and 164 lbs. I am 14% bodyfat, DEXA. I will not be going any higher than this, and will only make lean gains. I bench currently around my bodyweight max, and I've been training consistently for 2 months. Is it humanly possible, without anabolics/etc., to bench what Rich Piana can at my weight?

I saw a guy on YouTube who was 150 lbs. and tiny -- 100% steroid-free -- push 400 + lbs. -- and he is leaner than I am. I am just wondering if you think I could bench 405 lbs. 8 reps perfectly at 160-180 lbs. at 14% bodyfat level. I want to reach his goals in only strength and power -- not size at all.

2 Answers 2


To get some idea as to the maximum you will be able to lift while being drug tested and maintaining 75kg we can look to the IPF (International Powerlifting Federation) records. They perform checks for the main anabolics but I suspect they aren't a rigorous as the International Olympic Committee.

There are a few records of interest, you are looking for 405lbs which is a 4 plate bench (180kg):

Class    Category       World Record (kg/lbs)
-66kg    Raw            188.5
-74kg    Raw            211.0 
-83kg    Raw            208

So technically, yes. Based on the information provided you can achieve a 180kg bench at your bodyweight without the use of steroids or equipment (bench shirt). Though looking at the current 74kg category record holder, you are unlikely to achieve this without dipping down to below 14% bodyfat.

As a general rule of thumb, you need to 'eat big' to 'lift big', a large calorie surplus will significantly help you progress your strength rapidly.

  • 1
    Good stuff, but could you re-word the last paragraph? It's an important point, but the sentence is a bit odd.
    – Alec
    Feb 16, 2017 at 8:48
  • done, thoughts? feel free to suggest an edit.
    – John
    Feb 16, 2017 at 8:57
  • 5
    Not to mention that's a single world record setting rep, not 8 easy clean reps. Feb 16, 2017 at 13:02

Look up Pitbull from strength cartel. He competes at 160 weight class and moves unbelievable amounts of weight. He's probably just as strong as Rich Piana.

If you want to get strong, You should look into power lifting routines instead. I know you mentioned Rich Piana who is a bodybuilder. His goals aren't to get strong but to get big.

Calorie surplus does help ALOT too.

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