How are Ben Johnson's PR's in the weightroom?

I was wondering if anybody knew how much Ben Johnson could squat, bench, and clean? Or what were his max efforts in the weightroom… I heard he was exceptionally strong in the weightroom… thanks

Normally we would say “use the search function” but those days seem to be over :smiley:

Squat: 2x6x600
Bench: Stories seem to vary a little (and my memory fails me) but I believe over 400 max.

He can do just over 400

i did search it, but not much came up, thanks for the info,

407lb was mentioned. 1lb collars on each end maybe?

Squat 6x600 lbs.

Bench press 2x450 lbs.

At a bodyweight of 173 lbs.


Speed Trap mentioned 407 (definitely) for 2 reps (I think) for the bench press.

Charlie in a strength training video I have mentioned something significantly higher than that, I think.

Unless Charlie weighs in, I’ll check the video tonight.

the book was a misprint- it’s 445 plus the Oly clips in Seoul. I suspect that makes 450 all in.

This is why I’m so sure that weights follow sprinting because we hadn’t seen anything close before- and we wouldn’t have known he could do it if we hadn’t made a mistake with the Oly plates (25kg vs 20kg on the big ones and out on the smaller as well). We were only looking for 365.

Yikes. Canadian powerlifting record at

The highest amount lifted at the 2008 Canadian Nationals in the 82.5kg category was 200KG.

I think they pause at the bottom- that’s a lot tougher

I didn’t know that, and looked around. I don’t think these are official rules, but I’m sure they’re close enough.

  1. After receiving the bar at arms length, the lifter shall lower the bar to the chest and await the signal. Before receiving the signal, the lifter may make position adjustments without penalty.

  2. When the bar is MOTIONLESS on the chest, the signal will be given. The signal consist of the audible command “PRESS”.

  3. After the signal to commence the lift has been given, the bar is pressed upward to straight arms length and HELD MOTIONLESS until the audible command RACK is given.

Here’s a 148lb woman doing 402lb, though I think she’s wearing a special shirt that greatly helps your lifting ability.

Yes- try THAT sometime!!

What were his PR’s in other lifts such as deadlift etc if you remember?

he did a dead for 500 in 1984 but never included it after that. His clean was very poor technically and I saw no need for another lift so I kept him away from it.

Jesus, he should have tried powerlifting for a while when he finished with the sprinting. He was still quite young as far as powerlifters go

Actually, Ben’s brother was a powerlifter and did around 500 in the dead and he was much smaller than Ben.

Powerlifting isn’t a very lucrative business. Costs upwards of $100 to enter many meets. That plus the fact that everyone in powerlifting claims to be a WR holder or world champion.

May I ask what were bens initial numbers when he first started lifting ( if you can remember ) Also what age did he begin with weights?

Many thanks

Canadian Powerlifting in the late 1980s was pretty tough. IPF rules, and not a lot of allowed equipment.
For the bench, in addition to the pause, you have three judges watching to see if your ass moves at all. Lots of big gym benchers gave up when they realized how much would be left under strict rules.

The squat depth was very deep. That 500 deadlift of Bens is probably a good indication of what he might have squatted officially. Also there were guys in Canada at 181 back then with 661 deadlifts.

Plus after '88 we saw a new enthusiasm (and funding) for testing us into oblivion.