Steve Backley

Backley reportedly broke two lifting pbs this winter: Snatch 112kg & Bench 155kg

Pretty unimpressive numbers for a 100kg+ thrower.


Agree that the numbers don’t look great, but was that a power snatch? Not quite as bad then. And the bench is poor, but you’d expect a jav thrower to have long arms, so maybe a partial explanation?

Do we know any other throwers pbs in these lifts? Zatsiorsky states that only 20% of time is spent spent in the ‘weight room.’

Pretty impressive throwing ability & performance.

i have heard that Zelezny has put up some pretty good numbers in Olympic lifts, but can’t recall them off the top of my head. And he weighs in closer to 72-73 kg.

For those 2 lifts, the best numbers i know for 90m+ throwers are snatch 150kg by Seppo Ratti and bench 170kg by Raymond Hecht.
Steve’s numbers are very good if we compare them with Uwe Hohn who weights 115kg and could snatch 115kg and bench 130kg (Backley is 1m96 and 100kg according to his coach in 2002).
About low bench results, you also have to take in account they tend to avoid them as it is poison for javelin throw.

World champion hammer thrower Imrich Bugar had bests of bench 200 & snatch 140. Of the 8 tests consistently performed through his career, throwing performance was most highly correlated with the bench press.

Could you please post Bugar other 6 tests and best perfs? 200 bench press isn’t very impressive for a 71m discus thrower. For example, Evelyn Jahl, former women’s WR holder (PB 71m50) did 180kg bench and 97.5 snatch (reliable source, not legendary stuff).

That’s nuts.

EDIT:Hmm, thinking about that a bit maybe I should have said that’s crazy.


  1. 20m sprint - 3.00s
  2. Standing triple jump - 9.38m
  3. Snatch - 140kg
  4. Bench - 200kg
  5. Squat - 240kg
  6. Clean - 180kg
  7. Overhead shot (7.25kg) - 22.1m
  8. 5kg Shot (discus style) - 27.37m

Thanks David W, interesting as it seems that his bench press was at a lower level compared to other tests, according GDR tables. And you say bench press had the best corelation with his DT performances. What do you think?

Backley has been a world class javelin thrower for years now, Yeah, he really does care about what you think of his PB’s. David, Any chance we could have your record in the javelin at world level, or are you just talking the talk again???.. Lets have your resume. Ohhh I get it, you just tell people what to do. The easy part. Let Backley keep competing at world level, walking the walk, and he will let guys like you talk the talk. Unimpressive No#'s. Hey unimpressive, but hey, I guess he would still school you in the javelin.

Paul Anderson, Bill Kazmaier, Ed Coan, Mike Bridges, Garry Frank etc all have one thing in common, there powerlifters. Ohhhhhhhh I forgot, there all capable of 900+, 1000+ benchs too and of course would have been the greatest javelin throwers of all time.

No, What nuts is people like David W, numba etc etc believing them benchs by guys like Garry Frank translate to 500m throws in the Javelin.

Two words, Get Real.

Why such agressive comments? Do you want to challenge David W in a wrestling contest?

Lifting ability is not a requirement for analysis, although David has posted clips of some very high level lifts by him here on this site. What has remained different about this board is the level of discussion about training by very reliably informed and experienced people. If you’d like to become one of them, think twice and then post once!
If you continue with your Knuckleheaded rants, I wont think twice about booting your ass out of here.

Comparing the gym tests with hammer performance over an 8 year period, Bugar’s limit strength exercises (squat & bench) had the best correlation.

In my experience however the opposite is typical, i.e. performance in speed strength exercises correlates better as level of performance increases.

several have requested it and wed appreciate it charlie

He’s a passionate guy. About what, I have no idea!
If he’d channel some of that passion into a meaningful exchange of training ideas, maybe he’d become a net contributor! We’ll see soon enough.

Becarful, Bugar was a Discus thrower, not Hammer thrower.
If we look at those GDR tables for throws, we notice that speed strength exercises as well as powerflifting exercises improve gradually with competition performance evolution up to a high national level. But when the performances reach a higher level, for example 21, 22, 23m at shot put or 70, 72m, etc at discus, the speed strength exercises curve goes down, while lifting still increases. That seems to be in accordance with Bugar’s career as a +71m discus thrower (and many other throwers ranked in all time top 10 or 20).

Discus - sorry my mistake.

Interesting points.

You seem very knowledgeable in this area Pierre. What is your background? I would be very interested in hearing further analysis of the training of elite thrower’s (you can also use my e-mail)



Well I just made about 5 good points :confused: . Any chance I could see some reply’s???.. Like how Garry Frank would have been the worlds leading javelin thrower with his 900+ bench.

I guess his 3.5x bodyweight deadlift would have made him an elite sprinter too. Damn, Kim Collins would have been shaking.

Right I get that, but what has he done in the world of javelin throwing, seriously???.. Has David W’s 1000Kg cleans & 1000Kg benchs crossed over to throwing a javelin as far as Backley???..

Thanks, but i’m much more into (female) sprints, but i have to learn stuffs in all strength-related events like throws to put in perspective the findings in sprints area!

The fact that speed strength exercises are less important and even decline for all-time bests contradicts the idea that all area of strength must be developped equally. That’s why the scientific studies made with sport students, national class athletes or even world class athletes have sometimes no relevance with all-time bests specificities.