Eric Spoto breaks Raw BenchPress world Record 2013

In this picture Eric Spoto is lifting 722 pounds and breaking the world benchpress record in 2013Do not try this at home kids. Powerlifter Eric Spoto just broke the world record for raw bench press (meaning that the lift was not assisted by any sort of equipment, popular one being the benchpress shirt). At the signal of the judges, the man successfully pressed a ridiculously impressive 722 lb (327.5 kg), at the Southern Powerlifting Federation California State Powerlifting Meet in Sacramento, California on May 19, 2013. The previous record was being held by Scott Mendelson who pressed 715 pounds (324.3 kg) on May 22, 2005 at the New England Bench Press Classic. At the event, Eric Spoto lifted 661 lb (300 kg) on his first attempt, followed by 716 lb (325 kg) and his final lift of 722 pounds earning him 5 500$ prize money while making him the top ranked raw bench presser in the world today. I think you know you’re onto something when you warm up with 661 pounds unassisted!


Personal records of Eric Spoto

This is what he claims to have done in the gym or what can be seen in his popular videos (hit youtube anyone). Totally unofficial numbers but definitely worth mentioning.

  • 405 pounds for 26 reps;
  • Raw bench 735 pounds for 2 reps (3-board press);
  • 765-pound benchpress with slingshot.

Here is a photo showing how huge the guy is. That man is a beast!

Photo showing how massive Eric Spoto is. Weighs 300+ pounds easily

More information on Eric

  • Age (as of 2013) : 36 years old;
  • Lives in : Las Vegas, Nevada;
  • Height : 5 ft 10 (5’10”);
  • Weight : around 320 pounds.
  • Trains at : Super Training Gym, Sacramento, California


Video of the unassisted bench press record

 The three lifts

Just before his third and final lift in the video above,  you can actually see one of the spotters telling him to take off the loops in his wrist wraps. According to Jim McDonald, the spotter was the well known bodybuilder Stan Efferding concerned that wrist wraps weren’t allowed in that federation, but it’s an old rule that is no longer in effect.

The controversy with the referee’s ”Press” call and the Pause

If you have ever watched a powerlifting meet other than this one, you know how it works. Usually here’s what the lifter does :

  • The lifter takes a sniff of smelling salts (lol not mandatory);
  • He unracks the bar when he is ready to lift;
  • He brings the bar down to his chest and stabilizes it (the pause);
  • The referee or judge says (or yells) ”press” loudly;
  • The powerlifter lifts the bar completely and racks it.

From what we can see in the video above it seems like a standard unofficial lift where there is no ”pause”. Eric Spoto simply lowered the bar to his chest and lifted it pretty much instantly. Definitely looks good to a random person who doesn’t know much about powerlifting, but according to powerlifting federation rules that doesn’t seem legit at first glance. The judge didn’t seem to be looking for a pause and yelled ”press” as soon the bar was low enough. This is somewhat of a problem in the powerlifting community because we sometimes get the feeling that judges are there to make sure a world record is broken on that day. Before you jump to any conclusions about my opinion on Eric’s lift that day, please remember that sometimes the audio can be delayed in those videos and lead to confusion.

A better angle on the lift

In this video the angle makes it easier to see the bar actually stop, making it a legit (although very quick, and borderline) pause­. I don’t know about you, but according to me, the lift is legit.


will we see a Scott Mendelson vs Eric Spoto ? how will Mendy react after losing his titleConclusion

Let’s just say we’re all pretty excited the world record was beaten after being in the hands of Mendy for so many years (since 2005). But what now? According to Eric Spoto’s Twitter, he’s currently working towards a 730-pound bench press, and maybe more. Scott Mendelson has now lost his title (the equipped benchpress one as well, in 2013 to Paul Meeker). Is he going to do something about it ? We will see for sure, but I remember seeing a couple videos of him around April 2013 where he tries to raw bench 716 lbs and gets injured in the process. Can’t wait see how he will react.




  1. chrisrockk says

    Man. That was a SICK lift but… that was a pure Mendy pause. As in, that was a TnG bench. :/

    EDIT: Okay I’ve watched it like fifteen times and… if the lag is what I believe it was, he didn’t press it early, but the “press” command was almost the instant he hit his chest. I’m not sure if I’ll call it a TnG, but the pause was dodgy at best.

  2. maddock1 says

    The issue is when the judge is clearly not looking for a pause, but just says “press” the instant it hits his chest, not when it stops moving. It’s been a serious issue in benching, Mendy’s bench was particularly bad in this regard. It was almost like he knew the judge would just say “press” when it touched so he didn’t even bother waiting. This one was REALLY close.

  3. says

    Great bench, but really, really borderline in the pause call. And in the first picture, it looks like his butt is off the bench. Check out the amount of air between his upper right thigh and the bench.
    I want to see him do it at the RAW world meet in Vegas in October.

  4. Ian Sanderson says

    Even the picture on this page shows his ass of the bench. And If you look at how many records are set with a shitty official, and a quick press, its sick. I will be in Vegas and if they its T and G, No telling what I will do.

  5. dan says

    That pause is not a good argument in this case. Reason why watch mendys world record bench there was way less of a pause in that. If it weren’t for that i see a case being made but since that happened no reason to mention it he was clearly better and stronger than mendy

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