Andrew Secures British Bench Champs 2024

Apr 09, 2024

Competing in the British Bench Press Championships was an experience that epitomized the culmination of months of dedication, hard work, and resilience. Despite encountering setbacks early in the year, including battling illness and nursing a minor injury post-Christmas, my journey to the platform was marked by a steadfast commitment to overcoming these hurdles. The final weeks leading up to the competition saw my strength levels peaking, igniting a sense of optimism about my performance.

Watch the full competition video here.

Timecodes for the lifts: 157.5kg167.5kg177.5kg.

157 kg bench press by andrew

The landscape of competitive bench pressing is one where awareness of your competitors' capabilities is crucial. Among the athletes was a friend and formidable opponent, renowned for their strength, often surpassing my own by approximately 10 kilograms. This reality set my sights on a strategic aim for second place, acknowledging the caliber of talent I was up against.

As the competition day dawned, my preparation bore fruit. Achieving a swift 170kg in training bolstered my confidence, making the prospect of securing second place seem more tangible. Yet, the field was competitive, with emerging talents entering the senior category, reminding me that nothing was guaranteed without unwavering focus and discipline.

Weighing in at 73.9kg, I found myself perfectly positioned within my weight category, avoiding excessive weight cuts that could potentially compromise performance. My opening lift of 157.5kg, the heaviest I've ever commenced with, was executed flawlessly, earning me three white lights for a successful attempt.

andrew arching for his bench attempt

Progressing to the second attempt, I selected 167.5kg, a weight that showcased not only my strength but also my adherence to technique. The lift was executed with such precision that it reinforced my confidence. However, the competition's unpredictable nature soon became evident. My competitor, the athlete known for their superior strength, encountered unexpected difficulties, failing their opening attempt at 175kg due to a technicality.

This development unexpectedly shifted the dynamics of the competition. Initially planning to attempt between 172kg and 175kg based on my training performances, I was now presented with an unforeseen opportunity to vie for the top spot. My final attempt was ambitiously set at 177.5kg, a weight that, if successful, would clinch the first-place position.

177kg bench attempt by Andrew

Although my attempt at 177.5kg did not result in a successful lift, the attempt itself was a testament to my capability and determination. It was a near-miss that, paradoxically, boosted my confidence in my competitive potential. In an astonishing twist, a video referee's decision overturned my competitor's final attempt, leading to an unexpected victory on my part.

This victory at the British Bench Press Championships was more than just a personal triumph; it was a dramatic narrative of competition, strategy, and sportsmanship. The camaraderie shared with my competitor, the strategic decisions made in the heat of the moment, and the sheer unpredictability of the sport all contributed to an unforgettable experience. This win, unexpected and exhilarating, has not only added a remarkable chapter to my competitive journey but also set the stage for future challenges, with renewed vigor and confidence.