The inaugural Rx Muscle's "Bros vs. Pros" Strength Challenge witnessed gym "bro" Jeff the Producer defeat IFBB pro Mike Liberatore in the "Battle of Biceps" where he curled an 80 pound dumbbell 40 times. (WATCH HERE!). At this contest, a regular gym bro went head to head with an IFBB Pro in an all-out display of strength for $1000 in cash. .
So what do we do now? How do we outdo that event? We do it again...... only bigger, better, and a little different. This time, instead of curling the nearly impossible 80 pound dumbbells, the contest is going to be about bench pressing 315 pounds for the most repetitions. The "Battle of the Bench" will feature full range, full lockout, reps; no partials will be counted. Brutal Alchemy has come on board as the title sponsor once again and the prize money has been upped to $2,000 cash.
With that huge purse on the line we had to find some contestants that wouldn't disappoint. This contest's IFBB Pro will be none other than The Showstopper, Big Talker, IFBB Pro Ben White. The Bro is going to be a big dude with a 515 pound bench named Maurice Guida, a successful Long Island bodybuilder in his own right. To add another level of excitement to the event, We're also adding Super Freak Robert Burneika (who placed second in the super heavyweight class at this year's NPC Nationals to the mix. And, last but not least, ANYONE can show up the day of the contest and jump in to see what they can put up, as well. If you can do more than 15 reps, you'll get some great prizes (tshirts, protein powders, and fat burners) from Brutal Alchemy, our title sponsor.
After settling all the rules, I called up Ben White and asked him what he thought. He had this to say: "How many people are going to try to beat me? It's not going to happen. Johnny Jackson beat me on the dead lift- he didn't he beat me on the bench. Nobody is going to out-bench me - not in reps, not in pounds. Nobody!"
"Burneika is pretty strong," I replied.
"He does half reps!" Ben fired back. "Are any of those reps going to hit his chest? He makes partial, partial reps look partial! And what's with the 150 pound dumbbell going down behind his head? And Dave sitting there counting them? What the fuck is that? If that shit goes down that's another story. He's all partial. If I do 20 reps it's like 60 or 80 of his reps."
"The reps will be full lock-outs and all the way down," I assured him. "If the rep isn't a full one it's not going to count."
"Well, then he can go first. Whatever he does, I'll do 5 reps more. I'm not even going to warm up. I warm up with 315 now anyway. I'm not going to sit there and do 135 and 225 and waste all my energy."
"What about Maurice Guida?" I asked.
"Who the hell is he?"
"He's the ‘bro," I said. "The guy can bench 515."
"So what? I got over 600, raw. I did 315 the other day for so many reps I got bored and put it down. I ain't worried."
Next I had to get on the phone with Robert Burneika and let him know what Ben had to say. Robert responded in his cold Lithuania accent: "I'll do them all the way down to the chest. And lock out."
"How many?" I asked.
"Maybe 30," he said. "But make sure this contest is done raw. No shirts."
"No, no shirts." I assured him. What can you bench now?"
"I haven't been training since Nationals. I'm waiting until after holidays to start."
"What's your best bench in training?" I asked.
"600 pounds," he replied. "Raw. No shirt."
"Ben white says he will do 5 reps more than you," I told him. "What do you think of that?"
"Ok, we'll see. We'll see him do a lot of reps."
Now, what does Maurice Guida say about all this? Guida is a bro just happy to be there. He is a big strong dude. When I first met him at Dave's house and he shook my hand I thought he was wearing a catcher's mitt with a boa constrictor in it. At first glance, Guida is not built like your typical bencher. He's huge and menacing alright, but he's got long arms. But even so, a 515 raw bench is respectable as hell, especially when he does it with no spotter! "What do you think about going up against these two bench monsters?" I asked him.
"I think I'll let them go first."
"That's a good strategy," I said. "How many reps do you think you can get with 315?"
"I don't know, probably 20," he said conservatively. Maybe too conservatively? Maybe Maurice is starting the mind games now? I know all three of these guys and none of them look like 315 is anything they'd worry about. It's going to come down to endurance.
Who's got the strength and endurance to pound out the most reps with 315? Ben White knows he does; Burneika thinks that Ben is real trouble; and our dark horse, Maurice, is playing his hand close to his chest. $2,000 is up for grabs for these three guys and anyone else who wants to show up. The challenge goes down at Bev Francis' Powerhouse Gym (in Syosset, NY) on Saturday afternoon, January 31st (exact time to be announced). And to make it even more interesting, Brutal Alchemy is bringing a trunk load of prizes for anyone who gets under the bar and cranks out any number of reps with 315. Tee shirts, supplements and money are all up for grabs just for moving some weight. Make sure you're there. This is one RX Muscle event you will not want to miss!