Mariusz Pudzianowski is world-renowned weight lifter who has won five World’s Strongest Man titles throughout his career—more than other man. Mariusz was born and raised in Poland and began bodybuilding at the age of 13, following in his father’s footsteps. He made his professional debut at the age of 16 in his native Poland when he entered a weightlifting contest, participating in the bench press event benching an impressive 168 kilograms (370 pounds).
This remarkable feat set the stage for Mariusz’ bench press notoriety. Despite the fact that he’s moved into a number of different sports such as mixed martial arts, Mariusz will always be remembered for his incredible ability to bench press. In fact, for countless bodybuilders around the globe, his bench press is one of the ‘gold standards’ to which they aspire. With a chest that measures more than 58 inches around, I’m not surprised. Let’s take a look and see what we can learn about Mariusz’ bench press secrets.
A quick glance at his measurements leaves little doubt that Mariusz is incredibly strong. His forearms are bigger than most guys’ biceps. Take a look at these stats:
- Height 186 cm (6’1″)
- Weight 132 kg (291 lb)
- BMI: 38.2
- Chest 145 cm (58 in)
- Nape 54 cm (21 in)
- Waist 94 cm (36 in)
- Thigh 80 cm (31 in)
- Biceps 56 cm (22 in)
- Forearm 45 cm (18 in)
So what is Mariusz’ secret? Unfortunately for the rest of us, his genetics do play a role in his enormous build. Remember that his father was a competitive weightlifter so if nothing else, Mariusz does have a good solid base from which to start. I don’t say that to minimize his accomplishments. Regardless of how genetically gifted you are, nobody can possibly achieve what Mariusz has achieved without an incredible amount of effort, discipline, tenacity and commitment.
The only reason I bring up his genetic background at all is to keep things in perspective. If you’re a 40-year old six-foot tall, 145-pound hard gainer, no matter how hard you try, the chances that you’ll achieve Mariusz’ level are pretty slim. And that’s not to say that Mariusz shouldn’t be an inspiration to anyone, because he is. Just about every lifter around can learn something from Mariusz.
Mariusz weighs in at just under 300 pounds and let me tell you, he is lean. He’s also strong—very strong. His person best bench press is more than 600 pounds. He can squat close to 800 pounds and deadlift about 900 pounds.
According to Mariusz, he works out twice a day, five days a week. His training sessions are limited to no more than 90 minutes each. I did some digging around about his routines and here’s what I found:
- Day one AM: Back Squats: 8 x 6-2 (sets x reps); Leg Curls: 6 x 20; Leg Extension: 6 x 20; Pull ups: 6 x 15; Chin ups: 6 x 10; Behind the neck Pull down: 4 x 15; Rows: 4 x 15; Abs: 6 x 30
- Day one PM: Sandbag Carry: 3 x 170 meters; Conan’s Wheel: 3 x 2.5 revolutions; Tire Flip: 3 x 10 flips
- Day two AM: Front Squats: Up to a single at 250 kilos; Calf Work: 6 x 15; Overhead Press: Work sets – 6 x 5-4; Deadlifts: Up to a set with 300 kilos (for a few reps, 2 or 3); Good Mornings: 8 x multiple reps;
- Day two PM: Bushman’s Walk: 3 x 15 meters @ 300 kilos; Presses with Machine Used in Competition: 3 x 10 @ 120kg; Crucifix Hold: 40 kilos for 30 seconds
- Day three AM: Bench Press: Warm-up sets – work up to 180kg in 8 sets; Work sets – work up from 150kg to 220kg, going from 8 down to 2 reps; Barbell Triceps Extensions: work up to 80 kilos; Standing French Press
- Day three PM: Same as Day One plus Power Stairs and Parallel Stairs
From that point, he then rotates to one of the previous workouts, varying the routine week-to-week. Looking at his routine you can see that he doesn’t place that much emphasis on the bench press even though it’s one of his key strengths. What is clear though is that he focuses on compound exercises that recruit multiple muscle groups. By focusing on compound exercises, he’s strengthening a number of muscle groups at the same time—including his chest.
In terms of diet, Mariusz says that he basically eats whatever he feels like and doesn’t follow any particular regimen. With a workout schedule like his, I’m not surprised. In any case, if you aspire to be the next ‘World’s Strongest Man’ and want to equal Mariusz’ bench press, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you.