Paul Meeker, AKA Tiny Meeker, was born May 28, 1971, down in Houston, Texas.
For those of you who don’t know who this monster is, Tiny is the greatest bench presser of all time.
Sorry to break it to the gym bros out there, but Meeker not only benches as much as your total, he is the heaviest man to ever bench more than three times his own body weight.
You know it’s funny, when I was first approaching the 1,000 my mom was getting all worried and I told my mom at least it’s not 1,100,” Meeker said. “I’m about to bust 1,200. I am amazed. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would bench 1,100 pounds I’d tell you that you’re out of your mind.
In the powerlifting realm, the smaller guys like to say how they bench their body weight or more, making it more “fair” against a heavier opponent. Meeker is very heavy and still does a three-times-body-weight bench.
Meeker’s Stats and Records
- Meeker stands 5’9 and his weight is around 320 pounds.
- Was benching 315 at 15 years old.
- Elected to the WABDL Hall of Fame in 2012.
- 25-time drug-free bench press World Champion.
- World Records Benching:
Raw Versus Geared Lifting
The age-old fight of raw versus geared lifting will probably never end. For those of you unfamiliar with what I mean by “RAW” or “Geared,” read below.
What is Raw Lifting?
A touchy subject for some, raw lifting is lifting without a bench shirt or a squat/deadlift suit.
Some will chime in saying that using a belt, wrist wraps, knee sleeves, or knee wraps makes you “geared” but that’s not the case.
Raw lifting is a term that the powerlifting community coined with the proliferation of the advancement of these bench and squat suits. Basically, every person in most gyms is lifting raw.
Unless you see someone putting on a bench suit or trying to squirm into their squat suits, you are looking at raw lifters.
Benefits of Raw Lifting:
- No costs to buy special suits.
- Easy to get started overall.
- Not as initially intimidating.
Drawbacks of Raw Lifting:
- Geared lifters seem to be more injury free than raw (mostly).
- It’ll take more steroids than you can afford to do the same weights raw.
What is Geared Lifting?
Geared lifting (or equipped lifting) wear special suits that are made from different materials. Some are more elastic and others are more like wearing a tarp.
A lot of raw lifters call geared lifting cheating or “easier.” Geared lifting is simply different than raw lifting — there are different techniques to learn, and you have to learn how to use your equipment.
Benefits of Geared Lifting:
- Fewer injuries (Meeker’s last injury was in 2010 lifting raw)
- More weight can be moved.
Drawbacks of Geared Lifting:
- Much higher cost of equipment.
- You need to be fitted to equipment, so weight change is bad.
- Sucks putting on the equipment.
Which is Better?
Both have its pros and cons. You are pretty much comparing apples to oranges here; geared lifting is different than raw lifting.
Check out the 1102lb bench video on the next page…
Tiny Meeker’s 1102lb Bench Video
Here’s the video of Meeker breaking that 1,100 pound barrier.
Check it out:
Funny thing is, I’m not done.
Tiny says that his next goal is 1,200lbs and doesn’t have any major endorsements or sponsors.
His focus on his goals and training athletes never waivers and he is dedicating his life to an incredible sport.
Check out Tiny Meeker Training if you are interested in training with him.