Greg Wittstock set a new world record for the highest number of bench presses performed underwater last year, turning 43 on a 110 pound barbell. In his latest video, YouTuber Tyler Oliveira and friends do 5 bench presses in a pool. Start with a modest 45-pound bar and work your way through the weights 5 reps at a time to see what they are. The lifting limit is when fully submerged.
"The first repetition was surprisingly easy, this thing is extremely light under water," says Oliveira and is amazed at his own "Hulk-like strength". He moves up to 95 pounds and recruits his bodybuilder buddy Nick to demonstrate the right technique.
"I felt very comfortable, maybe it's all about shape and position," says Nick. "It's not that it's difficult, it's just that I can't breathe."
They increase the weight to 1
"In reality, it is quite difficult to breathe underwater, to stay balanced and to start these repetitions without drowning," says Oliveira. But they keep forging and increasing the weight to 155 pounds, which is actually more than some of them weigh. Here they feel the physical toll.
"My ability to balance on the bench underwater was deteriorating," says Oliveira. "This is real exhaustion."
Oliveira actually achieved PR during the underwater challenge with 5 reps of 185 pounds. "I've never lifted so much in my life," he says. He tries to go further and put 205 pounds under the water, but literally "crumbles" under the extra weight. "I've always failed," he says. "Apparently my limit was reached." His buddies go on without him and bank 225 pounds, then 250 pounds, before they reach their own limits.
Lifting weights under water can have a number of advantages: For example, the joints are less stressed than the body is more buoyant than under normal circumstances. In addition, the effort to maintain a fixed position means that each underwater training acts as a core training at the same time. But when Oliveira and Co. discovered that knowing when to take a breath is the most important thing.