Some of the best lifters in the world congregate every year in March to put on a real show inside The Cage (Columbus, Ohio). Many people have called this event the “Super Bowl of Lifting.” Inside The Cage, we get to see powerful athletes pushed to their limits and outside, fans cling to the chain link fence in anticipation. There’s nothing like lifting inside The Cage, nothing at all.
On Friday, the "Bench Your Body Weight" contest kicked off the festivities. This event is always a hit with our fans. The first 20 or so fans get to experience what it's like lifting in The Cage on a very personal level. Now while some excel while others can only crank out 2 or 3 reps, everyone feels special to be inside The Cage and lifting – even if only for a brief moment.
After this event, James Strickland walked into the Cage and was going to bench press over 600 lb. This was my first time meeting James and, man, that dude is strong as hell. He easily pressed 620 lb, but unfortunately missed 630 lb. Arnold Schwarzenegger visited The Cage, like he does every year, and I think that must have messed up his timing.
Phillip Brewer, a great guy who weighs only 160 lb, then proceeded to slaughter a 505 lb bench press. It blows my mind how much weight he presses. He even did a drop-set of 405 lb x 11 reps afterwards.
Rob Philippus is one of my favorite lifters and is also a great friend. "Quads like Rob" is one of the best squatters in the world in my opinion. Rob buried 900 lb x 2 reps in the squat. It was so cool to watch Dan "BOSS" Green wrap Rob's knees before this event. I really appreciate the simple moments like these, when lifters come together to help their friends succeed in their exhibition.
Rob "SAVAGE" Hall then totaled 2,005 lb in 35 seconds. He did a 750 squat, 530 bench, and a 750 lb deadlift, all in about half a second. This energetic, great kid has a bright future, for sure. At the end of the day, and after many long hours, we were all exhausted. But all of us couldn’t wait for day two, the premier day.