KENNEWICK, Wash - If you have ever been to the Life Quest Gym in Kennewick, you've seen him roaming around. His name is Ryan Kennelly, but he is better known as, The Benchmonster. Ryan has been power lifting for over 15 years, and was the first man to legitimately bench press 800 pounds. Now, 800 pounds is just part of Ryan's warm-up routine!
Power lifting may take only a few seconds to accomplish, but it takes years of training and intense focus. It also puts an amazing strain on a lifter's body. The combination of hundreds or even thousands of pounds, a compression shirt, and extremely tense muscles forces blood vessels and capillaries to burst inside a lifter's face, eyes, and can even make them cough up blood. So why would someone put themselves through this? Ryan says his reasons are pretty simple: "I never got a chance to play football or basketball, because I was cut from those teams. I played soccer, but that's not a man's sport! I turned to lifting. It's scary and dangerous and sometimes I don't know why I do it, but I just love the gym. I'm happy here."
The atmosphere inside the gym became very intense when Ryan was attempting his goal: lifting 1,115 pounds! The weights clanked as they were locked into place on the bar. Ryan tightened his wrist bands and sniffed some smelling salts to clear his head and perk him up. Then, Kennelly laid down on the bench, found his grip, and with 5 spotters around him he put the bar down and up, successfully benching over half a ton!
Power lifting is one of those sports you have to see to believe, so if you want to check out Ryan in person go to the Life Quest Gym in Pasco on December 2nd around 10 in the morning for his next competition.