M + F magazine
There are not many athletes in the powerlifting community who have had to overcome the same obstacles as bench press giant Julius Maddox.
The Kentuckyian set two bench world records in 2019, including a 744 pound bench press – meaning he did not use anything other than Wrist Wraps. But to record his name in the record books, the 32-year-old had to first get rid of depression and addiction. "Opioids and benzoids like Xanax and the like," were Maddox's drugs of choice.
"Not only was I an average user, I would take it to extremes," says Maddox. "I lived the lifestyle of taking prescription pills and actually on the other side – drug and pill trading – the way to where I am today is so long. "
For Maddox, beating the weights was not just an escape from drug addiction and depression – lifting became his survival tool. One day Maddox, who has only been powerlifting for just over seven years, proved his strength after a cure in a dungeon-like basement gym that contained nothing but dirt for the floor. He and his training partners put everything on the pole, and he squeezed them for two.
"We added the weight later and it was 525 pounds," says Maddox. "The guys said," You realize that no one does that kind of weight like that. "So I was on C.T. Fletcher and stuff like that and I started to look at those things and I think I can get there.
Today Maddox gets his endorphin boost by lifting heavy weights. If he does not set world records, Maddox helps children in his community by helping them turn away from drug use, as he did at a young age, and preaching the benefits of physical fitness.
"When I can change a person or inspire a person to lead another life, I fulfill my purpose," he says.
As for the future, Maddox's goal is to break its own record again.
"I want to do something that no human being has ever done in the history of the world," he says. "I'll be the first man on earth ever to push 800 pounds into the bank." He has the opportunity, and this time, nothing stands in his way. "I have a second chance in life, so I will not waste it this time," says Maddox. "I will take full advantage of it."[RELATED1]