A Salute to Stephen Paea, NFL Combine Bench Press Hero

Stephen Paea, Bench Press Record
Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images

After seven years in the NFL, Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Stephen Paea is retiring from the league, according to a report from ESPN‘s Adam Schefter.

While Paea didn’t have the biggest impact in the NFL—he played for four teams and recorded just 125 tackles—one of his most memorable athletic performances came before he ever took the field as a professional.

At the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, the Oregon State star crushed the modern record on the 225-lb bench press, doing 49 reps to wow scouts. The previous high at the modern combine was 45 reps, a record shared by Leif Larsen (2000), Mike Kudla (2006), and Mitch Petrus (2010).

Back when he was in college, Paea maxed out at 550lbs on the bench press, according to NFL.com.

“I’ve been blessed the last couple months to prepare for this event,” Paea said back in 2011. “I think I could go back and do another one.”

Take a look at Paea’s impressive performance:

Not impressed? Here’s Paea crushing 455lbs on the bench press:

Technically, former Eastern Kentucky defensive tackle Justin Ernest has the Combine record with the 51 reps he did back in 1999, but since he went undrafted and only played one season in the NFL, the league recognizes Paea’s record as the (modern) all-time mark.

Want to boost your bench and lift like Paea? Try these programs, tips, and methods from Men’s Fitness and up your numbers:

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!