Watch Former Steelers Linebacker James Harrison Bench Press 525lbs

NFL athletes are built like no other — watching them bench press in the gym is a truly awe-inspiring experience.

If you’re looking for inspiration on what can be accomplished if you really put your mind to it in the gym, look no further than a fitness update James Harrison recently shared with fans on Instagram that shows the former NFL pro bench pressing a mind-bending 525lbs. You can watch the video in full below.

“Had that 515 Fail a couple weeks ago so had to hit that 5-2-5 today. BUT THEN, Tried that 545 after that damn Tupac & Bone Thugs had me feelin myself like I’m on some brown liquor,” he captioned the post.

That caption is inspiration material on it’s own. Not only did Harrison fail to lift 515 less than a week ago, but after hitting his impressive goal of a 525 lift he pushed himself even harder and hit 545. He truly embodies the “give it 110% every time” mentality. He gave it his all and then pushed a little bit further — literally.

At 42, Harrison is well past the age when he would still be playing in the NFL, but like many former pros he still pays close attention to his physical fitness and maintains a physique that would make any of us mere mortals green with envy. Lots of people think that past a certain age, certain goals just become unreachable, but Harrison is living proof that that’s just not true. Physical fitness really does boil down to your mentality and your willingness to put the blood, sweat, and tears in to make these things real. Many athletes and bodybuilders in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s can outperform guys in their 20s who don’t put the work in.

The comments section was also a source of helpful workout advice as fans traded workout questions and personal experiences. A commonly reported problem was that some athletes had problems with their wrists bending when lifting at this weight. The trick with the wrists is to make sure that you aren’t actually lifting above what you can handle. Sometimes your arms are stronger than your wrists, meaning you’ll be able to deadlift a certain amount but your wrists will flop. It’s important when that happens to reduce the weight by 10 or even 20 pounds, in order to strengthen your wrists along with your arms as you lift.

This is a powerful reminder that limit for each of us in the gym is wherever we set it for ourselves. You might not have years of NFL training under your belt, but with the right mindset you could accomplish feats similar to what James Harrison has. Strength training requires intense focus and dedication, but there’s great news: we’re living through a global pandemic and many of us are still stuck at home, so you have plenty of time to work out and hopefully get in the best shape of your life!

*All images and media courtesy of Instagram.

Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation,, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.