Students will be displaying their benching pressing skills in the eighth annual John Cotton Bench Press Competition held Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. in the Recreation Center.

Senior fitness instructor Anthony Harvey, said the first bench press competition was held in the 1980s. There are a total of three judges. Harvey said the judges are to make sure that the head, butt and feet do not lift.

The competition is divided into male and female sections. Within the sections are different weight groups. Each participant gets two chances with a certain amount of rest time to follow directions.

“The purpose of the competition is for the contestants to do a proper bench press,” Harvey said.

Harvey said a proper bench press and muscle recovery are what the judges are looking for in this competition.

Harvey is the head judge and said he will be looking over the overall bench press for each participant. He was a past participant in this competition. After winning he moved on to participate in the other competitions that the Recreation Center holds.

“The fitness Rattler challenges you on all levels,” Harvey said.

The winner of last year’s men’s section in the 150 pounds and under category was Adewale Adelakun. Adelakun won with a 275 pound weight. He entered his first bench press competition in 2004.

Adelakun will be in this year’s competition in the same category.

Four to six weeks before the competition, he said he changes to a more strength based workout and stringent diet. He cuts out sugar, fried foods and makes sure he eats breakfast.

Adelakun said he enjoys participating and of all the competitions he likes the bench press most.

“I am most looking forward to the smack talk. I like to see what they have to say.” said Adelakun, 22, a senior mechanical engineering student from East Bay, Calif.

Adelakun said favorite competition is the push-ups. Adelakun does not set a certain weight before entering the competition. However, he is expecting to lift between 285-290 pounds in this year.

Brandon Hartley, 19, a sophomore physical therapy student from Orlando, said he saw the competition’s posters around FAMU’s campus. This is his first time entering the bench press competition.

“The competition looked interesting and looks like something I could do,” Hartley said.

He will be entering in the same category as Adelakun this year. Hartley’s goal for this competition is lifting 255 pounds. He said he put in a few extra practices to prepare for the competition.

Anthony ‘DJ Venom’ Washington, promotion marketing coordinator, helped promote the competition.

Washington said he is looking forward to a small guy beating a big guy .

“Out of the guys who really talk trash, I look forward to see the big dogs,” Washington said. “You always have people in the gym talking trash about how strong they are and the competition will put them on ‘front street’ for everyone to see.”