On Apr. 10, 2023, powerlifter Blake Lehew shared an Instagram video of himself capturing a 319.9-kilogram (705.4-pound) raw back squat during the 2023 USA-UA Pioneer on the Beach. The contest took place on Apr. 8 in South Padre Island, TX. According to Lehew’s caption, it is the first instance in which the athlete has ever completed a raw squat of at least 317.5 kilograms (700 pounds). A quick perusal of the 27-year-old Lehew’s Open Powerlifting profile confirms this fact. Lehew had previously tried and failed for the same weight at the 2022 World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) PPC Finals.
Blake Lehew has long since established himself as one of the 82-kilogram division’s top titans in powerlifting. However, many of the athlete’s achievements have come while competing raw with wraps. That includes, per Open Powerlifting, a World Record total of 930 kilograms (2,050.3 pounds) notched in a first-place result at the 2022 WRPF American Pro. As this 319.9-kilogram (705.4-pound) squat demonstrates, Lehew has officially taken his 82-kilogram catalog of accomplishments to the next level.
In addition to his all-time raw competition best squat, Lehew secured a personal record (PR) raw DOTS score of 620 — the ratio of an athlete’s body weight to the weight they’re lifting. Lehew also matched his all-time raw competition best total of 915 kilograms (2,017.2 pounds), which he initially recorded during a first-place performance at the 2022 WRPF PPC Finals.
Here’s an overview of Lehew’s top stats from the 2023 USA-UA Pioneer on the Beach:
Blake Lehew (82KG) | 2023 USA-UA Pioneer on the Beach Top Stats
- Squat — 319.9 kilograms (705.4 pounds) | All-Time Raw Competition Best
- Bench Press — 220 kilograms (485 pounds)
- Deadlift — 374.9 kilograms (826.7 pounds)
- Total — 915 kilograms (2,017.2 pounds) | Matches All-Time Raw Competition Best
Notably, Lehew had teased his pursuit of surpassing a 385-kilogram (848-pound) raw deadlift by performing it beltless during a late February 2023 training session. The athlete ultimately fell short of repeating the in-gym performance during the Pioneer on the Beach contest, as he summed up portions of the rest of his performance as “subpar” in an Instagram post. That goal will have to wait for another competition to come true.
In the same Instagram post recapping his performance, Lehew — who noted he brought a personal team to a full meet for the first time — seemed over the moon at what he could accomplish in this raw, sanctioned powerlifting setting.
It appears to be one of the best and most collaborative moments of his professional career.
“This was the first time I’ve been able to bring a team to a big meet and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
Featured image: @deadliftingorangutan on Instagram