Professional bodybuilder Joe Mackey has unofficially joined the 900-pound deadlift club. On April 16, 2022, the IFBB Pro League Men’s Open athlete completed the staggering deadlift and attained what had once been one of his lofty goals. It’s a feat that could likely stand as the heaviest-ever deadlift by a bodybuilder.
Check out the lift below — where Mackey dons a lifting belt and lifting straps — courtesy of his Instagram profile:
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Not Without a Fight
Mackey could not contain excitement over finally reaching the staggering mark in the caption of his Instagram post.
“It was not the prettiest, but I told you and myself I was going to do it, and I did just that,” Mackey wrote. “I know I don’t say this often, but holy sh*t, that was heavy!”
Indeed, Mackey does appear to show strain in pushing through the lift — understandable, given the weight. The feat would likely not have counted in a meet due to Mackey hitching the barbell, but he persevered and locked out the rep anyway.
“If you look midway thru the lift, you’ll see I shake my head no because doubt kicked in and said drop it,” Mackey said.”But that wasn’t going to happen without a fight.”
After expressing gratitude for his achievement, Mackey finishes the post by dedicating the 900-pound feat to his friend, the late Cedric McMillan. McMillan’s death was initially reported on April 12, 2022.
Rest in paradise big bro
Shortly after news of McMillan’s passing circulated around the bodybuilding community, Mackey shared a few private message interactions he had with his friend. The overarching sentiments centered around McMillan making sure Mackey took care of his health.
A fact certainly appreciated by Mackey — before and after.
“I appreciate it, big bro,” Mackey wrote back to McMillan. “I’m going to go for the goal in the deadlift, and then I’ll back off the extreme heavy weight.”
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A Long Time Coming
Mackey has documented his journey to the 900-pound deadlift quite well of late.
In January of 2022, Mackey completed an 855-pound deadlift that ESPN’s SportsCenter highlighted on Instagram. A little over a month later, Mackey notched an 870-pound pull that he said was a then-PR. With roughly two more months of steady progress, Mackey can now boast a deadlift that is 30 pounds heavier.
There is no thorough database of lift records for bodybuilders to check where Mackey officially stands amongst his peers. Nonetheless, Mackey assuredly knows his deadlift likely enters a rare territory. Here’s where Mackey stands compared to other notable top deadlift marks that were recorded for famously strong bodybuilders:
Notable Bodybuilder Deadlift PRs
- Ronnie Coleman — 800 pounds
- Johnnie Jackson — 832 pounds
- Stan Efferding — 837.7 pounds
- Dallas McCarver — 845 pounds
- Kyle Kirvay — 855 pounds
- Joe Mackey — 900 pounds
While it’s not possible to check for any official record, Mackey can at least share his deadlift feat with some incredibly esteemed company.
The Next Level
It could be fair to say Mackey is still seeking a significant breakthrough as a bodybuilder. In five career IFBB Pro League competitions dating back to 2017, Mackey’s highest result is an eighth-place finish at the 2022 IFBB Tampa Pro while competing in the Open division. During his last competition, in the 2021 Chicago Pro last summer, Mackey finished 12th overall.
There is no word on when Mackey’s next bodybuilding competition will happen. He’ll have to place high in several proceeding shows or even notch his first career victory if he wants to qualify for the 2022 Mr. Olympia — set to occur on December 16-18 in Las Vegas, NV. In the meantime, Mackey can bask in joining an exclusive, impressive club of deadlifters.
Featured image: @jmackey33_ifbbpro