Mitchell Hooper is likely best known for his recent run of strongman dominance, culminating with his first-ever World’s Strongest Man (WSM) victory during the 2023 iteration in April. However, the Canadian athlete prides himself as an all-around strength dynamo, working on his conditioning and dispensing some of his first-hand training knowledge seemingly whenever he can. The superstar’s latest feat in the gym is a lesser-known but legendary milestone to capture.
On May 23, 2023, Hooper shared an Instagram clip of himself squatting 238.1 kilograms (525 pounds) for 24 reps. The strength mark was an AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) performance and officially surpasses the legendary 1980 Mr. Universe Tom Platz — who set the initial standard with this achievement with 23 reps of 525 pounds in 1992 during the “Great American Squat-Off.” Hooper notches a good depth into “the hole” on each of his repetitions and donned a lifting belt and knee sleeves during the squat set.
Many have attempted to break Platz’s AMRAP record over the years, potentially seeing it as a rare strength accomplishment where an athlete must truly have a unique blend of endurance and power. Perhaps the most recent notable example is prolific powerlifter Joe Sullivan, who fell just short in June 2022 after some earnest preparation.
In the strength sports sphere, Hooper is the first to climb this summit, which is all the more fitting given his WSM victory and ongoing status as a competitive bulldozer. A mid-May 2023 squat set of 210.9 kilograms (465 pounds) for 20 reps might have been Hooper unofficially teasing his vying for Platz’s AMRAP squat record.
According to his page on Strongman Archives, Hooper has stood on a podium in nine consecutive strongman contests and won his last three competitions, including his breakthrough 2023 WSM triumph. To this stage, he has undoubtedly established himself as a household name in strongman and strength sports overall. Breaking Platz’s mark is but another noteworthy notch to add to his ever-impressively growing resume.
What’s evident about Hooper as an athlete is his hunger to continually improve and push himself. The strongman was already in the process of refining aspects of his training that he felt needed more polish. To capture a squat-endurance mark many have chased for nearly 30 years potentially speaks to Hooper’s ongoing greatness.
Featured image: @mitchellhooper on Instagram