On August 8, 2023, powerlifter Phillip Herndon recorded a video of himself successfully locking out a 414.5-kilogram (914-pound) raw back squat during a recent training session. The mark is unofficially more than the current all-time raw World Record in Herndon’s usual 125-kilogram weight class. That honor still officially belongs to Reece Fullwood, who squatted 412.5 kilograms (909.4 pounds) at the 2023 GPC-GB Welsh Championships.
Herndon achieved his latest training squat while wearing knee sleeves, wrist wraps, and a lifting belt. Such an equipment set-up still constitutes as raw in a powerlifting context. He wrote in his post that he weighed 271 pounds at the time of the lift, meaning the athlete squatted approximately 3.3 times his body weight. Herndon evidently had little trouble with this squat, hitting the hole and rising up quickly without much of a struggle as his spotters on all three sides kept a close watch.
Herndon’s squat is connected to his ongoing preparation for the 2023 World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) American Pro 2. That contest is currently scheduled to take place on October 27-29, 2023, in San Diego, CA. Herndon could be seeking a measure of redemption as he did not place at the 2022 iteration, having been disqualified while competing with wraps. In his squat Instagram post, the athlete wrote that he will again compete with wraps at this year’s American Pro.
Herndon has been on a competitive and training tear of late.
In March 2023, during the United States Powerlifting Coalition (USPC) Mid-Atlantic Classic & Regional Championship, the powerlifter squatted 411 kilograms (906.1 pounds) to put himself within striking distance of the 125-kilogram class World Record. Then, in late June 2023, the athlete became the lightest person ever to squat 453.9 kilograms (1,000 pounds) raw with wraps during a performance at the 2023 International Powerlifting Association (IPA) Strength Spectacular.
With months to go before his latest competitive appearance, Herndon has once again inched closer to another hallowed squat mark in the gym.
Herndon technically doesn’t “need” to add another squat record to his growing laundry list of achievements. He already stands atop the 110-kilogram class and seldom loses in full competition. Athletes like him seemingly don’t rest on their laurels, though. They have an interest in writing their name all over the record books.
Featured image: @phillip_herndon on Instagram