Jonathan Cayco is one of powerlifting’s more accomplished and decorated active competitors. After falling just short of defending his International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World title in June 2022, he’s starting to look like a strength sport athlete on a mission.
On Sept. 19, 2022, Cayco shared an Instagram video of himself completing a 260-kilogram (574-pound) raw back squat for eight reps during a training session. Per the caption of Cayco’s post, it’s a new personal record (PR) for the athlete. Cayco wore a lifting belt, wrist wraps, and knee sleeves to help him notch the milestone.
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At the time of this writing, Cayco’s PR doesn’t appear to be connected to any sanctioned competition on the horizon. However, it seems to be the latest in a line of noteworthy training feats and progress that he regularly makes a point to share on social media.
While it isn’t a PR per se, the man called “Mr. Bench” in his Instagram bio did complete a high-level bench press of 205 kilograms (452 pounds) for four reps just two days before this new squat PR. It was undoubtedly a routine befitting of a competitor with the current IPF World Record in the 93-kilogram division (238.5 kilograms/525.8 pounds). Cayco set that record at the 2022 IPF Worlds in an overall third-place finish.
Just a week prior to this new leg power performance marker, Cayco matched his former 250-kilogram (551-pound) eight-rep squat PR with ease. Then, in early September 2022, the athlete finished a deadlift of 295.3 kilograms (651 pounds) for a six-rep PR.
Here’s a rundown of Cayco’s all-time raw competition bests:
Jonathan Cayco | All-Time Raw Competition Bests
- Squat — 305 kilograms (672.4 pounds)
- Bench Press —242.5 kilograms (534.6 pounds)
- Deadlift — 347.5 kilograms (766.1 pounds)
- Total — 892.5 kilograms (1,967.6 pounds)
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Cayco’s recent training blitz might be partly motivated by his third-place results at the 2022 IPF Worlds. While he did take home the new bench press IPF World Record, Cayco didn’t successfully defend his 93KG World title. In a record-breaking appearance in Sun City, South Africa, Chance Mitchell vaulted ahead of his peer for first place instead.
Cayco reflected on what’s next in a candid Instagram post after the fact.
“It’s a weird pill to swallow for how it went down, but at the end of the day, it is my job to lift what is loaded on the bar,” Cayco wrote in a June 13 Instagram post. “I do not blame anyone but myself for my lack of performance. I am ashamed but also transparent. But we roll with the punches!”
Those “punches” might be what the 29-year-old Cayco needed to push forward through the next phase of his continued, hopefully fruitful, career. Judging by his early output following the defeat, it seems he’s making good on his commitment to coming back better and stronger than ever when he does compete next.
“It is kind of refreshing to lose,” Cayco wrote. ” … It really reignited something in me that may have settled as I got older alongside winning for the past four years.”
Featured image: @league_of_lifting on Instagram