During the 2022 Iran Bodybuilding Federation (IranBBF) National Classic Powerlifting & Bench Press Championships on April 12-17, 2022, Iranian powerlifter Shahram Saki came in first in the 120-kilogram+ weight class. At the same time, he turned a few heads with his strength.
First, Saki captured a raw 440-kilogram squat (970 pounds) — the highest in the history of Asia, per Open Powerlifting. Then he notched a 235-kilogram bench press (518.1 pounds), another number enough for the Asia record. By the meet’s end, he totaled 1,025 kilograms (2,259.7 pounds), yet again the highest in Asian powerlifting history.
Check out a video of Saki’s record-breaking squat — where he donned a lifting belt and lifting straps — via his Instagram profile:
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In addition to the three Asia records, Saki is now in possession of all four Iranian powerlifting records (squat, bench press, deadlift, and total) for someone competing in the 120-kilogram+ weight class. Naturally, these marks are also now his all-time best competition PRs.
American powerlifter Ray Williams previously held the Asian records for the squat, bench press, and total. Williams logged a 425.9-kilogram squat (939.1 pounds), a 229.9-kilogram (507 pounds), and a 1008.4-kilogram total (2,223.3 pounds) at the 2015 AsianPF (APF) Asia-Oceania Raw Championships. After his remarkable week, Saki has now eclipsed that squat by 14 kilograms (30.9 pounds), the bench press by 5 kilograms (11 pounds), and the total by 16.1 kilograms (36.4 pounds).
Note: Aside from Saki’s squat, there is no other video documentation, so any equipment he wore during his other lifts is unconfirmed. Here are Saki’s full stats from this recent meet:
Shahram Saki — 2022 IranBBF National Classic Stats
- Squat — 440 kilograms (970 pounds) | Asian Powerlifting Federation Record | Iranian Record | PR
- Bench Press — 235 kilograms (518.1 pounds) | Asian Powerlifting Federation Record | Iranian Record | PR
- Deadlift — 350 kilograms (771.6 pounds) | Iranian Record | PR
- Total — 1,025 kilograms (2,259.7 pounds) | Asian Powerlifting Federation Record | Iranian Record | PR
On the Rise
Saki’s strength feats are impressive, considering he doesn’t have much professional powerlifting experience.
Including the 2022 IranBBF National Classic, Saki has just three full power meets to his name. His first time on a pro platform was at the 2017 World Powerlifting Congress (WPC) Amateur European Championships, where he finished first. The other was the 2021 IranBBF International Club Classic Powerlifting Championships, where he also came out victorious.
Saki’s performance in the 2021 IranBFF International Club Classic might provide an excellent comparison of what he’s capable of when fully dedicated to the powerlifting craft. To provide a better picture, here are his stats from that meet:
Shahram Saki — IranBBF International Club Classic Stats
- Squat — 425 kilograms (936.9 pounds)
- Bench Press — 217.5 kilograms (479.5 pounds)
- Deadlift — 337.5 kilograms (744 pounds)
- Total — 980 kilograms (2160.5 pounds)
In roughly four months, Saki improved upon his squat by 15 kilograms (33.1 pounds), his bench press by 17.5 kilograms (38.6 pounds), his deadlift by 12.5 kilograms (27.6 pounds), and his total by a staggering 44.9 kilograms (99.2 pounds). As Saki’s career unfolds, it will likely be challenging to keep up that progression from meet to meet. Still, his meteoric leap forward in recent months is worth noting.
At the time of publishing, Saki has not formally announced his next powerlifting competition. If Saki’s recent precedent is any indication, he may break even more records whenever he steps onto a platform again.
Featured image: @shahram_power_lor on Instagram