In powerlifting, certain lifters have the potential for World Record-adjacent feats during any run-of-the-mill workout or sanctioned competition. On Mar. 15, 2023, Sonita Muluh provided an excellent example of this strength phenomenon when she captured a 280-kilogram (617.3-pound) raw back squat during a recent training session. Muluh wore wrist wraps, knee sleeves, and a lifting belt for the squat.
Muluh’s massive lift is particularly notable because it is one kilogram (2.2 pounds) above the all-time raw World Record in the +90-kilogram weight class. According to Open Powerlifting, the current mark belongs to April Mathis, who scored a squat of 278.9-kilograms (615 pounds) at the 2011 American Powerlifting Federation (APF) Southern States. Muluh is a usual +84-kilogram powerlifter under the International Powerlifting Federation’s (IPF) jurisdiction. That mark has proved untouchable for more than a decade.
If Muluh were to transfer this squat number to an IPF competition, it would be 2.9 kilograms (6.4 pounds) more than Bonica Brown’s raw IPF World Record in the +84 category. Brown squatted 273.5 kilograms (602.9 pounds) in a 2022 IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships performance and is renowned as one of the greatest powerlifters ever, with seven IPF World titles (2014-2019, 2022) to her name.
With the respective +84-kilogram and +90-kilogram divisions having no concrete weight caps, there is also no underlying caveat to Muluh’s training achievement. It remains on par with Mathis and Brown for those non-weight cap reasons.
Per Open Powerlifting, here’s an overview of Muluh’s all-time raw competition bests. The athlete has only ever competed in the +84-kilogram weight class:
Sonita Muluh | All-Time Raw Competition Bests
- Squat — 270 kilograms (595.2 pounds)
- Bench Press — 137.5 kilograms (303.1 pounds)
- Deadlift — 253.5 kilograms (558.9 pounds)
- Total — 661 kilograms (1,457.2 pounds)
At the time of this article’s publication, Muluh does not appear to have any upcoming contest plans. In recent Instagram posts, Muluh has mentioned a focus on reducing her bodyweight without specifically citing a potential change in weight class.
“Being on a cutting diet and 2kg [4.4 pounds] down already now at 120kg [264.5 pounds] bodyweight and weights are still moving.”
For the time being, it seems the athlete will wait to potentially set a World Record squat in competition. That said, Muluh’s competitive record is sterling, as the powerlifter has emerged victorious on eight of 11 occasions. Muluh is the defending European Powerlifting Federation (EPF) Champion in the raw +84-kilogram division. She has fallen short of a competitive win just once in her six contest appearances of 2022, in that iteration of the IPF World Championships.
The future appears bright for Muluh, one of powerlifting’s established stars and names. It’s a name the sport could soon see comfortably etched in the international record books.
Featured image: @sonita_ml on Instagram