Friday, June 21, 2024

The ten Finest Powerlifters of 2023


Powerlifting in 2023 was a yr stuffed with turnover for the report books and astounding gymnasium PRs. Throughout each body weight class for each female and male athletes, the bar on the prime was raised time and time once more.

As a part of BarBend‘s prime 10 collection for every power sport, we’ve got one way or the other, someway, sifted the record of one of the best powerlifters of the yr all the way down to 10. Nonetheless, the record may have simply sustained 20 or extra, given the standard of expertise and performances produced. Under, in no explicit order, are 10 powerlifters whose performances and feats of power throughout 2023 deserve a re-examination:

The ten Finest Powerlifters of 2023

[Related: Heaviest Deadlift EVER (Plus America’s Best Weightlifter) — Strength Weekly]

[Related: Two-Time CrossFit Games Winner Justin Medeiros Entered a Powerlifting Competition and Totaled Over 1,400 Pounds]


Jesus Olivares

Though he solely competed twice, Jesus Olivares made a huge impact in 2023. He lifted on the 2023 Sheffield Powerlifting Championships in March with one of the spectacular performances of the yr.

Olivares’ 470-kilogram (1,036-pound) squat was not solely the heaviest uncooked squat carried out within the Worldwide Powerlifting Federation (IPF) in 2023 by a whopping 30 kilograms (66 kilos) but additionally the heaviest squat in knee sleeves or knee wraps in any federation in 2023.

On the similar meet, Olivares benched an unbelievable 272.5 kilograms (601 kilos). Just one man within the IPF benched extra in 2023: world report holder Ilyas Boughalem. Olivares adopted up his enormous sub-total with a world report uncooked deadlift of 410 kilograms (904 kilos), which netted the uncooked complete world report with a monstrous 1,152.5 kilograms (2,541 kilos). The full stands because the all-time world report in knee sleeves and is believed to be the one occasion of a lifter hitting 1,000 kilos/600 kilos/900 kilos throughout the three massive lifts in the identical meet.

Olivares picked up his third consecutive title on the 2023 IPF Basic World Championships (CWC) in Malta in June. It was virtually anti-climatic after his Sheffield efficiency, however Olivares will return at Sheffield 2024 in February. He stands to make £40,000 (almost $50,000) if he hits his goal lifts.

The IPF world report uncooked squat within the superheavyweight class is 477.5 kilograms (1,053 kilos), set in 2017 by multiple-time world champion Ray Williams. It has not but been severely challenged. Might Olivares be the athlete to lastly break it?


Evie Corrigan

New Zealand’s Evie Corrigan was the IPF Junior world champion in 2018 and the silver medallist in 2019. Submit-COVID-19 lockdown, Corrigan competed within the 57-kilogram class on the 2022 IPF CWC in Solar Metropolis, South Africa, barely lacking the rostrum.

Nonetheless, Corrigan shocked the world when she unexpectedly minimize to the 52-kilogram class for Sheffield 2023. She went face to face with the 2022 world champion, Noémie Allabert of France. Allabert and Corrigan’s battle remained thrilling till the top of the competitors, with Corrigan finally breaking the uncooked complete world report together with her opening deadlift, solely to see Allabert add to it with Allabert’s opener.

The second spherical of deadlifts went the identical manner: Corrigan broke the uncooked complete report, and Allabert took it again. Along with her ultimate elevate, Corrigan broke the deadlift world report with a 202.5-kilogram (446.5-pound) pull, giving her a 460-kilogram (1,014-pound) uncooked world report complete. Allabert couldn’t reply, and Corrigan took the highest spot, securing the £30,000 ($38,000) payout. Check out the world report deadlift beneath:

Corrigan went on to win her first Open world title within the 52-kilogram class on the 2023 IPF CWC in Malta, proving that her success at Sheffield was no fluke. As the general winner of Sheffield 2023, Corrigan obtained an computerized invitation to Sheffield 2024 to defend her title alongside Jesus Olivares.


Jimmy Kolb

Famend bench presser Jimmy Kolb made unfathomable strides in 2023. He had already set the all-time heaviest bench press in powerlifting historical past on the 2022 Worldwide Powerlifting Affiliation (IPA) Pennsylvania State Powerlifting Championships on Feb. 26, 2022, with a huge 598.7-kilogram (1,320-pound) press. On the time, this was 190 kilos greater than anybody else had ever achieved. Kolb lifted in a Forell Customs F8 bench shirt, generally referred to as a “band shirt” and categorized as “Limitless” on OpenPowerlifting.

On Feb 4, 2023, Kolb competed on the IPA Hillbilly Havoc meet. There, he turned the primary individual on this planet to interrupt by means of the 600-kilogram (1,323-pound) bench press barrier. Let’s be clear: Kolb was the primary individual to achieve that landmark quantity in any elevate. Nobody has squatted or deadlifted even near it.

Kolb didn’t simply break by means of the 600-kilogram (1,323-pound) barrier; he left it within the mud. He solely scored his third try on the meet however made it rely: an unbelievable 612.5 kilograms (1,350 kilos). 

Slightly later within the yr, Kolb lifted on the 2023 IPA Tri-Star Bash. His opening try was a monstrous 635.5 kilograms (1,401 kilos) however missed. He had not posted a rating going into his third try. This isn’t uncommon in geared up bench urgent, particularly when lifters are dealing with unimaginable weights. Nonetheless, the third time was the appeal. Kolb made historical past with the heaviest elevate ever carried out within the sport of powerlifting. Test it out beneath:

It’s not clear the place Kolb will subsequent try to extend this report, however wherever it’s, that they had higher name in additional spotters.


Austin Perkins

Austin Perkins had an incredible 2023. His first competitors of the yr was the USA Powerlifting (USAPL) P3 Grand Prix, the place he posted a formidable 825-kilogram (1,819-pound) complete that left him a fraction in need of 600 on the DOTS method. Nonetheless, Perkins was solely getting began.

Perkins competed on the USAPL Uncooked Nationals in Memphis, TN, on Oct. 15, 2023, and completely destroyed the competitors within the 75-kilogram class — not simply within the meet however worldwide. He secured an enormous lead from the beginning, breaking the USAPL American squat report with first 303.5 kilograms (669 kilos) after which 313.5 kilograms (691 kilos). That is the all-time squat report within the 75-kilogram class in knee sleeves.

Already greater than 40 kilograms (88 kilos) forward, Perkins hit a whopping 200-kilogram (441-pound) bench to increase his lead additional. He went on to a 337.5-kilogram (744-pound) deadlift for a brand new PR — sufficient to eclipse Taylor Atwood and provides Perkins the all-time complete report within the 75-kilogram class. Try Perkins’ recap submit beneath:

Moreover, Perkins broke by means of the 600-DOTS barrier — one among solely three lifters to ever obtain it (Taylor Atwood and Rondel Hunte are the others). Perkins holds the best DOTS rating ever by a examined powerlifter at 614.54.

Perkins has since joined the wave of elite lifters who’ve crossed over to Powerlifting America (PA) for 2024. He’s anticipated to elevate subsequent at PA Uncooked Nationals in Reno, NV, on March 14-16, 2024. He goals to qualify for the 2024 IPF CWC in Lithuania.


Kristy Hawkins

Kristy Hawkins is likely one of the most profitable powerlifters on this planet. She has been competing on the highest degree for years and is undefeated within the final six. She competes within the 75-kilogram class, generally in knee wraps, generally in sleeves. She has damaged the entire all-time data on this class earlier than.

Hawkins solely competed as soon as in 2023, on the 2023 WRPF American Professional 2 on Oct. 29, the place she put in a record-shattering efficiency. Her greatest profession competitors squat getting into was the 290 kilograms (639 kilos) she locked out on the 2022 WRPF American Professional. She left this behind rapidly, making brief work of 300 kilograms (661 kilos) on her second try. She improved her squat additional to a huge 310 kilograms (683 kilos).

It was the largest squat ever carried out within the 75-kilogram class and the second greatest in any weight class. Solely April Mathis has efficiently locked out extra with 320 kilograms (705.5 kilos). Check out Hawkins’ squat beneath:

In her caption, Hawkins described the bench press as “simply my typical 152.5 kilograms (336 kilos) on my second try.” She secured the best DOTS rating ever achieved together with her deadlift opener of 262.5 kilograms (578 kilos). This was an incredible technique as Hawkins, sadly, tore her hand on her second deadlift try and didn’t safe one other profitable elevate.

However, it was sufficient to provide Hawkins the all-time DOTS report with a never-before-seen rating of 711.19. She walked away the winner, but once more.


Natalie Richards

Natalie Richards has climbed the ranks for a while — initially in USAPL and, extra not too long ago, in Powerlifting America and the IPF. She turned heads in 2022 when she gained on the USAPL Carolina Primetime meet and have become the primary 57-kilogram lifter to surpass a 500-kilogram (1,102-pound) complete.

Richards went on to hit 501.5 kilograms (1105.5 kilos) on the PA Basic Nationals in February 2023, securing her place on the USA workforce sure for Malta and the 2023 IPF CWC. There, she confronted a quickly rising star of the French workforce, Junior lifter Jade Jacob. Regardless of nonetheless being within the Junior class, Jacob held the IPF Open world data in deadlift and complete — a formidable opponent.

Remarkably unfazed in her first worldwide competitors, Richards put in an excellent efficiency, selecting up medals in every elevate. Richards’ ultimate deadlift of 225 kilograms (496 kilos) gave her a 512.5 kilogram (1,130-pound) complete — sufficient for the overall world report and the world title.

Richards hit a GL rating of 122.179 on the 2023 IPF CWC. The GL level method is an try to match the achievements of lifters of various physique weights. Richards gained one of the best lifter award and claimed the best rating of any IPF lifter in 2023, male or feminine. In truth, solely Lya Bavoil has hit a better rating (by a fraction of a degree).

This unbelievable debut on the world’s stage certified Richards for a spot at Sheffield 2024 the place she’s going to compete for money prizes towards a few of the greatest powerlifters within the IPF.


Kjell Bakkelund

Kjell Bakkelund has been a prime powerlifter within the IPF for years. Till not too long ago, his focus was on geared up lifting. In 2022, he picked up his fourth geared up Open world title and, for the primary time, introduced a gold medal dwelling from the 2022 World Video games in Birmingham, AL.

In 2023, Bakkelund’s priorities shifted to traditional (uncooked) powerlifting. A Basic world champion in Belarus in 2017, Bakkelund stored his hand in through the years, competing uncooked as soon as every now and then. Nonetheless, the 2023 European Powerlifting Federation (EPF) European Basic Championships (ECC) in Tartu, Estonia, featured Bakkelund placing within the efficiency of his life.

Bakkelund positioned nicely within the squat, selecting up the bronze medal with 262.5 kilograms (579 kilos). He got here into his personal on the bench press, locking out over 50 kilograms (110 kilos) greater than anybody else with a monumental 207.5 kilograms (457.5 kilos). This put him a good distance away from his rivals at sub-total and fairly near Eddie Berglund’s 212-kilogram (467-pound) world report on this class.

When Bakkelund opened his deadlift with a quick and simple 310 kilograms (683 kilos), he was already assured the European title with a minimal 780-kilogram (1,720-pound) complete — greater than Carl Johansson gained with on the 2023 IPF CWC in Malta — and the European complete report. Nonetheless, Bakkelund was not carried out there.

Bakkelund hit 322.5 kilograms (711 kilos) for his second deadlift, taking Taylor Atwood’s complete world report with 792.5 kilograms (1,747 kilos). One elevate remained to complete off an ideal day. Though he may have taken 328.5 kilograms (724 kilos) for the deadlift world report, he had one quantity in his sights: an 800-kilogram (1,764-pound) complete. This meant that he needed to load 330 kilograms (727.5 kilos) to interrupt the deadlift world report, not too long ago set by Johansson in dramatic type in Malta. Check out Bakkelund’s elevate beneath:

Bakkelund smoked the deadlift, scooping two world data and setting the best males’s GL level rating ever achieved at an IPF worldwide competitors. A dominant and memorable efficiency.


Sonita Muluh & Brittany Schlater

Though these are two separate picks, it’s virtually inconceivable to speak about Sonita Muluh and Brittany Schlater individually. They each put in lifetime-best performances in 2023, battling one another on the 2023 IPF CWC in Malta.

The battle in Malta started as a three-way dance with the long-standing dominant drive in USA’s Bonica Brown. Brown had held the IPF +84-kilogram class uncooked squat world report since 2015, having pushed it up from 237.5 kilograms (523.5 kilos) in 2015 to 280 kilograms (617 kilos) in 2023. This stood as the largest uncooked squat ever carried out within the IPF.

Nonetheless, 2021 IPF world champion Brittany Schlater of Canada steadily gained floor over the past couple of years. In 2023, Schlater’s fee of progress was astounding. Though she had gained the title in 2021 with a 607.5-kilogram (1,339-pound) complete, she missed the rostrum solely in 2022 with 617.5 kilograms (1,361 kilos). That clearly lit a fireplace underneath Schlater, who introduced an entire new bundle to Malta.

It was an analogous story for Belgium’s Sonita Muluh. Muluh completed in sixth place on the 2022 IPF CWC in South Africa with a 587.5-kilogram (1,295-pound) complete however, quickly after, joined Joey Flexx’s powerlifting workforce, and her rise from then on was meteoric.

On the 2023 CWC, the primary blood went to Brown, who broke her personal uncooked squat world report with 280.5 kilograms (618 kilos) within the second spherical. Nonetheless, Schlater hit 281 kilograms (619.5 kilos) on her third squat, turning into the primary individual ever to take the uncooked squat world report from Brown. Schlater didn’t maintain it lengthy, although, as Muluh smoked 285.5 kilograms (629.5 kilos) straight after.

Brown had the ultimate squat of the session and put up a historic 289 kilograms (637 kilos) to take again the report. After bench press, Brown maintained her lead and was a scant 6.5 kilograms (14 kilos) forward of Schlater, with Muluh one other eight kilograms (17.5 kilos) again.

The panorama shifted when Brown missed her opening deadlift, failing to completely lock it out. Muluh moved into the lead for the primary time together with her opening pull, simply two kilograms (4.5 kilos) forward of Schlater.

Within the second spherical, Brown missed once more! This meant she was unable to defend towards Schlater breaking her uncooked complete world report with 683.5 kilograms (1,507 kilos). This was the primary time anybody aside from Brown had held the report however, once more, it didn’t final lengthy. Muluh made brief work of a uncooked deadlift world report of 260.5 kilograms (574 kilos), transferring the uncooked complete report as much as 688.5 kilograms (1,518 kilos) on the similar time.

For her ultimate elevate, Brown switched to a typical stance, however to no avail, and her world championship protection was over. Her squat world report was forfeited and reverted to Muluh, who secured the bragging rights of getting hit the largest uncooked squat within the IPF. Check out Muluh’s squat beneath:

Schlater pulled 257.5 kilograms (568 kilos) for her ultimate elevate, rounding out an ideal nine-for-nine day and increasing the uncooked complete world report to 693.5 kilograms (1,529 kilos). Muluh went subsequent and stood up 267.5 kilograms (590 kilos), solely to have it turned down for a fraction of lockout and conceded defeat.

This battle gave Schlater and Muluh so many accolades: they each broke the squat and complete world data, and Muluh broke the deadlift world report, too. Muluh’s squat is the all-time report in knee sleeves, and each had been within the prime 10 on GL factors within the IPF for 2023.

We all know that Muluh has squatted 290 kilograms (639 kilos) in coaching since then, however Schlater tends to maintain her numbers veiled. These two will go face to face once more in February 2024 on the Sheffield Championships within the UK. It guarantees to be a firecracker.


Brianny Terry

Brianny Terry labored onerous in 2023 on a number of fronts. In addition to competing on the prime in powerlifting, she additionally earned her IFBB Professional League Ladies’s Physique professional card on the 2023 NPC USA Championships. It’s not simple to succeed at a excessive degree in a couple of power sport, however Terry is chasing two rabbits and catching them each.

Terry solely competed in powerlifting as soon as in 2023 however made that efficiency rely. She lifted on the 2023 World Uncooked Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) American Professional 2 on October 29 within the primetime class.

Terry confronted Kristy Hawkins and Denise Herber within the 75-kilogram class in knee wraps. Though Terry couldn’t match Hawkins within the squat or bench press, deadlift was Terry’s time to shine. Terry’s opening try was 270 kilograms (595 kilos). She added 10 kilograms (22 kilos) on her second try earlier than calling for an all-time uncooked world report try of 291 kilograms (641.5 kilos) on the barbell.

Terry arrange in a sumo stance. The load initially moved rapidly from the ground however slowed massively because it reached the highest. There was an extended second of uncertainty as her legs locked, and she or he pulled again earlier than securing the total lockout. Try the elevate beneath:

The all-time uncooked deadlift world report beforehand belonged to Sara Schiff, who lifted 290.5 kilograms (640.5 kilos) within the 125-kilogram weight class earlier within the yr. Coincidentally, Terry’s deadlift was matched on the similar meet by Samantha Rice on her approach to victory in a better weight class. Nonetheless, Terry made it clear that she is on the trail to a 300-kilogram (661-pound) deadlift and can work onerous to make {that a} actuality in 2024.

There have been so many nice performances in 2023. The game continues to develop and develop a few of the greatest expertise it has ever featured. 2024 will certainly be a fair higher show of power and sportsmanship.

Featured picture: @mega.gojira on Instagram

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