Instagram Powerlifters

There are Instagram powerlifters, and then there are Instagram powerlifters worth following. The four athletes below have impressed us time and time again with their social media updates (and not always with straight-up lifting). If you’re not following these four highly-underrated strength personalities, do yourself a favor and tap that “follow” button. Laura Phelps-Sweatt, Robb Philippus, Dan Weierich, and Kirill Sarychev will leave impressed, astounded, amused, or maybe a mix of all three — but you’ll definitely be into it.

Laura Phelps-Sweatt

Snatch grip deadlifts at 365. Post 16.2 😳 #ConjugateNation #Conjugate #Powerlifting #CrossFit #Deadlift #Snatch

A video posted by Laura Phelps-Sweatt (@lauraphelpssweatt) on

Laura Phelps-Sweatt seems really, really busy. At 35, she’s a competitive powerlifter, personal trainer, and member of the CrossFit Powerlifting Seminar Staff. Her videos are a good mix of classic lifts and CrossFit WODs, like the above, where she snatch-grip deadlifts big weight right after the grip-killer that was Open workout 16.2.

Here’s the kicker: Laura is one of the few people we’ve seen who are competitive in both powerlifting and CrossFit, a combo normally reserved for weightlifting/fitness crossovers. She puts up impressive scores in the Open, and while she’s probably going to miss Regionals qualification in 2016 as an individual, she’s one we’ve got our eyes on for Masters competition (when and if CrossFit decides to introduce the 35-40 age group).

Robb “Buddha” Philippus

725 x4 last 3 shown, work 1. #QUADSLIKEROBB #RPSUSOpen #animalpak #obgym #powerbellygear @365_nutrition

A video posted by Robb “Buddha” Philippus (@quadslikerobb) on

240 x8 trap bar OHP. #QUADSLIKEROBB #QualityoverQuantity #animalpak #365Nutrition #powerbellygear #RPSUSOpen #obgym

A video posted by Robb “Buddha” Philippus (@quadslikerobb) on


Robb has quads. Really, really big quads, and he uses them to lift really, really big weight. He takes an almost Olympic-style approach to squatting, with feet narrow and depth as low as his massive legs will allow.

Follow Robb Philippus to see him squatting 500+ pounds like it’s literally an empty bar, then stick around to watch him do some occasionally accessory work that doesn’t involve his legs. We’ll thank Robb for introducing us to a new way to use trap bars, though we’ll probably start lighter just to get the hang of things.

Dan Weierich

pause squat x 2 225 kg | 500 lbs

A video posted by Dan Weierich (@armenian_strength) on

Okay, so TECHNICALLY Dan Weierich isn’t really a full time powerlifter. He’s primarily a track and field athlete who happens to post ridiculous — often hilarious — lifts and plyometric videos on social media. While Weierich has competed in a few legit powerlifting meets, he seems most at home stacking big weights in fun colored patterns and then doing insane things with them.

He’s also explosive as sh!t, with pulling power that makes most good Olympic lifters green with envy.

Kirill Sarychev

New world record 335kg (738lbs ) #sarychev #wrpf #benchpress

A video posted by Sarychev Kirill (@sarychevkirill) on


Kirill Sarychev currently holds the World Record for heaviest raw bench press, but his feed is hardly dominated by powerlifting. It’s a lot of him hanging out with friends, doing very Russian things. That means driving all-terrain vehicles, target shooting, and exploring a cold and unforgiving wilderness to name a few.

But when he does decide to post a powerlifting video, it’s almost always something of world record proportions.

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BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting. David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of Greatist.com. In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and Fortune.com, as well as a contributor to Forbes.com, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day. David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.