Andrew Herbert Takes a 700-Pound Squat for Max Reps at the Arnold Classic

We were already envious of the folks who got to watch all the insanity that took place in the Animal Cage at the Arnold Sports Festival this weekend. The cage — sponsored by the supplement company Animal — was home to some of the most mind-bending feats of strength on display at the Arnold.

It saw a 925-pound squat double from Rob “Quads Like Robb” Philippus. It saw a 705-pound bench press from Julius Maddox, the heaviest bench press ever made in the cage. It housed the phenomenal 4.43x bodyweight deadlift from Stefi Cohen. It even saw what might be the greatest test of deadlift endurance we’ve seen: the 600-pound deadlift AMRAP between Robb Hall and Steve Johnson. (Watch it unfold and read our recap here.)

Right after the deadlift AMRAP, the spectators were treated to another AMRAP, and this time it was one man versus himself: the -110kg powerlifter Andrew Herbert.

Seven hundred pounds for as many squats as possible. One of his online profiles lists his best raw squat at 350 kilograms/771 pounds. What do you think a 12-rep max would be? There are two videos in his Instagram post below, have a watch.

[Why do some lifters bleed on ma effort lifts? We break down the science here.]

Twelve reps. Twelve reps at 700 pounds. Now, look, this is an exhibition and not a competition, so it’s not a huge deal that some of those squats were a little high, but it seems to really be weighing on Herbert. He posted on his Instagram,

I am fully aware that my squats were high and I have no excuses for that. If you watch my training and competition videos, you know I don’t normally squat high. Anyways, this was 700lbs for as many reps as possible. It was inspired by last years Worlds Strongest Man, where it was one of the events, and the champion Eddie Hall won with 15. I got 12 and failed on 13.

Hey, that was still a pretty darn impressive set.

Featured image via @herbietheluvbug on Instagram.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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