Blaine Sumner Makes a 1,003lb Pin Squat After Disc Herniation

There aren’t many people that’ll squat a thousand pounds a couple of months after herniating a disc, but most people aren’t Blaine Sumner.

This summer, the world record-holding powerlifter suffered a herniated disc, a condition which refers to the rubbery disc that sit between the spinal bones. A herniated disc, also called a ruptured or slipped disc, occurs when the soft center of the disc pushes through a crack in the outer casing.

It can cause tremendous pain and weakness in the back and some cases are so severe that they require surgery, but Blaine Sumner seems to be handling his recovery pretty darn well. Take a look at this unbelievable pin squat of 1,003 pounds, or 455 kilograms.

Sumner wrote in the post,

A few weeks ago Dr. McGill gave me the go ahead to start loading the bar heavier. This is the first time since July I’ve had over a grand on my back. And my back is feeling good!

You might have noticed that he’s squatting with a buffalo bar, which has a slight curve to it. Buffalo bars can take some stress off the shoulders and your hands rest lower on it too. Sumner said he’s been using it “mostly (…) to save my elbows. The straight bar kills them.”

[Blaine Sumner gave one of the best descriptions of raw vs equipped powerlifting we’ve ever seen. Listen to him explain why he lifts equipped here!]

Last week, Sumner was also seen deadlifting 750 pounds off of blocks with bands, which made it more of and 850-pound deadlift at lockout.

[Bands and blocks are two of our favorite tips for improving your deadlift lockout. Check out the rest of the list!]

Sure, the pin squat might seem like a relatively far cry from his 1,113lb/505kg world record squat:

But it’s actually 90 percent of that lift. So it’s not only 90 percent of his 1-rep max, it’s 90 percent of the heaviest weight ever squatted in a single-ply suit. And it’s practically raw — he looks to be using knee sleeves, though they could be wraps. And there’s an argument to be made that pin squats are tougher than regular squats, since they remove any bounce or stretch coming out of the hole.

Not much can keep Blaine Sumner out of the gym.

Featured image via @thevanillagorilla92 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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