2022 is the year of the deadlift for bodybuilder Joe Mackey. The 37-year old’s training grabbed the attention of the bodybuilding world on Jan. 15, 2022, when he hit an 800-pound deadlift triple. A week and a half after that, he was featured on ESPN‘s Instagram stories for deadlifting an 855-pound deadlift.
Mackey’s Instagram page features the accolade of “world’s strongest deadlifter in [the] IFBB.” While there are many bodybuilders capable of pulling immense weight off the floor, such as Kyle Kirvay, who recently hit an 804-pound deadlift at the 2022 USPA Battle at Atilis, Mackey’s recent Instagram post adds some backup to his claim.
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The sequence of deadlifts in the above video are of the following weights: 135 pounds, 225 pounds, 315 pounds, 405 pounds, 495 pounds, 605 pounds, 705 pounds, and 870 pounds. Mackey performed each lift using a lifting belt and what appear to be a pair of Versa Gripps (a wrist wrap–lifting strap hybrid that improves grip strength) during the body-shaking grind of his top single. He held the lockout for what appeared to be four seconds before throwing down the barbell.
To get a sense of how heavy 870 pounds is, the 2021 Rogue Invitational, which featured 10 of the world’s top strongmen, included a max deadlift event. Had Mackey pulled 870 pounds in that event, he would have ranked fifth, beating out 2020 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Oleksii Novikov, Jerry Pritchett, Mateusz Kieliszkowski, Mikhail Shivlyakov, and 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) Luke Stoltman. Mackey would have only been six pounds shy of tying Rob Kearney, and 11 pounds shy of tying four-time WSM champion Brian Shaw.
Including his competitive bodybuilding debut in 2012 at the 2012 IFBB North American Championships, where he ranked 11th, Mackey has competed in the following 11 contests in the Men’s Open division, according to NPC News Online:
Joe Mackey’s Bodybuilding Career
- 2012 IFBB North American Championships — 11th place
- 2012 NPC Nationals — 16th place
- 2013 NPC Ronnie Coleman Classic — Second place
- 2013 NPC National Championships — Eighth place
- 2015 NPC Ronnie Coleman Classic — First place
- 2015 NPC National Championships — Sixth place
- 2017 IFBB Ferrigno Legacy Pro — Ninth place
- 2018 IFBB Indy Pro — did not place in top 10
- 2019 IFBB New York Pro — 11th place
- 2020 IFBB Tampa Pro — Eighth place
- 2021 IFBB Chicago Pro — 12th place
Considering Mackey has only competed in one show per year since 2017, he will likely do the same for 2022. Judging from how heavy he’s pulling in the gym, whichever show he decides to compete in will probably see him bring a package of even denser muscle.
Featured image: @jmackey33_ifbbpro on Instagram