Washington Nationals All-Star Bryce Harper Deadlifts and Squats Heavy in Training

Whether you compete in strength sports, love to lift, or play regular sports, there should be a celebration of strength when someone performs a heavy lift. After all, most athletes build their athletic foundations under the barbell.

We saw and acknowledged the strength Baltimore Ravens, defensive tackle Michael Pierce showed when he squatted 725 lbs unbelted. Now it’s Bryce Harper’s turn. Harper is 24 years old and is an outfielder for the Washington Nationals. He’s currently one of the top hitters in the league and arguably one of stronger lifters we’ve seen in the MLB.

Three days ago Harper posted a video hitting a 505 lb trap bar deadlift for a few reps.

A video posted by Bryce Harper (@bharper3407) on

Before someone calls out his form, in the video’s description Harper acknowledges the flexion (rounding) of his back. It’s important to keep in mind that this is nearing maximal weight for him, he’s unbelted, and he’s not a strength sport specific athlete. It’s an impressive lift nonetheless.

The trap bar deadlift itself is a great lift for athletes. It’s a lift that has multiple benefits and can be performed safely with supramaximal loading. Harper’s trap bar video isn’t the only recent clip he’s shared showing off his strength.

Six days ago Harper posted a video back squatting what appears to be 325 lbs for 5×3 with a 4-second hold in the hole.

A video posted by Bryce Harper (@bharper3407) on

He achieves depth and stands with good speed for performing a 4-second hold. There were some comments calling out the lack of full 4-seconds, although it’s still a strong lift. If you want to get technical, it’s more of a 3-second hold, but he’s going off of his coach’s cue.

From the MLB players we’ve seen, Harper is definitely on the stronger end. Whether you agree with his form during the lifts or not, there’s no argument behind him being a strong guy.

Most athletes understand that most strength gains – especially in their sport – start in the gym. A solid foundation of muscle is important for every situation in life, but especially in sports. Hopefully we continue to see Harper put up big numbers this off-season.

Feature image from @bharper3407 Instagram page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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