Charles Okpoko (66kg) Squats 317.5kg at USAPL Collegiate Nationals

Junior powerlifter Charles Okpoko is no stranger to moving big weight. This past weekend he won his third USAPL Collegiate Nationals in the -66kg equipped category. What might be most impressive about Okpoko’s performance was his final 317.5kg (700 lb) USAPL Collegiate record single-ply squat (featured below).

Okpoko held the previous USAPL Collegiate squat record at 285kg, which he absolutely crushed this weekend. If breaking his previous record by 32.5kg wasn’t impressive enough, Okpoko performed this lift after pulling his right hamstring 2.5 weeks before this year’s nationals.

In his Instagram post’s description he writes, “I pulled my right hamstring 2.5 weeks before my meet, which pretty much threw my game plan out the window. BUT I didn’t freak out. I prayed about it and left it up to God to get me through this meet. I came with three goals in mind: to FINALLY squat 700 lbs, to walk away with a gold medal, and to not aggravate my injury any further.”

It’s safe to say he accomplished all three of the goals he set out for. Okpoko’s final lifts were a 317.5kg squat, 185kg bench, 215kg deadlift, and a 717.5kg total (7.5kg under Okpoko’s 2016 College Nationals 725kg record).

Okpoko is one of the most decorated junior lifters in the -66kg weight class. Last year, he took second at the IPF World Open Men’s Championships. To top it off, Okpoko was the youngest competitor to finish in the top 10, and was 13 years younger than first place finisher Tsung-Ting Hsieh.

This performance is arguably Okpoko’s best meet to date, as he finished with a 765kg total to set the American Open -66kg equipped record.

This 765kg total also earned him the fourth place ranking on USAPL’s 2016 Power Rankings Top 20 Equipped Male Lifters (up three spots from seventh in 2015).

His final lifts at the IPF World Open Championships were a 307.5kg squat (Men’s American Open Record), 200kg bench press, and 257.5kg deadlift.

Okpoko’s recent squat record is showing strong promise for what we can hopefully expect to see as 2017 progresses for this young powerlifter. Even after a pulled hamstring, Okpoko was able to stay composed and earn his third collegiate national championship title.

Feature image from @charlesokpoko 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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