Junior Powerlifter Clifton Pho Sets Open World Record With 285.5kg Deadlift

Canadian powerlifter Clifton Pho still lifts as a Junior, but that hasn’t stopped him from breaking multiple Open world records. The 23-year-old turned up at the IPF World Championships that are currently being held in Alberta and deadlifted a titanic 285.5 kilograms (629.4 pounds) raw for a new world record. The guy competed in the -66kg weight class, making this well over 4.3 times his bodyweight. Watch history being pulled in the clip below.

He called this “surprisingly heavy” in an Instagram comment.

[Watch the first ever 5x bodyweight deadlift made at IPF Worlds, which took place this weekend!]

He squatted 215 kilograms (474 pounds) and benched 137.5 kilograms (303.1 pounds) for a total of 638 kilograms (1,406.5 pounds).

Pho’s deadlift broke his own deadlift record by just 500 grams, which he set at last year’s IPF Worlds.

[Clifton Pho shares why he started powerlifting in this article that also features Jen Thompson, Kimberly Walford, and other elite lifters!]

After his performance at this year’s championships, Pho posted a picture of himself posing with some other Canadian athletes, noting that his world record wasn’t even a personal record.

It’s been a hell of a year… managed to hit 215-137.5-285.5. No PR’s by any means, but still smiles all around 😄. Had a blast up on the platform. Super happy to be done and looking forward to putting all my old body issues to rest. (…) Open… here we come!

It’s true that we saw Pho deadlift 285.5kg back in February, and he’s even pulled 300 kilograms before, albeit with straps, a deadlift bar, and weighing 68.5 kilograms. Still, the guy deserves some respect for this one (it’s the second video in this gallery).

Yup, this is Clifton Pho’s last year as a junior powerlifter (he’ll switch to an Open athlete once he turns 24) but given how many times he’s broken open records as a junior, we don’t think he’ll have too many issues making a mark in his next phase in the sport. Congratulations to the man!

Related: Romanian Deadlifts Guide

Featured image via @theipf on Instagram.


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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.