Dennis Cornelius’ 900-Pound Squat Destroys the IPF World Record in Training

Dennis Cornelius is not messing around.

The -120kg powerlifter has once again crushed his own world record in training with a barefoot squat. (This time while listening to the quintessential lifting song, Disturbed’s “Down With the Sickness.”)

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a 900-pound (408kg) low bar back squat from a non-superheavyweight lifter. Get ready to witness the definition of “grind.”

That’s some serious bar bend. He actually addresses the “whippiness” of the bar — which can inhibit range of motion — in his Instagram post, saying:

900 x 1 squat @ rpe 9.5 followed by 735 x 4 x 3. E1RP 910-920. Cut it just a hair high because of the bar whip

This man doesn’t just break world records in training. Dennis Cornelius currently holds the IPF world record in the squat with 386 kilograms (851 pounds), which he set in June at this year’s IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships.

The last time we wrote about him, we were awed by a 400-kilogram (881-pound) squat that he did on the same homemade squat rack. (He says he’s been using that rack since he was 13 years old.)

[We love a good barefoot lifting session. Check out our favorite shoeless snatches from Olympic weightlifters!]

You can watch that lift below, which was also done barefoot. (We’re starting to wish our gym let us take our shoes off, too.)

That’s almost forty pounds lighter than what he hit today. While he probably doesn’t train at his competition weight of about 120 kilograms, the 900-pound squat would certainly have broken the IPF world record and it would have come close to the all-time world record set by Eric Lilliebridge: 920 pounds. And remember, Cornelius is a tested athlete.

Cornelius also holds the IPF world record in the bench press with 253 kilograms (557.8 pounds), a weight that he came pretty darn close to hitting right after that 900-pound squat. Here’s a 545-pound bench — this time to some country music.

The last time he posted to Facebook, he was trying to decide between competing at the Bend the Bar powerlifting meet in Texas this December or the LA Fit Expo in January. Wherever he winds up, his opponents will probably wish he picked the other meet.

Featured image via @denniscornelius500 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 different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)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.