This Is the Closest to a 4x Bodyweight Front Squat We’ve Ever Seen

This video isn’t new, but we leapt out of our chairs when it surfaced again online this weekend.

We’re talking about Ivan Ivanov, one of the greatest Bulgarian weightlifters of all time. When we first saw this video of a 210-kilogram (463-pound) front squat, we thought it was a quadruple bodyweight front squat — an absolutely unheard of feat.

But although Ivanov often competed in the (now defunct) -52kg weight class, we understand that at the time of filming he was competing in the -56kg class and, since this is out of competition, was probably a little heavier. So, you know, this is only something like a 3.75x bodyweight front squat. Still, it might be the closest to quadruple bodyweight we’ll ever see.

And he did it for two singles.

One of the most accomplished weightlifters ever, Ivanov won gold medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, four World Weightlifting Championships, and four European Championships. He lost his silver medal and was disqualified from the 2000 Sydney Olympics after testing positive for furosemide, a diuretic which is sometimes used to mask PEDs.

[That might be the heaviest front squat relative to bodyweight, but what about the heaviest front squat, period? Check out Jezza Uepa’s insane 400kg lift.]

Ivanov just barely missed out on our roundup of the only six people to have (officially) clean & jerked triple bodyweight.

He did a 155.5 kilogram clean & jerk at the 1991 World Weightlifting Championships in Donaueschingen, Germany. He was competing in the -52kg weight class, so that was only a 2.99x bodyweight clean & jerk. Which anyone can do, of course.

Unfortunately, very few of his lifts exist on YouTube (he was lifting in the days before smartphones, after all) but we did manage to find this clip of his gold medal-winning performance in the -52kg class at the 1992 Olympics. Annoyingly, the video skips during the snatch (at 1:27), so we just started it at his heaviest clean & jerk: 150kg (330.7lb), which he had to make to win gold.

Got any more favorite videos of Ivan Ivanov? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll add them in!

Featured image via etwade on YouTube.

Nick English

Nick English

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.

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