IFBB Pro League Men’s Open competitor Joe Mackey made his case as one of the strongest pro bodybuilders ever. On Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at C.T. Fletcher’s “Iron Wars VII” event in Signal Hill, CA, Mackey deadlifted 412.8 kilograms (910 pounds). The pull can be seen in its entirety in the post below, courtesy of Mackey’s Instagram page:
Mackey wore a weight belt and lifting straps during his attempt but did not use a deadlift suit. The weight was taped to ensure it stayed on the barbell, which adopted a bend throughout the rep. Mackey’s pull moved the barbell to his knees relatively quickly, but he struggled to lock out the weight. With the crowd cheering him on, his body visibly shook as he grinded to a successful lift, dropping the weight after scoring it briefly at the top.
Mackey pulled 362.9 kilograms (800 pounds) earlier in the evening. For context, eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman is revered for his effort of pulling 800 pounds for a double during training in 2000. Mackey scored that weight as a build-up to the biggest deadlift of the night. One key difference in those two lifts is that Coleman was in prep for the Mr. Olympia that year while Mackey was in his offseason.
After the event concluded, Fletcher gave Mackey an award for his pull. In the post’s caption, Mackey indicated that he isn’t done pushing his strength levels and intends to pull more weight.
Mackey is no stranger to big deadlifts or Iron Wars. At Iron Wars VI, which took place on May 20, 2022, Mackey pulled 385.6 kilograms (850 pounds). In April 2022, Mackey broke the 900-pound barrier for the first time in training.
Mackey competed in two bodybuilding shows in 2022. He finished the Tampa Pro in fourth place, three ranks behind the winner, Akim Williams. Mackey finished the Texas Pro in the ninth spot; Andrew Jacked took first. As of this writing, there is no official word on which bodybuilding contests Mackey intends to enter in the 2023 season. If or when he does, he will pursue his first professional victory.
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