Jonathan Cayco’s 735lb Deadlift Is Made All the Better By His Setup

The USAPL Raw Nationals champion has got some moves.

There are more and more things that make Jonathan Cayco standout in the world of powerlifting. Not only is he immensely strong as proven by his unofficial world record total of 868.5kg/1,914lb in the -93kg weight class at the 2019 USA Powerlifting Raw Nationals, but he might be ideally proportioned for powerlifting (more on this shortly).

This video really caught our eye because, well, it’s so darn heavy at a massive 333.5kg/735lb, but also because of his setup. It appears to be as much of a jig as it is a shoulder-setting preparation for a huge lift. Check it out right below from the post on his Instagram page. 

We cannot confirm or deny how much Cayco was grooving to some unheard song, but what is more likely is adjusting his setup, and more specifically “setting the back“.

Setting the back is when an athlete engages their posterior chain to support the lumbar while in the hip hinge required for a conventional deadlift. Cayco may also be checking that his hip angle is in the most ideal position for a powerful and safe lift. After all, this particular deadlift was only 1.4kg/3lb under his competition personal record of 335kg/738.5lb that he secured at the aforementioned Raw Nationals.

Back to what we said earlier about Cayco being ideally built for powerlifting. Luke Frandsen, a follower of Cayco, commented on the post writing:

“Why are your arms longer than your legs?”

Frandsen has the right idea but is just a bit off. According to Cayco, who actually measured them, his arms and legs are the exact same length. Many lifters would be envious: with such even proportions, it can be a lot easier to balance the hip angle when hinging.

[Related: Learn these four ways to cue your deadlift for stronger pulls.]

Check out this video below of him deadlifting with a view of the other side so you can compare and contrast with the first. Yes, he has his unique dance-like setup here as well:

With good anthropometry, good mechanics, and most importantly good consistency in the gym, 2020 could very well be the year he takes the “un” off his unofficial world record total.

Featured image from Jonathan Cayco’s Instagram page: @league_of_lifting

Phil Blechman

Phil Blechman

Phil is a native New Yorker passionate about storytelling, bodybuilding, and game design. He holds a BFA from Syracuse University.

Before becoming a Staff Writer at BarBend, Phil worked on the creative team and as on-air talent at World Wrestling Entertainment, as a narrator for Audible.com with over a dozen titles, and as a producer, director, and playwright Off-Broadway in New York City where he worked for The Araca Group and co-founded IJB Theatrical Productions. He can be heard as a voice performer for Just Press Playhouse audio productions and as a co-host of the Eternal Durdles podcast.

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