First PR in 2 Years: Jonnie Candito Deadlifts 3.7x Bodyweight

“Did giving up ever become an option for (me)? Absolutely.”

If you’ve ever been frustrated that you’re not making progress as quickly as you like — and let’s be honest, that’s probably every single powerlifter — then you’ll enjoy this new video from Jonnie Candito, an athlete well known for his popular YouTube channel.

Candito, who once held the open American record in the deadlift with 295 kilograms (650.4 pounds) at -75kg bodyweight, suffered a debilitating back injury three days before he was set to compete at the raw nationals in 2016. Progress has been slow, but the man finally hit a new personal record: 313 kilograms (690 pounds) at 85kg (187 pounds) bodyweight.

One of the good things about Candito’s content is that he isn’t afraid to dive into the emotional toil that the sport can take on athletes. See for yourself in the video below. (The lift happens around the 2:28 mark.)

“That was the slowest deadlift of my life!”

Now, note that his warm-up sets went like this:

485 pounds
600 pounds
630 pounds
680 pounds

The (very slow) 680-pounder was his best lift in a couple of years. The fact that he followed it right up with his best lift ever makes us wonder how much heavier he could go if he was warming up with something more like 40, 60, and 80 percent of his 1-rep max.

Of course, the guy is being careful about how he maxes — that back injury wasn’t his first.

[Read more: Jonnie Candito explains the benefits of the three-second pause bench press.]

In November, he put up an excellent and long video describing exactly how he overcame the back issues. It’s almost half an hour long, but the Cliff notes are at the beginning: low-weight deadlifts five times a week shortly post injury; a lot of core work in the form of curl ups, side planks, bird dogs, cat-camels; walking five times a week; and a lot of autoregulation.

A solid reminder that injury prevention starts with respecting the core and getting out of the sagittal plane.

Featured image via CanditoTrainingHQ 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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