On Dec. 26, 2021, Jon “Jujimufu” Call posted a YouTube video that was filmed at the EliteFTS training equipment headquarters in London, OH. Call, along with fellow YouTube creator Joey Szatmary (a.k.a. Szat Strength), were there to perform a squat workout that was reminiscent of a session held at the iconic Westside Barbell gym.
In the original session, powerlifting legends Dave Tate and Chuck Vogelpohl put themselves and each other through a squat workout that, decades later, is still discussed in strength circles. Call and Szatmary would take on a modified version of this challenge, which you check out in the video below.
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Call has become known for his unique and challenging workouts. His feats have been broadcast online and on television throughout the years. He trained with 2019 World’s Strongest Man Martins Licis, and took part in various grip challenges. He’s more recently been training for bodybuilding, but he’s acquainted with the sport of powerlifting as well. His last meet was on Feb. 20, 2021, at the Hybrid Showdown III. His performance on that day is shared below.
- Squat — 304.9 kilograms (672.4 pounds)
- Bench Press — 190 kilograms (418.8 pounds)
- Deadlift — 292.5 kilograms (644.8 pounds)
- Total — 787.4 kilograms (1,736 pounds)
On the day of this squat-off, Tate retold the story of the squat-off with Vogelphol. If you don’t know the tale, here’s a quick recap:
The Tate-Vogelphol Squat-Off
Tate and Vogelphol were scheduled to complete a dynamic box squat day — eight sets of two reps with (184 kilograms (405 pounds). Tate thought he could outlast Vogelpohl during this workout, so he added more sets. However, Vogelphol refused to surrender. What Tate thought would be two or three extra sets turned into a marathon that saw the elite lifters go back and forth for 40 sets in under an hour. The legendary Louie Simmons — who owns Westside Barbell — watched on as they traded reps, wanting the other to quit. Tate called this particular workout the hardest squat day of his career. He recalled the moment that he realized that Vogelpohl wasn’t going to surrender on that day.
“At 40 (sets), I looked at him and asked ‘How many is going to be enough?’” Tate recalled in the video with Call. “[Vogelphol] said ‘One more than you.’ At that point, I said, ‘I’m done.’ I realized…that he hated to lose more than he liked to win.”
Who is Chuck Vogelphol?
Vogelpohl was and still is considered by many to be the most intense lifter in the history of powerlifting. Normally mild-mannered and quiet, he would unleash all the aggression he had onto the bar, which led to him developing a massive following of admirers throughout his career.
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Like Tate, Vogelpohl called Westside Barbell home and Simmons was the mastermind who helped him become one of the strongest equipped lifters of his time. He competed in weight classes ranging from 90 kilograms to as high as 125 kilograms in some meets. According to Open Powerlifting, Vogelpohl’s career ranged from 1987 to 2015. His career bests in each lift (with multi-ply equipment) are below.
- Squat — 532.8 kilograms (1,175 pounds)
- Bench Press — 288 kilograms (635 pounds)
- Deadlift — 378.6 kilograms (835 pounds)
Vogelpohl won numerous contests, including the 2006 WPO World Finals, which at the time was considered one of the most prestigious and competitive meets in the sport. In 2009, he squatted 503.4 kilograms (1,110 pounds) in the 110-kilogram weight class at the IPA Iron House Classic in Columbus, OH. He was prominently profiled on the documentary Westside Vs the World, but he rarely speaks publicly about his career. Some of the mystique behind Vogelphol’s legendary status comes from his reluctance to do interviews or engage in social media.
Recreating the Squat-Off
As for Call and Szatmary’s re-creation of this competition, the two started with 150 kilograms (330 pounds) on a safety squat bar. They squatted down to a 14-inch box. Tate, who was working with Sam Brown of Elite FTS as spotters, allowed both men to rest during the first eight sets of doubles, but he then changed the cadence.
As soon as one man finished, the other had to go. Neither man was allowed to sit down, either. After 30 sets, Tate and Brown added 50 more pounds to the bar, making the total weight 177 kilograms (390 pounds). After 43 sets, and Szatmary doing as many as six reps per set, Call bowed out. Tate advised both men to walk around and let their heart rate return to a normal pace naturally because they had both clearly given their all to the barbell.
Featured Image: @jujimufu on Instagram