The comeback of Layne Norton, PhD is going extremely well.
Barely a month after dominating the 6th Annual USAPL Central Florida Open Powerlifting Championships in the 105kg raw weight class, he returned to the lifting platform to win the USAPL Southeast Regionals this weekend. He totaled 767.5 kilograms (1,692 pounds) — that’s fifty-two kilograms heavier than the total he set in Florida.
He squatted 287.5kg (633lb), benched 162.5kg (358lb) and deadlifted 317.5kg (700lb). You can check out the lifts in the YouTube clip below.
This is all the more impressive given his history. Norton — you might know him as BioLayne, the handle he uses on social media — has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and has competed as a bodybuilder (he was the heavyweight winner of the IFPA Pro International in 2010) and as a powerlifter. He won a series of meets between 2009 and 2015, including the 2014 USAPL Raw Nationals and the 2015 Arnold Raw Power Challenge, and he took home a silver medal in the -93kg class at the 2015 IPF World Championships.
However he experienced a series of injuries over the past few years, including torn hip muscles and herniated discs, that forced him to take a two-year hiatus from competitive lifting. The USAPL Central Florida Championship was his first meet back in the game, and the fact that he added so much to his total so quickly (coupled with how smooth his lifts were this weekend) shows that his recovery is going nicely.
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Starting to feel a bit overreached as we get into this training block. Weights are moving pretty slow but still hit 611lbs/277.5kg for a single at RPE 9 and a very slow single at 665lbs/302kg deadlift. It was also a bit challenging because all the bars were Olympic lifting bars with a lot of whip which I'm not used to and are difficult to stabilize but felt I did a good job of bracing well and finishing the lift. #teamscience #biolayne #biolaynecomeback #avatarnutrition
After winning the USAPL Southeast Regionals, Norton made a statement on his social media channels.
There is no better feeling in the world than telling people you are going to do something… and then going out and freaking doing it (…)
It’s been a grueling 20 months of frustration. Rehab. Treatments. More rehab. Setback. More rehab. Setback. More rehab and treatment. But the recovery capability of the human body is incredible if you don’t quit. Over the past 20 months I’ve dealt with a torn muscle in my hip, 2 herniated discs in my neck (…) a herniated disc in my lower back, and a bulged disc in my lower back. (…)
I had a lot of Internet critics laugh at me, tell me I was snapped up, that I should give up and retire. Here’s a big 🖕🏻 to you.
Norton is planning to compete at the 2017 USAPL Nationals this October, and he’s just 32.5 kilograms away from his all-time best total of 800kg. We wish him all the best at the meet — whatever his result, he’s already pretty inspirational.
Featured image via biolayne on YouTube.