Joe Stockinger may just be the strongest man in his 90s. At 90 years old, Stockinger, who is a competitive powerlifter, was filmed deadlifting 405 pounds (183.7 kilograms) raw — for a double. It is incredible. To make it even more impressive, Stockinger weighed 147 pounds, meaning the pull was almost three-times his bodyweight.
Before we dive into Stockinger’s decorated competitive career, check out that raw 183.7-kilogram (405-pound) deadlift double in the video below courtesy of Squat University‘s Instagram page:
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The video was shared with Squat University’s Dr. Aaron Horschig (a BarBend contributor) by powerlifter Donovan Lewis. Lewis captioned the video: “I want to be Joe when I grow up.” Being so physically capable at the age of 90 is certainly something to aspire to.” In terms of training, Lewis told BarBend that Stockinger is “very very basic.”
“He follows a basic linear periodization where over a period of…a few months, he works his way up to heavier weights. And then [he] just follows the lifts with basic accessories like dumbbell rows, shoulder machine, ab wheel, leg press, etc.”
The secret to Stockinger’s competitive longevity, according to Lewis, is sticking “to the program” and not doing “ego lifts when he knows he isn’t prepared to lift a certain weight. He just grinds away on what works for him.”
And work for him it does. Back in April 2020, Stockinger loaded the same 183.7 kilograms (405 pounds) on the barbell and actually pulled a triple. Check it out below via The Sports Masters’ Instagram page:
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Lewis was able to share some insight about Stockinger’s diet, but there isn’t much finesse to it. “He eats a basic varied diet, doesn’t chase protein or anything — just whatever he wants in moderation. When trying to make a weight class, he just eats less.” Notably, Stockinger’s diet does not include any supplements.
Stockinger’s competitive powerlifting career has spanned nearly seven decades. Open Powerlifting has documented Stockinger’s 32 most recent sanctioned meets spanning back to 1983 (when he was 57). Of those 32 meets, he finished first in 25 of them and only missed the podium a single time — the 1985 International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Masters Powerlifting Championships in Toronto, Canada, where he placed fifth.
In addition to his extensive competitive success, Stockinger is world-class in the Masters 80+ division. He currently holds the world record deadlift and world record total in the 67.5-kilogram class and 75-kilogram class. Here are those stats:
World records at 67.5 kilograms
- Deadlift — 202 kilograms (445 pounds), 2016 100% RAW Powerlifting Federation Canada (RAW-CAN) Praire Power Open
- Total — 400 kilograms (881.8 pounds), 2014 RAW-CAN Canadian Nationals
World records at 75 kilograms
- Deadlift — 200 kilograms (441 pounds), 2015 RAW-CAN Western Canadian Championships
- Total — 405 kilograms (892.9 pounds), 2015 RAW-CAN Western Canadian Championships
[Related: Aaron Horschig — How I Address Back Pain After Heavy Deadlifting & Squatting]
To The Future
Stockinger’s most recent competitive appearance was a first-place finish in the 69-kilogram weight class at the 2019 World Powerlifting World Championships in Calgary, Canada. Considering he is lifting as heavy in the gym as he is a year later, don’t be surprised if Stockinger continues to impress throughout his 90s.
Feature image from Squat University’s Instagram page: @squat_university