On Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, powerlifter John Haack had the performance of his career. At the World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) Showdown 2021 in Kansas City, MO, Haack totaled 1,005.5 kilograms, or 2,216.7 pounds, as a 90-kilogram (198.4-pound) athlete for a new all-time world record.
Haack also broke the raw world record in two weight classes above his own — the raw records in the 100 and 110-kilogram classes being 972.5 kilograms (held by Yury Belkin) and 1,000 kilograms (held by Jamal Browner).*
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Editor’s Note: This article originally stated that Haack totaled 1,000.5 kilograms and squatted 335 kilograms. However, on Sept. 27, Haack posted on Instagram (see above) revealing that he didn’t factor in the squat bar (which is heavier than a standard barbell), so his total is actually five kilos heavier. Open Powerlifting also has Haack listed as totaling 1,005.5 kilograms. The article has been amended to reflect this new information.
John Haack Showdown Lifts
- Squat — 340 kilograms (749.5 pounds)
- Bench — 263 kilograms (579.8 pounds)
- Deadlift — 402.5 kilograms (887.3 pounds)
- Total — 1,005.5 kilograms (2,216.7 pounds), All-Time World Record
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Haack performed all three lifts raw per the regulations at the Showdown. While he did rely on a weight belt, and some wrist wraps to bench, he did not utilize any other equipment — like knee wraps or a deadlift suit.
Answering the Call
A series of dominant performances have colored Haack’s recent ascension to the 90-kilogram weight category. He was traditionally an 82.5-kilogram lifter for an extended period in his career (Haack has competed in 16 meets at 82.5 (and 83) kilograms since 2013, placing first at all but one according to openpowerlifting.org). But Haack has turned in strong results at 90 kilograms since his first appeared in the weight class in early 2020, where he took down the former 922-kilogram total record held by Jesse Norris.
On Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, Haack took to Instagram to share his elation over achieving a “lifetime goal” in powerlifting, while also shedding a bit of light on his competition experience:
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In his caption, Haack mentioned that he strained both of his quads while performing his third squat attempt, but through collaboration with his handler, he was still able to “secure the goal.”
Haack’s four-digit raw total while weighing well under 100 kilograms helps to place him in the conversation as one of the historic great athletes in the sport of powerlifting. Haack’s total is a smidge over 11-times his body weight.
This performance also serves as a bit of redemption for Haack. In April 2021, at the 2021 Kern US Open, Haack was close to achieving the 1,000-kilogram total. However, two missed deadlift attempts at 400 kilograms cost him, and he ended with a 970-kilogram total. Chad Penson, who is the first man to squat 400 kilograms (881 pounds) in the raw with wraps division, won that meet with a 997.5-kilogram total (which, up until Sept. 25, was the all-time world record at 90 kilograms).
At only 28 years of age, Haack has a lot of time left in the game and a long career ahead. Only time will tell if he can continue to perform impressively at a high level, but right now, it would be silly to bet against Bilbo Swaggins.
*Both Browner’s and Belkin’s records still stand as Haack did not set his total in their respective weight classes.
Featured Image: @bilbo_swaggins181 on Instagram