Those who follow the sport of powerlifting closely can often find their attention on the all-time heaviest lifts like Jimmy Kolb‘s 598.7-kilogram (1,320-pound) equipped bench press or Danial Zamani‘s 365-kilogram (804.7-pound) raw bench press and world records like the plethora of world record squats from the 2022 World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) The Ghost Clash. This is for good reason as these athletes are progressing the sport into new territory.
To break a powerlifting record, one must stand on the shoulders of the giant that held the record before them. But some giants are still advancing those records. On Feb. 26, 2022, at the 2022 United States Virgin Island Powerlifting Federation (USVIPF) Nationals, 71-year-old John LaFlamme made his third raw squat attempt in the 83-kilogram class with 193.5 kilograms (426.6 pounds) loaded on the barbell. That is half a kilogram more than his current International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) world record in the Masters IV division of 193 kilograms (425.5 pounds), scored at the 2021 IPF World Classic Championships in Halmstad, Sweden. Check out LaFlamme’s unofficial IPF world record squat in the video below, courtesy of David Ricks‘ Instagram page:
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Ricks, a multiple-world-record-holding powerlifter himself, was LaFlamme’s coach during this 2022 USVIPF Nationals. While LaFlamme’s squat at that contest is heavier than the current IPF world record, it is an unofficial record as it was not performed in an international meet.
John Laflamme’s Powerlifting Career
According to Open Powerlifting, LaFlamme is the number one ranked raw powerlifter across all weight classes aged over 70. He has a DOTS score of 367.3. Since making his competitive powerlifting debut in 1978 at the Amateur Athletic Union Maine State Powerlift Championship, where he ranked ninth overall, LaFlamme has competed in 44 meets across five decades. Of those 44 sanctioned meets, LaFlamme won 25 of them — a 56 percent win rate — and landed on the podium in an additional seven meets, meaning he’s stood on the podium in 72 percent of all meets he’s appeared in.
Featured image: @ricks.david on Instagram