College Football Is Back: Check Out Saquon Barkley’s 5-Rep 525 lb Back Squat

For many, we’re beginning that transition into one of the best times of the year, which entails colder weather weekends filled with college football. In honor of college football kicking off this weekend, we felt it was only fitting to write an article highlighting a big football driven lift.

Penn State’s running back Saquon Barkley is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to progressing the ball down the field AND moving heavy weight. Check out his 5-rep 525 lb back squat from late June 2017.

This year, Penn State has listed their 5′ 11″ running back at a weight of 230 lbs, which makes this squat even more impressive. Not to mention, he was hitting great depth, and moving the bar with a ton of speed throughout every rep.

Around the same time when the video above was originally posted in June, Barkley was also filmed cleaning 405 lbs. This video created quite a buzz in the football community, along with stirring up the strength community. Check out Barkley’s 405 lb clean below.

Why did it receive so much attention in the strength community? For starters, it’s an extremely impressive lift, which was done with no supportive equipment (belt, straps, sleeves, etc). Another hot topic surrounding the lift was Barkley’s form. It’s not perfect by Olympic lifting standards, and that created the conversation of the risk:reward ratio.

Regardless how you feel about Barkley’s clean, there’s no denying he’s on the stronger end of running backs in college football. Last year, Barkley rushed for over 1,400 yards as a sophomore, and was a Heisman hopeful.

Now in his junior year, Barkley already put up 172 yards in Penn State’s first game against Akron. Is this directly correlated to his impressive lifts (obviously on top of his insane in-game skill)? We like to think yes.

Feature image from Chance Sorrell Twitter page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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