Every so often, an elite strongman reminds the world just how unique the top athletes in that sport really are. Since recovering from a torn tendon in his left lat sustained during a world record deadlift attempt of 370 kilograms (815.7 pounds) in the Masters Over 50 division at the 2021 Kern US Open (where he ranked third overall), Best’s recovery appears to have come along smoothly. So much so that he decided to perform a massive deadlift session in the home gym in his garage.
On Nov. 8, 2021, Best took to his Instagram page to share a series of five videos, wherein he smashed a 10-rep set of 500-pound deadlifts in each one, totaling 50 reps. Check out the series of lifts below. Best performed all the reps in a lifting belt and lifting straps while barefoot:
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Lifting 50 reps of 500 pounds is no small feat of strength. Its impressiveness is magnified by the fact that Best is 53 years of age and employs an extremely narrow-footed conventional stance that puts a lot more stress on his quads.
Age is just a number!
Best’s strength sports career spans four decades. Including his competitive powerlifting debut at the 1991 United States Powerlifting Federation (USPF) with a gold-medal finish, Best has appeared in 27 sanctioned meets, according to Open Powerlifting. He has a 63-percent career win rate (17 competition victories) and only missed the podium on five occasions. The major highlight is winning the 1996 World Drug-Free Powerlifting Federation (WDFPF) World Championships in the 125-kilogram weight class.
Nick Best’s Strongman Career
Best’s career in strongman is extensive. He’s a two-time Giants Live Australia runner-up (2012-13), finished seventh and ninth at the 2010 and 2011 Arnold Strongman Classic, respectively, and made three America’s Strongest Man appearances (2006-08) capped by a bronze finish in 2007. Best qualified for the World’s Strongest Man (WSM) competition 10 times (2010-18, 2020), advanced to the finals in 2010 and 2017 (sixth and 10th, respectively).
World’s Strongest Man Finishes — Nick Best
- 2010 WSM — Sixth overall
- 2011 WSM — Qualified
- 2012 WSM — Qualified
- 2013 WSM — Qualified
- 2014 WSM — Qualified
- 2015 WSM — Qualified
- 2016 WSM — Qualified
- 2017 WSM — 10th overall
- 2018 WSM — Qualified
- 2020 WSM — Qualified
Judging by his recent deadlift set and commitment to the sport — he told BarBend, “I love [training]. I live it. I breathe it inside and out” — Best may yet step onto the competitive strongman stage again. Strongmen in their 50s have still seen success on the world stage. At age 55, Mark Felix narrowly missed making the Finals of the 2021 WSM competition when he battled the eventual champion, Tom Stoltman, in a Stone Off. If Best can earn his way back to the sport’s grandest stage, he may surprise many with the amount of strength clearly left in the tank.
Featured image: @nickbeststrongman on Instagram