Elite powerlifter Taylor Atwood shared his eight-year strength and lifting progress across two posts on his Instagram page on July 16, 2023. One post was devoted to his squat, and the other to his deadlift.
In the first video, Atwood locks out his 212.5-kilogram (468-pound) squat from his first meet, comparing it to his best competition squat — 303 kilograms (668 pounds) at the 2021 USA Powerlifting Raw Nationals. Check it out below:
The three-time world champion has the highest ranking on GL points* ever recorded in the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF).
*Note: The GL point formula is an attempt to compare the achievements of lifters of different body weights and is used by the IPF and its affiliates.
On the first squat, Atwood’s walkout and setup appear rushed and untidy. He is using a high-bar position, where the barbell sits on top of the traps. Although he is strong enough to complete the lift, he seems loose and unstable at the bottom of the movement.
Contrast this with the 2021 squat, where Atwood displays eight years of technique progress as well as strength gains. He switched to low-bar squatting, which tends to be a stronger position for most lifters. He uses wrist wraps as well as the knee sleeves and lifting belt he started out with to display his effective bracing and position.
It’s a similar story to his deadlift video. Atwood compares his 250-kilogram (551-pound) deadlift from his first meet in 2013 to his 340-kilogram (750-pound) deadlift from the 2021 USAPL Raw Nationals. Take a look:
Atwood mentioned that his body weight has remained the same (at 163 pounds) but is happy that his form did not. Although he is using the same sumo stance in both videos, the technique differences are night and day. In the earlier video, the bar rolls away as he sets up to pull; his hips rise early, and he has to yank the bar back into line. The second video is a masterclass in efficient deadlifting.
To have added 200 pounds to his squat and deadlift without adding any body weight is a rare achievement. He has struggled with injury recently, preventing him from matching his 2021 performance.
At the recent 2023 IPF Classic World Championships, Atwood was defeated for the first time since 2017. He brought home the bronze medal after an incredible battle, the closest in the entire championships, with only a half-kilogram (one pound) separating the top three lifters.
Despite this setback, Atwood maintains his position at the top of the IPF rankings. For the moment, no other lifter is within striking distance. Atwood hasn’t revealed when his next meet will be at the time of this article’s publication.
Featured image: @t_atwood on Instagram