Vlad Alhazov might have the most astonishing comeback story in powerlifting. The Russian superheavyweight lifter was once one of the strongest people on Earth until he suffered an catastrophic setback in his career: in 2008, his left knee caved inward during an attempt to squat 590 kilograms (1,300 pounds) at Westside Barbell. Alhazov had to have a complete knee reconstruction and it’s probably fair to assume his doctor told him his record breaking days were over.
Ten years later, Vlad Alhazov is once again one of the strongest people on Earth. In fact, there’s a case to be made that he’s the strongest man on Earth, at least if you’re looking at the full body exercise that is the back squat. In a video that just surfaced online, he was seen making a squat of 532.5 kilograms (1,174 pounds) raw with knee wraps.
That smokes the current world record for the raw squat with knee wraps, set by Alhazov himself last July. He made this incredible 500-kilogram (1,102-pound) lift at an IPA meet which obliterated the previous record of 485 kilograms from Andrey Malanichev.
Alhazov is also pretty darn proficient in equipped lifting, too. To this day, he still holds the IPA world record for the heaviest equipped squat ever made: 567kg (1,250 pounds). This lift was made shortly before the knee injury in 2008.
So, the man can squat. And he can make the heaviest ever raw squat with knee wraps after having had a complete knee reconstruction. We know we’ve said that already, but it’s really difficult to wrap our minds around. He’s also pulled off an amazing deadlift of 442.5 kilograms (975.5lb) this past October at a meet called the Eisenhart Challenge in Germany. He used wrist straps, which few powerlifting federations allow, but this may have been the heaviest strapped deadlift by an active powerlifter.
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So when is the man going to compete? Next week, alongside Chad Wesley-Smith at the Pro Raw X meet in Melbourne. We think it’s safe to predict that a few world records will be broken.
Featured image via Markos Markopoulos on Facebook.