Danny Grigsby is officially a powerlifting pioneer. At the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) Virginia Beach Classic on March 26, 2022, he became the first-ever athlete to deadlift over 1,000 pounds in a full powerlifting meet. Grigsby notched a raw 465-kilogram pull (1,025.2 pounds) on his third attempt — which gave him the raw world record.
You can check out Grigsby’s record-breaking lift below, courtesy of fellow powerlifter Nabil Lahou’s Instagram page.
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With time on the clock running, Grigsby shows a degree of perseverance. At first, the deadlift appears to be challenging for the powerlifter, who sets himself up in a wider sumo stance. To the crowd’s encouragement, Grigsby pushes through an initial strain and eventually quickly locks out the pull with good form. In this case, it looks like the third time was indeed the charm.
A Record in Context
Grigby’s achievement puts him in excellent company. According to Open Powerlifting, the previous record-holder for the heaviest raw deadlift in a full power meet was held by Jamal Browner — who pulled 440.5 kilograms (971 pounds) at the 2020 World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) Hybrid Showdown II at 110 kilogras. Grigsby not only surpassed Browner’s mark, he shattered it by an astonishing 24.5 kilograms (54 pounds).
Here are Grigsby’s full stats from the meet:
USPA Virginia Beach Classic 2 Results — Danny Grigsby | 125KG
Squat | 275 kilograms (606.3 pounds)
Bench Press | 200 kilograms (440.9 pounds)
Deadlift | 465 pounds (1,025.2 pounds) | All-Time World Record
Total | 940 kilograms (2,072.4 pounds)
In a post on his Instagram page, Grigsby elaborated on what went into his exceptional performance. The powerlifter noted that he “didn’t push squats” and recently started to overcome some mental barriers with his bench press. Notably, he had previously injured his quads multiple times, possibly setting back his progress. In response, during the meet, Grigsby modulated the weight on his barbell to mitigate potential injury.
Even still, a 274.8-kilogram squat (606 pounds) is nothing to sneeze at in a sanctioned event. Grigsby’s career-best in a formal competition is 337.5 kilograms (744.1 pounds), which he managed at the 2020 USPA Iron Mongers Pro Day.
All in all, Grigsby said part of this process was about looking ahead. He alluded to competing sometime again in the summer of 2022. Naturally, he wants to keep his quads and hips healthy for that coming occasion.
Here are additional angles of Grigsby’s lifts from his record-breaking meet, via his Instagram profile. The first clip is of Grigsby’s record-breaking deadlift. Scroll right once to see his bench press, and scroll right twice to see his squat.
[Related: Powerlifter Prescillia Bavoil (69KG) Wins 2022 FFForce French Nationals, Scores Two Unofficial IPF Records]
Powering Through Injury
It’s worth noting that Grigsby’s honest struggle with injuries from his squats is nothing out of the ordinary for a powerlifter.
One study showed that a majority of dedicated powerlifters (anyone who’s been powerlifting for a minimum of a calendar year) are contending with at least some sort of acute injury related to their training routine. (1) Almost half of the study’s participants had two different ongoing injuries. Of course, in a refrain that will ring familiar, the most common injuries, by far, were related to the powerlifter’s hips and quads and their respective heavy squats and deadlifts.
Grigsby listening to his body and making appropriate adjustments is also nothing new for a powerlifter. Over half of the powerlifters from the same study continued to train despite reporting at least one concurrent injury (1). While never stopping their training, most of these people instead made changes to the amount of weight they lifted and their technique — similarly to Grigsby.
The Summer Ahead
Whenever Grigsby does compete in the summer of 2022, he has said his new goal is at least a 1,043.3-kilogram (2,300-pound) total. Such a mark would give him the second-heaviest total of all time for someone competing at 125-kilograms. Only Zac Meyers‘ 1,053-kilogram (2,321.5-pound) world record total from the 2020 USPA No Luck Needed Open would exceed it.
Given the record Grigsby broke, his careful and attentive approach to the USPA Virginia Beach Classic 2 appeared to be a good start.
Stromback, E., Aasa, U., Gilenstam, K., Berglund, L. (2018) Prevalence and Consequences of Injuries in Powerlifting: A Cross-sectional Study. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 2018 May; Volume: 6, Issue: 5
Featured image: @kinng_67 on Instagram