One of powerlifting’s more prolific athletes is gearing up to shine once again.

Written by

A glance at Blake Lehew’s resume will show that this athlete doesn’t shy away from competition. In over a decade-plus of pulling, pressing, and squatting massive weights on sanctioned lifting platforms, Lehew can boast 60 separate contest appearances to his name. If his latest work in training is any indication, his next moment in the spotlight could be quite memorable.

On Nov. 12, 2022, Lehew (82.5KG) posted an Instagram clip of himself capturing a raw 235-kilogram (518-pound) bench press. According to the caption of Lehew’s post, it’s a new personal record (PR). While unofficial, the training feat is also just 2.6 kilograms (5.7 pounds) shy of Maliek Derstine’s all-time raw World Record of 237.5 kilograms (523.6 pounds) in the 82.5-kilogram weight class. Lehew completed this feat without the help of any other equipment and performed the press while barefoot.

Lehew’s bench press work is connected to an upcoming powerlifting competition roughly three weeks from the time of his clip. The same can be said for a 395-kilogram (870.8-pound) raw deadlift PR approximately a week before. Note: According to Open Powerlifting, that pulling mark, if transferred over to an official contest, would surpass Lehew’s all-time World Record of 382.5 kilograms (843.2 pounds) in the 82.5-kilogram division. He achieved that figure at the 2022 United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) Hybrid Showdown 4.

At the time of this writing, without more specifics, it’s unclear what the competition is and precisely when it will take place. Lehew’s diverse competitive history within organizations like the USPA, the World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF), USA Powerlifting (USAPL), and the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) makes it possible he could lift under any of these umbrellas in early December 2022.

Regardless of where or when he competes, it seems likely Lehew will flourish. The 27-year-old has won five straight contests dating back to April 2021 and eight of 10 competitions since March 2019.

Here’s an overview of some of Lehew’s more notable recent competitive results:

Blake Lehew | Recent Competitive Career Results

  • 2015-2016 USAPL Raw Nationals (Raw/Juniors) — First place
  • 2016 USAPL Collegiate Nationals (Raw/College) — First place
  • 2016, 2018 IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships (Raw/Juniors) — First place
  • 2019 USPA The Tribute (Raw/Open) — First place
  • 2019 USPA Bend The Bar (Raw/Open) — First place
  • 2021 WRPF Kern US Open (Wraps/Open) — First place
  • 2022 USPA Hybrid Showdown 4 (Raw/Open) — First place | All-Time World Record Deadlift
  • 2022 WRPF American Pro (Wraps/Open) — First place
  • 2022 USPA Pro Raw Championships (Raw/Open) — First place

Here’s a rundown of Lehew’s all-time raw competition bests:

Blake Lehew | All-Time Raw Competition Bests

  • Squat — 305 kilograms (672.4 pounds)
  • Bench Press — 227.5 kilograms (501.5 pounds)
  • Deadlift — 382.5 kilograms (843.2 pounds) | 82.5KG All-Time Raw World Record
  • Total — 910 kilograms (2006.2 pounds)

Lehew is slowly but surely building toward another potential exemplary performance. With a few more weeks of strength refinement on the horizon, the athlete could have his best in store when he competes next month.

Featured image: @deadliftingorangutan on Instagram

About Robert Zeglinski

Robert is a seasoned and adept editor and writer with a keen, passionate penchant for the writing craft. He’s been a leader in newsrooms such as SB Nation, USA TODAY, and WBBM Newsradio, with various other content and art production teams, and first made a name for himself in his hometown of Chicago. When not knee-deep in research or lost in a stream of consciousness for a thorough piece, you can find Robert inhaling yet another novel, journaling his heart out, or playing with his Shiba Inu, Maximus (Max, for short).

View All Articles