If this how Herndon starts 2023, a monster year is likely ahead.

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Whenever one checks in on Phillip Herndon, the mammoth powerlifter is likely pulling off some incredible feat of strength. As a usual 110-kilogram competitor, Herndon has amassed a reputation for seemingly impossible displays of power the moment he gets a barbell within his grasp. Herndon’s latest in-gym achievements, as one of his first notable benchmarks of 2023, is undoubtedly one of the athlete’s best to date.

On Feb. 4, 2023, Herndon posted a video to his Instagram page of himself capturing a 412.7-kilogram (910-pound) back squat raw during a recent training session. According to the caption of Herndon’s post, the demonstration of leg power is an all-time personal record (PR). Herndon had wrist wraps, a lifting belt, and knee sleeves adorned during the squat — which is considered a raw lift by sanctioned powerlifting standards.

In the same post, the athlete revealed he weighs 265 pounds, meaning, after gaining more muscle, he may compete in the 125-kilogram (275-pound) weight class moving forward. The athlete’s next competitive appearance would officially be his first time competing in the division after beginning his competitive career in the 82-kilogram (181-pound) class in 2013 and spending the past four years at 110 kilograms (242 pounds).

While unofficial, Herndon’s squat is 2.7 kilograms (6.1 pounds) more than the all-time raw World Record in the 125-kilogram weight class, according to Open Powerlifting. That record mark belongs to Dennis Cornelius, who squatted 410 kilograms (903.9 pounds) at the 2017 United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) Freedom Fitness Classic. Herdon currently holds the all-time raw world record in the 110-kilogram class, with a 395-kilogram (870.8-pound) squat, as well as the 110-kilogram class all-time world record squat with wraps at 435 kilograms (959 pounds).

“Best numbers of prep and lifetime PRs. Just getting started.”

Herndon’s squat PR is likely connected to his ongoing preparation for the 2023 World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) Ghost Clash 2. The contest is scheduled to take place on Feb. 18-19, 2023, in Miami, FL, and will feature other notable powerlifting stars.

Independent of weight class, here’s an overview of Herndon’s all-time raw competition bests:

Phillip Herndon All-Time Raw Competition Bests

  • Squat — 395 kilograms (870.8 pounds) | 110-kilogram All-Time World Record
  • Bench Press — 230 kilograms (507 pounds)
  • Deadlift — 372.5 kilograms (821.2 pounds)
  • Total: 977.5 kilograms (2,155 pounds)

Herndon has been alluding to his place in the WRPF Ghost Clash 2 competition for several weeks now, as most of his Instagram posts have included some reference to it. In that respect, he appears to be a lifter on a mission.

It’s barely been a month into 2023, and Herndon already looks locked and loaded for impressive achievements in the gym and on official lifting platforms. Should he transfer his newest strength accomplishment to Southern Florida later this month, it’ll likely only be one of many significant appearances from the record-setting powerlifter.

Featured image: @phillip_herndon on Instagram