Theoretically, any day could be the day that an unofficial all-time world record squat could be hit by one of powerlifting‘s elite athletes. That theory came to fruition on March 15, 2023, when 26-year-old Sonita Muluh, who competes in the Women’s superheavyweight division — International Powerlifting Federation (IPF)’s +84KG category — squat just over one kilogram more than the all-time raw world record in the gym.
Muluh wore knee sleeves, a lifting belt, and wrist wraps during the lift. After reaching sufficient depth, she rose back to the starting position without the appearance of much resistance despite having world record weight on the barbell across her shoulders.
According to Open Powerlifting, the above training lift is 1.1 kilograms more than the current all-time raw squat world record of 278.9 kilograms (614.9 pounds), which has been held by April Mathis since the 2011 American Powerlifting Federation (APF) Southern States on Oct. 29, 2011.
Typically, when a world record is unofficially broken in the gym, there is an asterisk that the athlete may not be at their competition bodyweight at that time. However, as Muluh competes in the +84-kilogram class, there is no weight cap to adhere to.
Muluh mentioned that her body weight at the time of the lift was approximately 120 kilograms. Had she performed the above squat on a lifting platform in a sanctioned meet, she would have claimed the all-time raw squat world record.
Per Open Powerlifting, Muluh has only ever competed in the +84-kilogram category, with the lone exception of her competitive powerlifting debut in the 84-kilogram class at the 2020 VGPF Interclub 1. Of the 11 sanctioned meets Muluh has appeared in across her relatively short three-year career, she’s claimed gold in eight of them and only missed the podium twice. That makes her win percentage 72.7 percent. Below are her competition-best lifts:
When Muluh competes next, expect a world record weight to be called for in the squat. If she can control the adrenalin and further her current three-meet winning streak, perhaps she’ll rewrite the record books.
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Featured image: @sonita_ml on Instagram
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