Mackey made this somewhat unconventional lift look easy.

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When Joe Mackey makes news, it’s usually because the simultaneous powerlifter and bodybuilder capped off some kind of incredible feat of strength. His most recent display of power was a fitting reason to make some headlines.

On Mar. 27, 2023, Mackey shared an Instagram video of himself completing a monstrous 449-kilogram (990-pound) hack squat for five reps. The athlete only used a lifting belt and some knee sleeves for assistance and support during the lift. He made sure to state that he utilized no resistance bands, which some bodybuilders use to aid the lower portion of the lift. It’s undoubtedly a fitting strength display for someone accustomed to making jaws drop.

Because of the positioning of the hack squat machine, athletes who perform reps might find it more challenging if their quad strength isn’t up to par. The hack squat limits how a lifter can recruit their glutes, hamstrings, and upper body to complete a repetition. Mackey, in turn, performing five reps with almost 1,000 pounds is a tremendous example of his unique quad gifts.

In his Instagram post, Mackey writes that he’s the strongest International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League deadlifter in the world. It is unclear if this moniker is accurate because bodybuilders do not showcase their pulling performance in any official or verifiable capacity. That said, with a 412.8-kilogram (910-pound) deadlift personal raw competition best at the Iron Wars VII, Mackey indeed might hold the top spot.

The only other bodybuilding competitor who might compare to Mackey’s deadlift prowess is the legendary Ronnie Coleman. The icon pulled 362.8 kilograms (800 pounds) during the year 2000. However, that also occurred while training for a Mr. Olympia title defense.

In 2022, Mackey finished in fourth place at the Tampa Pro and ninth place at the Texas Pro. In a quest to bid for his first-ever Mr. Olympia, Mackey fell just short of a berth.

It’s unclear what Mackey’s upcoming competitive plans are. The athlete hasn’t alluded to any upcoming powerlifting competitions, as he primarily shares updates on his training progress. Presumably, Mackey will be hard at work this spring and summer to vie for another Mr. Olympia bid.

At this rate, one of the world’s strongest bodybuilders might succeed in this ambitious endeavor on another go-around.

Featured image: @jmackey33_ifbbpro 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).

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