T Nation

Raw Squat and Dead Records


Hey T-men. I got into a discussion with some friends on facebook regarding the use of belts. I'm siding with Paul Chek (especially after reading his "Back Strong and Beltless" series.

My question to you all is: Does anyone know what the world records are (or, failing that, post your personal bests) for squats and deads without a belt? I know there's a 100% Raw PL federation, but they allow belts. I'm curious to see if anyone knows the beltless numbers. Thanks guys, and stay strong.



I doubt you'll find any official records as raw in any fed pretty much assumes no belt, but I've personally witnessed a 700+ deadlift in competition without a belt. he was a pretty big guy so it's possible the belt probably would have just been in the way.

I can't recall ever seeing a squat of any significance in competition without a belt. Not sure I know anybody brave enough to try a beltless squat max for that matter


Hmmm I've seen alot of big guys pull big numbers without belts. Names and maxes escape me but I know it was 300+kg

Personally the best I've seen the gym was a 100kg lifter doing 250kg 5x5 all super deep without a belt. And they looked comfortable.


I train and compete raw (no belt). My current PR's (in lbs.) for reps are:

Squat: 470x5
Deadlift: 475x5
Front Squat: 340x4

I've always seen lifters using a belt in the raw category in the AAU meets that I've been to. I couldn't tell you what national and world records are because there is no distinction in the raw category between wearing a belt or not.


Cool. Thanks, guys. Raw Power, 2 things:
1. What's your absolute max squat and pull no belt?
2. You think there should be a distinction between belt and no belt? I'm asking this more to just pick your brain a little.


Cool avatar and user name! why are you holding the keg like that? There is better ways to secure it than with your chin! lol....

Personally I think a belt is fine when talking about lifting raw or having the raw record... Just my opinion never really ever meant much.


My absolute max pull done in a competition without a belt was back in June 2006. Those were:

Squat: 501
Dead: 529

Since that time I've been doing 5 reps in those lifts. Bases on what I can do for 5 reps I figure my one rep max is greater than what it was over a year ago.

I'm coming back from two surgeries earlier this year so I have stayed clear of max singles for now. I'm hoping to compete again next year if all goes right. My goal is to squat and pull 600 without a belt one day.

Yes, I think there should be a distinction between belt and no belt competing to some degree. It's really not practical in today's powerlifting with all the different categories broken down by age, weight, raw, equipped, submaster, master, police, fire, military, etc., and it's getting a little out of control in my opinion.

It's my belief that if a lifter is competing raw that should mean no supportive gear of any kind. A lifting belt is a form of support and can easily add 40lbs. or more to the squat and deadlift. For the lifter who chooses to not use a belt then he know what he is up against...a disadvantage.

It all depends on what the no belt lifter is after. If he is a trophy hound then he should wear a belt so he can place higher in the raw category. For myself, I'm not competing against anyone except myself anymore. I have my goals and PR's that I want. I've got my share of trophies, medals and plaques and all they are dust collectors that nobody outside of lifting even cares about.

I had to find a way to make powerlifting fun again and for me that was taking off all the gear and doing what I like best - old school. It's more challenging and very few people do it. I have always been one to do the opposite of what others are doing.

For the lifter that wants to place high in the raw category or even compete against those that are equipped there shouldn't be any complaining or whining because the rules are very clear. The one with the highest total wins and that is why a lot of people are geared up to the max. It's all a matter of what one wants.


and that is one of the many reasons PL won't be taken as seriously as WSM or the Olympic Weightlifting.

OL and WSM have weightclass's and (for OL at least) Junior/Masters and then everyone else.

and even then, in the equipped federations, you got 1ply, 2ply, 2ply + 2ply briefs etc etc etc...

its getting way outta hand.

now, back to topic.

I think raw means raw. Means me and my singlet are under/over that bar. No wraps, no straps, no belt.

The most I personally have witnessed sans-belt is 418x2 ass to grass for 3 sets by a 105kg lifter.


Francis Tournefier 295 Kg (650 lbs) raw squat at -100 Kg (220 lbs) bodyweight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpA47OUohpM

My trainingbuddy squats 240 Kg raw with no belt @ ~120 Kg bodyweight for 6 reps, and that's not his limit.


I just started using a belt for my squats, which is still considered Raw in AAU, but don't use one for Deads.

My best Squat is 435 beltless (455 belted) and my best deadlift is 600 beltless. I think they are more useful on Squats for keeping the abs pressurized. I actually find them to be a distraction on Deads.


I agree...I don't get anything out of a belt for my deadlift. However, it really helps me to keep my abs pushed out and tight when I squat. I willing to bet that I get 10-15lb from the belt, but I think part of that is mental. I feel safer and more secure with belt, so I more willing to go balls to the wall. However, I only use it once I hit 90%.


Good stuff, guys. Yeah, I got into a discussion on Facebook ("Shut Up and Lift" if anyone here is on facebook) about belt use and wanted to see if any of you T-men knew the numbers. My own personal bests are 500 squat beltless and a 450 conventional dead beltless. I don't think I'm ever gonna use one, just work on getting piss strong completely raw.

Kalle, the reason I'm carrying the keg like that is because it was an uphill keg shuttle, and if I'd carried it normal style (horizontal), it woulda been bouncing off my thighs the entire way up. It worked out well, though, I think I finished third in my weight class (and I weighed about 205 in the under 230 class!).


There is a video somewhere out there (youtube?) of Kevin Nee pulling about 800lbs with no belt and no suit. In this case, raw does not necessarly mean natty.

My max d/l is approx 600lbs, and I'm pretty sure I could pull at least 550 without the belt. If anything, I think it's mental. I almost always put it on now after I go over 315. When I go higher, I use the rehband then a power belt over it.

The difference is the squat is prob more. I have not squatted without a belt since I had a back injury, and that was well over a year ago. I personally like gear, but the raw stuff is cool as well. Check out oly lifters, as all there stuff is usually TOTALLY raw. Very inspiring.



Thanks, man. OLY you say? That stand for something?


Thats awesome!
The way he does GMs is strange but I guess he does that for his Oly syle....




This quote in comments made me spit my coffee out.

"whatever squats arent a true test of strength i wonder what he can tricep kickback-inverted pinky twist variation with isometric vagina flexion"


Raw squat: 948.0 lbs (430.0 kg) by Mark Henry.



Personally I don't consider Henry's 948 or 953 raw as he wore knee wraps and most people get 50 pounds of so out of them. Yuri Spinov squatted 947 with no belt but with suit and wraps, karwoski's training tape has him squatting 8x640 with no wraps, belt or suit.

Also their is a clip on youtube of Kevin Nee pulling 814 no belt, Coan supposedly did 3x840 (one set each sumo and conventional in the same workout) without a belt.


What was that lift for that fat slob Mark Henry? Was that double bodyweight or maybe 1.86?