Best clearly still has plenty of that intangible “it” in reserve.
On May 28, 2023, strength icon Nick Best shared an Instagram clip of himself scoring a 350-kilogram (771.6-pound) back squat with wraps during a training session. The active powerlifter and retired strongman competitor was fully adorned during this massive lift. He donned a lifting belt and knee wraps, and utilized wrist wraps to help assist with the monstrous squat. Moreover, the 54-year-old Best captured this squat with wraps roughly five months in the aftermath of an early January 2023 nephrectomy — the surgical removal of either of the kidneys.
Established powerlifting stars Joe Sullivan and Jayvion Wyche were on hand to spot Best for his squat that took place at their mutual Dragon’s Lair Gym in Clark County, NV. According to the log on Open Powerlifting, Sullivan is the all-time raw squat World Record holder in the 100-kilogram weight class with a lift of 385.9 kilograms (850.9 pounds) at the 2023 World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) Battle of the Yard 8.
This squat did not come without an apparent challenge to Best. Though the athlete appeared to have full control as he lowered himself into the “hole,” Best seemed to take his time through the rep and saw a little bit of a struggle. Nonetheless, Best managed to finish off the squat single with a successful lockout and notable power milestone after his surgery earlier in the year.
To build on this huge squat with wraps, Best also shared a video of himself capturing a 306.1-kilogram (675-pound) raw deadlift. According to the caption of this specific post, it was the most weight Best has pulled since his January nephrectomy. The athlete capped his deadlift from a narrow stance while wearing a lifting belt and utilizing a mixed grip.
Per BarBend, Best is indeed preparing for a formal return to sanctioned powerlifting. The athlete plans to compete again at the 2023 WRPF National Championship. The contest will take place on Sep. 22-24, 2023, in Las Vegas, NV. It is unclear what weight class Best will feature in, but he will likely be a part of the Men’s 50-54 division based on his age at the time of competition. These two recent training lifts were likely about Best testing his current limits before he makes a return to an official powerlifting platform.
Best’s last sanctioned powerlifting appearance occurred at the 2022 WRPF FQ Classic 2 in early May 2022. The competition saw the athlete finishing in first place in the Men’s 50-54 division with wraps while participating in the 140-kilogram weight class.
From his recent kidney surgery to a lat injury in 2021, Best has seen a number of obstacles appear in his path in recent years. None of these unforeseen circumstances seem to be slowing down a strength dynamo like him because he continues to plow forward in his legendary career.
Featured image: @nickbeststrongman on Instagram