Bodybuilding has produced many legends, but few have been as iconic as Tom Platz. Tom was, and is to this day, recognized for his incredible lower body workouts, which have proven to be quite effective considering the size of Platz’s legs. Tom became known as the “Quadfather” for good reason. His legs weren’t just a sight to behold, they were also incredibly strong, with some of his impressive feats still unmatched today. His quad muscles were the stuff of legend, and he rightly earned his place among the greats of bodybuilding and strength training. The most remarkable one was his 23-rep squat set with 525 pounds on the barbell. Platz completed this set in 1992, and ever since many world-class athletes have attempted to match it.
Everyone knows the best squatters usually come from powerlifting, which is why it’s no surprise to see a lot of them taking on the Tom Platz Challenge. Most recently, Bradon Gulch was the man who gave his maximum effort to achieve the incredible feat. In addition, he came extremely close to matching Tom Platz’s result, having performed only two reps less than him. So, after reaching his limit, Bradon ended up with a 21-rep 525-pound squat set.
Bradon Gulch utilized a pair of knee sleeves and a lifting belt to complete this set, making it raw by the majority of standards. In addition, Bradon is just 22-years-old, making his attempt even more impressive. He didn’t seem to struggle much until he hit his 18th rep, but he pushed through and managed to eke out three more. In the end, Bradon failed while attempting his 22 repetition, as he was not able to get up from the squatting position. After the spotters took the barbell from his back, Bradon fell back and decided to remain on the floor until the burning sensation in his legs started to dull.
Watch the lift here:
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Bradon Gulch isn’t the first elite powerlifter to tackle Tom Platz’s squat challenge. Joe Sullivan attempted the same challenge a year ago. In spite of being a World Record holder, Joe was only able to complete 20 repetitions, putting him behind Bradon.
The bodyweight of Tom Platz during his 23-rep 525-pound squat set was 198 pounds, while Bradon Gulch’s bodyweight was unknown at the time of the attempt. Just two weeks prior to his attempt, Bradon participated in a powerlifting competition, where he weighed 271.2 pounds.
It is also important to note that Bradon Gulch is focused on improving his one rep max on the squat and not improving his AMRAP sets. So, the heaviest official squat of his career came out to 705.4 pounds, which is significantly heavier than Platz’s reported PR of around 600 pounds. So, it all depends on one’s primary goals.
Overall, Bradon Gulch took part in 11 sanctioned powerlifting competitions, winning seven of them. Even though he has been competing for only two years, it is apparent that he will continue to improve for years to come.
Bradon Gulch’s Competition PR
- Squat: 320 kilograms (705.4 pounds) — (2022 USAPL Liftmas Open)
- Bench Press: 212.5 kilograms (468.4 pounds) — (2023 USAPL Arnold Pro Bench)
- Deadlift: 300 kilograms (661.4 pounds) — (2022 USAPL Liftmas Open)
- Total: 825 kilograms (1,818.8 pounds) — (2022 USAPL Liftmas Open)
Related: Leg Day Motivation: Tom Platz “I Was Willing To Die For It”
Bradon Gulch seems to be the closest man to Tom Platz’s record currently, as two reps don’t seem too far away. In addition, as explained earlier, if Bradon decides to work on his AMRAP instead of a One-Rep Max at some point, it is very likely that he would be able to surpass the 23 reps performed by Tom Platz.
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