Powerlifting and strongman veteran Nick Best made a name for himself with his unreal feats of strength. He has recorded some huge lifts over the years and seen some world records as well. So, over the years, Nick has also experienced some incidents in the gym. However, one particular incident turned out to be a blessing in disguise. In a recent appearance on the Shaw Strength podcast, Best opened up on how an unsuccessful bench press attempt helped detect cancer in his body and save his life in time.
Nick Best first rose to fame in powerlifting. He started off proving his potential by winning the USAPL National Powerlifting Championships in the 125-kg category in 1996 and 1997 along with the WDFPF World Powerlifting Championships. After some years as a powerlifter, Best transitioned to Strongman. Moreover, he emerged as a budding strongman contender in 2010 when he came out victorious in the All-American Strongman Challenge. The win earned him qualification for the Arnold Strongman Classic, where he finished ninth. He then regularly qualified for the World’s Strongest Man over the last decade.
In November 2021, Best left the fans stunned by performing a massive 500-pound (226.79-kg) deadlift for 50 reps at the age of 53. He also detailed a grueling back day workout after the age-defying stunt to motivate his followers further. Then, he joined forces with legendary Strongman contender Brian Shaw, a four-time World’s Strongest Man winner, for an intense back training session at bodybuilding icon Flex Lewis’ gym in Las Vegas.
Best and Shaw strengthened their partnership with another monstrous workout in January 2022. The duo went through a series of heavy exercises targeting the upper body along with a huge 500-lb bench press. They collaborated again for a tough lower-body training session a month later. They also crushed a gigantic 480-lb hip thrust exercise as part of the grueling leg day workout.
Best created history by setting two WRPF Masters World Records at the 2022 WRPF FQ Classic 2 powerlifting contest a year ago. He managed to squat 372.5 kilograms (821.5 pounds) and lock out 337.5 kilograms (744 pounds) on the deadlift. He also equaled the Total World Record in the 140-kg weight class.
The 54-year-old smoked an enormous 700-lb (317.5-kg) 13-inch deadlift for eight reps in July 2022. He followed up by improving to 10 reps of 700 pounds on the 13-inch deadlift at the 2022 Clash of the Masters, where he took bronze.
Nick Best smashed a 600-lb (272-kg) deadlift for 16 reps five days before his 54th birthday last November. He then announced he’d step away from professional Strongman competition after 16 glittering years in the game.
Nick Best reveals how a bench press fail saved his life
In a recent episode of the Shaw Strength, Nick Best revealed how a failed bench press attempt helped him discover an underlying health issue that saved his life.
“My wife’s an ER nurse and so nothing really phases her unless it’s really serious,” said Best. “She’s kind of looking at me, watching me breathe and she’s seeing the spasm, and she’s like we better go get that looked at. Let’s get you to the ER. We went in the next 30 minutes. I couldn’t take deep breaths until they gave me the muscle relaxants to get my diaphragm from spasming, just real shallow short breaths. They told me we need to get a CT scan to make sure there’s no internal bleeding.
The guy was kinda feeling around, poking up in the top part of my rib cage and he goes like I don’t know. We need to get some film on it. Kelly’s like okay fine let’s do it just be safe. Turns out I had a hematoma, which isn’t the end of the world, that’s going to heal and go away. Both sides of my ribs are bruised because the rib cage gives and where it stops giving that’s where I got the injuries so it was right in my serrates. It wasn’t very pleasant.
Got through that and he brought this other doctor in, my wife knows him, he’s not someone that messes around when he comes into the room, it’s usually something serious. He goes, we’ve had an incidental finding and that’s when they found the tumor in my kidney. He says there’s a growth in your kidney, it’s completely inside the kidney but you need to go get another CT scan in two days because they gave me contrast and they can’t do that back to back.
Two days later, we got another CT scan and in which time, got the film, an appointment scheduled, and a couple weeks later, he sent me for another CT scan because look we have a mass there, can’t tell if it’s a cancerous tumor or fatty tumor. We’re going to need to get a biopsy stuff like that, went in for another CT scan, got a better look at it then he sent me for a biopsy but couldn’t get me comfortable because they laying on my belly, got to go through the back, where it was sitting out of my kidney. They were going to have to go through my lung into the kidney. The doctor said we can’t do this today. It just hurt so bad on the ribs they couldn’t. I couldn’t move at all because the needles.
“They’re going off the CT scans but the doc’s concern is it could be a fatty tumor in which case if it was they could go in cauterize blood vessels in the kidney that are supplying the fatty tumor in and it’ll go away. So, you can’t tell the difference. I’m like doc with an MRI be able to be enough of a view in a 3D view to give you a better idea whether it’s fat or something else. He goes yeah the MRI will work so we went in again. I got an MRI and this is all within a month.”
Nick Best is still going strong despite being in his mid-50s. He scored a heavy 600-lb (272.2-kg) deadlift for 15 reps at the 2022 Olympia expo last December. With everything he has done so far, Nick is without a doubt still one of the strongest men in the world.
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