Powerlifting is one of the most exciting sports in the world, full of a variety of interesting athletes. Today we look at the top thirteen male and top eight female powerlifters who are interesting enough to follow on Instagram.
Although there are a few different variations and equipment you can do, powerlifting primarily consists of three core lifts: squat, deadlift, and bench press. This is the basis of all competitions in this constantly growing sport.
However the athletes who do those three lifts are what makes the sport so enticing. Coming from different backgrounds, and being different shapes and sizes, each of these people offer something unique and special to powerlifting.
This is the top 21 powerlifters who are worth following on Instagram.
- 21. Daniel Bell
- 20. Joe Sullivan
- 19. Kevin Oak
- 18. Mark Henry
- 17. Jamal Browner
- 16. Russel Orhii
- 15. Kristy Hawkins
- 14. Jackson Powell
- 13. Jen Thompson
- 12. John Haack
- 11. Daniella Melo
- 10. Blaine Sumner
- 9. Stefanie Cohen
- 8. Yangsu Ren
- 7. Heather Connor
- 6. James Strickland
- 5. Lya Bavoil
- 4. Larry Wheels
- 3. Jessica Buettner
- 2. Julius Maddox
- 1. Amanda Lawrence
21. Daniel Bell
One of the strongest powerlifters in the world, Daniel Bell has accomplished a lot over the course of his decade and a half long career. He has scored numerous world records, and showed strength that defies odds.
Despite having already reached some of the most impressive highs in the sport, Daniel is still continuing to improve. He discussed some of his future plans when he spoke in an interview with Fitness Volt recently.
One of the things that makes Daniel Bell such an interesting follow on Instagram, is the fact that every time he lifts, he is hitting insane numbers. So if you see him on your timeline, you will know right away that it is something good.
20. Joe Sullivan
As a holder of the world record for squat in the 220lb weight division, Joe Sullivan is one of the best powerlifters in the world. He has proven that countless times throughout the twelve years that he has competed.
In terms of accomplishments, Joe has won the vast majority of meets that he has competed in. Not to mention, he has done all of this even before the age of 30, so he has a lot of room to get even better.
With his following on Instagram approaching 100k with each passing month, the future is bright for this promising athlete. He is worth following, if only to be apart of the journey.
19. Kevin Oak
As it stands currently, Kevin Oak is one of the most skilled and strong powerlifters you will ever see. Initially starting his athletic career as a sprinter, he switched to lifting, and has never looked back.
A brief look through his resume will show you that Oak is not to be trifled with on the platform. Not only does he have a slew of wins under his belt, but he has set and extended the world record for raw squat in the 242lb division.
Whether it is for the world record setting performances or the sage training advice, Kevin Oak is a one of a kind follow on Instagram. Adding him to your feed will do nothing but amplify it with each of his posts.
18. Mark Henry
To say that Mark Henry is a powerlifter is kind of like saying Superman is a reporter. This is only one small thing that he does, with the rest of his resume including strongman, weightlifting, and professional wrestling.
That said, Henry’s powerlifting feats are worthy of mention. After all, he started lifting weights in the fourth grade, after growing to be 5’5″ tall and 225lb. From there he has gone on to be one of the strongest lifters in the world.
Whether you follow him for the pro wrestling content, weightlifting, or the generally interesting content, Mark is worth checking out on Instagram. He doesn’t post too much in the way of lifting, but is still fun to follow.
17. Jamal Browner
26 year old Jamal Browner has set enough world records in his day to prove his worth as already being one of the sport’s elite. Another 242lb division athlete, he and our number 19 entry, Kevin Oak, go back and forth a lot.
Where Kevin does not hold world records, Jamal picks them up. So he has set ATWRs for the deadlift and total lift. Anytime he is on the platform, you know that you will be in for a treat.
Giving Jamal Browner a follow on Instagram will be worth your tie because it will allow you to see the progress he is making. He is a valuable addition to powerlifting, and will just as valuable in your follow list.
16. Russel Orhii
At just 24 years of age, there is no denying the fact that Russel Orhii is one of the best of the current crop of rising powerlifters. He has proven that with his numerous world records and championship wins.
Over the five years that he has competed, Russel has only missed the first place position one time in the 183lb division. With his world record total from recently, it is clear that he is an overall threat at every contest.
With his interests starting to switch towards bodybuilding, a lot Russel’s Instagram posts see him working on posing. However whenever he is working towards a new powerlifting goal, his insane performances are worth the follow.
15. Kristy Hawkins
Easily one of the most overlooked powerlifters on this list, Kristy Hawkins is also one of the most skilled. She has held four records to her name in an effort to prove that.
A former bodybuilder, Hawkins made the change of profession in 2014. From that moment she has constantly shown her skill, never ceasing to impress and amaze with every outing.
As far as her Instagram following goes, it is one of the smallest on our list, likely due to how scarce her uploads are. Nevertheless, when Kristy Hawkins does come across your feed, it is always worth your time.
14. Jackson Powell
Before he was legally allowed to vote, Jackson Powell was already being considered one of the most promising powerlifters in the world. This shows the raw talent that this teenager had from an early age.
Now Jackson is just 18 years old, and looks like the future of the sport, without a doubt. He talked to Fitness Volt about his plans over the next few years, and he seems primed to be able to accomplish these goals.
If you are at all interested in following the future of powerlifting, then giving Jackson Powell a follow on Instagram will be invaluable. He has all the potential of a future champion, and it will be exciting to see that unfold.
13. Jen Thompson
A true veteran of female powerlifting, Jen Thompson is one of the most legendary athletes in the sport’s history. You can tell this to be the case with her induction into the IPF Hall of Fame.
Nowadays Jen may be 47 years old, but do not let her age fool you. She is still actively competing, and is very capable of stringing together some unbelievable performances that rival her younger contemporaries.
If you somehow have not made your way into being part of Jen’s nearly 80k Instagram followers, this is something you might want to reconsider. She is a constant source of inspiration and motivation with every post.
12. John Haack
Bilbo Swaggins himself, John Haack is one of the most consistent and skillful powerlifters in the world today. His multiple world records have even led to some people to call him the greatest powerlifter of all time.
Winning virtually every meet in his career so far, Haack has been a dominant force in the 181lb division, and more recently the 198lb weight class. He is a force of nature every time he steps to the weights.
Whether you are looking for epic training sessions or hilarious powerlifting memes, John Haack is the right Instagram follow for you. You can trust that virtually everything he shares is either interesting or impressive.
11. Daniella Melo
Multiple-time IPF World Champion Daniella Melo is as skilled as female powerlifters come. At just 22 years old, the best is still to come for this 185lb athlete, which is crazy to hear when you consider how well she has already done.
Every time we see Daniella, she looks better than her last outing, which is exactly what you would hope to see from someone of her potential. Unfortunately various circumstances have kept her out of competition for a while, but that looks to change soon.
If you are looking to keep track of Daniella’s return to competition and future endeavors, following her on Instagram will give you that perspective. Add this with her constant positivity, and you have someone that you look forward to seeing on your feed.
10. Blaine Sumner
At this point, there is an easy argument to make that Blaine Sumner has one of the best resumes in all of powerlifting. He holds countless IPF National and World Championship wins under his belt to show for it.
In addition to that, he has scored several world records, further adding to his legacy as one of the greats. All in all, he has shown a consistent level of elite strength over the course of his illustrious career.
As far as an Instagram following, the Vanilla Gorilla does not get nearly the recognition that some think he deserves. His page is filled with training advice and diet tips, and following him is invaluable.
9. Stefanie Cohen
One of the more popular entries on our list, Dr. Stefi Cohen is a favorite among powerlifters and fans alike. She takes a technical approach to her lifting, which has led to several world record feats of strength.
In addition to lifting, Stefi likes to get involved in all kinds of athletic activities. No matter what she is doing, it is always an interesting adventure to be a part of.
With a following on Instagram that is creeping up to 1 million, Stefanie Cohen has clearly proven her worth as someone of interest on social media. If you somehow missed following her, you should certainly change that.
8. Yangsu Ren
The Deadlift Panda himself, Yangsu Ren has one of the highest skill levels in all of powerlifting. No prizes for guessing which of the three SBD lifts he likes the best, either.
Every single time Yangsu get his hands on some weight, you know that something incredible is about to happen. Of course, once he starts hitting the deadlifts, you better watch closely so you can have a shot at seeing greatness.
If you are a fan of constant training updates and incredible deadlifts, then you absolutely have to give Yangsu Ren a follow on Instagram. When it comes down to it, it is definitely worth your time.
7. Heather Connor
As a two-time IPF World Champion, Heather Connor has proven her worth as an elite 103lb powerlifting talent. Her skills have taken her far over the course of her still relatively young career.
Throughout her run as one of the best in the world, Heather has seen some incredible highs. Perhaps her most notable achievement was becoming the first female IPF powerlifter to deadlift four times her bodyweight raw.
Having recently entered her thirties, there is a lot to look forward to in Heather’s career. If you want to watch out for these improvements as they unfold, giving her a follow on Instagram will help you out.
6. James Strickland
Starting his career as a swimmer, and even trying out for the NFL, it took a while for James Strickland to find powerlifting. After this happened though, it was clear that he made the right choice.
Naturally James had the size for success, but he backed that up with the power one hopes to see from an elite athlete like he. He aimed to become the lightest person to bench 700lb, and he is making progress towards that goal.
Following James on Instagram will allow you to follow him as he works towards his goal. Aside from that, he is always doing some great work in the gym, so it is worth your attention.
5. Lya Bavoil
French athlete Lya Bavoil is one of the best young powerlifters to come from Europe in a while. She has world records in the squat and total to back up that sentiment in a big way.
What adds to the impressive skill level that she has, is the fact that Lya has gotten where she is while dealing with Asperger’s Syndrome. She spoke about that in a recent interview with Fitness Volt, and her story is inspiration to say the least.
Shortly after you follow Lya Bavoil on Instagram, you will know that she is one of the most positive and skilled powerlifters you will ever see. Every post she shares is likely to put a smile on your face.
4. Larry Wheels
In addition to his ridiculous feats of strength Larry holds more than a few world records. Not to mention the act that he has earned a reputation of being a PR destroyer, so each performance is better than the last.
If you have been living under a rock and have not followed Larry Wheels on Instagram (first of all, where have you been?), then you have been missing out on some amazing displays of strength.
3. Jessica Buettner
Canadian powerlifter Jessica Buettner has really come into her own as one of the best 158lb powerlifters in the world. To do so while dealing with Type 1 Diabetes makes things even more impressive to see.
She has not let eating restrictions meddle with her ability to hit world records and hone her skills. She has strung together a series of performances in her 6 years lifting that previews a long reign as one of the best ever.
When she spoke to Fitness Volt last year, it was clear that Jessica Buettner is also one of the sweetest around. If you follow her on Instagram, you will be able to see that in action as the joy shines through her face with every massive lift.
2. Julius Maddox
When it comes to powerlifting, Julius Maddox is one of the biggest and strongest around. However if we are talking about the bench press, there may not be any better athlete alive.
Maddox was as close as it came to becoming the first man to ever bench 800lb, until a misloading incident led to injury. He has not backed down from the challenge though, and he looks to get back to that point.
If you want to be a part of the journey and see history in the making, be sure to give Julius Maddox a follow on Instagram. It seems like a matter of when not if he will hit the record, and there will be more to follow once that achievement is done.
1. Amanda Lawrence
Amanda Lawrence is quickly becoming one of the brightest stars in the entire sport of powerlifting. She already holds multiple records on a national and worldwide level, and has shown no signs of slowing down.
All in all, Amanda Lawrence is great follow on Instagram. Between her crazy training sessions, her helpful advice, and her positive words of motivation, she is deserving of topping the list of powerlifters worth following.
What did you think of this list? Are there any interesting powerlifters that you think we missed?