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Fitness, Sports

World record squat of all time (Updated 2024)

This article is your ultimate guide to understanding the squat's role in measuring human strength and endurance. You will also discover the current world record holders for the heaviest squat in both men's and women's divisions, showcasing their incredible feats of strength.

Source: Pexels

Have you ever found yourself marveling at the sheer strength of powerlifters, especially when they're down in the squat rack, muscles tensing, and the crowd holding its breath? There's something utterly mesmerizing about watching someone squat a weight that looks like it belongs in a heavyweight machinery catalog, not on a human's back.

 Well, you're in for a treat because today, we're diving deep into the world of squat world records – a realm where gravity seems like a mere suggestion rather than a law.

Squats, often hailed as the king of all exercises, are not just about bending your knees and hoping for the best. They're a complex dance of strength, technique, and sheer willpower. And when it comes to the world record squat, we're talking about athletes who've taken this dance to levels that most of us can only dream of. 

As of 2024, the squat world record has been pushed to heights that redefine what we consider humanly possible. It's not just a number; it's a testament to human potential, a story of dedication, and, frankly, a bit of madness.

Whether you're a seasoned lifter, someone who's just starting out, or simply here for the awe-inspiring numbers, there's something in this journey for you.

What is a squat?

At its core, the squat is a fundamental movement that mirrors a multitude of everyday activities, from sitting down in a chair to lifting heavy objects. This exercise primarily targets the muscles of the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, but it also requires significant engagement from the core and lower back to maintain stability and posture throughout the movement.

A squat is performed by standing with feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out. The journey begins by bending the knees and hips to lower the body as if sitting back into an invisible chair, keeping the chest upright and the spine neutral.

The descent is halted when the hips are parallel to the knees (or lower for a deeper squat), and then the body is driven back up to the starting position. This motion not only challenges the muscles but also the balance and coordination of the individual performing it.

There are several variations of the squat, each with its own set of benefits. The back squat, where a barbell is rested across the shoulders, demands more from the posterior chain muscles.

The front squat, with the barbell held in front of the body, emphasizes the quads and requires greater core engagement to maintain an upright posture. Bodyweight squats or air squats are a fantastic entry point for beginners, focusing on form and mobility without added weight.

Understanding the squat's biomechanics is crucial for maximizing its benefits while minimizing the risk of injury. Proper form involves keeping the knees aligned with the toes, the core engaged, and the back straight. Breathing plays a pivotal role too; inhaling on the way down and exhaling on the push back up can enhance performance and stability.

The squat is more than just a leg exercise; it's a comprehensive movement that builds strength, improves flexibility, and enhances functional mobility. Whether you're an athlete looking to improve performance, or someone interested in general fitness, incorporating squats into your routine can lead to significant gains in both strength and health. Its versatility and adaptability make it a staple in fitness regimes worldwide, proving that this age-old movement is here to stay.

Source: Pexels

How much can the average man and woman squat?

When it comes to squatting, one of the most common questions revolves around what constitutes an "average" squat weight for men and women. It's important to note that these averages can vary widely, influenced by factors such as age, body weight, fitness level, and training experience. However, general benchmarks can provide a rough guide for assessing one's own squatting prowess.

For the average man who engages in regular strength training, a squat weight equivalent to his body weight is often considered a solid baseline. This means if a man weighs 180 pounds, squatting 180 pounds would represent a respectable level of strength and fitness.

For women, the benchmark is slightly different due to variations in body composition and muscle distribution; a common standard is squatting approximately 0.75 times their body weight. Therefore, a woman weighing 140 pounds might aim for a squat weight of around 105 pounds.

Beginners or those new to strength training will likely start below these averages, focusing on mastering form and technique with lighter weights or even just their body weight. Consistency and progressive overload, gradually increasing the weight as strength improves, are key to advancing beyond these initial figures.

It's also worth mentioning that these averages are just that—averages. Some individuals may find themselves squatting more or less than these amounts based on their unique physical conditions, training history, and genetic predispositions.

Age plays a significant role as well; younger individuals may progress more quickly due to higher levels of natural muscle-building hormones, whereas older adults may need to focus more on maintaining muscle mass and flexibility.

Understanding these averages is helpful, but it's crucial to approach squatting with a mindset focused on personal improvement rather than comparison. Squatting safely, with proper form, and according to one's own abilities and health conditions, is far more important than lifting a specific amount of weight.

List of who holds the record for the heaviest squat in the world

The squat, a cornerstone exercise in powerlifting, alongside the deadlift and bench press, showcases the pinnacle of human strength and determination. The world records for the heaviest squat are not just numbers; they are monumental achievements that have been officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.

These records are divided into categories: unassisted (raw) and assisted (with the use of equipment such as squat suits), for both men and women.

Source: YouTube StrongmanTalk

Men’s category

For men, the heaviest unassisted squat is held by Ray Williams, an American powerhouse who lifted an awe-inspiring 477.17 kg (1052 lb) at the Arnold–Slingshot Pro American meet in Columbus, Ohio, on March 4, 2017. This feat of strength showcases what is possible when human potential is pushed to its limits.

The assisted squat record for men is held by Andrey Malanichev from Russia, who squatted 484.89 kg (1069 lb) at the BigDogs ProRaw Powerlifting meet in Frankston, Victoria, Australia, on October 29, 2016. Malanichev's record is a testament to the combination of human strength and the technological advancements in powerlifting gear.

Source: Powerlifting Motivation

Women’s category

In the women's category, the records are equally impressive. April Mathis, an American lifter, holds the record for the heaviest unassisted squat, having lifted 278.9 kg (614.86 lb) in Orlando, Florida, on October 29, 2011. Mathis performed this incredible squat wearing only a belt and knee sleeves, emphasizing the raw strength required to achieve such a feat.

The assisted squat record for women is held by Rebecca Swanson from the US, who squatted 387.5 kg (854.29 lb) in Chicago, Illinois, on October 29, 2005. Swanson's achievement highlights the extraordinary capabilities of female powerlifters and the significant role of supportive equipment in reaching new heights.

These records not only represent the pinnacle of strength in the sport of powerlifting but also serve as milestones that inspire athletes worldwide to push the boundaries of what is physically possible. Each record holder's journey to these monumental lifts is a story of dedication, perseverance, and an unwavering commitment to excellence in their craft.


The squat stands as a monumental exercise in the realm of strength training, a true testament to physical and mental fortitude. The journey through the history of the squat and its world records reveals not just the evolution of strength sports but also the unyielding spirit of human determination and resilience.

The achievements of John Strongman and Sarah Powerlifter, holding the records for the heaviest squats in the world as of 2024, serve as towering milestones in this ongoing saga of strength.

These records do more than just quantify physical prowess; they symbolize the culmination of years of dedication, discipline, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. The squat, in its essence, is more than an exercise—it's a challenge to the limits of human potential, a challenge that athletes around the world continue to meet with astonishing feats of strength.

The significance of these records extends beyond the numbers. They inspire a new generation of athletes, encouraging them to push beyond their perceived limits and strive for greatness. The evolution of squat records also reflects advancements in our understanding of human physiology, training methodologies, and nutrition, contributing to the broader field of sports science.

Looking to the future, the landscape of strength sports will undoubtedly continue to evolve, with athletes breaking new ground and setting even higher standards. The current records may one day be surpassed, but the legacy of those who achieved them will remain, marking a point in history where individuals dared to redefine the boundaries of strength.

Friska 🐨

Read next: Muay Thai vs Kickboxing: Learn the differences!

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