During the recent 2022 North American Powerlifting Federation (NAPF) North American Regional Powerlifting Championships, powerlifter John LaFlamme (93KG) squatted 198 kilograms (436.5 pounds) raw. The strength feat demonstrating LaFlamme’s leg power is a new Masters 4 (ages 70-plus) International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Record. The contest took place on August 14-20, 2022, in Panama.

The 71-year-old LaFlamme’s new record surpasses the previous mark by 5.5 kilograms (12.1 pounds). Christian Buchs, 74, held the past record with a squat of 192.5 kilograms (424.4 pounds) at the 2019 European Powerlifting Federation (EPF) European Masters Classic Championships.

LaFlamme donned a lifting belt and had knee sleeves on to help him capture this record squat. 

[Related: How to Do the Goblet Squat for Lower Body Size and Mobility]

LaFlamme’s fresh squat record in the Masters 4 division might be even more noteworthy, considering he moved up a weight class. The American athlete has competed as an 83-kilogram competitor in 11 of 12 contests dating back to October 2018. On this occasion, per LaFlamme’s social media, he weighed in at 198 pounds or 89.8 kilograms — enough to compete in the 93-kilogram category.

By capturing the Masters 4 IPF World Record in the 93-kilogram division, LaFlamme now owns the record mark in both the 83 and 93-kilogram weight classes. LaFlamme squatted 193 kilograms (425.5 pounds) at the 2021 IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships for the 83-kilogram record; he also won the contest.

“In 2020, the year I became a Masters 4 [powerlifter], my goal was to compete twice internationally to break both the Masters 4 83-kilogram and 93-kilogram weight class raw squat World Records,” LaFlamme said on Instagram. “A huge thanks to the NAPF community for your kindness and friendship at the 2022 NAPF Championships.”

LaFlamme has been competitive powerlifting in some capacity since April 1978. After an absence from the mid-1980s through the 2000s, he returned as a Masters 60-64 competitor in November 2013. Here’s a rundown of LaFlamme’s all-time competition bests:

John LaFlamme | All-Time Raw Competition Bests

  • Squat — 210 kilograms (462.9 pounds) 
  • Bench Press — 112.5 kilograms (248 pounds)
  • Deadlift — 245 kilograms (540.1 pounds)
  • Total —  557.5 kilograms (1,229 pounds) 

[Related: How to Do the Bulgarian Split Squat for Leg Size, Strength, and Mobility]

On the Brink

Should LaFlamme add just two kilograms (4.4 pounds) to his squat in a future competition, he would become the first Masters 4 powerlifter to squat at least 200 kilograms (440.9 pounds). Notably, LaFlamme once squatted 210 kilograms (462.9 pounds) at the 2018 USA Powerlifting Virginia State Championships. However, LaFlamme was 67 years old then, and that was as an Open competitor. 

Between several Open and Masters divisions since 1978, the next time LaFlamme competes will also be his official 50th competitive appearance as a powerlifter. It’ll be but another achievement for a long-time powerlifting icon. 

Featured image: @johnlaflamme83kg on Instagram