Nathaniel Massiah — bodybuilder, powerlifting competitor, university student, influencer. He does it all. Most recently, he broke his deadlift PB, lifting 300kg. Not just once, but for three reps. If I couldn’t see all those plates stacked on the bar, I’d have thought it was a 100kg deadlift. That’s how easy he made it look.
Training to meet a PB is foreign idea to many. It looks like just moving some heavy objects about, which in theory I guess it is. But in practice it’s so much more. The feeling of hitting a new PB in the gym is unmatched.
Nathaniel isn’t just a big name on campus — he’s also a big on Instagram and YouTube. Everyone in the gym knows Nathaniel. When he wanders over to the deadlift platform, plates in hand, it’s pretty clear what’s about to go down. That’s when the crowd gathers.
It’s no surprise that under this amount of pressure, Nathaniel has a way to compose himself. His ritual.
Common in the sporting world, rituals are a type of routine that get competitors in the zone. Tennis players often need to bounce the ball a certain number of times before serving, footballers may have a specific free kick routine, and lifters have their own unique ways of preparing. Ritual is sewn into success. It’s part visualisation, part muscle memory and part superstition.
Nathaniel’s deadlift ritual:
- Deep breaths with head held low to get in the zone
- Deep breath pushing his shoulders back and puffing up his chest
- Mechanical movement down to grab the bar with an alternating grip
Don’t take our word for it — see for yourself:
You get the picture…
And it’s not just Nathaniel. Matt Morsia likes to wiggle his shoulders, take a quick deep breath and then gets into it. It’s a way to focus the mind — just lifter and the bar.
Take Home Message
Eddie Hall had better watch out. Nathaniel’s only 19 and can deadlift 300kg with perfect form and almost without breaking sweat. Give him a few years, and he’ll be coming for that half-tonne record. At this rate, he could surpass it.