The deadlift is familiar to most gym-goers. In its strictest form it is a powerlifting move that must be completed in one “pull” from the floor to lockout (the position pictured to the left). Strongmen typically take a more brute strength approach – allowing competitors to hitch (perform multiple “pulls”) the bar up their legs until they reach lockout at the top of the lift. In contrast to powerlifting, straps are usually accepted amongst strongmen – they remove the grip element of the lift, allowing competitors to save their hands for other events.
Another important difference between a conventional deadlift that you might see at the gym and those that feature at Strongman competitions is the height at which the competitor pulls from. This can vary wildly, with the bar starting near the floor or up to knee height.
In competition the deadlift can be for maximum weight – usually in a round-robin fashion, with each competitor lifting every increment of weight – or for repetitions in a time limit (usually 75 seconds).
With deadlifts possible from an infinite number of heights its difficult to name an all-inclusive record holder. Below are a list of deadlift variants and their respective world records.
Deadlift: 445kg / 981lb – Benni Magnusson
Silver Dollar Deadlift: 510kg / 1125lb – Ken Brown
Hummer Tyre Deadlift: 524kg / 1117lb – Zydrunas Savickas