This Might Just Be the Heaviest Deadlift Ever Captured on Camera

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A Polish powerlifter named Krzysztof Wierzbicki appears to have just performed the heaviest deadlift ever captured on camera, according to a report from BarBend. In a video posted to Instagram by strongman promoter Julian Howard (a.k.a. worldsstrongestfan online), Wierzbicki (whose own Instagram moniker is aptly "Mr. Deadlift") appears to be seen pulling a record-breaking 502.8 kilos (1,107.8 pounds).

The powerlifter, who used straps but isn't shown to be wearing a belt in the footage, has been working up to this staggering feat of strength for weeks, having already shared a 490 kilo (1,080 pounds) deadlift to Instagram earlier this month.

Before crowing a new deadlift king, however, there are some caveats. Wierzbicki is using a sumo pulling stance here, which is a wider stance and narrower grip compared to the conventional pulls used by strongmen Eddie Hall and Hafthor Bjornsson, the other two recorded 500 kil0-plus pulls. The sumo deadlift is a popular technique among lifters who are looking to put the most weight possible on the bar, as it enables them to lift heavier loads over shorter distances. "You have a lot of freedom to move over a shorter range of motion," explains Men's Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel C.S.C.S. "We get our legs wider, we don't have to hinge quite as far.” Because of that mechanical advantage over the standard deadlift, the sumo deadlift holds a controversial reputation within the strength sports community.

Wierzbicki's massive deadlift was also an unofficial attempt, since he appeared to be in a training session, not an officially sanctioned event with judges, calibrated plates, and other competitors (not to mention that sumo lifts aren't permitted in some events like strongman contests). There is also the question of whether the Polish powerlifter was lifting the weight raw or equipped, since the only visible gear were his grips (BarBend's report was inconclusive on that point, but they did state they had reached out to Wierzbicki for clarification on the matter).

That means that former World's Strongest Man turned pro boxer Hafthor Bjornsson still retains the world record for the heaviest official deadlift at 501 kilos (1,104 pounds). He set that record in May 2021, breaking rival Eddie Hall's prior record of 500 kilos which he established in 2016. But even that record was contested by Hall, since Björnsson managed the pull in his home gym at a dedicated event, sending their feud to a whole new level, which culminated in a grudge boxing match in Dubai earlier this year.

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