Strongman Bobby Thompson Log Presses 217.5 Kilograms For New American Record

The big lift happened at the 2021 Clash on the Coast contest.

American strongman Bobby Thompson pressed 217.5 kilograms (478.5 pounds) on April 30, 2021, to claim the American log press record. Thompson set the record at strongman Anthony Fuhrman’s Clash on the Coast, a contest for 105-kilogram (U105 KG) athletes sanctioned and supported by World’s Ultimate Strongman. Open men athletes were also invited to participate in this record attempt as a special attraction. The event, taking place from April 30 to May 2 at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is available to watch live on Core Sports.

In the video below, you see Thompson complete the press and then embrace Rob Kearney, the referee for the lift and the former record holder. It was a nice display of sportsmanship. Of course, Kearney doesn’t have too much to prove when it comes to the log press.


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A post shared by Bobby Thompson (@bobby_thompson_prostrongman)

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The American strongman has set the record on two separate occasions. First, Kearney seized it from Robert Oberst in 2019 with a 213.8-kilogram (471-pound) press. In 2020, Kearney raised the record to 215.8 kilograms (476 pounds) during season one of World’s Ultimate Strongman’s “Feats of Strength” series.

“As you ascend to [an] elite level in any sport, the number of those around you will skyrocket, but the numbers of those who know you will be limited to who was there before you were anyone to be known in the first place,” Thompson wrote on his Instagram post.

“Today, I did something unique, something I was told I couldn’t do with a torn biceps never repaired, something that just wasn’t going to happen, but I did it. I did it around my family, not just my blood but the kind of family who knows just how insane you have to be to live for these feats. My name is Bobby Thompson, “The American Nightmare,” and I have the strongest shoulders in America. P.S Thanks Rob [Kearney] for everything.”

Thompson’s attempt didn’t come easy. Once he cleaned the log to his chest, Thompson initiated the press but lost stability and took a couple of steps backward. After a few seconds, Thompson locked his triceps out and planted his feet firmly on the cement. Kearney signaled that the lift was good, everyone cheered, and then Thompson motioned Kearney over for a hug. This is Thompson’s first-ever American record. He did not use a split jerk to lock out the weight out and instead opted to push-press the load overhead.


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A post shared by Rob Kearney (he/him) (@worlds_strongest_gay)

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Kearney offered his own congratulations on social media: “Records are meant to be broken, and strongman is about sportsmanship and celebrating your friends’ success! Congratulations Bobby, so happy for you, and I can’t wait to throw down with you once I’m fully healed!”

For context, Kearney ruptured his triceps tendon in October 2020 during a world record log press attempt on WUS’s Feats of Strength Series. He is now training to win shows, not claim records, and is getting some training help from the now-retired five-time CrossFit Games winner Mat Fraser. Kearney’s first competition since that injury was at Strength Island in March of this year. He finished in 13th place.

Next Up, World’s Strongest Man

The next item on Thompson’s competitive agenda is the 2021 World’s Strongest Man competition, set to take place from June 15-20 in Sacramento, CA. Thompson is one of 25 athletes vying for a shot at the ultimate title in strength sports. Kearney is not on the roster, but other notable names include four-time WSM winner Brian Shaw, the Stoltman brothers (Luke and Tom), and returning winner Oleksii Novikov. Thompson competed in the 2020 WSM but didn’t advance to the finals. 

However, with a new American record under his lifting belt, it’s clear that Thompson has been putting in the work. How will he fare? Time will soon tell.  

Featured image: @worlds_strongest_gay on Instagram