Max Clean & Deadlift: Weightlifter, Powerlifter, Bodybuilder, and CrossFitter Face Off

Mattie Rogers, Brooke Ence, Dana Linn Bailey, and Maddy Forberg continue their multi sport competition with Brute Strength.

Brute Strength had tremendous success last year when they pitted a male weightlifter, bodybuilder, powerlifter, and CrossFit® athlete against one another to see which would fare the best across several different strength and athletic endeavors. It was a huge hit on YouTube and this year they’ve taken the formula and recruited four top female athletes from the same disciplines.

Mattie Rogers: Silver medalist at the 2018 Weightlifting World Championships
Brooke Ence: CrossFit Games athlete
Dana Linn Bailey: Bodybuilder, 2013 Ms. Olympia
Maddy Forberg: Elite powerlifter and USAPL coach

Last week, we had the first episode of the series but you might call it more of a prequel: no competition took place. Instead, we were introduced to the four athletes and to the rules of the game: eight events over a two-day period, four of which would reflect each athlete’s strength sport — max clean, max deadlift, physique, and a CrossFit workout — then four events that highlight each athlete’s overall athleticism.

Those last four events remain something of a mystery (though we know they involve soccer and softball), but today they premiered the episode that a lot of people were looking forward to: the max clean and max deadlift events.

Watch it unfold below. Who would you have picked as the winners?

The athletes were only allowed two failed lifts at a specific weight before they had to stop competing (basically, they were allowed one failed lift per weight).

Forberg noted at the video’s outset, “I’m excited and nervous because I have no idea how to really do a clean,” a sentiment that was echoed with Bailey approaching the lift as more of an upright row or, as host Adrian Conway jokingly put it at one point, a “double knee bend reverse curl.” (She still pulled impressive weight and tightened up her form somewhat as the weights progressed.) The 4.08 mark is when Rogers hits 100 kilograms — her competition best clean & jerk is 134 kilograms — and things start getting serious.

Athletes PR right and left throughout the events and it’s an entertaining watch, particularly as Rogers had never before hit a 1-rep max deadlift. (The deadlifts start at 9.33.)

Next week we’ll see which athlete comes out best in a metcon workout, and if we’re lucky, the same episode might feature the fabled physique showdown. We’ll be refreshing our YouTube feed waiting for the premier.

Featured image from Brute Strength YouTube channel.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. At BarBend his writing more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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