The 7 Most Epic Strength Feats and Performances of 2018

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve already made it through 2018 and it’s been another historic year for strength. This year has been nothing short of amazing for every strength sport, and we wanted to take some time to recognize a few of this year’s best feats of strength.

Whether you’re a competitive powerlifter, you’re a die hard CrossFit fan, or you love the sport of weightlifting, 2018 has been an incredibly epic year in strength sports. Below we’ve included seven of our favorite moments and performances in strength from 2018.

Author’s Note: The numbers below in the list are not ranked in any particular order. At BarBend, we value every strength feat, and these are all incredible feats!  

Epic Strength Feats & Performances of 2018

1. C.C. Holcomb Breaks the All-Time Highest Wilks (Wrapped & Non-Wrapped)

Chakera Holcomb’s competitive season in 2018 has been absolutely incredible. After breaking multiple all-time world records and the all-time highest Wilks score both in the wrapped and the non-wrapped divisions, Holcomb has definitely made her claim as one of the best powerlifters in the world.

In May, Holcomb broke the all-time highest Wilks score in knee wraps, then in June only a few weeks later she shattered the all-time highest Wilks score with knee sleeves.

2. Hafthor Bjornsson’s 2018 Strongman Season

Bjornsson approached 2018 with an intent to take everything and he certainly did so. In March, Bjornsson won the 2018 Arnold Strongman Classic while also breaking the Elephant Bar World Record with his legendary 472kg pull. Then in April, Bjornsson handily won the 2018 Europe’s Strongest Man competition.

These two wins got and kept the ball rolling for Bjornsson as he headed into the 2018 World’s Strongest Man competition where he dominated first place with over a six point lead. Then to top off his remarkable year, Bjornsson took home first place at the World’s Ultimate Strongman competition.

3. Sohrab Moradi Sweeps Every World Record, Snatches 189kg World Record

Iranian weightlifter Sohrab Moradi has had an incredible 2018 competitive season. In August, he blew the weightlifting community’s mind with his 189kg world record snatch in the -94kg weight class. Then in November at the IWF World Championships, Moradi swept gold and set three world records in the brand new -96kg weight class.

4. Mat Fraser and Tia-Clair Toomey Win 2018 CrossFit Games

The sport of CrossFit has had an eventful year to say the least. At the 2018 CrossFit Games, both Mat Fraser and Tia-Clair Toomey dominated their respective divisions. Toomey took home her second and back-to-back CrossFit Games title, while Fraser took home a three-peat win. Both of these athletes have elevated the bar for the sport, the level of entry, and have pushed their competition to become better in the process.

5. Marianna Gasparyan Squats 3.7x Bodyweight Raw, Breaks Highest Wilks Score

Possibly the biggest powerlifting performance of the year in respects to shattering an all-time highest Wilks Score came from Marianna Gasparyan. In August, she competed at The Tribute powerlifting meet in the 132 lb weight class and broke Holcomb’s highest Wilks Score in knee sleeves with a monstrous 634.84.

Her biggest lift from the meet came in the form of massive back squat with 220kg/485 lbs, which broke her previous all-time world record and was 3.7x her competition bodyweight.

6. Ray Williams Squats 475kg/1,069 lbs Raw

This year, Williams pushed the raw squat barrier further than any athlete in the sport of powerlifting. In March, Williams competed at the SBD Pro American at the 2018 Arnold Sports Festival and unofficially shattered his IPF squat world record. After two successful lifts with 442.5kg (975 lbs) and 467.5kg (1,030 lbs), Williams called for 485kg/1,069 lbs for his third.

7. Dan Green Deadlifts 900 lbs…Beltless

The next lift that makes our list comes from powerlifting legend Dan Green. In the Animal Cage at the 2018 Arnold Sports Festival, Green put on a remarkable show. Over the last two years, Green has been battling a few injuries on his way back to competition, so when he deadlifted 900 lbs beltless in the cage, the strength sports community erupted with excitement and awe.

Reflecting Thoughts

After an exciting year in strength, we’re more than ready to see what 2019 has in store for the progression of strength sports. These lifts are remarkable, but they’re far from the definitive list of what’s happened this year. Did we miss any big lifts or performances? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature image(s) from @theworldsstrongestman, @jeff.frank, @tiaclair1, and @sohrab.moradiii.

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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