Strength and endurance athlete Fergus Crawley is known for his distinctive physical challenges. In the past, he ran a marathon and a half after posting a 600-kilogram powerlifting total, a sub-12 hour triathlon after a 1,200-kilogram total, and sprinted a sub-five minute mile after squatting 500 pounds.
A former competitive powerlifter, Crawley is no stranger to lifting heavy. According to Open Powerlifting, Crawley’s competition best deadlift is 250 kilograms (551.1-pounds), scored at the 2017 GPC Tattooed and Strong in England en route to a gold medal.
On June 21, 2023, Crawley completed another grueling challenge: he ran five kilometers in just under 20 minutes after locking out a 500-pound raw deadlift. Check out the full video below, courtesy of Crawley’s YouTube channel:
Crawley’s 500-Pound Deadlift and 5K Run
The video opened in Crawley’s kitchen, where he confessed feeling nervous about the challenge.
Whilst I’m not competitive with anyone else, I’m very competitive with myself.
Crawley prepared a post-workout protein shake before heading to the track. He bought an electric scooter to help film his run and ferry weight plates from his truck. Crawley also published an unedited and timed version of his 500-pound deadlift and 5K run, which can be seen below:
According to Crawley, “variables at play are significant.” While he felt confident about securing either a 500-pound deadlift or a sub-20-minute 5K, doing them back-to-back was a unique feat for him. Crawley warmed up his deadlift with two 20-kilogram weight plates.
Crawley practiced changing out of his lifting shoes and into his running shoes after completing a deadlift single. He decided to deadlift 500 pounds without shoes to minimize the transition time between the lift and the run. After dialing in his footwear setup, Crawley did pyramid-style deadlift warm-up sets.
Crawley performed the deadlift raw in a conventional stance with a mixed grip. He wore a lifting belt and pulled the barbell in socks.
“The deadlift didn’t move as well as I expected or hoped for,” said Crawley after completing the 500-pound single. He felt he shot his hips up to early, putting his body out of line with the bar path, which was detrimental to his leg drive. Crawley reckoned that the pressure of this challenge, the new environment, or the wind resistance (another variable of an outdoor deadlift) for the first time led to a clunky pull.
“It became more of a stiff-legged deadlift,” added Crawley. “It really put a lot of demand on my hamstrings and lower back, which I definitely felt for the first 1,200 meters [of the run].”
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Crawley started his run with a 3:30-minute-per-kilometer pace, during which the hybrid athlete felt stiffness in his hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Much to Crawley’s relief, the stiffness eased after the first 1,200 meters, allowing him to maintain a steady rhythm and an average pace of 3:50 minutes per kilometer for the remainder of the run.
Crawley crossed the finish line at 19:21. After conquering his challenge with 39 seconds to spare, Crawley admitted joy and relief after accomplishing a feat he’d been contemplating for several years.
Featured image: @ferguscrawley on Instagram