The question “Would strongman competitors make great powerlifters?” is finally getting answered lift-by-lift, and records are falling as a result. This beautiful lift by World’s Strongest Man finalist and Arnold Strongman Class athlete Jerry Pritchett may be telling of things to come.
Pritchett pulled 914 lbs at the IPL World Cup in Salt Lake City on May 1st. It set new USPA and IPL American/World Records, and boy, is it a beauty.
That’s the smoothest 900+ pull we’ve ever seen, and Pritchett actually declined his third attempt after setting this record (he opened with 826 pounds before taking down the record).
The 6’4″ Pritchett absolutely dwarfs the barbell in a way few other powerlifters — even superheavyweights — can. Here he is doing snatch grip deadlifts from a few weeks before the Salt Lake meet. How big of a power move would it be to pull at this width in competition (tendons be damned)?
There’s rampant speculation across the web (and some on reddit’s r/powerlifting subreddit) as to what may happen if top strongman competitors decided to take a stab at deadlift records in various federations. Yes, strongmen use straps, they can hitch, they use big floppy elephant bars. Yes, they’re incredibly tall and may not be nearly as good when it comes to the squat and bench press (but then again, who knows?).
Pritchett, however, is proving strongmen are still pretty darn good under powerlifting competition circumstances — breaking a World Record on your second attempt without flinching may be evidence enough.
And if you think Brian Shaw couldn’t pull some massive weight on the platform, you may be in for disappointment in the near future.