Powerlifting sensation Larry Wheels joined forces with the IFBB pro bodybuilder Kiera Aston for an epic deadlift session uploaded to Wheels’ YouTube channel with over two million subscribers, on April 19, 2022. Wheels is currently preparing for Middle East’s Strongest Man competition in August, with the help of his coach Mark Boyd. The six-foot-one, 275-plus-pound Wheels started his strongman training just a few weeks ago and has made big strength gains since.
Meanwhile, Aston, who at 21 years old became the youngest IFBB pro in Europe in 2020 via her 11th place finish in the Figure division at the 2020 IFBB Romania Muscle Fest Pro, will compete at the World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) American Pro on July 29-30, 2022, in Manassas, VA. The powerlifter boasts a deadlift for reps PR of 265 kilograms (584 pounds) for three reps in training and showed her impressive strength during the session with Wheels. Check out their training session below:
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Wheels & Aston’s Workout
Wheels and Aston did several warm-ups sets progressing in weight each time. Aston used the same weights as Wheels for most of the session, although they had different training goals for the workout. Wheels’ training consisted of deadlifts from blocks, deadlifts from a deficit, and then deadlifts from the floor. Block training helps to build top-end and lockout strength while deficits improve pulling strength from the floor.
As Wheels progressed throughout the workout, he removed one variation and ended the session with floor pulls. Aston did regular deadlifts from the floor for the entire session working up to her PR attempt. The first few sets were floor pulls with 61.2 kilograms (135 pounds), 83.9 kilograms (185 pounds), 102.1 kilograms (225 pounds), and 124 kilograms (275 pounds). From there, Wheels transitioned to blocks, and he and Aston each did sets with 142.9 kilograms (315 pounds), 165.6 kilograms (365 pounds), and 183.7 kilograms (405 pounds).
Block Pulls and Deficit Deadlifts
Wheels performed three sets of eight reps for each of the variations, starting with 206.4 kilograms (455 pounds) from blocks. The record-holding powerlifter cranked out nine reps in the first set. Aston increased the weight to 211.4 kilograms (466.1 pounds) and performed a clean rep.
It’s treating every rep like the first rep, rather than keeping that tension on that you’re carrying over from the last rep.
After Wheels’ second set, Boyd reminded him to let the bar reset on the floor before each repetition for more efficient pulls. Wheels moved onto deficits next and Boyd drilled it in again:
Dead, stop, go, dead, stop, go, reset every time. You want that thousand-pound deadlift?
An essential factor for these sessions for Wheels and Aston was maintaining the same speed throughout the sets, reps, and variations. For example, when a set calls for eight reps starts to slow at rep six, Wheels will stop rather than grinding out the last two reps. He’d then do six reps for the subsequent sets to maintain the same rep speed.
Aston’s Deadlift PR Attempt
Aston attempted a deadlift PR of 220 kilograms (485 pounds) for 10 reps. After getting a whiff of smelling salts, it was go time. She got off to a strong start, banging out six good reps, but only managed to squeeze out two more for eight reps, tying her all time-best.
You can just feel the tears running down my face.
Aston wants to bring up her bench press and break the Open and Junior divisions’ squat and deadlift world records. At 23 years old, it’s her last year to attempt Junior world records. According to Open Powerlifting, Aston has only competed in one sanctioned powerlifting meet in the 75-kilogram weight class — the 2019 GPC-GB Bristol Qualifier — which she won with a 552.5-kilogram (1,218.1 pounds).
The current Junior raw world record total at 75-kilograms is 563-kilogram (1,241.2-pound) by Rachel Torres from the 2020 WRPF The Showdown. Per Aston’s Instagram page, she intends to compete in the 67.5-kilogram weight category and is currently on a cutting diet to reach that weight. The current Junior world record total at 67.5-kilograms is 525 kilograms (1,157.4 pounds) by Tatyana Mazar at the 2019 IPL World Cup.
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Wheels did another eight reps of deficit deadlifts with 206.4 kilograms (455 pounds). Aston pulled the same weight for five reps as standard deadlifts. They went another round with the same weights and reps, and then Aston dropped the weight to 405 pounds for five more reps.
Wheels completed three more sets of deadlifts from the floor. He mentioned not doing this much volume in years. The 27-year-old phenom noted that he’s already made a 40-kilogram progression in one week doing the same workout, though this session only lasted 90 minutes compared to his previous four-hour session. So he turned up the intensity. During Wheels’ competition prep, Boyd monitors Wheels’ progress and makes necessary training adjustments.
A lot of people come in and try and lift the heaviest weight possible when really it’s not how you get stronger.
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Cable Rows and Band Pull Aparts
The session wrapped up with a few sets of cable rows using a lat bar and band pull aparts to strengthen the posterior muscles. Aston posted her best lifts from the session on her Instagram page and hopes to make significant improvements in the deadlift and her grip strength, which has affected her lifts.
Grip training twice a week, once during deadlift session and another on my accessory day.
Mark Boyd is calling for Larry Wheels to hit a 1000-pound deadlift in August, possibly at Middle East’s Strongest Man. Wheels’ current best is 935 pounds. Meanwhile, Aston hopes to pull 265 kilograms (584.2 pounds) in her next meet — 19 kilograms over the current all-time raw world record at 67.5-kilograms held by Kimberly Walford.
Featured image: @kierajaston_fitness on Instagram