Mark Wood Deadlifts 792 Pounds for a Double (with a Hook Grip)

Mark Wood is relatively new in powerlifting circles, but he’s making waves on Instagram with a series of ridiculous training lifts while hovering around (or under) 190 lbs.

The most recent entry in his catalogue of impressive lifts? 360 kilograms/792 pounds for a double on the deadlift. And as with all Wood’s pulls, it’s done with a hook grip.

Wood makes the weight at a bodyweight of just 86 kg, so repping out here is a rare feat for such a light athlete. About a month ago, Wood pulled 370kg/815lbs on stage in an exhibition — again, no deadlift suit, just a belt and his trusty hook grip:

Seriously, does this guy have iron thumbs or something?

In another video posting of the same 815 pull, Wood gives some excellent incite into his particular pulling style, including some interesting cues that he claims help protect him from bicep tears as well as how he carefully times the more explosive phases of his deadlift (tips posted below video).

First, when I’m standing over the bar(looking at the floor) I’m doing two things: ensuring that my grip is symmetrical and that my feet are under my hips. As always, I’m using a hook grip (thumbs wrapped around my middle fingers). Key point: my wrist is not straight when I initiate the pull. I allow for a bit of extension at the wrist joint to prevent the bar from rolling on the initial pull.

Second, I make sure that the bar is approximately an inch or so away from my shin before the initial pull: any farther then that and my hips will prematurely rise thus causing the dreaded shaky leg. I know a lot of people advocate a straight shin but I’ve tried it in the past and it’s never felt completely comfortable.

Third, as I rotate my hips under my shoulders I’m thinking of “chest out” and “flex triceps” as my dominant cues: the first allows me to maintain a safe spinal position while the latter keeps my arms straight in avoidance of a bicep tear.

Finally, I take a deep breath of air through my diaphragm and push my abdominal against my belt as if I’m trying to break it. As soon as my hips have formed a nice isosceles triangle with my knees and shoulders, I try to squeeze my glues and extend my hips and try to push my feet through the stage.

Just as a note, I see a lot of guys really try to violently rip the bar off the ground. I typically avoid doing that because such an initial pull usually prevents me from being able to grip the bar or at least causes the bar to shift in my hand. Instead, I try to be as explosive as possible once I know the weight is secure in my hands. Once the bar is about an inch off the ground, I’ll typically start to explosively accelerate the bar.

Needless to say, we’re VERY interested to see what Wood can do in powerlifting with a few legit competitions under his belt.

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting.

David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and, as well as a contributor to, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day.

David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.

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