On April 29, 2021, Jamal Browner reminded the strength sports community that he’s one of the strongest deadlifters on the planet. The 26-year old posted two videos to his Instagram account. The first was of a 430-kilogram (950-pound) conventional deadlift, which he originally posted to Instagram on April 27, 2021. The second clip was of Browner crushing a 476.3-kilogram (1,050-pound) deadlift using only a lifting belt and lifting straps in a sumo stance — originally filmed in July 2020.
For reference, Browner already holds the all-time deadlift world record in the 110-kilogram (242-pound) weight class by pulling 440.5-kilograms (971.1-pounds) at the 2020 World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) Hybrid Showdown II (sumo). Among his heaviest deadlifts include a colossal 455-kilogram (1,003.1 pound) pull in July 2020 and a 465-kilogram (1,025-pound) deadlift two months after that. In the recent post, comparing his conventional and sumo form, Browner teased a 1,000-pound conventional deadlift the following week.
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Breaking Down Browner’s Deadlift
Browner’s 476.3-kilogram sumo pull was done in 2020, but — new or not — the implications are seriously impressive. For one, the lift is 4.35 times his competition bodyweight. For context, if Browner could pull that weight in a powerlifting competition, it would be the heaviest ever in any weight class. Of course, lifting straps aren’t allowed in powerlifting, and grip strength is a major factor when deadlifting.
However, lifting straps are allowed in strongman competitions, so Browner’s recent pull is comparable to the lifts being performed by elite strongmen that are over 100 pounds heavier than him. (Though, it’s worth noting that strongmen and strongwomen can’t lift in a sumo stance.)
The current heaviest deadlift ever performed is 501 kilograms (1,104 pounds), pulled by 2018 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Hafthor Björnsson on World’s Ultimate Strongman’s “Feats of Strength” series. Granted, he pulled that weight in a conventional stance rather than sumo, but Björnsson weighed over 400 pounds, wore a lifting suit, and was allowed to hitch (a technique powerlifters are not permitted to do).
Aside from 2017 WSM champion Eddie Hall, who is the only other person ever to deadlift at least 500-kilograms (1,102 pounds), only two strongmen have gotten within range of besting Björnsson’s all-time world record. Peiman Maheripourehir of Iran pulled 492 kilograms (1,084.7 pounds) in training. Before that, Ivan Makarov of Russia managed a 490-kilogram (1,080.3-pound) lift. He has since attempted a 502-kilogram (1,106.7-pound) deadlift but failed.
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1,000-Pound Conventional Deadlift Attempt
Despite not being a competitive strongman, Browner should be in the conversation as someone who could legitimately challenge the all-time world record deadlift. Browner is lifting this kind of weight without a lifting suit and at a bodyweight of approximately 150-pounds less than his strongman counterparts. There is a lot of runway for Browner to make up the 24.7-kilogram (54-pound) difference from his 1,050-pound sumo deadlift and Björnsson’s record aside from simply getting stronger.
If he were to lift the all-time heaviest deadlift in a sumo stance, the ongoing debate between sumo and conventional deadlifts is sure to rear its head — something Browner, admittedly, “hates.” But he may eventually be strong enough to dodge that debate entirely. Browner wrote that he might attempt a 453.6-kilogram (1,000-pound) conventional deadlift in a week. If that attempt happens and is successful, every one of Browner’s deadlift sessions could be a history-altering event.
Editor’s note: This article originally implied that Browner’s 476.3-kilogram deadlift was completed on April 29, 2021, when the lift was done in July 2020. The article has been amended.
Featured image: @jamal_b15 on Instagram