It’s hard to describe the energy that goes on in the Animal Cage; it’s something unlike any other experience I’ve ever had in a gym setting. As I walked into the cage beside Hybrid Performance Coaches and athletes Hayden Bowe and Stefanie Cohen, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
Cohen was scheduled to lift at 3 PM, and as she warmed-up a monstrous crowd began to gather outside The Cage. Looking around, I couldn’t even tell what was going on outside of the fence, the only thing I could see were some of the best powerlifting athletes in the sport like Dan Green, Robb Philippus, Grant Higa, and many others.
To conclude Cohen’s 3 PM lifting time slot, she pulled an absolutely insane 545 lb personal best deadlift, which is 4.4x her bodyweight, check out the video below. If you’re interested in reading more about the jaw dropping experience and the lead up, read on.
Before Cohen took the floor, Cailer Woolam (@doctor.deadlift) had just finished deadlifting and had the crowd fired up. Cohen began warming-up her deadlift starting with 135 lbs, then jumping to 225 lbs. Hybrid Performance Method coach Alex Uslar and Cohen’s boyfriend Bowe stood next to her side pumping her up and loading the bar with plates for her accordingly. After a few reps at 225 lbs, Cohen quickly made the plate jump to 315 lbs, 405 lbs, and 495 lbs soon after.
After pulling 500 lbs for an easy triple, and getting the crowd fired up, Cohen called for 530 lbs. This would be a all-time personal best for her by 5 lbs, and keep in mind her 123 lb all-time world record sits at 485 lbs.
This 530 lb lift would top the deadlift she hit in October, when she deadlifted 525 lbs at 123 lbs bodyweight for an event held in New York City. That deadlift made waves in the powerlifting community, and some said it was one of the most impressive pound-for-pound lifting feats in the sport to date.
About 5-minutes passed after calling for the 530 lbs, and the crowd was going wild, Cohen stepped up to the bar, as she did the crowd roared yelling, “Let’s go Stef!”. The energy was enough to give you goosebumps, and after nailing 530 lbs, she called for 545 lbs on the bar, which we featured above.
It was an exciting experience to watch in person, we’re pumped to see what the future holds for Cohen as she progresses through 2018.
Editor’s note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.