When you can pull weight like 2018 World’s Strongest Woman Rhianon Lovelace, you can roll into a powerlifting meet and set a world record without peaking for competition. On the weekend of May 20-21, 2022, Lovelace showed up to the 2022 British Powerlifting Union (BPU) Single Lift British Championships in Manchester, England — and, weighing in around 64-kilos*, pulled 241 kilograms (530 pounds) — more than the British record for the heaviest raw deadlift across any weight class.
The powerlifter-turned-strongwoman returned to her roots in a last-minute decision to participate in the BPU meet. She pulled 230 kilos (507 pounds) with her second lift of the day, which broke the British deadlift record. But Lovelace used her third attempt of the day to completely destroy the record with her 241-kilo (530-pound) lift. Check it out in the video below, courtesy of her Instagram page:
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*Note: At the time this article was written, it’s not clear what weight class Lovelace competed in. British Powerlifting offers a 67.5-kilogram class. Lovelace competes at 64-kilograms in strongwoman. Regardless, if Lovelace officially entered the meet, then her deadlift will stand in the specific weight class she entered — though it is the heaviest deadlift by a woman in any weight class in a full meet or single-lift competition (according to Open Powerlifting).
Lovelace set this record just one week after tearing up a deadlift record in an entirely different sport. On May 14, 2022, Lovelace went toe-to-toe with other strongwomen in the 2022 Clash Pro Series Clash of the 64’s. As part of her overall event win that weekend, Lovelace set a new lightweight world record in the axle bar deadlift with a 233.5-kilogram (515-pound) pull.
Deadlifting in Strongman and Powerlifting
When Lovelace competes in strongwoman competitions, she can lift with straps and a hitch. A hitch in a deadlift is where the lifter is allowed to support the bar on their quads after it passes above their knees. On the other hand, powerlifters need to bring up the bar to lockout without it resting on their thighs. That’s one reason many lifters will use baby powder on their thighs to help the bar go up, literally without a hitch.
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In the BPU Single Lift British Championships, Lovelace needed to follow the powerlifting rules of the game. She used no straps, no hitch, and only a lifting belt — she was still able to shatter the British record.
What’s Next for Lovelace?
In the caption of her video of the raw deadlift record she set in Manchester, Lovelace noted:
Haven’t prepped for this, was totally unsure what to open with as I deadlift with straps and a hitch (Strongwoman) but super excited to see whats possible with a good peak!
The 2018 World’s Strongest Woman hasn’t competed in powerlifting meets for five years. But Lovelace’s excitement about peaking for powerlifting might tease more returns to the platform in the future.
In the meantime, fans looking for more strongwoman records can tune into the three upcoming Clash Pro Series events. The Clash of the 90’s will be held in Lakeland, FL, on Aug. 6; Clash of the 80’s is slated for Denver, CO, on Aug. 20; and Clash of the 91’s will go down in Baltimore, MD, on August 27.
Featured Image: @rhianon.lovelace.kaosstrength / Instagram