In the latest of a series of strongman and record attempt lifting events promoted by the World’s Ultimate Strongman and CoreSports, American strongman Rob Kearney has set a new American record with a 475.75-pound (215.8 kg) press. (You can see the log weighing 475.75 pounds at the 36:02 mark in the video, but records are traditionally rounded down.)
The event was broadcast on ESPN, the CoreSports website and on the YouTube channels of Rogue Fitness and Gymshark. We’ve embedded Gymshark’s video below, conveniently timestamped right when he makes his record.
The 28-year-old known as “The World’s Strongest Gay” (he’s the first openly gay pro strongman) made his lift on June 13 at his gym, with esteemed strongman (and world record holder in the lift) Zydrunas Savickas judging via webcam. Before this attempt Kearney already held this record himself with a 471-pound (215kg) lift, which he made at a Giants Live event at England in April of 2019.
Four days prior to this attempt, Kearney — who won the 2019 Arnold Strongman Australia — posted a video on Instagram of himself successfully pressing 472 pounds (214.5 kg). As he has throughout his career, Kearney was assisted in his prep by former Arnold Strongman Classic Champion Derek Poundstone as well as nutritionist Stan Efferding.
[Related: Watch Rob Kearney explain everything about his diet in our interview here]
Kearney’s first successful attempt of the day was 418 pounds (190 kg). For perspective, Bill Kazmaier originally held the record in this lift when it was first used in contests with a weight of 375 pounds (170 kg).
Kearney followed his opener with a lift of 445.5 pounds (202 kg) a few minutes later. He needed an extra step to position himself at lockout, but it was still successful. It was around 15 minutes later that he made his final push that cemented his name in the record books. Rainbow lights bathed the athlete’s rainbow pants as he roared in victory — a fitting celebration for Pride Month.
When Kearney is taking part in contests, he stands out in the field due to his height of 5 feet 10 inches and weighing less than 300 pounds. Many of his opponents, like Brian Shaw and Thor Bjornsson, are almost an entire foot taller.
But in some events like the log press, his height can serve as an advantage since the log doesn’t have to move as far as it would for someone who’s over six feet tall.
Kearney is also known for how he lifts the log. He uses a split-stance jerk movement when pressing the weight up. While this technique is allowed in competition, this had been criticized by some in the strongman community because traditionally competitors had used a shoulder-with stance where the feet don’t move.
[Related: Watch Rob Kearney discuss his split jerk here]
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The world record for this event is still currently held by strongman legend Zydrunas Savickas with a successful lift of 502 pounds (228 kg).
Kearney is expected to compete at the 2020 World’s Strongest Man contest this fall.
Featured Image via GymsharkTV on YouTube