This past weekend, United States Strongman held their annual Pro Women’s Worlds in Louisville, Kentucky. Samantha Coleman was among the attendees made a big splash with her 600 lb deadlift. Coleman is now one of only a handful of few women who have hit the 600+ lb club with her deadlift. The deadlift was pulled strongman style, where hitching and and straps are allowed; however, Coleman did not use straps on this lift.
2016 has proven to be a great year for deadlifts; if you remember a few months ago in July, Eddie Hall set a strongman record by pulling 500kg.
Coleman’s deadlift is now part of a seriously impressive resume. This past July, Coleman set the world record for the UPA 198+ Women’s wraps & no wraps category with a 661 lb squat.
And if Coleman’s deadlift and squat weren’t impressive enough, she has a 391 lb bench press, which was recorded this past July at the UPA Relentless in Minnesota. At this event Coleman was ranked as the Best Lifter for the women’s raw category. It’s safe to say Coleman is in the upper tier of strong women. Coleman is a powerlifter, whose best meet total is 1,559lbs/707kg total, and she only recently began strong(wo)man competitions.
We recently had the the chance to catch up with Coleman and ask her a few question about the 600 lb deadlift and what she sees next in her future.
Jake Boly: Did you know that day was the day you were pulling 600, or were just feeling it & went after it?
Honestly, my deadlift has been in a “reworking” phase since about a year ago when my progress stalled. We decided to completely restructure it, switch my stance to a conventional stance which made using a belt (for someone my size in the belly area) difficult. So about 3 months ago, I hit a 520 pound beltless PR, but I was determined to learn to use a belt. So about 2 months ago, I put my belt on super high, made it very loose and the plan was to tighten it up as I progressed, but I never needed to. Where I wear it gives me the right support I need at the right time, so it works. After finally learning to use a belt, my deadlift sky rocketed and 2 weeks prior to the strongman competition, Jesse Rogers of the SPF put on a meet in my honor to help raise money for us to go to Australia next year. I had already planned to bench 400 pounds in this meet and since this was about the time I needed to hit my last deadlift before the USS Pro Women’s Worlds, we decided to have fun and try for a max deadlift as well. I hit a 575 pound deadlift (perfect with no hitch). I tried for 595 to take the over all deadlift record on a 4th attempt, but at that point I was gassed, but hopeful with how fast the bar broke off of the floor. That was about the point where we realized, that all jokes aside (we had been joking around about me trying a 600 pound deadlift), we would open with 500 pounds, make 550 my 2nd attempt, and then go all out with 600 on my 3rd. I didn’t think I could lift it completely clean by “powerlifting” standards, but I knew with my grip strength and with the fact that I could hitch in strongman, I would have a fighting chance to get it. So basically, yes, we did plan it that way, but that was not the plan when I first started training for this competition.
Boly: What’s your next move?
We have learned that the less time I take off, the better I seem to progress. With that said, we are cruising right into the remainder of my powerlifting meet prep for the Gritmas Classic which is hosted by my gym at the Grit House in Cleveland TN on December 3rd by the SPF. I already have the all time squat record (which is really up for grabs with all the strong ladies in the sport right now), so the goal at this meet is just to improve my total – which we feel confident we can do since my deadlift is finally up to where it should be. The all time total record for open women’s raw with wraps (full power) is 1650 and I hit a 1559 this past July with a 661 squat, 391 bench press, and 507 deadlift. If we can maintain my squat around 650 and add a PR with the bench press and deadlift, I could get close to this total, but we will see where my squat is after this week and next before making that claim. In March, we haven’t completely decided yet (because we have to work out the scheduling and logistics), but we plan to compete in Australia at the ProRawNine. This deadlift qualified me for the 21 deadlift salute hosted by the XPC at the Arnold in Ohio just a week before this meet, so it will be tricky to do both, but we might be able to make it happen. Then we plan to compete at the USS National’s and then onto Relentless MN. We never seem to slow down but I love it!
Boly: How has the world of Strong(wo)man positively influenced your life, any advice for women who want to give it a try?
Oh I absolutely love it! I still have a lot to learn, but everyone and every athlete is so supportive. I think I love it because it forces me to be a more rounded athlete. Squat, Bench, and Deadlift training is very specific and although it’s very challenging, I sometimes feel like I just become incredibly strong during my peak phase and my athleticism goes down (which is normal). Strong(wo)man keeps me in better shape and provides me with different challenges, not to mention, the variety of events makes it more equal to me since I’m typically much larger than the women in the SHW class. The competitors are amazing as both athletes and just people with good sportsmanship. I’m still relatively new to this sport, but it translates well from powerliftng so I basically have to learn how to do most of the implements and this is where the other athletes (even direct competitors) really shine with how they help and encourage others! Just like any sport, I would strongly encourage women to get into strongman, especially larger ladies! It’s great exercise, it’s fun, challenging, and it’s a very uplifting and encouraging sport. The important thing to remember though, is to have fun!
Another noteable deadlift worth another watch is Becca Swanson’s 672 lb pull from a few years back, done in powerlifting style without straps or hitching. Becca is arguably in a class of her own and for years was billed as the strongest woman in the world.
Regardless of the weight being pulled, both lifts are impressive and have us wondering if Coleman and Swanson are the only two females to deadlift 600 lbs or more in competition. If you have videos or know of any other women pulling 600 lbs or more, we’d love if you commented below or hit us up on social media.
Feature image from @colemanstrong Instagram page