Ever smash your forehead against a power rack, square up to a barbell loaded with a mammoth 387.8 kilograms (855 pounds), and lock it out twice wearing only a belt, lifting straps, and knee sleeves? If you answered yes, then you’re currently on the same level as 2021 Arnold Strongman Classic UK champion Evan Singleton, who did exactly that while training with 10-time World’s Strongest Man (WSM) competitor Nick Best at The Dragon’s Lair Gym in Las Vegas, NV.
A barbell loaded with nine 45-pound weight plates on each of its sleeves, clung together with a pair of resistance bands, awaited its fate on a lifting platform. Singleton took a big whiff of ammonia, aligned his backward baseball-capped forehead with the post of the neighboring power rack, channeled his former pro-wrestling days, and went full Goldberg* at it — gashing his head before lifting what would be a legitimate max lift in competition twice without a lifting suit. Check it out below:
*Note: Singleton did not appear to suffer a concussion or any injury other than drawing blood.
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Upon locking out the second rep, Singleton did not drop the weight, but rather hitched it and threw it down. Suffice to say, the hype was undoubtedly high, spurred from the motivation instilled by Best:
I can’t express how much I love training with Nick. The man is such an inspiration…the hype up is real and not for the cameras.
Singleton is not scheduled to compete at any of the upcoming elite strongman events such as the 2022 Britain’s Strongest Man contest, the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic, or the 2022 Europe’s Strongest Man competition. He is, however, planning on putting his apparent strength gains to the test with a world record attempt. On April 22, 2022, Singleton will appear on ESPN as part of the Clash on the Coast Record Breakers event to attempt a Cyr Dumbbell world record.
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The current Cyr Dumbbell world record is held by two-time WSM runner-up Mateusz Kieliszkowski, who locked out 320 pounds overhead with his right arm at the 2020 Arnold Strongman Classic. The Cyr Dumbbell is a large dumbbell with spherical heads at each end of the soda-can-width handle.
Singleton attempting the Cyr Dumbbell record might signal that he’s excelling in events where the rest of the elite strongman field he’ll likely compete against at the 2022 WSM contest is lacking. Although the implements are slightly different in shape, at the Heavy Dumbbell medley at the 2021 Rogue Invitational, only 2020 WSM Oleksii Novikov completed all five dumbbells weighing 253, 274, 280, 290, and 300 pounds. None of the other strongmen lifted more than three dumbbells.
We’ll see if Singleton can lock in a new Cyr Dumbbell world record to build momentum a month and a half ahead of the 2022 WSM competition scheduled for May 24-29, 2022, in Sacramento, CA. Singleton did not make it through the qualifying stage at the 2021 WSM contest but significantly upped his game in the back-half of the 2021 season with wins at the 2021 Giants Live World Open and a bronze finish at the 2021 Giants Live World Tour Finals in addition to his 2021 Arnold Strongman UK classic victory.
Featured image: @evan_trex_strongman on Instagram