Well, that looked easy. During Event Three of the 2023 Arnold Strongwoman, Victoria Long pulled 651 pounds on her third attempt to set a new Elephant Bar Deadlift World Record. This was a bit of a surprise, as many fans pegged Andrea Thompson and powerlifter-turned-strongwoman Tamara Walcott, both former record holders, to set the mark.
The lift is precisely 10 pounds over Walcott’s previous record of 641 pounds. Walcott also hefted 651 pounds, so she and Long will tie in points for the event. But because Long locked the weight out first, the record belongs to her. Here are the results from the event:
Elephant Bar Deadlift Results
- Victoria Long — 651 pounds
- Tamara Walcott — 651 pounds
- Andrea Thompson — 646 pounds
- Olga Liashchuck — 636 pounds
- Rebecca Roberts — 601 pounds
- Melissa Peacock — 581 pounds
- Inez Carrasquillo — 576 pounds
- Donna Moore — 541 pounds
- Hannah Linzay — 541 pounds
- Samantha Belliveau — 506 pounds
The now-infamous Elephant Bar Deadlift made its Arnold Strongman Classic debut in 2016. The bar is 10 feet long, nearly three more feet than a standard bar. According to strongman coach Kalle Beck:
“The Elephant Bar is longer than a traditional barbell, and the plates used are 2” plates, which put the weights further out. Combining the extra length of the barbell and the extra width of the plates causes more deflection in the bar or bend. This means before all the plates leave the ground, the bar will bend more, thus decreasing the range of motion the entire weight has to travel.”
The record contenders became clear after 601 pounds was loaded on the bar. Rebecca Roberts of the united Kingdom managed to pull the weight but couldn’t muster more after making the mistake on her second attempt of dropping the barbell from lockout. While her attempt was successful, it was discounted as dropping the barbell is against the rules.
Then, Olga Liashchuck of Ukraine pulled 636 pounds with relative ease. According to the event commentators — Sean Woodland, Laurence “Big Loz” Shahlaei, and Jerry Pritchett — Liashchuck’s strategy was most likely to pull just under the record in hopes that the other athletes would burn out. In doing so, the Ukrainian conserves her own energy while sitting atop the leaderboard.
But that’s not how it went down.
Walcott, competing in her first-ever full strongwoman competition, walked up to 641 pounds and failed the lift. She declined to use lifting straps, which aren’t allowed in raw powerlifting competitions. The commentary team criticized her decision; if you can use straps, they said, then use them. After all, straps considerably improve one’s grip, which was Walcott’s issue with her 641-pound attempt.
Andrea Thompson approached the bar and pulled 646 pounds with absolute ease. The record seemed set. That is until Victoria Long — who has only competed in five professional contests — stepped up to 651 pounds and lifted it off the floor with arguably more ease than Thompson.
Then, looking for redemption, Walcott used her third allotted attempt to try 651. The bar ascended slowly up her thighs, and the judge eventually called it a good lift, though the lockout wasn’t as decisive as Long’s.
In the end, Walcott and Long tied for points, but it is Long who lays claim to the record.
How to Watch the Arnold Strongman and Strongwoman Classic
If you can’t see the action live and in person, tune into Rogue’s YouTube channel. Rogue Fitness is streaming the strongman and strongwoman competitions live. The event occurs from March 3-4, in Columbus, OH.
Featured Image: Rogue Fitness on YouTube