We last covered Yangsu Ren a little over five months ago when we interviewed him about his training routine. At that time he was building to the short term target of a 370kg (815lb) deadlift and a long term goal of a 388kg (855lb) deadlift.
Well, it appears that his choice to take 2019 off from competition to heal from lumbar induced sciatica and perfect his new technique is paying off in a big way. Check out this gigantic 379kg (835lb) sumo deadlift with straps that Ren, who competes in the -83kg weight class, posted on his Instagram page:
The first thing we should note is that not only is a focused mentality and well thought out plan important for hitting the strength gains needed for long-term goals, but so is the environment that an athlete trains in. As you can see in the background right at the start of this lift, there are younger athletes helping their elders by acting as motivational weights on the sled. That kind of support is not found in all gyms and we are happy to see than Ren is training with that kind of system behind him. Literally.
His coach also has a unique way to getting Ren, a.k.a “Deadlift Panda”, to haul absurds amount of weight off the floor. When Ren set an American deadlift record at 2017 USA Powerlifting Raw Nationals that at the time also exceeded the world record by 15kg (33lb), his coach prevented Ren from knowing how much weight was on the bar before he pulled it.
Back to the 379kg (835lb) lift. Although we do not know Ren’s weight at the time he pulled it, it is still four and a half times his competition bodyweight! That 388kg (855lb) goal does not seem to be an issue of weight, but more an of issue of skin. In a response to follower Mike Granato’s comment asking, “Is your hook problem more of a grip issue or like skin integrity issue?”, Ren writes:
“Right now it’s skin, but I’ve been taking my time training it since starting hook in September.”
Ren continues to say that it was only in the last week that he started lifting without thumb tape since up until then it was still painful. His experience with bare knurling bars when eschewing thumb tape is that they roll too much and is going to continue his training with “real power bar[s].”
Whether Ren pulls that destined 388kg (855lb) in the gym or at this next competition, we will be excited to see his reaction when his coach informs him of how much more than that it actually was.
Feature image from Yangsu Ren’s Instagram page: @deadlift_panda