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Have power like 2018 World’s Strongest Woman (WSW) Champion Rhianon Lovelace (U64KG), and you can pull off incredible feats of strength almost on a whim.
On May 21-22, 2022, Lovelace competed in the 2022 British Powerlifting Union (BPU) Single Lift British Championships. Per the strongwoman, she had entered the meet at the “last minute.” That appears to have been a great decision as Lovelace deadlifted 230 kilograms (507 pounds) on her second attempt to break the British raw deadlift record.
If breaking the record initially wasn’t enough, Lovelace used her third attempt to extend it by pulling 241 kilograms (530 pounds). That is heavier than the British deadlift record across any weight class, according to Open Powerlifting. Lovelace donned just a lifting belt for that third pull and completed it from a conventional stance.
Check out that staggering third deadlift pull, via Lovelace’s Instagram profile:
At the time of writing, since Lovelace usually features in strongwoman competitions, it is unclear what weight class she competed in as a powerlifter. The athlete typically competes at 64 kilograms in strongwoman, and the BPU has a 67.5-kilogram weight class. That said, Lovelace’s deadlift record will go down officially under whatever weight class she competed in. In a single-lift or full competition, it’s the heaviest deadlift by any woman in any weight class.
Lovelace’s powerlifting deadlift record comes on the heels of another recent deadlift record but as a strongwoman. On May 14, 2022, during the 2022 Clash Pro Series Clash of the 64’s, she set a new lightweight world record on the axle bar deadlift by pulling 233.5 kilograms (515 pounds). The pull helped Lovelace eventually capture that competition’s overall win.
Notably, there is a vital distinction between deadlifts in powerlifting and strongwoman competitions.
In a strongwoman meet, athletes can use straps and a hitch — where they can rest their barbell on their quads after pulling it above their knees. By contrast, powerlifters must completely lock their rep out without that rest, and they cannot use straps. That Lovelace can seamlessly work between both competitive guidelines and still break the British record could be a testament to her strength and prowess.
After her stellar performance in the 2022 Single Lift British Championships, Lovelace seems to hint in the caption of her Instagram post that she could make an earnest attempt as a powerlifter again. Per the athlete, this BPU meet had marked the end of a five-year powerlifting absence.
“Haven’t prepped for this, was totally unsure what to open with as I deadlift with straps and a hitch (strongwoman),” Lovelace wrote. “But super excited to see what’s possible with a good peak!
If Lovelace is indeed jumping back in more often as a powerlifter soon, time will only tell what stellar achievements she’s capable of with more preparation beforehand.
Featured image: @rhianon.lovelace.kaosstrength on Instagram