T Nation

Is the 1RM Deadlift Dead?

I posted this video in another thread:

Notice Colin Bryce say the heavy (single) deadlift is no longer a strongman event. I’m unsure the scope (all pro shows?) but it seems to have gone under the radar.

Thoughts on this? I mean they still do 400kg+ for reps.

So much fun tho. Probably won’t be missed much tho because all the events are entertaining.

When it was in dudes don’t really do actual 1RMs in the event unless they need the points or have no chance of winning overall. It’s mostly played strategically/sandbagging for placings and sometimes the two leaders will agree to stop it at a point.

Also the injury risk with 1RMs is high af given the already fatigued state competitors are in. If they get thru the deadlifts then they’ll be disproportionately drained for the rest of the competition for the work done.

Why not use that energy in other events to make the whole discipline more appealing and save the 1RM for actual deadlift competitions?


Although it’s a bit dangerous, I would like to see a one-hand deadlift.

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1rm dead is an awful event. Borring to watch for the spectators and make the show last forever. Leave it for powerlifting.

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I like 1rm deadlifts… Guess I’m the only one? lol.

I’m not sure how someone could say ‘this is no longer a strongman event’ though. I see it all the time. I had it in my last comp with an axle, and my next comp in January will have it with a deadlift bar. At least some form of a 1rm deadlift is still very, very common in amateur competitions.

And I’ll disagree with pwnisher here, I think it’s a solid spectator lift. It involves the heaviest weights, and I think spectators generally appreciate seeing a shit ton of plates on the bar. The last show I did involved axle press for reps, max axle deadlift from floor, yoke, keg carry, and a frame hold for time. I felt that the deadlift and axle presses were the only spectator-engaging events of that show, and I saw the most positive reaction during the deadlift.


I think they appreciate odd objects more than a lot of weight on a bar from my experience. My wife regularly fluctuates from thinking my 1rm is 600, 700 or 800lbs, and she’s seen me pull it in a meet. To her, it’s all just “heavy”. But throw a car on an apparatus and nothing is lost in translation.

Oh, well yeah, I can see it there. That sounds really spectator boring, haha. Especially no stones. That tends to be a big crowd draw.

As much as I hate it, I think the truck pull has a big crowd draw. Stones too. Some sort of implement deadlift (typically car, but keg loaded crate is cool too, or wagon wheel) for deads, implement Viking press and then maybe a tire flip would probably be fun for fans to watch.

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I think it’s for the Giants Live events only. You don’t see it often in WSM so it will be a Arnold’s thing (could never see them tossing the elephant bar)

I personally enjoy working to improve my 1RM deadlift, so my opinion might be biased in my defense of its inclusion in competitions (of any kind). With that said…

Regardless of anyone’s feelings on whether it is a good event or not, there was a 1RM deadlift in 2016 WSM - one whole year ago - and Eddie Hall’s pursuit of the 500kg deadlift seemed like a pretty big deal in the strongman world, so it’s hard to believe anyone would seriously argue that the 1RM deadlift is not part of the strongman world any more.

I understand some of where Pwnisher is coming from re: spectator friendliness, but I’m with flip that I think it’s a reasonably good spectator lift (at least it’s better in strongman competitions with rising-bar loading than in a PL meet). People are impressed by a ton of plates and a whippy, bending bar (the Elephant Bar deadlift at the Arnold looking pretty cool, IMO).

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haven’t they only had the elephant bar for 2 years? I do think they’ll stick with a heavy deadlift, but I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say they’ll never toss the elephant bar. I actually think that might have a relatively short shelf life, although it’s hard to say.

definitely agree with the ‘implements are more interesting’ thing. Of course that’s true. A car deadlift will always be cooler than a 1rm. And I think log is better than axle, because of appearances, particularly wood logs. Yes, this show was indeed very boring. Even as a competitor, to be honest. I think every show should have stones if at all possible.

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I consider that an implement deadlift. Something that has a visual draw/gimmick to it. Same with the hummer tire deadlift, which was a staple at the Arnold.

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Wood logs are so awesome. I get why they aren’t at more shows, but they just look so cool. Stone of steel is doing the same thing; great for promoters, terrible for spectators.


The 4 metre yoke walk is the real killer in that show. The Arnold is really underestimated in terms of how brutal an event it is.

The yoke, the frame uphill, the deadlift, the log. Just insanity - you just don’t see sports where the best in the world can’t finish big parts of it.

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yea, that yoke is insane. I can’t imagine what 1500 fucking lbs feels like, let alone walking with it.

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