Strongwoman/powerlifter Rhianon Lovelace is undoubtedly one of the strongest people on the planet. The 2018 World’s Strongest Woman (WSW) Champion proved it again during a recent session at the gym.
On June 7, 2022, Lovelace shared footage of herself locking out a 240-kilogram (528-pound) axle bar deadlift in a training session. Lovelace did not disclose precisely when this deadlift happened. The figure unofficially exceeds Lovelace’s own axle deadlift World Record of 233.5 kilograms (515 pounds) from mid-May 2022. Lovelace wore lifting straps and a lifting suit for the pull.
Lovelace completes the axle deadlift relatively easily. She alludes to that reality in her Instagram post, saying it was “piss-easy.” The main distinction between an axle bar deadlift and a deadlift with a traditional barbell is that the axle bar is several inches thicker, which tests an athlete’s grip strength even more than a “normal” deadlift. There’s also no flex in an axle bar, making the weight feel harder throughout the entirety of the lift.
Notably, Lovelace is the current British raw traditional deadlift record holder with a pull of 241 kilograms (530 pounds). She achieved that mark at the 2022 British Powerlifting Union (BPU) Single Lift British Championships. That Lovelace can excel so well with both deadlift bars is a testament to her power.
A Surprise Setback
Unfortunately for Lovelace, she couldn’t bask in her axle deadlift training feat as much as she might have wanted to.
Per her Instagram caption, the British athlete went to the hospital with pneumonia about two days after her staggering axle bar pull. As a result, Lovelace withdrew her apparent official attempt at the axle deadlift World Record that was going to take place on the weekend of June 10-12, 2022.
“Feels absolutely pants to do, just a really [expletive] feeling,” Lovelace wrote. “But after being discharged from the hospital last week with a severe case of pneumonia, we’re left with no other sensible option. I genuinely thought I was just run down with back-to-back records, with a tough cough, but things went south pretty quickly, and I ended up not in a great way in the hospital.”
In the aftermath of her bout with pneumonia, Lovelace says she lost eight percent of her (undisclosed) bodyweight. That might throw a wrench into the rest of her competitive year in 2022. In the near purview, Lovelace has a spot in the 2022 Arnold Sports Festival UK on September 23-25, 2022, in Birmingham, England. At the time of this writing, it is unclear if she will still move forward with those plans.
However, it doesn’t seem like she’s letting this step back ruin her long-term goals.
“I’m hopeful of another deadlift attempt this year, but right now, I’m unsure if full competitions come into this season for me,” Lovelace wrote. “I’ll get to work, I know what I need to do, but these things can’t be rushed. When I’m ready, I’ll be back.”
Featured image: @rhianon.lovelace.kaosstrength on Instagram