All around had a long weekend to remember.
It’s hard to top the weekend of March 2-5, 2023 for Victoria Long. When Strongwoman captured her second consecutive Arnold Strongwoman Classic (ASC) title in Columbus, OH, she accomplished a remarkable feat in the process. On the second day of competition, Long set a new world record by completing the long Elephant bar deadlift of 295.2 kilograms (651 pounds). This is quite a way to put the cherry on top of a fruitful performance.
The elephant bar deadlift was introduced by Rogue Fitness and made its debut during the 2016 ASC, although it wasn’t recorded among strong female competitors until 2020. The Elephant Bar is a special barbell manufactured by Rogue Fitness. The 10-foot length is significantly longer than a traditional barbell, allowing the athlete to flex the bar as it pulls through a range of motion. The extended distance adds “whip” to the lockout position as the weight rebounds slightly from the momentum. Overall, this combination makes the lift uniquely challenging compared to other deadlift variations.
A little later in the competition, 10th-place ASC finisher Tamara Walcott matched Long’s mark by pulling the same weight. During the 2022 Rogue Record Breakers, Walcott had previously set the elephant bar deadlift record of 290.7 kilograms (641 pounds) at the 2022 ASC. The athlete has now added 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds) to his all-time best figure. Both competitors used lifting belts for support. Long applied lifting straps that adhere to the Strong Woman rules to help with the milestone.
Notably, Walcott chose not to use any grip support, perhaps due to his experience as a competitive powerlifter who did not allow straps. However, fans and critics were noticeably surprised by Walcott’s remarkable struggle to achieve a decisive lock compared to Long’s apparent ease with the record lift. Nevertheless, it remains impressive for Long and Walcott to perform with this variation of the barbell.
At the widest competitive level, Long’s win and record performance is nothing new for the strongwoman superstar. According to this Strongman Archives, the athlete has fallen short of victory only once in six career competitions – her competitive debut at the 2019 World’s Strongest Woman (WSW) competition. Since then, Long has maintained an unabashed resume that includes two America’s Strongest Woman titles (2021, 2022), the 2022 Shaw Classic Championship and now two consecutive ASC titles.
For Walcott, after a disappointing competitive strongwoman debut, setting the elephant bar deadlift record was a welcome way to finish. Transitioning from powerlifting to strongwoman and vice versa can be challenging for athletes. Finding a way for Walcott to maximize her early looks can speak volumes of huge improvements if she continues to compete in strongwoman competitions. For added context of prowess in his first professional strength sport, according to Open PowerliftingWalcott has not lost a powerlifting competition since October 2019.
Long may have enjoyed the victory en route to his second title win. Achieving a world record in a prestigious competition is no small feat and speaks to the growing strength of one of the most formidable female competitors in strength sports.
Featured Image: @roguefitness on Instagram