Who holds the world record for the heaviest deadlift?

For readers unfamiliar with powerlifting exercises, a deadlift involves lifting a ‘dead’, or static, weight, typically a barbell, from the ground and elevating it to an upper-thigh, locked position by extending the hips and knees in unison.

According to Guinness World Records, the world record for the heaviest deadlift is held by now-retired Icelandic professional strongman Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson. On May 2, 2020, at Thor’s Power Gym in Kópavogur, Iceland, during a ‘Feats of Strength’ event sanctioned by World’s Ultimate Strongman and streamed live on cable sports channel ESPN, Björnsson deadlifted 501kg, or 1,104½lb. Standing 6’8¾” tall and weighing in at a massive 205kg, or 452lb, at the time, the former professional basketball player beat the previous record, 500kg, or 1,102lb, set by English former professional strongman Edward ‘Eddie’ Hall during the World Deadlift Championships in Leeds, England in July, 2016.

Afterwards, Hall contested the world record on the grounds that Björnsson completed his lift in his home gym, rather than in a competitive environment. Björnsson, who had no previous boxing experience, responded by challenging Hall to a boxing match. The contest, billed as ‘The Heaviest Boxing Match in History’, did not come to fruition until March 19, 2022 but, when it did, the Icelander won the six-round exhibition match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium by unanimous points decision.

His powerlifting exploits aside, Björnsson is perhaps best known to a wider audience for his portrayal of Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane in the popular Home Box Office (HBO) series ‘Games of Thrones’, in which he appeared in the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth seasons, from April, 2016 onwards

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