Powerlifter Stefi Cohen is one of the strongest women in the world, if not the strongest. Most recently in February 2020, at Hybrid Showdown II, a World Raw Powerlifting Federation-approved event, she set three new world records for the deadlift, barbell squat, and total lift.
Cohen clearly knows deadlifting, and powerlifting YouTubers Juji & Tom got the chance to take some training sessions with her. But instead of focusing on the classic deadlift, they tried out unconventional deadlifts. Warning: don’t try these at home.
The first deadlift variation they attempt is deadlifting the bar behind their legs. “It makes me feel like I’m gonna puke,” says Cohen as she attempts her lift.
“Get hose hamstrings out of the way,” says Juji. He takes a spray bottle of water for some extra lubrication on the back of the legs.
As the lifts get heavier (515 pounds), the term ‘scoop it’ gets thrown out at each lift, referring to the scoop needed to get around the hamstrings.
On the next variation, they try out a Zercher deadlift. In this one, the barbell is back at the front of the body, and rests on the knees while in a squat. From there, the bar is transferred into cradled arms in the crease of the inner arm, and they pump out squats.
“You’re about to get spanked,” says Cohen as she knocks out five reps. Next, they’re onto the Jefferson deadlift, a split step deadlift with the barbell between the legs. “That’s kind of weird,” she says after completing. “They’re all weird, Stefi!” the guys say to her.
Next, they strap a belt on the barbell and place it around their shoulders to lift. Cohen easily lifts 360 pounds, and tells them, “Let’s go up boys. You just got learned.”
As she goes up to 465 pounds, she does three reps.
“You don’t understand how hard this is,” says Juji. “This is more impressive than your f*cking world records.”
She gets up to 500 pounds, and does five reps.
“Damn,” the guys say collectively.
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