by Al Myers
The Reeves Deadlift is the final lift in the USAWA Grip Championships. This is a lift popularized by famous bodybuilder and actor Steve Reeves. It takes long arms and a strong finger grip to be good at this lift. The USAWA Rules for the Reeves Deadlift is as follows:
B15. Deadlift – Reeves
The rules of the Deadlift apply with these exceptions. The lift starts by the lifter gripping one plate on each side of the bar. The flanges of the plates may be turned outwards to provide a better gripping surface. A regulation bar of legal length must be used. There are no width specifications of the flanges of the lifting plates. Weight is added to the bar with smaller diameter plates so the lifter always has just one plate per side to grip.
The IAWA(UK) have a similiar lift to the Reeves Deadlift called the Rim Lift. The Rim Lift is NOT an USAWA official lift, but rather just an IAWA(UK) official lift. As you can see these are two completely different lifts! The IAWA(UK) even has a lift called the Reverse Rim Lift. The difference being that the gripping plates are reversed with plate flanges facing inwards!!
RULE FOR IAWA(UK) RIM LIFT:
E33 RIM LIFT
The lifter will deadlift, hacklift or straddle a loaded barbell whilst holding only the rims of the discs. The maximum sized discs for the is lift are 18 inches. On the inside the discs must be flat and smooth, and on the outside the rim cannot be deeper than 1inch. The lifter must not grasp any handles, holes or specially prepared areas, only the thumbs on the smooth inside and the fingers on the outside rim. Any bar can be used as the distance between the collars is optional. Whatever style of lift the lifter chooses the lift will always be finished in the correct fashion, with an erect posture. On completion the referee will signal to replace the bar.
Causes for Failure:
The causes for failure for the deadlift, hacklift or straddle will apply, depending on the style elected.
Failure to achieve the correct fully erect finishing posture.
Lowering/replacing the bar before the referees signal.
Obviously the Rim Lift is a much easier lift than the Reeves Deadlift. The use of a narrow bar and being able to straddle lift it would enhance the amount of weight that could be lifted.
The pictures I’ve seen of Steve Reeves performing this lift he always used a regulation bar (which really show-cased his awesome lat spread!). It has been reported that he did over 400# in this lift. There have been some excellent Reeves Deadlifts performed in the USAWA in official competition. The “best to date” are as follows:
1. Mark Mitchell 400 pounds – 2002 Goerner Deadlift
2. Phil Rosenstern 355 pounds – 2012 Club Challenge
3. Kevin Fulton 335 pounds – 2001 Goerner Deadlift
4. Al Myers 335 pounds – 2009 Goerner Deadlift
5. Joe Burks 325 pounds – 2001 Goerner Deadlift