Daniel Bell was off to a raucous start in 2023. He had matched Hafthor Björnsson‘s deadlift of 395 kilograms (870.8 pounds) at the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival (ASF). Eventually, he had planned to extend his all-time raw with wraps World Record total of 1,182 kilograms (2,606.9 pounds) in the +140-kilogram weight class. For the time being, the athlete will seemingly have to put these plans on hold.
On Apr. 20, 2023, Bell revealed that he recently suffered a left leg injury while finishing a 425-kilogram (937-pound) raw back squat during the 2023 USA-UA Pioneer on the Beach. The powerlifter did not disclose the nature or severity of his ailment from the early April competition and mainly noted it felt like his “left glute was getting torn in half.” While the athlete persevered through his squat to a first-place performance in the +140-kilogram weight class, it seems likely that this injury will need some measure of attention.
In Bell’s Instagram post discussing his injury, he didn’t mince words. While he hasn’t (at the time of this article’s publication) provided more precise clarification on what exactly happened, Bell’s description makes this situation appear severe for one of the globe’s strongest powerlifters. The athlete has not posted an update to his social media platforms since revealing his health status.
Parts of the immediate aftermath didn’t sound pleasant, which revealed other underlying issues.
“Ten years in it’s bound to happen,” Bell wrote of his injury. “Woke up on Monday [April 17] unable to feel or move my toes. [It was] absolutely wild a week after. Moved forward with morphine and two different hospitals finding one of the largest MRI machines in Florida to find out my spine and six bulging discs have seen better days.”
According to Bell, his main goal is to avoid surgery. At the time of this writing, it is unclear what kind of surgery he would need or how long it would keep him out of training and sanctioned powerlifting competitions.
Nonetheless, it’s undoubtedly a setback for an athlete of his mold, and something he and his performance trainer Jacob Ross would prefer to steer clear of.
“Already in the process of working things out with [Jacob Ross] and avoiding surgery at all costs.”
Bell hasn’t lost in a powerlifting competition since 2019, according to Open Powerlifting.
To maintain his exemplary resume of late, and eventually break his own total World Record, Bell will likely need to take his time to fully recover from his injuries. It might be a while before anyone hears from the athlete again in an official capacity. Such a wait could be worth it for this strength star.
Featured image: @dbell_74 on Instagram