In terms of competitive accomplishments, Kristy Hawkins has nothing to prove. For one, per her personal page on Open Powerlifting, the dynamic powerlifter hasn’t lost a sanctioned competition since mid-April 2017. For the other, Hawkins’ name is all over the all-time World Record books, owning every raw mark in the 75-kilogram division. That’s save for Hawkins’ 154.9-kilogram (341.7-pound) bench press — which remains the second-heaviest raw bench press in her competitive category. As a result, these days, outsiders might think anything Hawkins achieves is icing on the cake. Based on a recent feat, that doesn’t appear to be the athlete’s approach.
On June 24, 2023, Hawkins shared an Instagram clip of herself scoring a 275-kilogram (606.2-pound) deadlift with wraps from low blocks. According to the athlete’s caption, it is the first time Hawkins has ever deadlifted at least 600 pounds while utilizing a wider sumo stance. Based on a run-through of Hawkins’ profile, this rep appears to be the first public instance Hawkins has teased her sumo power. That would add up to Hawkins’ competitive history, given that the competitor has usually lifted with a conventional set-up. In addition to her sumo positioning and lifting straps, Hawkins wore a lifting belt to help with the training achievement.
Hawkins has made an apt name for herself being a powerlifting tour de force. If there’s anyone who could begin making a seamless transition to shining in two separate deadlift disciplines, it’d be Hawkins: one of the most successful active powerlifters around.
Hawkins’ current best competition deadlift, using a conventional stance, is 277.5 kilograms (611.7 pounds). She completed this mark at the 2022 World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) American Pro. In an early July 2022 training session, Hawkins also completed a 285-kilogram (628-pound) conventional deadlift.
Unlike popular commentary, a sumo deadlift isn’t necessarily “easier” per se. If anything, depending on what an athlete is accustomed to and the health and mobility of their hips, recruiting more muscles from the lower body could present a greater challenge with the wide-stance setup.
It is unclear if Hawkins has some sort of body predisposition that makes sumo pulling harder. Nonetheless, for an athlete who’s built a reputation around monstrous conventional deadlifts, steadily training the sumo variation is a more than worthy change of pace.
Notably, Hawkins isn’t the only athlete to try new deadlift stance ventures over the approximately past year. However, the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak. Her peer Jamal Browner, a prolific deadlifter in the Men’s 110-kilogram division, has been fine-tuning his conventional deadlift pulling after nearly mastering the sumo stance. Hawkins’ apparent new deadlift ambition could present itself as a nice contrast to another big-name powerlifter’s goals.
At the time of this writing, Hawkins hasn’t clarified when she’ll next step onto an official lifting platform. The athlete has also not provided more detail on what she intends to do with a stronger sumo deadlift. Given Hawkins’ propensity for excellence, a jaw-dropping lift or two should probably be the baseline expectation in the future.
Featured image: @kristy_hawkins on Instagram