He’s lifted more weight in one single moment than any man who’s gone before him – or has managed to do so since. He’s overhauled his diet in a desire to shed six stone in body weight and lifted his libido in the process. He’s turned to boxing to help change his shape and maintain his new physique, but some things don’t change for the 500kg lift king that is Eddie Hall.
‘I’m still in the weights room for at least three hours a day,’ Eddie tells RSNG at the end of a very different combat workout. ‘I do the boxing around the weights work. But right now I’m wearing 36kg of armour and swinging a broadsword around.’ The former World’s Strongest Man spoke to RSNG whilst filming for History Channel’s Knight Fight. ‘I’ve been battling with axes, swords and shields with combatants from the Armoured Combat League in a competition to win $10,000. It’s actually really hot under the layers of clothing and heavy armour, trying to breathe through a helmet whilst wielding weapons.’
Away from the glare of the TV lights, the man who wowed the world with the miraculous 500kg barbell lift in 2017 insists the weight room remains his real home – we asked him for his pro hacks to make pumping iron your go-to strength booster...
1. Maintain A Master Plan
‘By far the most common mistake that people make is that they just go into gyms and they don’t really have any idea what they’re doing. They’ll do a little bit of arms, a little bit of legs, a little bit of back. The truth of the matter is that you’ll do absolutely fuck all for yourself that way. It’s vitally important that you write out a programme because you’ve got to be able to stress the muscle enough for it to grow. Have a routine; arms day. Within that have an index; forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders etc – work them all, record the weight, aim to increase it each time.’
‘You’ll gain the respect of other lifters and learn better technique if you ask’
2. Shout Out Loud
‘I don’t mean howling with every lift you do – though that may well happen. I mean my best advice would be to seek out advice. Never go into a gym blind – you should have a reason to be there, be it to get bigger, get fitter, get stronger and you need to speak to a personal trainer or seek people out that have been there and done that, and know how to get there safely. A lot of people don’t speak up, they don’t ask advice on how to lift and then hurt themselves – those people never go back to the gym. You’ll gain the respect of other lifters and learn better technique if you ask.’
3. Squat Sure, Squat Safe
‘To pull of the perfect squat for me would be to stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and then plus four inches further either side. Stick your arse out, push your chest up and out, keep your head up and have the bar on your back, touching your shoulders and your traps at the same time. The bar should travel in the motion of A to B – by that I mean if you were to look from the side the bar should go up and down, not forward and backward in any way. That’s the best way to do squats, and the safest.’
‘Lifting from the floor sounds the simplest move but is actually the most complex of lifts’
4.Get A Grip On Complex Lifts
‘Lifting from the floor sounds the simplest move but is actually the most complex of lifts. You need to get the weight as close as you can to your body and pinpoint your centre of gravity. My rule of thumb for deadlifting, especially, is that you’ve got to treat your hands like hooks. So your arms should be completely relaxed – and your shoulders relaxed – the only thing that should be tense and tight are your hands. Get that grip right and ensure that with every lift it’s your back, your quads and your hips that are doing all the power work.’
5. Up The ‘Press’ In Bench press
‘My number one rule for bench press is to do a press up. I know it sounds odd but get into the press-up position and get a tape measure to measure the distance between those thumbs - basically that’s the perfect position for your body to do a bench press, so you translate what you do on the floor to the bar. By measuring between the thumbs the same distance when holding the bar you have the perfect position. You can then keep your elbows tight and the keep the bar in line with your nipples as you perform the lift.’
6. Be Dumbbell Smart
‘Dumbbell work should always be slow and controlled. Always think about the full rep, never the half rep, never rushed. Always lower your weights down slowly – so, if you’re doing a biceps curls you can bring it up to your shoulder fast, but then bring it down nice and slow – the aim of the game in any weight training scenario is to grow the muscle and a slow eccentric [contraction] is the best way to do that.’
WHAT NEXT? Watch Eddie Hall lifting the ‘impossible’ weight of 500kg
See Eddie Hall in Combat on The History Channel KNIGHT FIGHT, Tuesdays from 19th February at 9pm
Photos by History/ Stuart Wood
Comments are for information only and should not replace medical care or recommendations. Please check with your Doctor before embarking on exercise or nutrition regimes for the first time.