Steve Keeler (UK) has set the record for the heaviest deadlift with one finger, a record that had stood for over 10 years. 

Using solely his middle finger, the Kent-based martial artist deadlifted the incredible weight of 129.50 kg (285.49 lb) for eight seconds. 

Heaviest deadlift with one finger lifting weight

The attempt happened in Ashford, Kent in February 2022.

Steve showcased his incredible strength by lifting more than 120 kg with one finger, surrounded by the cheers of the audience. 

During the attempt, in the presence of several witnesses, he lifted six iron weight discs at the same time: a smaller one measuring roughly 10 kg, one 20 kg, three measuring a little over 25 kg each and one measuring 26 kg. 

"It’s incredibly painful, but my fingers are strong and I am proud of my lift."

Heaviest deadlift with one finger three seconds

At 48 years old, Steve has been strength training for the past four years. 

He's also been training in the dojo ever since he was a teenager.

Steve has practiced karate since he was 18, and discovered his hand had excellent strength through judo grips. 

An expert martial artist, during adulthood he mastered many forms of combat: he’s a 5th Dan black belt in Tsuyoi-Ryu Karate (where tsuyoi is Japanese for 'strong', and specifies a traditional branch of karate that focuses on realistic full-contact combat) and a 1st Dan black belt in judo.

He discovered that his bare hands could break breezes blocks, and soon realized he had strong bones. 

Later, during one of his strength training sessions with his training partner, Steve found out that his lifting ability was far above of the norm and – possibly – record-breaking. 

While playing about with some weights, he lifted a set with only his middle finger. 

After that, the athlete decided to look up the current Guinness World Records title. 

Not only he noticed that the previous record, broken by the Armenian Benik Israyelyan, had remained unbeaten for ten years, but he also realised that it was only 50 kg more than he had already lifted. 

Realizing that he could beat the current record but also aware of the potential risks of lifting so much weight with only one finger, Steve began training towards an official attempt, further strengthening his bones and building resistance. 

Steve celebrating his new record title

Achieving a Guinness World Records title means a lot to Steve. 

"My stepdad was my absolute hero and when I was a child, he came into my life and helped me with a problem I had with my bicycle."

"He brought a spanner round to get the pedal off my bike and he pushed that spanner so hard he broke it!" he recalls. 

"He was into his strength training and this record would be in honour of all he taught me. He’d be absolutely chuffed to bits!" 

"If I get a world record, I’ll be giving my mum the certificate." - Steve Keeler 

The iron discs used for the attempt

The previous record holder, Benik Israyelyan, lifted 116.90 kg (257.72 lb) with his right middle finger in 2011. 

The following year, Benik decided to give it another try and bettered his own record, managing to achieve the incredible weight of 121.70 kg (268.30 lb) - a result that had remained unbeaten until Steve tackled the challenge. 

By lifting the whopping total of 129.50 kg (285.49 lb), Steve has broken the decade-old record by almost 10 kilos. 

Although Steve and Benik awe us with their incredible strength and technique, using the middle finger is not the only way to deadlift: in 2013 Suren Aghabekyan (Armenia) broke the record for heaviest deadlift with the little finger by lifting 110 kg (242 lb 5 oz). 

Definitely not a set of records to try at home!