Jim Schmitz on the Lifts

IronMind Apollon's Axle

Thick Bar World Champion

IronMind's Apollon's Axle: not just the original—it debuted in 1994—but the best known and most widely used thick bar in top-tier strongman and grip competitions.
mike-burke-24aa_lg After demolishing the world record on the IronMind Apollon’s Axle Deadlift not once, but twice at the 2013 Los Angeles FitExpo, Mike Burke pulled 240 kg to knee height—signalling where he’s planning to go with this lift. IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo

Apollon's Axle Double Overhand Deadlift Rules

  1.    A genuine IronMind Apollon's Axle must be used, along with full-sized plates (discs) that are the standard IWF/IPF diameter (450 mm). The Apollon's Axle must be wiped clean before each attempt.
  2.    The plates must either be calibrated or can be weighed on a proven scale.
  3.    In contest situations, the lifter is given 1 minute to complete the lift after his/her name is called; during that minute, there is no limit to how many times the lifter may try to complete the lift.
  4.    No grip aid other than chalk is allowed. Ordinary chalk (magnesium carbonate) may be used on the lifter's hands, but nothing else is permitted (liquid chalk, for example, is specifically disallowed).
  5.    The Apollon's Axle must be gripped with the knuckles on both hands facing forward (away from the body) with a double overhand grip.
  6.    Thumbless and hook grips are prohibited.
  7.    The lifter must fully straighten up (back erect, legs and hips locked out); once standing straight, the lifter must maintain control of the lift for 1 second before getting a down signal from the referee, and must then return the weight to the ground. Contact must be maintained between the lifter's hand and the Axle until the weight is resting on the floor. The referee then indicates whether the lift was passed or not. 
  8.    IPF powerlifting rules define the key guidelines:  resting the Axle on the thighs or any downward movement will disqualify the lift, as would failure to await the down signal or dropping the bar.  A sumo style is permitted and the feet may move after the lifter has received the down signal.

Print a copy of the rules and referee form here.

See also IronMind's grip contest rules for extra attempts.

Apollon's Axle World Records

Men's Double Overhand Deadlift

Mike Burke January 20, 2013 235 kg (516 lb.)
Mike Burke January 20, 2013 230 kg (507 lb.)
Rich Williams June 26, 2010 228 kg (502 lb.)

Women's Double Overhand Deadlift

Lyudmila Gaiduchenko March 2, 2019 137.9 kg (304 lb.)
Lyudmila Gaiduchenko December 15, 2018 135.65 kg (298 lb.)
Lyudmila Gaiduchenko May 6, 2018 133 kg (293 lb.)
Lyudmila Gaiduchenko March 24, 2018 132 kg (291 lb.)
Amy Wattles July 13, 2014 131 kg (289 lb.)
Amy Wattles June 30, 2013 130 kg (286 lb.)


Lyudmila Gaiduchenko Apollon Axle 137.9 Lyudmila Gaiduchenko broke her own world record on the Apollon’s Axle with a lift of 137.9 kg. IronMind® | Courtesy of WPL/IRON GRIP
The Apollon's Axle is available in the IronMind store, which has a complete selection of strength training equipment and hand health tools.
Please contact sales@ironmind.com if you have any questions.

For more information on Olympic-style weightlifting, weight training, lifter profiles, and competition reports, visit our Weightlifting Resource Pages.

Jim Schmitz’s gold-medal articles on weightlifting and weight training are regularly featured in MILO: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes.

Take advantage of what Jim Schmitz, absolutely one of the best American coaches in the sport, can teach you in his
Olympic-style Weightlifting for the Beginner & Intermediate Weightlifters Manual and DVD.