T his is what happened to Eddie Hall when he broke the world dead-lift record. He was on stage at the Leeds Arena in April 2016, faced with lifting 500 kilograms, roughly the weight of a fully-grown polar bear. Three men were competing to see if they could do it. The first competitor tore his hamstring in the warm-up and never lifted a thing. The second ruptured something major in his first attempt. Then Hall stepped forward and, with a roar, hoisted the steel bar as it bent under its colossal, half-tonne load. As the 11,000-strong audience cheered him, he fainted. He woke up on the floor, with blood seeping out of his mouth, his nose, his eyes.