On August 6, 2022, strongman Rauno Heinla deadlifted 476 kilograms (1,049.4 pounds) during the 2022 World Deadlift Championships (WDC) in Cardiff, Wales. Not only did the max one-rep pull give the 40-year-old Heinla the win in the 2022 WDC — which was a part of the overall Giants Live World Open — it’s a new Master’s World Record by 39.6 kilograms (87.4 pounds).

Mikhail Shivlyakov held the previous record mark thanks to a deadlift of 436 kilograms (962 pounds) from the 2020 World’s Ultimate Strongman (WUS) “Feats of Strength” series.

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The 2022 WDC began by tasking the athletes with an initial deadlift weight of 400 kilograms (881.9 pounds) before progressing to 425.5 kilograms (938.1 pounds), then 453.5 kilograms (999.8 pounds). Five athletes — Heinla, Graham Hicks, Mitchell Hooper, Ivan Makarov, and Pavlo Nakonechnyy — attempted at least 453.6 kilograms (1,000 pounds). 

However, Heinla was the only competitor able to lock out a rep of 1,000 pounds or more successfully, and he took home the victory as a result. Heinla and former World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champions Hafthor Björnsson (2018) and Eddie Hall (2017) remain the only strongmen to have ever deadlifted that much weight from the floor.

Notably, none of the athletes could deadlift 505 kilograms (1,113 pounds) during the contest. The Giants Live organization would have rewarded the strongman who achieved such a feat with a $55,000 prize. Björnsson still owns the heaviest strongman deadlift of all-time at 501 kilograms (1,104.5 pounds). He captured that mark at the 2020 WUS “Feats of Strength” series.

Here are the complete top results from the 2022 World Deadlift Championships:

2022 World Deadlift Championships Final Standings

  1. Rauno Heinla — 476 kilograms (1,049.4 pounds) | 2022 WDC Champion
  2. Graham Hicks — 453.5 kilograms (999.8 pounds)
  3. Mitchell Hooper — 453.5 kilograms (999.8 pounds)
  4. Ivan Makarov — 453.5 kilograms (999.8 pounds)
  5. Pavlo Nakonechnyy — 453.5 kilograms (999.8 pounds)
  6. Gavin Bilton — 425.5 kilograms (938.1 pounds)
  7. Oleksii Novikov — 425.5 kilograms (938.1 pounds)
  8. Evan Singleton — 425.5 kilograms (938.1 pounds)
  9. Shane Flowers — 400 Kilograms (881.9 pounds)
  10. Andy Black — 400 Kilograms (881.9 pounds)
  11. Pa O’Dwyer — 400 Kilograms (881.9 pounds)

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A Fitting Moment

Heinla winning the 2022 WDC could be seen as a perfect culmination of much of his recent training focus.

In mid-June 2022, the Estonian athlete deadlifted 420 kilograms (926 pounds) for four reps with ease. Then, in early July, Heinla first teased a new Master’s World Record with a pull of 450 kilograms (992 pounds) — which was 30 pounds more than the past top mark. Heinla would eclipse that unofficial training feat by 26 kilograms (57.4 pounds) with the new Master’s World Record at the 2022 WDC. 

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Heinla adds the Master’s World Record to an impressive resume of deadlift accomplishments. He possesses the all-time 400-kilogram (881.8-pound) deadlift for reps World Record with six at the 2020 World’s Ultimate Strongman Feats of Strength series. Plus, he is also the Silver Dollar World Record holder with a pull of 579.7 kilograms (1,278 pounds) at the 2022 Silver Dollar Deadlift Estonian Championship. 

With Heinla’s victory at the 2022 WDC, one of strongman’s greatest deadlifters can now officially call himself the world’s top active deadlifter. 

Featured image: @rauno_heinla