Often called the “dark horse” of the World’s Strongest Man events, Latvian strongman Martins Licis doesn’t have quite as much name recognition as Thor Bjornsson or Eddie Hall but the plucky 27-year-old has a lot on his side: age, a famously playful sense of humor, and a monster deadlift.
This week he’s been on our minds for two reasons. The first is the release of a very memorable KFC commercial in which he co-stars alongside Thor Bjornsson (watch it) and the second was this jaw-dropping deadlift triple of 900 pounds. Take a look, and make sure you keep watching after the triple to see a double overhand 615-pound double without wrist straps.
He added the caption,
900lb (409kg) deadlifts for a triple. Explosivity not there Today, so this was pure grind and willpower. Second half of video is a double overhand grip 615lb (279kg) deady for a double. 😈 After 5 weeks of training intensely straight, it’s time for a deload ☠️ Cant Wait to see what this weight feels like fresh >;) … Although, that deload is going to have to include the Team World Championships as part of it this upcoming Sunday. So it’ll be like a mini deload, competition, followed by another mini deload 🤔 … I’m going to need to do nothing but sleep and eat, and prepare mentally for glory! NOTE: I felt I could have gotten that 4th rep, but did you see my right leg shake? It felt like my hip was about to slip out of the socket, soooo I stopped immediately
What’s the heaviest deadlift the man can muster? Plugging a 3RM of 900 pounds into a few 1-rep max calculators gave us an estimated max of 950 pounds, but we’ve actually seen him pull more. At the 2017 World’s Strongest Man we saw a 970-pound deadlift and Licis rightfully reminds us in the caption that this was “the day after squats, tire flips, and Viking presses, and the same day as the plane pull. My body was BEAT up, but my adrenaline… like I’ve never felt before.”
After this he tried for a 1,014-pound lift and while he didn’t complete it, there are few alive who could move it as far off the ground as he did.
[Watch Kevin Hart and Martins Licis train strongman in this hilarious clip from Hart’s YouTube series.]
Now, we know that Licis is maybe best known as the man with the heaviest Steinborn squat of all time — watch his 560-pound record breaker here — but while we’re talking about his mighty posterior chain we also had to throw in his 1-arm 1-rep max PR: 500-pounds. This is a guy who knows how to diversify his lifts. (We’re starting to wonder when he’ll break the Jefferson deadlift world record.)
Best of luck to the man at the Ultimate Strongman Team World Championships this Sunday!
Related: Romanian Deadlift Ultimate Guide
Featured image via @martinslicis on Instagram.