Martins Licis Aims to Drop 60 Pounds for 2023 Strongman Season

"The Dragon" intends to level up his conditioning.

Martins Licis has had a roller-coaster return to elite strongman competition. After winning the 2019 World’s Strongest Man (WSM), “The Dragon” sat out of the 2020 and 2021 WSM contests while recovering from a bicycle accident — starring in a Geico commercial and acting as a WSM commentator (in 2021) to stay busy. 

Then, he returned to competition following his stem cell treatments with remarkable success. He won the 2021 Rogue Invitational and the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic, followed by a second-place finish at the 2022 WSM.

And it appears he has no plans on slowing down. On Nov. 10, 2022, Licis took to his YouTube channel to publish a video wherein he shared his intentions to lose 60 pounds for the upcoming 2023 strongman season. The goal of his weight loss is to improve his work capacity to post better results in medley and distance events that challenge each athlete’s cardio. Check it out above.

Licis’ Two-Year Plan

Licis asked his 203,000 YouTube subscribers to “keep [him] accountable” on his journey to go from his heaviest ever weight, 360 pounds, down to a “lean and mean” 300 pounds. Recent contest victories by Mitchell Hooper and Novikov have displayed the benefits of being at a lower bodyweight to excel in speed, agility, and work capacity events. While dropping weight, Licis intends to improve his strength in three events during the 2023 season: the log lift, the deadlift, and the Atlas Stones.

Increasing his strength in those three events isn’t some nondescript goal without a metric for success. In 2024, Licis will attempt to “set some records.” While he did not specify which records he would target in the video, several possibilities stand out with the highest potential.

The first is the American Log Lift record of 217.5 kilograms (478.5 pounds) held by Bobby Thompson. The log lift World Record is 229 kilograms (504.8 pounds), scored by Chieck “Iron Biby” Sanou. While 11.5 kilograms does not seem like a drastic leap between those two lifts, the previous log lift world record was only one kilogram less than Iron Biby’s lift. Žydrūnas Savickas locked out 228 kilograms (502.7 pounds) overhead in 2015, and it took seven years for anyone to eclipse it by a single kilo.

[Related: 2022 Strongman Champions League Finals Results — Aivars Šmaukstelis Ascends the Throne]

Licis could set his sights on a bevy of deadlift records. The most obvious is the all-time heaviest lift of 501 kilograms (1,104.5 pounds) scored by Hafthor Björnsson on May 2, 2020, in an episode of World’s Ultimate Strongman (WUS) “Feats of Strength” series. Björnsson did not pull that lift in an official competition. Still, only Björnsson and Eddie Hall have successfully achieved the milestone 500-kilogram deadlift (Hall was the first human to accomplish the feat at the 2016 World Deadlift Championships).

Rather than going for the all-time record deadlift, Licis might test his hand at the Elephant Bar deadlift record of 472 kilograms (1,040.6) pounds, held by Björnsson since 2018. While there is only speculation at the time of this article’s publication as to which records Licis will ultimately target, his current goal is clear: drop weight, increase his work capacity, add strength to his big lifts, and crown those accomplishments with so edits to the record books.

Featured image: @martinslicis on Instagram