Competitive powerlifter Russel Orhii has been making moves in his sport, and the latest one came on June 17th at the 2021 USA Powerlifting (USAPL) Nationals. Competing in the 83 kilogram Raw class, Orhii broke the USAPL American Raw squat record not once, but twice.
Orhii weighed in at 82.54 kilograms (182 pounds), and competed with knee sleeves. He started his day with a lift of 300 kilograms (661 pounds). After receiving three white lights, he made the decision to go for the American record on his second attempt. The 314 kilograms (692 pounds) moved easily for him, and he again received unanimous approval from the judges. This broke his own record of 312 kilograms (690 pounds) that he set at the 2019 International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Championships.
Having a new record in the books, the 26 year old went for broke and had the bar set at 323 kilograms (712 pounds). With the crowd in attendance screaming for him on Platform Two, Orhii once again completed the lift with ease. He received three white lights for him as well. This new record breaks his personal and American record by 11 kilograms.
Based on the training clips he shared on Instagram, Orhii had this goal in his mind leading up to the meet. He was seen on social media squatting 320 kilograms on June 8th.
View this post on Instagram
According to Open Powerlifting, Orhii’s 312 kilogram lift is currently the highest squat in the IPF for his class, which would make the lifts he performed here the new world record. However, the Nationals contest is open to American lifters only. Under IPF rules, international competitions are the only events in which world records can be set.
Orhii’s other lifts are impressive as well. His best bench press in competition is 195 kilograms, and he has a personal best deadlift of 325 kilograms. Both of those lifts were also performed in the 83 kilogram class at the IPF World Championships in 2019, which he won.
[Related: Listen to our 2019 podcast recording with Russel Orhii]
Orhii had won the USAPL Nationals three times in a row (2017-2019) going into this year’s meet. The 2020 edition wasn’t held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Featured Image: @southernohiopowerlifting and @usapowerlifting on Instagram