As a way to provide entertainment for the fans of strength sports and an avenue for elite strength athletes to showcase their talents, World’s Ultimate Strongman created the Feats of Strength series in early 2020. Based on the success of that series, highlighted by Hafthor Bjornsson’s 501 kg (1,104 pound) deadlift, they have officially started season 2 this weekend. The opening contest of the season was a 400 kg (882 pounds) deadlift for reps competition between Konstantine Janashia and Rauno Heinla.
As with the episodes in season one, Mark Boyd and Laurence Shahlaei called the action and the head judge was four-time World’s Strongest Man Zadrunas Savickas. It was also streamed live on the Rogue Fitness YouTube channel and on the CoreSports website.
Janashia and Heinla both share the world record with JF Caron for this type of event with 5 reps each at this weight. They both were attempting to take the record for themselves as well as the first win of the new season.
Heinla took part in one of these contests in season one. He defeated Jerry Pritchett 5 reps to 4. He has performed six reps with this weight in training, but that didn’t count as an official world record. He won the deadlift competition of the 2019 World Ultimate Strongman contest and is a six-time Estonia’s Strongest Man champion. He has won both the Arnold Brazil and Arnold Australia contests in his career.
Janashia may not be one of the more famous names in the sport, but he is accomplished and certainly has proven himself worthy to be on the big stages. Aside from his owning a share of this record going in, he’s also a nine-time Georgia’s Strongest Man (the country, not the state) and won the Savickas Classic in 2017. He’s also a former Britain’s Strongest Man. This was his first appearance in the Feats of Strength series.
The rules for the contest were simple. The athletes had to pick up the weight, wait for the down signal, and return it to the ground for the next rep. The weight could not be dropped. They each had 75 seconds to perform as many successful reps as possible. The equipment the athletes used had to be approved beforehand and the weights calibrated. Janashia, training in Georgia, opted for an Olympic barbell with regular straps while Heinla used a Texas Power Bar with figure 8 straps at his gym in Estonia.
Heinla started the online competition and completed five reps within the first 20 seconds. After a 30 second break, he struggled his way through a sixth rep before stopping. Next up was Janashia. His weight was verified to be 402 kg (886 pounds) by Savickas. He started at a slower pace than Heinla but got two reps early on. He failed on the 3rd rep and was slow to start again. He stopped early and appeared to be suffering from an injury.
So Heinla not only took the win by a count of six reps to two, but he now claims the world record for his event as his own. The next event in the second season of Feats of Strength will feature Trey Mitchell taking his own crack at claiming this record for himself on September 20th.
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