Rauno Heinla Wins World’s Ultimate Strongman Deadlift Showdown

He won the virtual contest by 1 rep.

On June 20, World’s Ultimate Strongman (WUS) featured another edition of their “Feats of Strength” series. This competition was a deadlift showdown featuring Jerry Pritchett of the United States and Rauno Heinla of Estonia.

Both men went head-to-head in a showdown set with 400 kg (880 pounds) for reps.

The goal was for the athletes to lift the weight for the most reps in 75 seconds. When the final seconds passed, it was Heinla who won the event by a final rep count of 5 to 4. Both men actually had performed all of their reps within the first 30 seconds of the contest. Pritchett reached failure first as he was attempting to lock out his 5th rep. Heinla was successful with number 5 and made repeated attempts to get a 6th rep but never made it past the knees. Former World’s Strongest Man Zydrunas Savickas served as the referee from a remote location.

The unique circumstances of this event were what made it interesting. Both men performed their lifts while being 10 hours away from each other by time zone. Heinla was based at his training facility in Estonia while Pritchett performed his lifts from his gym in Arizona. It was in the late afternoon (6:30 pm local time) for Heinla while Pritchett performed his feat in the morning(8:30 am local time). They were also allowed to use different plates so long as the weights were verified by Savickas.

These two men were matched up because of their well-known feats in the deadlift. Pritchett was not only the 2017 America’s Strongest Man champion but has held deadlift records in his career including the current American deadlift record of 1,031 pounds (467.5 kg) and as the first world record holder in the Elephant Bar Deadlift with that same weight.


As for Heinla, he won the deadlift portion of the 2019 WUS contest with a pull of 990 pounds (450 kg). He had actually performed a top competition lift of 1,003 pounds (455 kg) in his career. While he didn’t get six reps on this day, he did leave the event as the winner. He did state in the post-event interview that he wants to work up to an attempt at Bjornsson’s world record in the future.

Featured Image: Instagram/rauno_heinla