Russel Orhii is one of the top-tested powerlifters of his generation. He won the 2019 and 2021 International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) Classic World Championships. Although he hasn’t lifted in the IPF since then, he still holds the IPF raw squat world record of 320.5 kilograms (707 pounds) and the raw total record at 841 kilograms (1854 pounds).
Orhii’s training has been on fire since he announced his switch back to the IPF in 2024. On Aug 17, 2023, Orhii shared an all-time raw deadlift PR of 365 kilograms (805 pounds), though he didn’t hold the lockout for more than a moment. Check it out in the video below, courtesy of Orhii’s Instagram page:
With little preamble, Orhii set up in his familiar conventional stance, tapping his toes on the ground as he stepped up to the bar. He pulled the slack out of the bar once, tightened his mixed grip, and began the lift in earnest. The ascent was smooth, but the lockout was a little soft, and he sent the barbell back to the ground pretty quickly.
“I’ll take this new milestone on my strength journey.”
Orhii acknowledged in his caption that it wasn’t the cleanest rep, but he celebrated it as a gym PR nonetheless. He has plenty of time to tidy up the lift before he competes again. If he can pull close to this number in competition, then he may well be unstoppable.
The IPF deadlift world record in the 83-kilogram class currently stands at Enahoro Asein‘s 370.5 kilograms (817 pounds). Orhii seems to be fast approaching that record number but he is training at a higher body weight than he will compete at. The weight cut for competition will inevitably impact his top-end strength. Still, this PR is a big jump forward.
The deadlift isn’t the only lift progressing well for Orhii. On July 31, he posted a lifetime bench press PR of 212.5 kilograms (468 pounds) — only a handful of kilos from the world record at 218.5 kilograms (482 pounds), currently in the hands of Welsh lifter Owen Hubbard. Take a look at Orhii’s bench press below:
As if that isn’t enough, Orhii has also hit rep PRs on his squat. Taking 320 kilograms (705 pounds) for a set of five repetitions. For context, Orhii’s current raw squat world record stands at 320.5 kilograms (707 pounds).
A week later, Orhii went back to his Instagram to share another squat rep PR triple of 338 kilograms (745 pounds). The final rep looked challenging, but to take a weight this much heavier than the world record and move it for three reps is nothing short of phenomenal.
I’m starting to shock myself at this point.
Orhii’s competition plans are fairly long-range. He will next compete at the Powerlifting America (PA) Raw Nationals in March 2024 with the aim of qualifying for the 2024 IPF Classic World Championships in Lithuania. With the way Orhii is gaining strength, he could well achieve a clean sweep of the IPF world records in the 83-kilogram class.
Featured image: @russwole on Instagram