Strongman Odd Haugen is considered a legend in the strength sports world. He is the President of Mas Wrestling USA — the strength sport where two athletes fight over a stick — and holds the current Thomas Inch Dumbbell world record — he lifted the 172-pound dumbbell with a coke-can-thick handle with one arm 63 times in 10 minutes at 66 years of age at the 2016 Rogue Record Breakers event. Nowadays, he trains with 2019 World’s Strongest Man champion Martins Licis at his Wreck-It Gym in El Segundo, CA.
Despite being 71 years old now, Haugen has still got it. He looked smooth and steady on heavy farmer’s walks, snatch-grip deadlifts, and ring pull-ups in a recent training session. The most impressive feat of strength came at the nine-minute mark in the video below from Licis’s YouTube channel where Haugen, in a conventional stance, deadlifted a 204.6-kilogram (451-pound) triple raw. The goal was five reps, but scoring three was still enough to drop the jaw of the former WSM champ. Check it out:
Note: in the video, they list Haugen at 70 years old. He was born on Jan. 16, 1950, in Tingvoll, Norway, which means he was 71 at the time of the video recording.
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Haugen started the day working his footwork on the agility ladder. Suited up in his New Balance sneakers and blue jeans, Haugen chalked up and hopped into some farmer’s carries up to 95.3 kilograms (210 pounds). The second exercise of the session was snatch-grip deadlifts, where Haugen set the tone as the first one to grab the barbell loaded with 106.1 kilograms (234 pounds). The videographer’s reaction to Haugen buttery smooth barbell path said it all:
Oh my god! Who are you?!
He’s the “Visegrip Viking,” and he did not mess around in this session. He followed up this lift with a 146.1-kilogram (322-pound) pull and made it look easy. It wasn’t until 166 kilograms (366 pounds) were loaded onto the barbell that Haugen had to call it quits after not pulling it past his knees, despite wearing a lifting belt. Once he switched to a conventional hook grip, it was game on.
With 204.6 kilograms (451 pounds) on the bar, Haugen locked it out not once, not twice, but thrice with the 2019 WSM champion calling clean lifts in the background.
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Unfortunately, Haugen does not currently have plans to compete in an elite-level strongman contest. However, Licis, who will miss his second consecutive WSM contest since winning the title, is planning his return to competition after undergoing stem-cell therapy for his injured knees. Tentatively, Licis is likely to make his return at the 2021 Arnold Strongman Class scheduled for Sept. 25.
The 2021 WSM contest is scheduled for June 15-20, 2021, in Sacramento, CA. Although Licis isn’t on the official roster, he is sure to be in attendance watching from the sidelines as he was in 2020. We’ll see if 2020 WSM champion Oleksii Novikov goes back-to-back and if that is who Licis will attempt to take the crown from in 2022.
Feature image: @oddhaugen on Instagram