TBT: Check Out Zydrunas Savickas at His First Powerlifting Competition from 1998

Zydrunas “Big Z” Savickas has had a long career in strength sport, and most are familiar with his accomplishments in strongman. The 40 year old strongman has won the World’s Strongest Man 4 times, the Arnold Classic 8 (!) times, and more national, continental, and lift-specific competitions than we can count.

But Big Z actually got his start my mixing powerlifting and strongman, even taking second in the +125 kilo category at the 2000 IPF World Championships. By the early 2000s, he was competing almost exclusively in strongman and won his first Arnold title in 2003; it would be six more years before he won his first of four World’s Strongest Man championships, though he finished second in 2002, 2003, and 2004.

To get a glimpse of a much younger (and considerable lighter) Savickas, check out the video below, taken at the European Junior Powerlifting Championships in 1998 in Vladimir, Russia.

As a Junior, Zydrunas  Savickas squats 342.5kg, benches 205kg, and deadlifts 320kg for a 867.5kg (1,910.2 pound) total at 136kg bodyweight (just shade under 300 pounds).

(Want to know how tall the world’s best strongmen competitors are? Check out our infographic!)

At 40 years old, Savickas is still competing multiple times a year and going for personal bests at nearly every competition, including trying to break his own log press world record. Here’s his attempt at a 230 kilogram log clean and press at the Arnold Classic Australia in March 2016.

Savickas actually gets the weight overhead, only to lose stability and miss it behind. Keep in mind, this is an unwieldy log weighted to over 500 pounds.

Attempt for WR . Not this time . Later this year.

A video posted by Zydrunas Savickas BIG Z (@savickas_bigz) on

After his recent victory at the 2016 Arnold Classic Strongman competition, the Lithuanian giant shows absolutely no signs of slowing down.

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting.

David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of Greatist.com. In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and Fortune.com, as well as a contributor to Forbes.com, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day.

David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.

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