The 15 Strongest Moments of 2016

best of 2016

2016 was a year to remember in the world of strength sports.  Just when you thought the human body had been pushed to its farthest limits, these athletes took things to another unimaginable level. Records were shattered in powerlifting, strongman, Crossfit and Olympic lifting. Here is a list of fifteen of the strongest accomplishments of 2016 in order of the date they occurred. 

1. Brian Shaw - 555 Pound Atlas Stone

Greatest landscaper, ever. #555Stone #BrianShaw #ArnoldClassic2016

A video posted by Brent "FONO" Fonokalafi (@big_fono) on

Shaw set a new world record in the Atlas Stone Lift by hoisting a 555 pound stone over a 48” platform at the Arnold Strongman Classic in Ohio this March.  Some consider Brian to be the strongest human in history, and this just adds to his legacy.  This feat broke the previous record of 540 that Shaw set a few years ago. Shaw almost made this look too easy. Who thinks he could go for 600?


2. Crystal Tate - 610 Pound Squat

Tate squatted 610 pounds with wraps and totaled 1,435 pounds which were both powerlifting world records in her 198 weight class.  This was done at an XPC meet this March. That's about the weight of an average Harley Davidson motorcycle on her back. She walked away from the successful lift so casually. It doesn't look like there was ever a doubt in her mind. 


3. Jeremy Hoornstra - 662 Pound Bench Press

Hoornstra benched 662 pounds raw for a powerlifting world record at his 242 bodyweight division at an APA meet this April. Everyone loves a big bench press. Here is a man with one of the biggest ever. 


4. Eddie Hall - 1,102 Pound Deadlift

Eddie "The Beast" Hall deadlifted 1,102 pounds for a strongman world record at the World Deadlift Championships in England this July.  Ala Babe Ruth pointing to the stands before hitting a home-run, Eddie called his shot on this one. He said he would tackle the 500kg barrier, and despite a lot of naysaying, he did it.  Hall said this lift "nearly killed" him, and he doesn't think his mark will be broken by anyone else any time soon. 


5. Mat Fraser - Fittest Man on Earth

Rogue athlete @mathewfras in the Squat Clean Pyramid. Link to OLY Bar in bio. #ryourogue

A video posted by Rogue Fitness (@roguefitness) on

Fraser won the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games by 197 points in California this July.  This was a greater margin than anyone has ever won the games by.  The pool that this contest draws from is enormous, and it includes some of the hardest working athletes in the world, so it's hard to believe Fraser could blow everyone that far out of the water. It will be interesting to see if anyone can catch up to him in 2017. 


6. Katrin Davidsdottir - Fittest Woman on Earth

Davidsdottir became the second woman to win the CrossFit Games back-to-back at the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games in California this July.  The events of this competition are constantly changing, and new elite level competitors pop up every year. That makes it even more impressive to win two years in a row. Is there a three-peat coming?


7. Wes McCormick - 890 Pound Squat

McCormick squatted 890 pounds for a powerlifting equipped world record at his 165 weight class in an IPA meet this July.  Just another world record to come out of Louie Simmons' famous Westside Barbell in Columbus Ohio. Note: This video is actually Wes squatting 810. Video of the 890 is hard to come by. Our guess is that Wes spends so much time working on breaking records that he's not real active on social media. 


8. Nijat Rahimov - 474 Pound Clean and Jerk

Kazakhstan's Rahimov shattered the clean and jerk world record with a lift of 474 pounds and a total of 836 to take gold in the men’s 77KG weightlifting class at the Rio Summer Olympics this August.  He stole the gold from reigning champ Lyu Xiaojun of China by making a massive 12kg jump on his second attempt of the clean and jerk. Rahimov had previously been banned for doping, and it looks like there is a good chance he will get this medal stripped eventually, but he's still a strong SOB. 


9. Ray Williams - 1,005 Pound Squat

Big Ray squatted 1,005 pounds raw in sleeves for a powerlifting world record.  This was on his way to a 2,378 pound world record without knee wraps total at USAPL nationals in Atlanta this October. This squat was impressive enough to make waves in the main stream media; something that rarely happens for the sport of powerlifting. Ray ain't done yet. Expect to see him continue to break his own record. 


10. Andrey Malanichev - 1,069 Pound Squat

485kg squat #bigdogs #powerlifting #squat #bench #deadlift #malanpower #malanichev #strongasfuck

A video posted by Joe (@machinegun_joe_and_evldad) on

Malanichev squatted 1,069 for a powerlifting world record in knee wraps at a ProRaw Big Dogs meet this October.  This was on his way to a 2,513 pound world record total. We mentioned Brian Shaw in the conversation for strongest human in the world. Malanichev has to be in that conversation also. He's putting up raw squat numbers that aren't far off of equipped squatters. A big part of what makes him the best of the best in powerlifting is how uncommonly well rounded he is for someone of his strength level. 


11. Chris Duffin - 1,002 Pound Deadlift Triple

1001.6 for almost a triple. Raw with straps sumo deadlift. Full video on YouTube (link in bio) and FB. ••••• Visit to purchase the #GrandGoals shirt, limited quantities available. A portion of profits from sales will go to the Home Builders Foundation of Metro Portland. This charity provides housing and shelter for temporarily houseless individuals in our community. We chose them because we want these people in need to be able to pursue their #GrandGoals too. If you feel called, or an opportunity presents itself - we encourage you as well to help others in any way that you can so they can also pursue their own #GrandGoals. ••••• #GrandGoals describes my vision and philosophy. Yesterday I accomplished the first part of my #GrandGoals by deadlifting 1001.6 pounds for almost 3 reps at an APA/WPA Sanctioned exhibition event in front of 2 APA chair persons and many independent witnesses. This lift will be submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records for acceptance as the "Heaviest Sumo Deadilft" ••••• In this video I also discuss my inspiration and philosophy behind #GrandGoals. ••••• What are your #GrandGoals? Who are you? Where are you going? ••••• Use code "GRANDGOALS" to save 10% on all store orders until Sunday. ••••• One more thing - Any order over $200 will get an autographed shirt for free. Please include your size in the order comment as well as a preference on where on the shirt you would like the autograph to be. •••••

A video posted by Chris Duffin (@mad_scientist_duffin) on

Duffin deadlifted 1,002 pounds raw for 2.75 reps at his gym this November.  This was a part of what Chris called his "Grand Goals" campaign, which has a deeper meaning beyond the scope of just picking up a massive weight. Sure, he's wearing straps and it's not in competition, but it's half of a ton! For almost 3 reps! That is pretty grand. 


12. Kevin "Oak" Okolie & Larry "Wheels" Williams - World Record Totals

Kevin & Larry both set powerlifting world records totals in their respective raw without wraps divisions at the same meet this November.  Kevin lifted 2,101 pounds in the 220 bodyweight class and Larry hit 2,171 pounds in the 242 bodyweight class.  This was just a couple of former training partners from New York out setting all-time world records together at the same meet. Maybe that's just a typical Saturday where they come from?


13. Wei-Ling Chen - 463 Pound Squat

Wei-Ling squatted 463 pounds for a powerlifting single ply world record weighing in at 103 pounds during the IPF World Championships this November.  She is living proof of big things coming in small packages. A squat of over 4.5 times her own body weight easily earns her a spot on our list. 


14. CJ Cummings - 403 Pound Clean and Jerk

The 16-year-old 152 pound weightlifter snatched 304 pounds and clean and jerked 403 pounds for a 707 total at the American Open this December.  The clean and jerk and total were both American records.  This "kid" is putting up ridiculous numbers for any age. He ended his 2016 with a few more records to add to his growing collection. Cummings is the future of Olympic weightlifting in the United States of America. 


15. Galina Abramova - 561 Pound Deadlift

Abramova deadlifted 561 pounds for a new raw powerlifting world record at 148 pounds body weight at a WRPF meet in Russia this December.  Here was one more crazy world record raw lift to add to the year before 2016 ended. No raw powerlifting numbers are safe right now, especially on the female side it appears. Don't call her, or any of the other ladies on the list, "strong for a woman". Just call them strong. Then sit back and watch them get even stronger. 

Honorable Mentions

  • Amit Sapir squatted 804 pounds raw at 198 bodyweight for a world record at an APA meet this April.
  • Jennifer Millican squatted 420 with wraps at 123 bodyweight this April. 
  • Maria Panferova squatted 502 in wraps at 165 bodyweight this April. 
  • Jennifer Thompson benched 311 pounds raw at 148 bodyweight this June. 
  • The ever increasing competition on both the men's and women's side on display at the 2016 CrossFit games this July.  
  • Eric Lilliebridge squatted 1,052 pounds for a world record in wraps at a UPA meet this July on his way to a world record 2,458 total. 
  • Samantha Coleman squatted 661 pounds raw in July & 600 pound strongman style deadlift. 
  • All the rest of the Olympic weightlifting action from Rio this August.  
  • Janine Whitaker squatted 600 in wraps at 181 bodyweight and totaled 1,460 pounds this August. 
  • Kristy Hawkins squatted 490 pounds raw at 165 bodyweight and totaled 1,328 pounds this August. 
  • Yury Belkin deadlifted a world record 925 at 242 bodyweight without a belt at a WRPF meet this November.  
  • Sarychev Kirill bench presses 706 pounds on his way to totaling 2,386.5 pounds at a WRPF meet this November. 
  • April Mathis benched 457 pounds raw this December. 

Sayonara 2016!

There is the Massenomics approved list for 2016. Let us know who you think we missed, just don't be dicks about it. We can't wait to see what new levels the strength world gets pushed to in 2017. 

Please give this a share if you liked it. It's how we survive. Mark Zuckerberg gives us one gold doubloon for each share. Or you could get yourself some fresh new apparel from our store. At the very least give our weekly podcast a listen.  Thanks to the strong women over at This Is Female Powerlifting for help with some of the research for this project.