Žydrūnas Savickas

He lives by the mantra: “Every year I try to be stronger than last year…”

And every year he succeeds. We’re talking, of course, about 2014’s champion Žydrūnas Savickas. A Strongman so iconic that he is often referred to only by his nickname… Big Z.

Standing tall at 6’3”, and with a competition weight of 375lbs, Big Z has certainly earned his nickname. Legend is not a term we use lightly here at WSM, but he is definitely a legend for our times in the world of strength training.

It was in Lithuania, Big Z’s home country, where he first saw a Strongman contest on TV as a child. This inspired him to eventually begin strength training and powerlifting. Whilst competing in his second powerlifting contest he smashed all pre-existing Lithuanian records. By 1998, he had won the title of Lithuania’s Strongest Man and he remains one of the only modern-day Strongmen to have won every major competition throughout the world, including the WSM title four times (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014).

Big Z’s training routine is gruelling, spread over six days every week and each of those days comprising two hours in the gym, and a further three focused on event training. He even has a space 100km outside of the Lithuanian capital where he can train with extra large objects for contests, such as tyres, logs, and vehicles.

All of this training has paid off for Big Z, not only in terms of titles (of which he has racked up well over 50) but in records, too:

His personal Squat record is 937lbs (425kgs), he can Bench Press 600lbs (270kgs) and he can Deadlift 898lbs (407.5kgs).