Russel Orhii is easily one of the greatest powerlifters ever in the 83-kilogram weight class, having won numerous titles across the years. Therefore, it was somewhat surprising that he had not been too active this year in terms of competitions. However, his training sessions were still going strong, and he looks stronger than ever. This is evident by Russel’s numerous recent feats of strength, most notably the new 212.5-kilogram (468.4-pound) Bench Press PR.
Russel Orhii only used wrist wraps to set a 212.5-kilogram (468.4-pound) bench press PR, making it raw. However, Russel had to struggle a lot in order to set this PR, but pushing himself to his limits will only result in even more improvement. Regardless of the grind, Russel still maintained perfect technique, proving why he is one of the greatest powerlifters in the world.
The context is incredibly important in this story, since Russel Orhii was once a part of the IPF, but has been a USAPL lifter for the past few years. These two powerlifting federations were once connected, but split up after some disagreements. After the split, the athletes had to choose one federation to compete in exclusively.
Russel Orhii evaluated the situation after the split and opted for the USAPL, which no longer seems like the correct option to him. He has now officially left USAPL and revealed exactly why in a recent YouTube video.
“I’m leaving the USAPL. The reason why I am leaving the USAPL is because I want to go back to being a World Champion Powerlifter…
I decided to stay with the USAPL (in 2021), thinking that it would allow me to grow the business of the better brand…
As I have done that, the IPF has taken bigger strides than the USAPL, with just the little things that kind of add to what it means to be a powerlifter.”
Russel Orhii also stated that the IPF will have more big competitions for him, as he was previously only attracted to the USAPL Nationals. Speaking of which, he wanted to claim his sixth USAPL National title later this year, but had to withdraw and turn his attention to the IPF as soon as possible.
While USAPL and IPF were together, the athletes from the USA qualified for the World Championships through the USAPL Nationals. However, due to their split, IPF was forced to set up an affiliate, Powerlifting America (AMP), which now puts on their Nationals as a way to qualify.
“If I want to go to the IPF, I have to serve a six month suspension, and that starts whenever I reinstate myself. So, if I were to compete in the USAPL Nationals, I would then start my suspension. That would have made me eligible to compete in April of 2024. By that time, the AMP Nationals (Qualifier for 2024 IPF Worlds) would have already happened.”
One unusual side effect of Russel Orhii’s situation is that he will end 2023 without making a single appearance in a sanctioned competition. In the past eight years, this has only been the case in 2020.
Regardless, we will soon get to see him compete in the 2024 Powerlifting America (AMP) Nationals, IPF World Championships, and a bit later on, the IPF World Games and IPF Sheffield as well.
Data Source: Open Powerlifting. Last Updated: August 17, 2023
Russel Orhii is already a 2x IPF World Champion (2019 & 2021), but his main goal now will be reclaiming his title in 2024. He also stated that he will remain in the 83-kilogram weight class for the foreseeable future, despite some outside speculations that he is moving to the 90-kilogram weight class. So, he is now taking a very big step, but it seems correct, as IPF is currently ruling the drug-tested powerlifting scene.
Vedad is a lifelong fitness enthusiast, who is especially passionate about all things Strength related. Vedad loves to write about strength sports just as much as he likes to train. Worked hard to gain his knowledge, but is still in a constant chase for improvement.
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