Rauno Heinla, 2011 Estonia’s Strongest Man – International Strongman

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Rauno Heinla - Estonia's Strongest Man 2011 - International Strongman
Rauno Heinla - Competing in 2011 Worlds Strongest Man Finals.

Rauno Heinla is not the biggest strongman competing today, far from it, but he does however possess great strength for his size.

Rauno Heinla - Estonia's Strongest Man 2011 - International Strongman
Rauno Heinla - Competing in 2011 Worlds Strongest Man Finals.

We caught up with the current Estonia Strongest Man 2011, and posed a few questions to him.

Phil Burgess: You are currently Estonia’s Strongest Man 2011, what does this strongman title mean to you?

Rauno Heinla: I have been Estonia’s strongest man 2008, 2010 and 2011. It means a lot to me to hold this strongman title,  it has been my dream since I started training.

Phil Burgess:  We have an interview coming up with your fellow countryman and a former holder of Estonia’s Strongest Man Tarmo Mitt in a few weeks.  Do you guys ever train together?

Rauno Heinla: Tarmo Mitt was Estonia strongest man in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004. Whilst Andrus Murumest, was Estonia’s Strongest Man in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

Tarmo lives in the same town, but we don’t train together. He prefers do train alone. But when we meet at the comptition he is always helpful and gives good advice on how to do something better.

My training partner is Estonia’s current second strongest man Lauri Nämi and training with him is great  because it achieves much better results as every training session is like a competition.

Phil Burgess: You would be considered to be one of the lighter strongman competitors, what do you currently weigh and what is your height?

Rauno Heinla: Yes my bodyweight has been always my biggest weakness.

In  2011 I weighed between 120-125kg and it was not enough. At the
moment my weight is 130kg and I am very happy with my strength at this weight.

But I reckon my best bodyweight would be 140kg not more. At this weight I can still maintain my speed which has always been my strength.

Phil Burgess: What are your current one rep max’s for the Deadlift, Squat and Bench Press?

Rauno Heinla:

  • Sumo Deadlift 400kg with suit
  • Raw Sumo Deadlift 360kg x 4 reps
  • Raw classic Deadlift 360kg x 2 reps
  • Raw Squat 320kg
  • Raw Bench Press 220kg
Rauno Heinla - Yoke Carry - International Strongman
Yoke Carrying in COLD conditions

Phil Burgess: Where in Estonia are you from? How would you describe Estonia to someone who has never been there?

Rauno Heinla:  I live in Tartu, which is the second biggest city and is located in South Estonia.

Estonia is a small country with a population of 1.3 million people.  For it’s small
size we have alot of good strongmen.

Estonia is famous for its forests, lakes and wildlife.

Phil Burgess:  Interestingly I read that you competed in the Australian Highlander competition in 2010, and won the event.

How did you come to compete in Australia in the first place and how enjoyable was it?

Rauno Heinla: I went to Australia to live there in 2009. I looked up local strongmen to find out where and when they have competitions. It turned out that strongman competitions were not very popular in Australia.

(EDITORS NOTE: This is rapidly changing in Australia)

Back then I was only 108kg, but I still was able to win against the Australian competitors.

Phil Burgess:  In your eyes who do you think is the best competitor in Strongman ever, and why?

Rauno Heinla:  Zydrunas Savickas because he’s the only strongman who has won every competition where he has competed.

Phil Burgess:  What are your goals for 2012? What lessons did you learn in 2011?

Rauno Heinla: I really want to get invited to the Worlds Strongest Man competition again and get to the finals.   I also hope for good results at the Strongman Champions League as well.

Rauno Heinla - Log Press - Strongman Event
Log Press by Rauno

Last year I learned that I need to rest more, because last year I competed from March to November, and at the end I was so tired and my results were not as good as I hoped.

Phil Burgess:  What areas have you identified that you need to improve in, to place higher at the Worlds Strongest Man?

Rauno Heinla:  I need to practise more truck pulls and my yoke needs to improve as well. Im not bad at them, but better results give a better place at the end of the competition.

Phil Burgess:  I will give you a list of events, tell me the current competitor you would fear most competing alongside, and why?

Rauno Heinla:

  • Log Lift – Zydrunas Savickas – his max is 215 kg, Mine is 170kg (but I have done 160kg x4)
  • Truck Pull – Thor Bjornsson because he weighs 200kg !!
  • Atlas Stones – Brian Shaw just the World’s Best at it.
  • Car Deadlift – Mark Felix – no-one beats him in reps.
  • Farmers Walk –  Laurence Shahlaei – he’s the fastest
  • Yoke – Mike Jenkins – he was best at this event in WSM competition.

Phil Burgess:  What is your favourite event and why? And your least favourite?

Rauno Heinla: My favourite events are heavy stones and deadlift for reps.

My worst event is the Truck Pull, because I dont weight too much.

Phil Burgess:  If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 other strongman competitors alive or dead would you want to have with you, and why?

Martin Wildauer – he’s a good friend
Ervin Katona – he’s funny and makes jokes all the time
Zydrunas Savickas – I can ask him how did he get so strong!!

Phil Burgess: Thanks Rauno, Good luck with your competitions in 2012…

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