Don Reinhoudt

Don Reinhoudt
Born (1945-03-06) March 6, 1945
United States Brocton, New York
Occupation powerlifting, strongman
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[1][2]
Weight 357 lb (162 kg) active[2]
Competition record
Representing  United States
World's Strongest Man
2nd 1978 World's Strongest Man
1st 1979 World's Strongest Man
9th 1980 World's Strongest Man
Representing  United States
IPF World Powerlifting Championships[3]
1st 1973 +110kg
1st 1974 +110kg
1st 1975 +110kg
1st 1976 +110kg
AAU US National Powerlifting Championships[3]
1st 1974 +110kg
1st 1975 +110kg
1st 1976 +110kg
AAU World Powerlifting Championships[3]
3rd 1972 +110kg

Donald C. Reinhoudt[1] (born March 5, 1945) is a former world champion powerlifter and strongman from the United States. He is the first and only 4 time-in-a-row IPF World Powerlifting Superheavyweight Champion (1973 - 1976),[1] having held all 4 of the 4 powerlifting records in his day. Reinhoudt was the first man to break the 2400 pound total record in powerlifting, which was performed raw by today's standards, beating the legendary Jon Cole in 1975.[1] Setting and breaking over forty powerlifting records throughout his career, he is widely considered to be one of the very best powerlifters of all time.[1] Reinhoudt still holds the world record for the highest raw total in history at 2391 lbs.[4] In his later years he competed in some of the early World's Strongest Man contests and won 1979's competition, beating a young soon-to-be 3 times in a row World's Strongest Man Bill Kazmaier.


At Fredonia High School, Reinhoudt was an All-League basketball player, an All-Western New York football player and an All-Western shot putter.[5]

Reinhoudt began lifting weights when he was an 18-year-old defensive end at Parsons College, a small Division II college in Iowa. Reinhoudt not only played college football for four years, but was also on the varsity track team.[5]

He competed in six Olympic weightlifting competitions, including the 1967 Junior Nationals.


After experimenting with weightlifting, Reinhoudt began powerlifting in 1969. For the young Reinhoudt, his powerlifting idols, were Jon Cole, John Kuc and Jim Williams - the all-time great pioneers of the sport.[2]

Reinhoudt took 3rd place in his first International appearance in the Open Division at the inaugural 1972 AAU World Powerlifting Championships with a 2,150 lb total finishing only behind John Kuc and Jim Williams. He went on to finish in 1st place 4 times in a row at the World Powerlifting Championships from 1973 to 1976, also winning the US National titles during the same span. He was the only Super Heavyweight to hold IPF World Records in all three lifts (squat, bench press, deadlift) as well as in the Total simultaneously.[1] He was also the first man to break the 2,400 lb barrier, with a 2,420 lb total (was later downgraded with the actual weight of 2391 pounds or 1084.5 kg),[2][4] achieved in 1975. This Total of 2391 lb still stands today as the highest powerlifting total ever achieved without supportive equipment (raw),[4] making Reinhoudt effectively one of the strongest men in the history of powerlifting. Reinhoudt had all in all three meets, in which he totaled more than 2350 pounds. Reinhoudt is also one of the few lifters ever to have squatted more than 900 pounds raw (934.5) and bench pressed in excess of 600 pounds raw (607.4). In 1976, he even attempted a 904-pound deadlift three times in official meets (including at the IPF World Championships) and pulled it up past his knees but could not lock it out completely.[5][6] Had he managed it, he would have been the only lifter in history, whose name is registered in all of the three powerlifting hall of fames for the 900 pound raw squat, 600 pound raw bench press and 900 pound deadlift. Additionally, Reinhoudt often missed other lifts only very closely, which would have been even bigger world records. For example, one year at the AAU Senior Nationals he bench pressed 620 pounds (raw) to full lockout but got two red lights for raising his toe during the lift.[5] One time at national championships, Reinhoudt squatted 950 pounds raw without knee wraps, in only a thin Olympic belt. It didn't count, because it was deemed one inch too high - it would still be the all-time world record today.[5]

In November 10, 1976, after winning the IPF World Championships, Reinhoudt retired from powerlifting mainly due to the inconvenience his heavy weight caused to his health, such as shortness of breath and lack of flexibility.[6] He quickly dropped his weight from 365 to 239 pounds in the time span of only four months.[6] In preparation for his appearance at the 1978 World's Strongest Man, Reinhoudt competed one last time at the Eastern Open in 1977, in the 275-pound class, where he set four world records: At 264 pounds bodyweight he totalled 2000 lb (725/525/750). He never competed in powerlifting afterwards and put all his energy on lifting for the World's Strongest Man shows.[5]

Meet Results

Squat: 830 lb, Bench: 590 lb, Deadlift: 730 lb---Total: 2150 lb[3]
Squat: 407.5 kg (899 lb), Bench: 262.5 kg (579 lb), Deadlift: 362.5 kg (799 lb)---Total 1032.5 kg (2277 lb)[3]
Squat: 410 kg (904 lb), Bench: 252.5 kg (557 lb), Deadlift: 375 kg (827 lb)---Total: 1037.5 kg (2288 lb)[3]
Squat: 400 kg (882 lb), Bench: 250 kg (551 lb), Deadlift: 380 kg (838 lb)---Total: 1030 kg (2271 lb)[3]
Squat: 390 kg (860 lb), Bench: 252.5 kg (557 lb), Deadlift: 372.5 kg (821 lb)---Total: 1015 kg (2238 lb)[3]

World's Strongest Man

After retiring from powerlifting in 1976, Reinhoudt was invited to the 1977 World's Strongest Man contest. While being on a hardcore diet, he had just lost 125 lbs of body weight from 365 to 239.[5] So he declined but vowed to compete in the following year. He competed in the following three competitions from 1978 to 1980. In 1978 he was leading field over the most part of the competition, but lost the final tug of war by losing balance and finishing 2nd to Bruce Wilhelm. The following year Reinhoudt won the competition in 1979, beating a young Bill Kazmaier. He was forced to withdraw from the 1980 World's Strongest Man competition after tearing his biceps and left hamstring, which proved to be career ending injuries. He retired from competition in August 1980, shortly after this contest.[2]

Personal Records


Powerlifting Competition Records:

done in official Powerlifting full meets

→ former IPF world record in SHW class (+regardless of weight class)
→ former all-time highest raw squat in SHW class (+regardless of weight class) for almost 20 years from April 10, 1976[7] to July 16, 1995*[7]
→ current all-time highest raw squat without knee wraps in SHW class (+regardless of weight class) for more than 35 years since July 16, 1995[4]
→ former IPF world record in SHW class (+regardless of weight class); surpassed by Wayne Bouvier's 610 pounds
→ former IPF world record in SHW class (+regardless of weight class); surpassed by Bill Kazmaier's 886 pounds
→ former all-time world record deadlift[2] in SHW class (+regardless of weight class) from May 5, 1975[3] to November 29, 1981**[10]
→ former IPF world record in SHW class (+regardless of weight class); surpassed by Bill Kazmaier's 2425 pounds
→ former all-time world record powerlifting total[2] in SHW class (+regardless of weight class) from May 5, 1975[3] to January 31, 1981***[10]
→ former all-time highest unequipped powerlifting total in SHW class (+regardless of weight class) for over 35 years since 1975;[4][11] surpassed by Andrey Malanichev's 2425 lbs (1100 kg) on December 7, 2013.

Career aggregate total (best official lifts) - 2427.4 lb (934.5 + 607.4 + 885.5)

* surpassed by Mark Henry with 948.0 lbs (430.0 kg) with knee wraps on July 16, 1995.[7]

** the former all-time world record in the deadlift was previously held by Jon Cole at 882 pounds;[2] it was surpassed by Bill Kazmaier with 886.26 lb on November 29, 1981.

** the former all-time world record total was previously held by Jon Cole at 2370 lb (weighed out at 2364 lb);[2] it was surpassed by Bill Kazmaier with 2425 lb on January 31, 1981.

Powerlifting Gym Records (unofficial):

done in training

Career aggregate unofficial total (best training lifts) - 2556 lb (1000 + 606 + 950)[1]


Reinhoudt only did Olympic lifting in his younger years when he weighed approximately 240 pounds[2]

combined weightlifting/powerlifting Supertotal: 630 lb + 2391 lb = 3021 lb

5-best-lift total: 260 lb + 370 lb + 934.5 lb + 607 lb + 885.5 lb = 3057 lb

World's Strongest Man Records

done in WSM 1979

Personal life

Reinhoudt is married to his wife Pam and has two children from his previous marriage - Mollie and Ben.[2] He is known to be a Christian.[5][12] After obtaining a degree in finance, Reinhoudt worked as an accountant. He has also dedicated time as a motivational speaker to youth in western New York around his hometown of Brocton, often peppering in minor feats of strength into his presentations.


measurements without exercising or "pumping up"[6]


See also


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