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I recently returned from my 7th time competing in the 105KG America’s Strongest Man contest. The contest was held at the Mr. Olympia expo in Las Vegas this year, which made it an extra memorable experience. The event for the 105KG division was held on Saturday, which gave the rest of the competitors and me an entire day Friday to relax, enjoy the pool, talk training, and eat like Heavyweight competitors. We also got to watch the master’s amateur championships and some rather amazing performances, including Mark Bevins competing in both weight classes, which was probably the most impressive thing I saw at the entire expo. Of the 14 active pro strongmen in the 105Kg class, 11 made it out to the show, which made for a great contest and an exciting finish. The field ranged from seasoned pros like myself to guys that were at their first pro nationals. Here is how it went and you can check out the links for some videos of the events.
Press Medley – This event required a 250lb keg and a 300lb axle to be pressed once each and then a 180lb dumbbell as many times as possible with a one minute total time limit. I easily lifted the keg and axle but never got a good handle on the dumbbell, which placed me at the bottom of the standings here.
Yoke Carry – The yoke was loaded to 800lbs and had to be carried 60 feet as fast as possible. I blistered the course in 11 seconds and took fourth in this event. Click here to watch the event.
Carry Medley – This event included three implements. The first two were a 300lb keg and a 300lb per hand farmers carry. These two carries were easy for everyone and this event came down to whom could carry the 400lb duck walk implement the quickest. I finished at 38 seconds here for another fourth place and was now mid-pack in the overall scores. Watch the event here.
Axle Deadlift – This event was by far the most interesting with a hefty 725lbs on the thick bar and it was sitting at about an 11” height. I think most guys were expecting a higher starting height and it showed as many of the competitors got a no lift here. For me, I was able to gut out one rep and the spinal erectors on my left side exploded. I was still proud of my pull and the single rep still tied me for 4th here! Click here to watch.
Keg Lift – The last event staged 3 kegs that had to be hoisted over a 56” high bar as quick as possible. My back was extremely tight from the deadlift so I had to be a bit cautious here. I was able to easily complete the lifts to my surprise considering the tight back muscles. My 19 second time put me mid pack here and 7th place overall. Sean Demarinis edged out Rob Kearney in the last event to take the title this year. It came down to tenths of a second and was an exciting moment in strongman history. A big congratulation to Sean on his first title! Watch my performance on the keg lift here.
Completing this contest concluded my season for 2014. This was my seventh pro nationals and 45th contest in strongman. Longevity in these types of competitions can elude many people. I cannot stress enough how important it is to properly train and build your body to compete at this level. HMB has played a key role in my training over the years by supporting my body with quick and efficient recovery from all the training and contests. I’m really looking forward to strongman in 2015!