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2014 Arnold Sports Festival

Blog Article ImageI attended the 2014 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend.  This marked the 13th straight year that I have made the journey to Columbus.  Every year the event seems to get bigger and bigger. This year there were reported 175,000-200,000 spectators attending approximately 40 sporting events. I have been a very active participant in the Arnold over the years. I first attended the Arnold in 2002 and 2003 to compete in the Arnold Strongman Event.  The next several years I was involved in participating in strength training seminars as part of the Arnold Strength Summit.  During the past 7 years I have competed in the GNC Pro Performance IPF Deadlift Competition on the main stage of the expo. During most of these years I have also been involved with running the GNC Grip Gauntlet with my brothers.

On Saturday I was fortunate to compete with fellow Team HMB member Bryan Dermody.  Bryan lifted well but did not get his long awaited 800 deadlift this time.  I look to see him pull it at the Empire Classic in May. I have been very fortunate to have won this competition the past six years, but the winning streak came to a halt this year. Never one to make excuses, but I did have a challenging training cycle with a medical issue this past fall that kept me from training heavy until January. To be honest, just a month ago, I was not sure what I would be able to pull.  Heading into the contest my biggest goal was to pull my 100th career competition deadlift over 800 lbs. I opened up with an easy 771 and went over 800 for number 100 with an 815 pull on my second attempt.  It has been 20 years, going way back to 1995, since I pulled my first 800 at the ADFPA Regionals in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With some careful thought, and not knowing what I had left in the tank we decided on 843 for a third attempt….too easy….I could have gone another 20 lbs…… and I needed it.   Young 21 year old Ian Bell weighing just over 200 lbs came up next and pulled 843 to win on bodyweight.  Ian pulled one of the greatest deadlifts in the history of the sport. In fact the current 3 lift IPF World Record is 804 in the 93 kg weight class.  The women’s division was equally exciting.  Kimberly Walford vaporized a 556 pull, which also exceeds the current 3 lift IPF World Record.  In addition, frequent Arnold deadlift competitor Alyssa Hitchcock pulled an amazing 507 for 2nd place.

Following the Arnold I do not have much down time.  I will be competing in the IPF Pacific Classic Invitational in Melbourne Australia on April 5, 2014.  This event will be part of the Australian Fitness and Health Expo at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Train smart, stay healthy, set your goals high, and make sure to add GNC Pro Performance HMB to your supplement list.

Stay Strong!


Posted on March 5, 2014


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