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Early in March I traveled to the 2016 Arnold Sports Festival. This was the 15th time that I have traveled to Columbus, Ohio; dating back to competing in the inaugural Arnold Classic Strongman Competition in 2002. I say this every year, but this event seems to get bigger and bigger every year. This year there were 18,000 athletes competing in 70 events, with 14 Olympic sports being represented.
I was fortunate this year to have the opportunity to work with Team HMB at the TSI and Metabolic Technologies booth promoting all of the great HMB, PEAK ATP, and BetaTOR products available at GNC stores. Between working with Team HMB, and being involved in several events I had a busy weekend.
On Friday I was asked to be Head Judge for the Arnold Classic Strongman Rogue - Elephant Bar Deadlift. This bar is much longer than a normal powerlifting bar and competitors were allowed straps. The lift could be completed with hitching, but had to be finished to lockout like a normal deadlift. The side judges were 2002 Arnold Strongman Champion/WWE Superstar Mark Henry, and the legendary Magnus Ver Magnusson. It was an amazing show of strength with Eddie Hall pulling 1025 lbs. to the roar of the packed crowd to win the event. Arnold Schwarzenegger and J.J. Watt even showed up on the main stage to have a close hand look at all of the action.
Due to my rib injury I was not able to participate in Arnold Sling Shot Pro Deadlift this year, but I was kept busy helping organize lifters in the warm up room, support fellow Team HMB members Nick Weite and Bryan Dermody, and coaching Jackals Gym’s Luke “Gravel” Klein. This year’s event featured some great lifting in front of a large crowd. Kimberly Walford vaporized a 556 lb. pull, and had a close attempt at 573 lbs. to win the women’s division. Poland’s Krzysztof Wierzbicki weighing only 210 lbs. pulled 870 lbs. for the win in the men’s division. Nick Weite was on a mission to pull 903 lbs. He came out with an unmatched intensity; jerking the weight off the floor but unfortunately it stalled at his knees. All of the lifters showed a lot of intensity and it was great to see a very fired up Sean Culnan make his return to the Arnold stage. Sean and I have been competing longer than some of the competitors have been alive.
Following the Arnold, I am back to training for the 2016 IPF Classic World Championships. After a long lay off I can’t express enough how great it feels to be lifting again.
Train smart, stay healthy, set your goals high, and make sure to add GNC Pro Performance HMB along with BetaTOR and BetaATP products, available at your local GNC Store, to supplement your strength, energy and recovery needs.