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There are two big strongman related occurrences that have been going on in my life over the past month. One is the Cardinal Strength Challenge and the other is training for America’s Strongest Man.
The Cardinal Challenge was a NAS sanctioned strongman contest that was promoted by Aaron West in Davison, MI. Aaron put on a phenomenal show that brought a ton of new strongman equipment to the state of Michigan, including some enormous circus dumbbells and gigantic wheelbarrows that had to be loaded and wheeled over 100 feet. I assisted at this contest with equipment set up and can honestly say that this was a phenomenal show, and no one should pass up the opportunity to compete in this one next year!
The countdown to America’s Strongest Man 105KG is down to under 3 weeks. My full time day job responsibilities have been minimizing the time I’ve been able to put into training, so I have been focusing closely on the specific events being contested whenever I get a chance. The meat of my training has consisted of partial deadlifts from 15”, sled drags, and dumbell presses. Since my training time has been minimal, the intensity has been increased even further, making HMB a huge help to my performance. With HMB I have been able to recover quicker between sets so I can get the most out of my time.
The contest weights and events do not look like much on paper, but I think that it will be deceivingly difficult. Here are my thoughts on the events:
160lb Dumbell Press – This requires a lot of endurance, as well as good balance and shoulder strength. 10 reps will be a good mark here. This will be the toughest event for me; if I can keep myself in the top 5 here I’ll have a good shot at re-gaining the title.
Car Deadlift – This event is always a wild card, it could be a light weight and 20+ reps will win, or it could be so heavy only a few competitors can lift it even once. I’m hoping for the latter of the two. An extremely heavy deadlift is essential to a well rounded strongman contest.
Truck Push and Sled Drag – This event will be a huge leg burner and will require a ton of endurance. Recovery after this event is going to be essential to finishing the contest strong.
Wheelbarrow load – These are the same wheelbarrows that were used at The Cardinal Challenge last month. This event is going to require a ton of grip strength to finish, in addition to endurance.
Atlas Stones – I have never gotten to attempt a stone series this heavy in a contest, and am really looking forward to it. The last stone is supposed to be well over 400lbs. That will be a huge lift at the end of a contest like this that requires so much leg strength and endurance.
I expect the points to be very close throughout the day and the final times on the stones will only be separated by tenths of a second. So it will truly be an exciting strongman experience. With The World’s Strongest Man contest going on at the same time in Sun City South Africa, everyone will be mentally hyped up to make some huge lifts, especially me!