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I travelled to Columbus Ohio for the heaviest strongman contest I have ever competed in last week. At the rules meeting I got to catch up with some good strongman buddies of mine like Andy Deck and Tom Mutaffis amongst others. Going into this contest, I had to train very minimally through the month of February to let some injuries heal up, which definitely hurt my anaerobic conditioning and maximum lifting capabilities, but luckily the injury wasn’t an issue for me during the contest.
Event #1 Yoke Carry 950lb x 60’
This is the heaviest competitive yoke carry I have ever done and is actually the same weight and event I injured myself on training at the end of January. I wasn’t thrilled that it was the first event but you got to play the cards your dealt. I got to warm up to 750lb for a short carry and was still a little concerned about the 950lb carry. It was awesome to compete in this as 4 competitors competed at the same time in every event. The whistle began and a 4 man race to carry 950lb for 60 feet was on. I started slow and steady and once I got moving with the weight in control I was able to pick up some speed. One drop along the way but I did it in 24 seconds! I’m thrilled this event went as well as it did.
Event #2 Axle Clean and Press 325lb
This weight is very close to my max press and I wanted to get a couple power clean and presses then try for a continental. I wasn’t able to execute the clean with 325lbs though. I killed the clean with 270 in warm ups but just barely lost the grip in competition. I was able to drop back into a continental clean and rack the weight with little problem. Then I pushed the press a little forward and couldn’t control it. Tried a few more times but the first attempt was the best. No lifts here and disappointment.
Event #3 800lb Frame Carry and Drag 60’
Due to my poor performance in the axle I got to go in the first group here.
Being in the first group gave me the opportunity to set the tone for the event. I picked up the frame and as soon as I took my first step I knew I was going to destroy it. I took the frame the distance easily and jumped out to grab the handle for the drag. I slipped a bit on my first pull, re-grouped and was able to find a rhythm to drag the 800lb chunk of steel to the finish. My time was 45 seconds and I was the only person in my group to finish. For the scoring in this event, the athlete had to finish the frame carry portion of the medley or receive zero points for the event. Only 19 competitors finished which put me in 9th place for the event and back in the hunt for a decent final placing.
Event #4 Ford Focus Car Deadlift
The car was light and a repetition festival. I had a big problem with the apparatus. Every few reps it was sliding away from me and I had to waste energy moving my feet and losing my rhythm. I got 12 reps at the 10 second call and knocked out 13 and 14, got 15 ¾ to lock out when the whistle blew, and I was half blacked out at this point so I didn’t really know what was going on. I tried to finish the lift and woke up a second later with my head on the bumper of the car. With the 14 reps I had it was a 5-way tie for 15th place in this event.
I finished 25th overall out of 48 competitors. All things considered I’m happy with this performance, but it left me hungry to do better next year.
On Saturday I got to spend the morning in the HMB booth and had a great time. Everyone on Team HMB is awesome and I got to talk to quite a few people about the product and its benefits through improved recovery and endurance.
The pro strongman was phenomenal to watch. Zydrunas was a freak on the axle, especially the 5th rep. Brian Shaw was unbelievably huge and did exactly what I thought he would do and destroyed the field. Mike Jenkins was thoroughly impressive too in every event. As his deadlift continues to improve he is definitely capable of winning this thing in the future.
I will be travelling for work over the next few weeks and will be getting back to serious training in April. Until then, train hard and take your HMB!