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I recently competed in Michigan’s Strongest Man in Frankenmuth, MI. The contest has been held in this location for four years now and is in the perfect spot for competitors and spectators. There is surrounding trees to provide shade, room for tents, plenty of bleachers, and a big playing field for the competitors to lift and carry the heavy stuff.
As usual, the contest featured a nice mix of common strongman events and traditional events that are rarely seen in competition these days. I competed in the heavyweight class, which had a solid 8 competitors.
Event 1: Yoke/Farmer’s Carry Medley
I took the 840 lb. yoke at a steady pace for 60 feet. I transitioned to farmer’s carry knowing that it would be tough to make the full carry without having to drop. So I took a couple extra seconds to lock in my grip before I took the 325 lbs per hand for a 60 foot walk back. I had one set down at 50 feet but was able to easily pick them up and finish with a time of 45 seconds and was the only competitor to finish this event.
Event 2: Safe Press
The second event was the safe press, which is basically a thick barbell with weights swinging from the ends. The 270 lb weight beat me on this day and I ended up with no reps here.
Event 3: Keg Toss
I threw my first keg plenty high, but didn’t get the distance to clear the bar. After fetching the keg I was able to get 5 in a row over but couldn’t get the last one over the 16-foot high bar.
Event 4: Car Deadlift
Next up was the deadlift. The set up was a Jeep Cherokee on a frame with the bar out in front of the lifter. The weight in hand ended up being a little over 600 lbs. and the pick was very low. I completed 6 easy reps and shook my way through 2 more. This tied me for third place in the event.
Event 5: Atlas Stones
Last up was the atlas stones, after a hot and hard competition, I was able to get the 300 lb., 320 lb., and 340 lb. stones loaded.
Overall, it was another great contest in the books. Although all my lifts weren’t all on point, I had a lot of fun competing and banging on some big weights at the 2016 Michigan’s Strongest Man.
- Justin Blake