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We sat down with our newest member of Team HMB, Spenser Remick to find out how this collegiate football player has gotten into the sport of strongman.
Q: I know that you were a collegiate athlete who definitely excelled in the strength department, but what exactly got you interested in competing in strongman?
SR: Strongman is something that I have wanted to compete in since the first time I watched the World’s Strongest Man on ESPN when I was a kid. I was amazed at the size, strength, and athleticism that the competitors had. From then on; even when I was training to play football, baseball, and basketball, I always had strongman training in the back of my mind. I became even more interested in strongman when the late Jesse Marunde came onto the scene. I felt like at some point in my athletic career, it would be feasible for me to have similar athletic qualities to what he had. Watching him was definitely an inspiration to me. He wasn’t the biggest or strongest guy, but he made up for it with his work ethic, intensity, and love for competing. I never got to meet him personally before he unexpectedly passed away, but he still inspires me to this day.
Q: Have you always been a strong athlete?
SR: Growing up as an athlete, I was definitely one of the bigger kids on the field or court, which obviously transferred into being strong. It wasn’t really until I realized that lifting and conditioning would be the best way for me to maximize my performance that I would really say I became a strong athlete. Training at Central College under Jake Anderson was definitely an eye opening experience in this department. I learned a great deal about mental toughness, as well as what I (or anyone) could be capable of with the right mentality.
Q: Has anyone helped you get into strongman or do you mostly train on your own?
SR: I have always had an interest in training and competing in strongman, but it wasn’t really until a few years ago when I started working as an assistant strength and conditioning coach that I realized that I had potential to go anywhere with it. I started training with Ike Hammerly, who was the Head Strength Coach at William Penn University and is currently coaching at Luther College. He taught me a great deal about training methods. I also had some experience training with Shawn Baier, who helped me get ready for the National Championships in 2012, which I am extremely thankful for. For the most part, I train currently on my own, but there is a group of athletes in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area that I try to train events with in the months leading up to a competition.
Q: What does your training regimen look like to help you prep for competitions?
SR: Right now, my training looks like this: Monday-Max Effort Overhead, Tuesday-Dynamic Effort Lower Body, Wednesday-Repetition Effort Overhead, Thursday-Max Effort Lower Body, Friday-Dynamic Effort Overhead. Then I will usually do some assistance and accessory work on Saturdays, then events on Sundays. I will typically cycle through Log Pressing, Axle Pressing, and Barbell Pressing on the overhead days, and squat and deadlift on the lower body days.
Q: Do you have a specific diet that you follow?
SR: I really don’t follow a super specific diet. My main focus is on pre and post training nutrition, and from then on I make sure to get at least 50 grams of protein per meal, and try to eat enough fruits and vegetables, which is something that I can definitely work on.
Q: Do you have a favorite strongman event?
SR: My favorite strongman event would have to be the farmer’s walk. It’s a test of toughness, as well as athleticism. I would also say this is my strongest event overall.
Q: What are your strong points when competing?
SR: I feel like my strongpoints when competing are my grip, overhead pressing, and any sort of “endurance” medley. I’m not exactly a giant, so I give up some pounds in some of the static strength events, but I have put in a lot of work to be more well-rounded as a competitor, so that I’m not at a disadvantage against the big boys. I may not win every event, but typically if I can finish at the top in a few of them, and stay competitive in the rest, I will have a good shot at being successful.
Q: What is the toughest part of competing in strongman?
SR: The toughest part about competing in strongman is that you have to be ready for anything. I do my best to train under conditions that are not ideal, so that if I show up to a competition and an implement has been changed from what I had originally planned, or the weather is bad at an outdoor competition, I’m not phased. There’s also a high level of mental preparation that goes into it. Sometimes just being mentally prepared can be taxing. Obviously being ready for the unexpected can be nerve-wracking, so once that first event starts, it’s a huge weight off my shoulders, and it’s exactly like any other situation, either training or competing.
Q: What event are you training for next?
SR: The event that I’m training for next is the North American Strongman National Championships on October 18 and 19 in Denison, Texas; then hopefully the Arnold Amateur World Championships after that.
Q: What has been the highlight of your strongman career thus far?
SR: The highlight of my strongman career thus far would be competing in front of a few thousand people at the Arnold. The line was so long to get into the Expo that the competition space was literally surrounded by people probably 15 deep. It was awesome to be in a situation like that.
Q: What are you ultimate goals and how do you think HMB will help you to achieve them?
SR: My ultimate goal is to earn a heavyweight pro card in strongman. I feel like HMB will help me achieve this through enhanced recovery from rigorous training. This is something that I try to put an emphasis on as much as possible, especially training 6-7 days per week.
Q: What are some fun facts that most people do not know about Spenser?
SR: I’m actually a huge movie fan. And by movies I mean romantic comedies. I get harassed about this quite a bit, but it’s something that I don’t feel a need to explain to people. I also have a huge amount of useless knowledge, and I’m pretty confident that I will be a Jeopardy champion someday.
Thanks Spenser for your time today and we are very happy to have you representing Team HMB! We wish you the best of luck with training prep for your upcoming strongman competitions!