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Q: Hey Justin, thanks for taking time to sit down and chat with us! For those who don’t know you, tell us a little bit about your background and what got you into competing in Strongman?
Justin: Prior to competing in strongman, I was heavily involved in track and field specializing in the hammer throw. I have been lifting weights in a regular capacity since I was 15 years old. Originally, weightlifting was the way I put on some mass and has been a staple in my life ever since. I was done with competitive track and field when I completed college and decided to try out strongman for fun one day. Training once with the Fenton Strongman Club got me hooked. Ten years and fifty contests later brings us to today.
Q: I know at the end of your Strongman season last year you tore your calf muscle. What did you do to recover from that? And when were you able to get back to fully training?
Justin: I did, during the 850 lb. yoke carry race. Unfortunately, that ended my 105KG America’s Strongest Man contest early last year. Recovery included some ART sessions and a long break from strongman. I was able to get back to gym lifts and overhead training after 3 months, but I did not do any strongman events that involved carrying things until March.
Q: You recently competed in Motorcity’s Strongest Man. How did it go?
Justin: Motorcity’s Strongest Man was actually the first time I did any strongman since my injury. Overall the contest went really well. I definitely was rusty with the strongman implements, but log press and deadlift were good. I tied for second place in the 220 lb. class out of 15 competitors.
Q: What does a typical training week look like for you when getting ready for a competition?
Justin: Normally I have two gym lifting sessions per week. The lifts, weights, and reps depend on the contest events. I target training strongman events once every two weeks.
Q: Do you have any specific nutrition or supplementation plan that you follow?
Justin: Nothing specific. I always have a balanced diet and don’t hesitate to splurge when the time is right…like Friday morning donuts! I use Optimum Nutrition brand supplements. I take HMB and aminos daily, and protein after training and another protein shake if my daily diet gets off track.
Q: What’s is your favorite event in Strongman and why?
Justin: My favorite event has changed several times over the years, right now farmers carry or holds is it.
Q: Is there any events that you particularly do not care for in Strongman?
Justin: Dumbbell pressing has always been a nemesis of mine.
Q: It seems at a lot of the Strongman events you are one of the smaller guys competing… Has that ever hindered you in competition? Or do the other athletes underestimate you?
Justin: Yes, the biggest hindrance is in truck pulls and sled drags. Sometimes the lack of body weight makes it impossible to get the traction you need to start moving.
I definitely think I’ve been underestimated because of my size, but it is fun to surprise people. Often times it is not the other athletes, but spectators that get surprised. Sometimes small size can help too, especially max distance carry type events; the bigger guys have to move extra body weight which can be fatiguing for them.
Q: What’s next on the agenda for competitions?
Justin: I will be competing at USS National in Louisville in June, and Michigan’s Strongest Man in Frankenmuth, MI on August 6th.
We wish you all the best this leading up to those competitions and thanks again for taking time to chat with us. Learn more about Justin here.