Summary up front: Came in 4th of 9. Missed third place by 1 point. Really pleased with my performance, especially with the constant changes I had to deal with, both in the competition and prior to it. Loving strongman, want to keep doing it.
When I originally signed up for this competition, it was 2 hours away from me and had a last man standing deadlift and no yoke walk, which made me happy. By the time to competition rolled around, it was 5 hours away from me and became deadlift for reps with a yoke walk. Still, I wanted to get another competition in, and this one looked fun. Also, there were zero weight classes, which actually seemed pretty exciting to me, as it meant the competition field would be pretty big and diverse. At 5’9 and 200lbs, I was definitely one of the smaller folks there.
Morning of comp, my stomach was messed up. Loaded up at Sizzler the night before, and something wasn’t settling right. Took 2 children’s pepto to help settle things and showed up to the comp site feeling good otherwise.
Did my traditional zero warming up while the promoters continued to postpone the rules briefing to give us more time for warming up. Maybe one day I will embrace foam rolling and mobility work, but right now it meant I had a lot of downtime to eat poptarts.
First event was the overhead press medley. 120lbs dumbbell, 225lb barbell, 200lb axle and 200lb log. I didn’t really train for this (or honestly much of the competition), just letting my overhead press training take care of the strength portion and figured I’d just wing the cleans. I did get some work with my log at home to learn the technique, but for the barbell, this was literally my first time ever doing a clean.
Murphy reared its head here when the guy before me dropped the dumbbell from the overhead position and severely bent it. I was the last guy in the medley, so there wasn’t much discussion for finding a replacement, I just had to deal. The “cambered dumbbell” proved pretty unwieldy to me, and after a few attempts with it, I moved on to the barbell. The clean wasn’t terrible, but I had expended so much energy on the dumbbell that something I had strict pressed in training before was taking a lot out of me. After a second attempt, I got it overhead. I moved on to the axle with a much easier clean and press, then onto the log where I again had issue getting the weight overhead, but managed on a second attempt. I finally came back to the dumbbell and gave it an honest try with some leg drive. Despite being a little gunshy with my recently re-dislocated shoulder (managed that 2-3 weeks ago by rolling over in my sleep), I managed to get the weight overhead. I didn’t have a fast time, but I was one of the 4 or 5 people that even managed to complete the medley, so I wasn’t in a terrible standing.
Next up was farmer’s walks, 200lb per hand, max distances, turns every 50’. I did 180lb per hand in my last competition, but dropped at the turn around, and this time, we weren’t allowed any. I didn’t train the walks themselves for this, but instead was holding 405lb double overhand for max time in my gym (I managed 65 seconds before the comp). Since time wasn’t the factor, I took this way slow and controlled, and attempted to gut it out for as long as I could. I managed to clean a little over 150’ before I kicked the implement with my back foot on the turn and ended up dropping the implement, but this was a good enough showing for 3rd place in the event.
Next event was the “Death Medley”. 500lb yoke for 100’, 500lb tire for 10 flips, and 400lb sled for 50’. Anyone who watched my last video knows that the yoke walk was not kind to me the last time I did it (and coincidentally the only time I had done it prior to this competition), but I did take some lessons from the experience. With a powerlifting background, the 500lbs on my back wasn’t a concern at all, so I set the yoke height very low so that, when I picked it up on my back, I had a lot of clearance from the floor. My coordination is terrible, and any chance I had to not let the skids kick the floor I was going to take. This, combined with remembering to take short steps and set the bar high on my neck made this much easier for me, as I managed to need only 1 set down total.
I had never done a tire flip before, but managed to figure it out pretty well. I think my heavy deadlifting background helped, as the first flip I barely needed to use my knee to move the tire, and subsequent flips went pretty smooth. After the first 5 flips, I took off my elitefts SHD knee sleeves because it felt like my quads were about to explode from the pump. After the 10th flip, my conditioning wasn’t feeling too hot, but I was currently setting the mark to beat and knew the sled drag wouldn’t be terrible. I fell down as soon as I broke the inertia, which is exactly what I did at my last contest, but otherwise, had no issues and completed the medley in 2 minutes, which was good enough for third. After spending 15 minutes trying not to puke, I was ready for the next event.
Next up was the arm over arm F150 truck pull. Did zero training for this (are you seeing a trend), and figured I’d just pull a truck. That’s pretty much what happened too. I noticed a guy that started standing and fell backwards to start the pull, and I gave that a try. I noticed I spent too much time pulling with only one hand, and when I was done, my left shoulder felt like it exploded, but otherwise, pretty uneventful. Finished in 33 seconds, good enough for a 5th place finish.
Final event was my event. 405lb deadlift for reps. I had pulled 600lbs for 7 reps total in a recent training session (4 before the first put down, 2 before the second, and a final one after that), and the only concern I had here was if my cardio would hold up. I hit the nose tork, strapped up, and went to town. We were told that we could do touch and go, but whereas the two other guys I was competing against had bumper plates, my bar had iron, and the judged got on me for bouncing the weight, and my back was too fried to control the eccentric, so I pulled deadstop for the most part. I managed 19 solid reps before trying for a sketchy 20th. The ref wasn’t having it, and after fighting for a few seconds, I set it down to regroup and make sure I got that 20th. I tied for first on this event, which just makes it all the more painful that I didn’t get that first 20th, as I would have taken this event which would have gotten me a podium finish. Got 4th place by 1 point, but I also made a lot of fans with my last performance. I’m not so much a strongman as a deadlifter that competes in strongman competitions, haha.
I’ve got no real injuries, bumps or bruises to speak of. Feeling good and got nice and fat after it was all said and done. Going to keep my eyes peeled for future events, and until then will keep doing the things I suck at and trying to become a more well rounded strongman.