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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

IHGF CEO Francis Brebner has filed a report with IronMind on the Las Vegas Highland Games, where Brittany Pryor made a sensational debut in the sport.



Brittany Pryor has been tipped as a potential world champion in the Highland games heavy events.  IronMind® | ©Francis Brebner photo

Brittany Pryor has been tipped as a potential world champion in the Highland games heavy events.  IronMind® | ©Francis Brebner photo



2014 Las Vegas Highland Games
by Francis Brebner, CEO, International Highland Games Federation (IHGF)

The 10th annual Las Vegas Highland Games this past weekend attracted bumper
entries from novice, women’s, masters’ and amateur men’s A, B and C
divisions, a staggering 127 athletes in all, making the Las Vegas Highland
Games the second largest grouping of athletes ever over a two-day Highland
Games.  The Arizona Scottish Gathering and Highland Games currently has the
most recorded to date at 135.

One of the highlights of the games was watching the new sensation, Brittany
Pryor of Las Vegas, who competed in the woman’s A class in her first-ever
Highland games.  Showing her athletic talent and winning five of the nine
events, Brittany, who comes from a track and field background and who also
has competed in powerlifting and strongwoman, has now added Highland games
to her resume.  She was competing against a very tough field of athletes,
featuring Heather MacDonald, Beth Burton, and Ivory Carr to name a few, all
of whom placed in the 2014 Woman’s World Highland Games Championships top
ten.

The first event, the 14-lb. Braemar stone, was a comfortable win for Pryor
at a distance of 36’; second place was Burton at 27’ 2-3/4”, and third
MacDonald at 24’ 4”.

The 11-lb. open stone was amazing to watch as Pryor blasted out a series of
world-class putts, all over 40’ with her best being 42’ 9”.  Second and
third were again Burton at 29’ 10-3/4” and MacDonald at 28’ 11”
respectively.

In the 28-lb. weight-for-distance, Burton took hold of the reins with a
dominating throw of 26’ 11”.  Second place was a close tussle between
MacDonald and Pryor, with MacDonald just pulling ahead with a throw of 34’
9-1/2”, leaving Pryor in third at 34’ 2-3/4”.

The 14-lb. light weight-for-distance was a good event for MacDonald as she
lobbed a nice throw of 63’ 9-1/4” for the win.  Second went to Burton with
60’ 3-3/4” and third to Pryor with 59’ 6”.

In the 16-lb. heavy hammer, Pryor, who excels in the track and field wire
hammer, one of her signature events, made easy work of the Scots hammer,
especially for throwing it for the first time in competition.  Her winning
distance was 78’ 2-1/2”, followed by Burton at 74’ 5” and MacDonald at 65’
2-1/4”.

In the 14-lb. light hammer, gasps could be heard as Pryor sent the implement
sailing in a world-class effort of 102’ 5”.  Burton was second at 91’ 10”
and MacDonald third at 86’ 5”.

The 28-lb. weight-over-bar was a high point of the games weekend as Pryor
surprised everyone by clearing 18’.  Burton did 16’ for second and MacDonald
15’ for third.  Pryor later attempted the height of 19’ but just missed
getting the arc needed to clear the bar.  Some of Pryor’s attempts reached
heights in excess of 20’ but all were out in front of the bar, still very
remarkable for someone who has never competed in the sport, especially when
you think that the current world record stands at 20’.

MacDonald won the 10-lb. sheaf toss with a height of 24’; second equal were
Burton and Pryor with 21’.

The final event, the caber toss, was won by Burton with a 1:30 toss.  Second
place went to Ivory Carr with a best attempt of 65 degrees and third place
to MacDonald with 60 degrees.

Women’s A top three overall:

1. Beth Burton 16.5
2. Brittany Pryor 17.5
3. Heather MacDonald 23.0

The newly appointed athletic director for the games, Jason Corder, and SAAA
president Charles McLean were delighted with the number of entries for the
games and the influx of novice athletes taking up the challenge of the
sport, and also to have the new sensation in the women’s A group, Brittany
Pryor.  She, by the end of the day, had a flood of supporters and has been
already tipped by many as a possible future world champion if she continues
in the sport.  

In the men’s A group, Eddie Brown reigned supreme as he won four of the nine
events on his home soil:  22-lb. Braemar stone at 39’ 5”; 16-lb. open stone
at 43’; 16-lb. hammer at 117’ 1”; and 22-lb. hammer at 88’ 7”.  The 28-lb.
weight-for-distance was won by Scott Hutchison with 79’ 4”; 56-lb.
weight-for-distance at 38’ 3”; and 20-lb. sheaf toss at 29’.  In the 56-lb.
weight-over-bar, Corey Frazier set a personal best with 16’ 7” and in the
caber Michael Holm won with a perfect 12:00 toss.

Men’s A top three overall:

1. Eddie Brown 17.0
2. Corey Frazier 29.0
3. Karl Gehrke 30.0


With the bar set at 19 feet, look at the height of Brittany Pryor’s attempt and you can see why she’s likely to be attacking the weight for height world record soon.  IronMind® | ©Francis Brebner photo
With the bar set at 19 feet, look at the height of Brittany Pryor’s attempt and you can see why she’s likely to be attacking the weight for height world record soon.  IronMind® | ©Francis Brebner photo


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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

“The MHP Strongman Champions League will have a special ‘Brutal Edition’ in the Arnold Classic Brasil,” Marcel Mostert told IronMind today.



MHP Strongman Champions League is headed to Brazil for a series of events.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of SCL
MHP Strongman Champions League is headed to Brazil for a series of events.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of SCL


“This strongman competition, on April 25–26, is a special edition, is not in the SCL series, but will be held under the auspices of SCL.

“Brutal events like the Dumbbell Press, Deadlift, Atlas stones and Log Lift for max will be done,” said Mostert, who, along with Ilkka Kinnunen, will referee the event.  “The prize ceremony will be done by Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.”
 
Start List
Zydrunas Savickas - Lithuania 
Hafthor Bjornsson - Iceland    
Krzyzstof Radzikowski - Poland              
Ervin Katona - Serbia                
Brian Shaw - USA               
Dainis Zageris - Latvia          
Lauri Nami - Estonia              
Mike Burke - USA         
Marcos Ferrari - Brazil    
 
“It promises to be an awesome ‘Brutal Edition,’ with a lot of media coverage in Brazil.

“The MHP Strongman Champions League will be also perform in a few other big shows that week, with a combined viewership of 75 million in Brazil.  The competition itself will be broadcast by Globo TV, the biggest channel in Brasil.
 
“Meantime, you can watch already the first stage MHP Strongman Champions League—Martinique at coming Friday 18 April at Eurosport, 19.00 hours CET,” said Mostert.


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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

“Sami Pätäri won the first Heavy Events -90 kg Finnish Strongman Nationals,” Jyrki Rantanen reported to IronMind.

“Pätäri was followed by Niko Laine, who did super performances in the finals, but could not catch Samis lead from the qualification events.  In the qualification events, 14 men battled out to the spots for the finals, and the top five earned their invitation to the World Championships.”


Top Five
1. Sami Pätäri
2. Niko Laine
3. Aki Sahanen
4. Pasi Peltomaa
5. Ronald Wahlsten

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

There is nothing as anticlimactic as a weak performance in the + 105 kg category at a major weightlifting competition, and nothing as good as going put with a blast in this class—led by Aleksei Lovchev’s 205/252 performance, the 2014 European Weightlifting Championships finished with a bang.

Russia’s Aleksei Lovchev put an exclamation point at the end of the 2014 European Weightlifting Championships: he added this 252-kg clean and jerk to the 205-kg snatch he had already posted to tell the world that he’s a player for top honors in the +105 kg category.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Russia’s Aleksei Lovchev put an exclamation point at the end of the 2014 European Weightlifting Championships: he added this 252-kg clean and jerk to the 205-kg snatch he had already posted to tell the world that he’s a player for top honors in the +105 kg category.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


Lovchev (Russia) did 200/230 at last year’s World Weightlifting Championships, not an insignificant performance, but far different from the six-for-six 205/252 results he produced at the 2014 European Weightlifting Championships, and the overall picture is one of growth: the 24-year old lifter is about 5 kg heavier than he was in Wroclaw, and is just now entering what should be the prime years of his weightlifting career, so along with his teammate Ruslan Albegov, and the Iranian Moulaie Bahador, count Lovchev as being in the group of challengers to Behdad Salimi, whose days of coasting to victory in the absence of serious threats are gone.  Now, he will face major competition to retain his his title as strongest man in the world, and one of the primary bids is likely to come from Lovchev.

Finally, just a quick word of richly deserved thanks to the European Weightlifting Federation, the Israeli Weightlifting Federation and the city of Tel Aviv for producing a first-rate competition in an exceptional location.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Tel Aviv—Andrey Demanov (Russia) fought for each lift and reaped the gold medal in the 105-kg category, along with the silver medals in both the snatch and the jerk, at the European Weightlifting Championships.

Gold medalist in the total in the 105-kg category, Andrey Demanov (Russia) fought for every lift—including this third attempt 183-kg snatch.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Gold medalist in the total in the 105-kg category, Andrey Demanov (Russia) fought for every lift—including this third attempt 183-kg snatch.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


The return of Andrei Aramnau (Belarus) had lifting fans excited even if he was not expected to approach his best marks.  Aramnau, Demanov and the second Russian lifter in this class, Timur Naniev, started snatching when everyone else was done, and all three nailed 177 kg on their first attempts.  Aramnau had to chase 182 kg on his second attempt and he made a great save to get the lift.  Demanov didn’t have such good luck with the same weight on his second attempt—he had the bar overhead, looking as if he had made the lift, but then lost it as he was recovering.  Naniev made a good second attempt with the same weight, and Demanov made a good lift with 183 kg on his third attempt.  Aramnau, showing what a fluke his last attempt had been, stuck 184 for his third attempt, winning the gold medal in the snatch.

Things unwound for Aramnau in the clean and jerk: he was turned down on his opener (212 kg) for not pausing between the clean and the jerk, came back and made the same weight on his second attempt, and then had 220 kg overhead on his third attempt, but passed out and dropped the bar.

Demanov opened with a good 214 kg lift, and then he locked horns with 221 kg, but he could not get it under control to the referees‘ satisfaction—he struggled step by step to a corner of the platform before dropping the bar.  Undaunted, Demanov came back and made 222 kg on his third attempt—his teammate edged him on bodyweight for the gold medal in the jerk, but Demanov got the gold medal in the total.



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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Tel Aviv—Looking at the start list for the 94-kg category at the 2014 European Weightlifting Championships, Adrian Zielinski stood out as the likely winner, and he was, but what of his younger brother, Tomasz, and the still younger Bulgarian lifter, Vasil Gospodinov?

After making a solid clean, Adrian Zielinski missed the jerk on this 215-kg third attempt, but by then he had already won the snatch and total gold medals in the 94-kg class at the European Weightlifting Championships.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
After making a solid clean, Adrian Zielinski missed the jerk on this 215-kg third attempt, but by then he had already won the snatch and total gold medals in the 94-kg class at the European Weightlifting Championships.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


Both Zielinski brothers are solidly built, while Gospodinov looks tall and rangy for a weightlifter, but looks aren’t part of the equation in this sport.

Both Tomasz Zielinski and Gospodinov made 165 kg on their opening snatches, with Adriane Zielinski making 170 kg for his first attempt, the same weight Tomasz would then get on his second attempt.  Gospodinov replied with a good 171-kg lift for his second attempt and then Tomasz missed 173 kg on his third attempt.  Gospodinov got 174 on his third attempt and was elated; Adriane hit 175 on his second attempt and then absolutely destroyed 180 kg on his third attempt.

Gospodinov took 195 kg for his first clean and jerk—good lift—and then made another good lift with 201 kg on his second attempt.  Both Zielinski brothers had good openers with 205 kg.  When Gospodinov made the same weight on his third attempt, you could feel the lifter’s excitement and remembering his age, sense that he has a big future.  Meanwhile, both the Poles would go on to make 210 kg on their second attempts and both would miss 215 kg on their third attempts—Adriane missed the jerk and Tomasz only deadlifted the weight.

Adriane Zielinski is the king, but his younger brother isn’t exactly shrinking in his shadow.  And with the fire displayed by Gospodinov as he went six for six, keep an eye on this class because a podium shakeup could well be on its way.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Tel Aviv—Ivan Markov (Bulgaria) delivered world class results in the 85-kg class at the European Weightlifting Championships as he won all three gold medals and looked good for even bigger numbers.

Ivan Markov (Bulgaria) is about to flip the switch and explode on this 175-kg snatch as he delivered a world class performance in the 85-kg class at the 2014 European Weightlifting Championships in Tel Aviv.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Ivan Markov (Bulgaria) is about to flip the switch and explode on this 175-kg snatch as he delivered a world class performance in the 85-kg class at the 2014 European Weightlifting Championships in Tel Aviv.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


This class featured the young Russian Adam Maligov, France’s Benjamin Hennequin who is always a factor in the clean and jerk, and the Bulgarian Ivan Markov, who proved he’s a man to be contended with for top honors in the 85-kg class.

The snatch is not Hennequin’s best lift, but he made nice successes with 157 kg and 161 kg, before missing 165 kg.  Russian teenager Maligov made three very nice attempts, ending with 171 kg, and showed why he’s a lifter to watch even more in the future—he exudes concentration as he gets set to lift and displays obvious talent that exceeds even the impressive performance he delivered here.  And then there was Markov: he doesn’t have the elegant platform presence of Maligov or the muscular physique of Hennequin, but he rips up weights approaching world record levels.

After making 170 kg on his first attempt in the snatch, he missed 175 out front on his second attempt and then came back to make it on his third attempt, for the first of three gold medals.

In the clean and jerk, Maligov made 195 kg, missed the jerk on 201 kg and then made a good lift with 202 kg on his third attempt.  Hennequin made 195 kg, 201 kg and 206 kg, proving once again that his clean and jerk is a force to be reckoned with.  Markov, once again showing his dominance, blasted through 201 kg, 206 kg and 210 kg, so considering his overall performance and the fact that he was not pushed, watch for the real fireworks later this year at the World Weightlifting Championships.


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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Francis Brebner has filed a report with IronMind on the IHGF Budapest Highland Games.

Here’s the lineup of competitors for the 2014 IHGF Budapest Highland Games Championships.  IronMind® | Courtesy of IHGF
Here’s the lineup of competitors for the 2014 IHGF Budapest Highland Games Championships.  IronMind® | Courtesy of IHGF



2014 IHGF Budapest Highland Games Championships
by Francis Brebner

The IHGF Budapest Highland Games Championships had a lineup of ten athletes, with competitors coming from Australia, Japan, Venezuela, Holland, Germany, Austria, Romania and Hungary.  With perfect weather the first day, the Budapest Highland Games Championships  attracted lot of spectators from all over city.

The first event was the 29-lb. Hungarian hammer and Austrian Martin Schiller won while setting a personal best in this event with a distance of 74’ 8”.   in second place was Hungary’s Adam Darazs with a distance of 66’ 7”, and in third place Gregor Urbanowicz of Australia with 65’ 2”.

The second event, the 44-lb. weight for height, was dominated by Hans Dieter Dorow of Germany with a winning height of 15’ 8-¾ ” and for second place there was a four-way tie at 15’ 1”:  Martin Schiller, Sandor Cortian (Romania), Edward Carrizo (Austria) and  Rayjumnd Mengyi (Hungary).

Moving onto the signature event of Highland games, the caber toss with a caber that was 110-lb. in weight and 4.2 m long, again it was Germany’s Dorow who won with three perfect 12 o’clock tosses.  Robert Meszaros of Hungary placed second with two twelve o’clock tosses, with Australian Urbanovicz in third with one twelve o’clock toss.

In the 8.4-kg Braemar stone putt, the Masters Shot Put World Championships bronze medalist Edward Carizzo  of Venezuela won with a putt of 41’ 1- ½ ” and for second place it was a close tussle between Shiller and Darazs  with Schiller just pulling off the second place with a putt of 38’11”.   Third place was Darazs with 38’ 3”.

The final event was the Atlas stones, which weighed 100, 120, 122, 136 kg, and all had to be lifted onto a 122 cm  high platform in the fastest time which was won by Darazs who lifted all four stones.  In second place was Rajmond Mengyi of Hungary lifting, who lifted three stones.  In third place Wulbert Stam of Holland.

Overall Places
1. Adam Darazs            
2. Hans Dieter Dorow
3. Martin Schiller        
4. Grzegorz Urbanovic 
5. Robert Meszaros          
6. Rajmond Mengyi
7. Edward Carizzo 
8. Wulbert Stam
9. Kengo Kubota
10. Sandor Cortain

Adam Darazs, the CEO of the IHGF, said "The competition went very well and was well received by the large following of Highland games fans that support the games where ever we organize them in Hungary.  This competition was supported by the Robert Burns International Foundation and was filmed for European TV.  This year we made the first steps towards a major competition in Hungary soon."

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Tel Aviv—Missed lifts, technical problems, a misload, language barriers, intra-team battles—the 77-kg class at the European Weightlifting Championships had it all and the last man standing was revealed on the final attempt: Erkand Qerimaj (Albania) jerked 194 kg to beat his teammate, Daniel Godelli, on bodyweight for the gold medal in the total.

Erkand Qerimaj (Albania) flies under 194 kg in the clean and jerk, adding a gold medal in the total to the one he'd already harvested in the clean and jerk in the 77-kg class at the European Weightlifting Championships in Tel Aviv.   IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Erkand Qerimaj (Albania) flies under 194 kg in the clean and jerk, adding a gold medal in the total to the one he'd already harvested in the clean and jerk in the 77-kg class at the European Weightlifting Championships in Tel Aviv.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


Want an example of what took place, along with the actual lifting?  Razmik Unanian (Russia) missed his opening clean and jerk (186 kg), getting three red lights when the jerk crashed down. 

Since Unanian uses a splot jerk that is about as pretty to watch as the name suggests, why give it a second thought when he glared at the barbell?  But he kept glaring at it.  

And when he finally walked off the platform, Unanian remained standing on the stage looking as if he were ready to take on everyone in the hall if necessary, starting with, it seemed, the referees.  

Meanwhile, the stands (while they might not have had a single actual spectator, they did have lifters, coaches, and others who could see and understand what was going on) erupted into a chorus of whistles and boos, which got louder and louder.

After what seemed like forever, a loader ran up on the platform, went to the left side of the barbell and, with evident embarrassment, removed a 2.5 kg plate that should not have been there. 

So, Unanian got another crack at his opener and he made a good lift.

This was just one of the colorful asides, so if anyone thought you could sleep on the jury, think again.

In contrast to the 69s, which had nary a miss, the 77s looked like the the field had been mined—how about one good lift for each of the snatch medalists, with Tigran Martirosyan winning the gold medal after missing his opener at 155 kg, jumping to 157 kg for a good lift and then missing 160 on his third attempt.  Godelli also made 157 on his second attempt, also for his one good snatch, but he was heavier than Martirosyan and got bumped down to the silver medal.

Despite the wind and waves along the way, this class ended with a classic storyline: having won the gold medal in clean and jerk on his second attempt, Qerimaj used the last attempt of the class to go up 1 kg to 194.  If successful, he would wrest the gold medal in the total from his teammate, which he did, and in perfect keeping with the character of this competition, he did so on bodyweight.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

He’s on a roll—coming off his big victory at the 2014 World’s Strongest Man contest, Zydrunas Savickas won the MHP Strongman Champions League competition at FIBO, and Aryn Lockhart of Strongman Rage called the action for IronMind.

The Log Lift King, Zydrunas Savickas, doing his thing at the FIBO.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Strongman Rage
The Log Lift King, Zydrunas Savickas, doing his thing at the FIBO.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Strongman Rage

The Unstoppable Z
By Aryn Lockhart – Strongman Rage

Directly off of the Arnold’s classic and WSM, Big Z (Zydrunas Savickas) did it again winning the FIBO in Cologne, Germany on 5 April 14. Fourteen athletes from 12 different countries battled through six events on the second stop in the MHP Strongman Champions League series. The competition boasted three WSM finalists in a field of top strongmen and the SCL Leader Ervin Katona.

The event was showcased during the FIBO, which is the largest international trade show for fitness in the world. The FIBO was sold out both Saturday and Sunday with over 80,000 visitors. The MHP Strongman Champions League competition was a highlight for FIBO Power. The events of the day included a 400kg (880lb) yoke for 40 meters; Giant Super log for maximum weight; 300kg (661lb) Frame carry for distance; 35kg (72.6lb) front hold;  Atlas stones from 140kg – 180kg (308kg – 396lbs); 350kg (770lb) deadlift for reps.

Not only was this a battle to the last event, it was filled with close contests and Savickas breaking his own world record on the Giant Super Log. The FIBO hosts the world’s largest log with a 36cm diameter. A traditional log is approximately 32cm. Savickas proceeded to amaze spectators with his record breaking 205kg (451lb) overhead lift with ease.

The final event took place on the main stage. The 350kg deadlift for reps would be the event to crown the FIBO Champion. Each event was down to the wire with only a fraction of points separating first and second place.  In the end Savickas edged out Martin Wildauer to take the lead and the title. Wildauer did 10 reps, Savickas did 1 more for the win. Wildauer had an exceptional showing winning two of the six events.

Matjaž Belzak from Slovenia was the surprising newcomer in the MHP Strongman Champions League. As he placed fifth overall and lifted a 190 kg with the Giant Super Log , which was the previous record from Žydrūnas Savickas until that day. And this man is only 21 years old!

All of the action will be televised 23 May on Eurosport.

Final FIBO Standings

1. Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania)  75.0
2. Martin Wildauer (Austria)  72.5
3. Ervin Katona (Serbia)  62.5
4. Eddie Hall (England)    61.0
5. Matjaž Belšak (Slovenia)  57.5
6. Krzysztof Radzikowski (Poland)    56.0
7. Alex Moonen (Netherlands) 46.5
8. Fuad Hsaini (Morocco) 40.0
9. Akos Nagy (Hungary) 38.5
10. Michael Blumstein (Germany)  29.5
11. Daniel Wildt (Germany) 25.0
12. Mike Koskowski (Germany) 17.0
13. Jonathon Kelly (N. Ireland) 15.5
14. Marco Ferrari (Brazil)  11.0

                                
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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Tel Aviv—It was predicted that Oleg Chen (Russia) would dominate the men’s 69-kg class at the 2014 European Championships and that there would be a fierce battle for the other places on the podium.

Oleg Chen (Russia)  jerked 176 kg to complete his gold medal sweep in the men’s 69-kg class.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


Oleg Chen (Russia)  jerked 176 kg to complete his gold medal sweep in the men’s 69-kg class.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo




The lifting followed this script as the defending European Weightlifting champion won the snatch by 8 kg, and two lifters tied at 143 kg, with Serghei Chechir (Moldavia) edging Feliks Khalibekov (Russia) on bodyweight, and Florin Bejenariu (Romania) was close on their heels at 142 kg.

The close competition for what would prove to be the silver and bronze medals in the jerk and total continued as Vanik Avetisyan (Armenia) took the silver medal in the clean and jerk with 175 kg, and Chechir beat Khalibekov for the bronze on bodyweight as both men jerked 172 kg.  Chen took the last attempt in the class, jerking 176 kg for the gold medal in both the jerk and the total.

Three lifters, 12 kg in arrears of Chen, totaled 315 kg: Avetisyan was the lightest, so he got the silver medal, Chechir got the bronze, and Khalibekov was probably left wondering what he should not have eaten that cost him a medal.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Grip strength promoter and competitor David Horne hosted the 5th British Hub Lifting Championships as well as the 5th British Strongest Hands (BSH) contest over the weekend—Elizabeth Horne annihilated the world record on the IronMind Hub and David won the BSH competition quite handily.

dGrip strength promoter and competitor David Horne hosted the 5th British Hub Lifting Championships as well as the 5th British Strongest Hands (BSH) contest over the weekend—Elizabeth Horne annihilated the world record on the IronMind Hub and David won the BSH competition quite handily.  Elizabeth Horne knocked the women’s world record on the IronMind Hub out of the park with this 25.33-kg lift at the 5th British Hub Lifting Championships.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of David Horne
Elizabeth Horne knocked the women’s world record on the IronMind Hub out of the park with this 25.33-kg lift at the 5th British Hub Lifting Championships.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of David Horne


Coming into the contest, the women’s world record on the IronMind Hub was 42 lb. (held by Amy Wattles) and when Elizabeth Horne was done, she’d succeeded with 25.33 kg (55.84 lb.) followed by a close miss with 25.81 kg (56.90 lb.).  IronMind reviewed the 25.33 kg lift and ratified it as a new women’s world record on the IronMind Hub.

“It was a fun day’s events, with new lifters competing alongside the more seasoned competitors,” David Horne told IronMind.  “Only three competitors wanted to tackle the Hub Champs, which we started first. But very good lifters they are.
“On another day, Chris Lowe can get up towards that world record I believe, as he’s only just come back from some very serious surgery to his face and body!  Jerome Bloom lifted 26.87 kg at a bodyweight of 65.9 kg, which is a fantastic lift for someone so light.”
 
For full results please follow this link to David Horne's website

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Tel Aviv—Bulgaria’s Ivalyo Filev swept all three gold medals in the men’s 62-kg category at the European Weightlifting Championships last night.

Ivalyo Filev gets under 163 kg on his second attempt in the clean and jerk.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Ivalyo Filev gets under 163 kg on his second attempt in the clean and jerk.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


In contrast to Stoyan Enev, his short, thickly-muscled teammate, Filev is tall for this class and broad shouldered.  He made good snatches with 133 kg and 136 kg, before failing to fix 137 kg.

Enev has a very powerful and fast power/squat jerk—he wastes no time settling in the bottom, but shoots back up explosively and with complete confidence.  After making 160 kg and 163 kg, he only pulled 166 kg, but by then, he’d already pocketed all three gold medals.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Tel Aviv—It was a close race in the 56-kg class, with some interesting twists and turns along the way: none of the snatch medalists achieved the same distinction in the clean and jerk and the lifter who could have won, didn’t because he celebrated too much, too soon.

Easy does it: Florin Croitoru (Romania) made this gold medal 122-kg snatch and it paved the way to a gold medal in the total as well.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Easy does it: Florin Croitoru (Romania) made this gold medal 122-kg snatch and it paved the way to a gold medal in the total as well.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


Three lifters ended with 115-kg in the snatch, including 39-year old Tom Goegebuer (Belgium), who netted the bronze medal—silver going to Ismet Algul (Turkey).  Florin Croitoru (Romania) made 117, 120 and 122 kg look easy and his superior snatching did more than give him the gold medal in the snatch: it bolstered his fifth place finish in the clean and jerk enough to also give him the gold medal in the total. 

And talking about fifth place finishes, that’s where Mirco Scarantino (Italy) landed when the snatches were  done, but wait, that 116-kg snatch he celebrated—wildly, as he’s wont to do—on his way up, only to then lose the lift—which resulted in even more drama from Scarantino—would have given him the silver medal in the snatch and enough to tie the gold medal total. 

Scarantino made 140, missed the jerk on 143 kg and then came back to succeed with that weight—it gave him the bronze medal in clean and jerk.  Smbat Margaryan (Armenia) went into gold medal position in the jerk with 145 kg on his second attempt and then Oleg Sirghi (Moldavia) replied with a successful 146-kg lift, but with one attempt left, Margaryan had the last word: he leapfrogged over Sirghi with a 147-kg lift.

Back to the world of would have, could have, should have: had Scarantino not foiled himself with his premature celebration and then tied what was the gold medal total, guess what?  He and the actual winner were tied in bodyweight, but because Croitoru hit the total first, he’d still have won and Scarantino’s silver medal in the total would have still been silver.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

This coming weekend, the MHP Strongman Champions League will be at FIBO—the world’s largest fitness industry expo—with competitors including the freshly crowned 2014 World’s Strongest Man winner, Zydrunas Savickas, and the 2013 SCL world champion, Krzysztof Radzikowski.

Krzysztof Radzikowski deadlifting at the 2013 FIBO.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of SCL
Krzysztof Radzikowski deadlifting at the 2013 FIBO.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of SCL
 

The strongman contest will include “14 athletes in total and all will be trying to get the yellow MHP Leader shirt back from Ervin Katona’s shoulders,” Marcel Mostert told IronMind today.  “The whole competition will be recorded and broadcast in 89 countries worldwide.”

Here is the official start list:
 
Zydrunas Savickas—Lithuania
Ervin Katona—Serbia
Krzyzstof Radzikowski—Poland
Alex Moonen—Holland
Martin Wildauer—Austria
Eddie Hall—England
Akos Nagy—Hungary
Matjatz Belsak—Slovenia
Jonathan Kelly—Ireland
Daniel Wildt—Germany
Michael Blumstein—Germany
Meik Koskowski—Germany
Marcos Ferrari—Brazil
Fuad Hsaini—Morroco
 
 
And the events:

Yoke Race: 400 kg
Log Lift:  for max weight.
Frame Walk for distance: 300 Kg
Forward Hold
Stones: 140-180 kg
Apollon's Wheel deadlift for reps: 350 kg
 
“The competition starts on Saturday April 5 at 10:30 a.m. and the last event, the Deadlift, will be on the main stage,” said Mostert.

Please follow this link for more information about FIBO Power and the MHP Strongman Champions League.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

The 2014 NorCal FitExpo is hosting the signature Odd Haugen Strength Classic on July 12 and 13 in the San Jose Convention Center.

Odd Haugen shown on the Car Deadlift at the 2006 Mohegan Sun.  Haugen, an able strongman competitor and huge fight fan, also has a ferocious grip, and he has been a pioneer in recognizing and promoting grip contests on a par with other strength events.  No wonder that the Odd Haugen Strength Classic showcases strongman, mas wrestling and grip strength—all under one roof.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Odd Haugen shown on the Car Deadlift at the 2006 Mohegan Sun.  Haugen, an able strongman competitor and huge fight fan, also has a ferocious grip, and he has been a pioneer in recognizing and promoting grip contests on a par with other strength events.  No wonder that the Odd Haugen Strength Classic showcases strongman, mas wrestling and grip strength—all under one roof.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


Here is the official press release, describing the events:

“Saturday, July 12th,  is the 3rd Annual Odd Haugen Strongman Challenge, which is a NAS Platinum Plus Level contest in Lightweight (231 lb.) and Heavyweight (+231 lb.) weight categories OPEN to all qualified NAS member athletes.  The top three athletes in each weight class will qualify for the 2014 NAS National Championship and each champion will receive ASC Pro Card.  Lightweight champion will also receive a direct invite (entry fee waived) and travel reimbursements (up to $300) to the 2014 Olympia Pro Strongman Challenge in Las Vegas; and the heavyweight champion will receive a direct invite (entry fee waived) to the 2015 All American Strongman Challenge including travel reimbursements (up to $300) and hotel accommodations for two nights.  Previous heavyweight champions are Robert "OB" Oberst and Dimitar Savatinov.

Schedule and Rules
Online Entry Form

Sunday July 13, 2014 is the IronMind® Record Breaker Challenge, which is an open grip challenge (men and women) to set or break World Records, American Records or just personal bests in each of three (3) events:  (1) IronMind Rolling Thunder® Deadlift; (2) Double Overhand Deadlift with IronMind Apollon's Axle™; and (3) Captains of Crush® Silver Bullet Hold.   Top athletes will get invites to Armlifting World Championship to be held in September.

Schedule and Rules
Online Entry Form


Sunday July 13th North American MAS Wrestling Continental Championship
THIS IS A WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFiER and all US athletes must be members of MAS Wrestling USA:  MEN's weight categories are -60 kg, 70 kg, 80 kg, 90 kg,
105 kg, 125 kg, and +125kg; WOMEN's weight categories are -55 kg, 65 kg, 75 kg, and +75kg. Weight categories with 2 or less athletes merged with next higher weight category; weight categories with 3-5 athletes conducted in Round Robin format; and weight categories with 6 or more athletes conducted in Double Elimination A-B format. 2014 World Championship will be held November 28 December 1, 2014 in Yakutsk, Republic of Sakha, Russia.  http://maswrestlingusa.com/membership-form

Regulations
Online Entry Form

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Physical therapist Luke Raymond said one of his former patients, Jedd Johnson, introduced him to grip strength and now, five months later, Luke has been certified as bending the IronMind Red Nail under official conditions.

Luke Raymond has been certified on the IronMind Red Nail and his name added to the Red Nail Roster—the list of men who have officially succeeded with this benchmark steel bend.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Luke Raymond
Luke Raymond has been certified on the IronMind Red Nail and his name added to the Red Nail Roster—the list of men who have officially succeeded with this benchmark steel bend.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Luke Raymond


“I have a prior background in residential construction for 6 years while I was in college.  I have been a very active person all my life, participating in baseball, football, basketball, golf, men's softball, and weight training. I did not get into weight training until after I tore my ACL in 2007 while playing flag football and have become very dedicated.

“I have participated in 4 grip contests over the past few months . . . following [a] contest Mike Rinderle was performing some bending and I was interested. With a little instruction on technique I was able to bend the 60 penny nail first attempt.

“I have been bending roughly 1 day/week in between my workouts, with technique advice from both Jedd Johnson and J. T. Straussner. I would like to thank Bob Thomas for taking his time to be my referee; Jedd Johnson, J. T. Straussner, Mike Rinderle, and all the grip community for the motivation and help along the way. I’m looking forward to continue my journey in the grip sport,” Raymond told IronMind.

Bob Thomas deserves a special mention because he has been refereeing official attempts for IronMind for years—he did the honors for Jedd Johnson over 10 years ago, for example, when Jedd (and Jim Smith) were just starting off in grip strength—and Bob’s roots in the iron game are both broad and deep.  Thank you, Bob!

Congratulations, Luke—your name has been added to the Red Nail Roster.


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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Rick Giese started bending in 2008 and when a couple of injuries along the way put his bending on hold, he never quit—patience and persistence paid off big time because Rick has just been certified on the IronMind Red Nail, a world standard for short steel bending.

45-year old Rick Giese has just been certified on the IronMind Red Nail, showing his mastery of the benchmark steel bend.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Rick Giese
45-year old Rick Giese has just been certified on the IronMind Red Nail, showing his mastery of the benchmark steel bend.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Rick Giese


“I received my IronMind Bag of Nails back in December 2008 and could only bend the Green nail at that time, having no training in bending at all.  A few months later I managed to bend the Yellow nail.  After this I bought some other steel to bend and bent a lot of nails reverse style, being that was the only style I could do,” Rick told IronMind.

“Fast forward a few years to 2011 when I contacted Jedd Johnson of the Diesel Crew and lined up some training.  I started to really get a grasp of the Double Overhand bending technique and began to bend some tougher stock.
 
“After a short time training with Jedd I was able to bend the Red Nail in leather wraps and a short time after that in IronMind pads.  In October 2012 I bent the Red Nail in IronMind pads only (official rules style) and shortly after that I injured my right forearm after tearing a Denver phone book.  This put me out of commission for a few months as I could not bend anything at this point.  A few months later I was back to bending Reds again but it was never consistent enough to warrant contacting IronMind to schedule an official attempt.  I put off bending for a while due to frustration and chasing some other goals. 

“In March 2013 I picked up bending again and after a few sessions I picked up a Red Nail, wrapped in IronMind pads and to my surprise I bent it.  I was on track again, so I thought anyway until May 2013 when I experienced a debilitating nerve disorder to my right arm from the shoulder clear down to the hand.  Again, no bending whatsoever for several months. 

“In November of 2014 I started to bend again and became consistent with it only missing a bend once or twice between then and now.  I began bending every 4 days or so and thought ‘I am 45 years old, if I don't do this now, I won't do it.’ 

“I contacted IronMind and set up my official attempt.  They put me in touch with my referee, Mr. Randy Lane and we scheduled my attempt.  Randy showed up with the 3 Red nails and after a brief warm up he handed me the nail and I bent it.  It seemed a little easier than I had even hoped due to the fact that I was so nervous and full of adrenaline. 

“This has been a goal and desire of mine for some time to finally make it onto a list of very strong men from around the world to have bent this ‘Red Dragon.’  Thank you IronMind for giving me the chance to prove to the world and myself that I was good enough.”

You are very welcome, Randy, and congratulations because your name has been added to the Red Nail Roster, the list of men who have been certified as bending the IronMind Red nail under official conditions—your example of sticking with it should inspire others, as well.  Many thanks to Randy Lane—we appreciate your serving as the referee on Rick’s official attempt to bend an IronMind Red Nail.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

With Mike Burke injured, the four-man race for the 2014 Commerce World’s Strongest Man title was effectively trimmed to three men—Brian Shaw, Hafthor Julius Bjornsson and Zydrunas Savickas—and the places on the podium were going to be determined by the final event, the Atlas Stones.

Zydrunas Savickas won his fourth World’s Strongest Man title yesterday, at the Commerce Casino and Hotel.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Zydrunas Savickas won his fourth World’s Strongest Man title yesterday, at the Commerce Casino and Hotel.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


Hafthor Julius Bjornsson had been lighting up this year’s competition at every turn and the young Icelander was seen by some as being on the verge of winning his first World’s Strongest Man contest.  Brian Shaw, the defending champion, had been conserving himself through the qualifying round and now it was time to pull out all the stops if he were to join the elite group of strongman who have garnered three World’s Strongest Man titles.  Zydrunas Savickas, the man whose strength is without question and whose collection of strongman titles overshadows all others, was hungry to join the venerated ranks of Jon Pal Sigmarsson and Magnus Ver Magnusson, by adding a fourth World’s Strongest Man title to his haul.

Long story short, Mike Burke, paired with Brian Shaw, had the misfortune of knocking over the first barrel, and Shaw, moving quickly and smoothly, posted a fast time, but would it be good enough?

Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, who had claimed the King of Stones title in the qualifying round, was in the final pair, with Zydrunas Savickas, and he won the matchup, as predicted, but the burning question was “Had Zydrunas Savickas been fast enough to garner second place in the stones?” because if he had, the 2014 Commerce World’s Strongest Man title was his.

He had and it was.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

With one day left in the finals of the 2014 Commerce World’s Strongest Man contest, three-time winner Bill Kazmaier is already calling it the best ever, and one of the big reasons—a very large one—is because of the performance of Icelandic giant Hafthor Julius Bjornsson.

The fast firing human missile launcher Hafthor Julius Bjornsson triggered the next keg before the last one had landed in what was a world record performance at at the World’s Strongest Man contest yesterday.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
The fast firing human missile launcher Hafthor Julius Bjornsson triggered the next keg before the last one had landed in what was a world record performance at at the World’s Strongest Man contest yesterday.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


“He’s the future of strongman—he’s unstoppable,” said Kazmaier, as Hafthor Julius Bjornsson continues in the tradition of his countrymen Jon Pal Sigmarsson and Magnus Ver Magnusson,” both of whom won this contest four times and established themselves as stars within the sport of strongman.

Yesterday, following a Loading Race and an Overhead Medley, the Keg Toss gave witness to what Kazmaier was talking about as the defending World’s Strongest Man winner, Brian Shaw (USA), blistered the Keg Toss with a world record time that dropped jaws.   But wait, doesn’t competition bring out the best in us?

Thor, as his friend’s call him, must have been thinking “Fast is good, but faster is better,” and then Icelander ripped through the kegs, breaking Shaw’s newborn record with a performance stirred the passions Kazmaier gave voice to.

The action continues today at the Commerce Casino and Hotel, where, along with Shaw and Bjornsson, watch for Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania) and Mike Burke (USA) to press for the podium in the 2014 World’s Strongest Man contest.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

IronMind is thrilled to have a Captains of Crush gripper included in the group of favorite products selected by celebrity author Tim Ferriss.



Captains of Crush (CoC) grippers transformed what had been a plastic, toy-like product into a rugged, gorgeous tool suitable for serious strength athletes.  Celebrity author, entrepreneur and philanthropist Tim Ferriss has included a Captains of Crush Trainer in a package of his favorite products.  Image courtesy of IronMind
Captains of Crush (CoC) grippers transformed what had been a plastic, toy-like product into a rugged, gorgeous tool suitable for serious strength athletes.  Celebrity author, entrepreneur and philanthropist Tim Ferriss has included a Captains of Crush Trainer in a package of his favorite products.  Image courtesy of IronMind


Tim Ferriss Package of Favorite Products Features Captains of Crush Trainer
By Elizabeth M. Hammond

A first for IronMind, the CoC Trainer was included in the box of personal favorites hand selected by Tim Ferriss—Renaissance man, author, and entrepreneur.  In case this idea is new to you, Quarterly Co. teams up with well-known personalities to offer packages of their favorite products to subscribers on a quarterly basis. 

Tim Ferriss’s packages are based on themes, with the driving concept being “ . . . obsession—the ideas and objects I just can’t get out of my head,” and a Captains of Crush gripper was one of the items that Tim had personally chose for this elite selection. 

Captains of Crush are the gold standard of grippers, known worldwide by grip strength aficionados for two decades; and more and more people are discovering these top training tools for grip strength and hand health. 

Captains of Crush grippers are the perennial number one best seller at Amazon in its category of nearly 1,000 hand strengthener products, as well as being ranked number one for highest average customer reviews in this category.  The Captains of Crush No. 4 gripper—which is the toughest of the 11 CoC models and has not been officially closed since 2004—was pictured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal last year, indicating the breadth of its renown. 

“The Captains of Crush Trainer is the perfect challenge for people who have outgrown plastic-handled, sporting goods store grippers but are not quite ready to crush a raw potato in their bare hands,” said Randall Strossen, president of IronMind.


Tim Ferriss is a well-known speaker and media personality, and the New York Times has called him “a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk.”   Ferriss is the author of the book Four-Hour Body, among others, and you can follow his blog, where you can see the video that accompanies each package—including Tim Ferriss's comments about what he finds so appealing about Captains of Crush grippers.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

The annual Jutra Awards recognize film industry talent and achievement in Quebec and the big winner this year was Louis Cyr: L’Homme Le Plus Fort Du Monde [Louis Cyr: The Strongest Man in the World].



In his acceptance speech at the 2014 Jutra Awards, lead actor Antoine Bertrand said, “Louis Cyr was up and ready for a few more records. He just added these to his long-standing track record. And that’s part of history now.”  IronMind® | ©Hugo Sebastien-Aubut/La Presse, courtesy of Paul Ohl
In his acceptance speech at the 2014 Jutra Awards, lead actor Antoine Bertrand said, “Louis Cyr was up and ready for a few more records. He just added these to his long-standing track record. And that’s part of history now.”  IronMind® | ©Hugo Sebastien-Aubut/La Presse, courtesy of Paul Ohl


Collecting nine awards, including Best Movie and Best Actor, the “movie [also] earned the Golden Ticket Award for its huge performance as the undisputed king of the box office,” Paul Ohl told IronMind.

“Earlier in the day, Bertrand had attended his mother’s funeral,” reported reported CBC | Montreal.  “His acceptance speech for the award for best actor was one of the most touching moments of the night:  ‘Louis Cyr was a winner. He proves it to us again tonight. He got his strength from his mother. I do, too,’ Bertrand said, fighting back tears.”



Antoine Bertrand played Louis Cyr in the award winning movie Louis Cyr: L’Homme Le Plus Fort Du Monde.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of Seville Films
Antoine Bertrand played Louis Cyr in the award winning movie Louis Cyr: L’Homme Le Plus Fort Du Monde.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of Seville Films


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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Veteran Athletic Director Ryan Seckman once again hosted the Women’s Highland Games World Championships at the Arizona Scottish Gathering and Highland Games, and Francis Brebner has filed a contest report with IronMind.

Danielle Curry won the 2014 Women’s Highland Games World Championships, hosted by the Arizona Scottish Gathering and Highland Games.  IronMind® | Francis Brebner photo
Danielle Curry won the 2014 Women’s Highland Games World Championships, hosted by the Arizona Scottish Gathering and Highland Games.  IronMind® | Francis Brebner photo


2014 Women’s World Highland Games Championships
by Francis Brebner
 
The 2014 Arizona Scottish Gathering and Highland Games, held this past weekend, celebrated its 50th anniversary and attracted fifteen thousand spectators over the two days of festivities.  A total of 135 athletes competed, covering pros, women, masters, novice and amateur A, B and C divisions, making this the biggest group of athletes to date.

Danielle Curry won the 2014 Women’s Highland Games World Championships, hosted by the Arizona Scottish Gathering and Highland Games.  IronMind® | Francis Brebner photo
 
The highlight of the games was the 2014 Women’s World Highland Games Championships, with a new sovereign being crowned.  The setting for the games was truly magnificent, with the heavy events being center stage and run like clockwork from start to finish.
 
The athletics was organized by Ryan Seckman and his crew.  Ryan has been the athletic director of the games for eighteen years and is the main individual responsible for bringing the heavy athletics to the level where it is today.
 
Eleven of the world’s top-ranked athletes were invited to compete in the Women’s World Championships, which was contested over nine throwing events.  The athletes included Mindy Pockoski, Danielle Curry, Beth Burton, Emily Burchett, Katie Steingraeber, Heather MacDonald, Jocelyn Davis, Stephanie Robbins, Ivory Carr, Josee Morneau, and Mona Malec.

In the first event Curry dominated with an outstanding performance, winning the 14-lb. Braemar stone with a putt of 34’ 1”; second was Davis at 31’ 4-1/2” and close behind in third, Robbins at 31’ 3-1/2”.
 
In the 11-lb. open stone, Pockoski took the win with a putt of 47’ 5-1/2”, followed by Curry at 44’ 2” with Robbins again in third at 39’ 8-1/2”.
 
The 14-lb. light weight-for-distance was a close event between Pockoski, the former world record holder, and Curry, both having throws in excess of 70’, with the win finally going to Pockoski, who nailed her second victory with a throw of 75’ 6”.  Curry was at 75’ 9”, and Burton took third at 70’ 1-1/2”.
 
The tables were turned in the 28-lb. weight-for-distance, with Curry marginally coming out on top with a best of 43’ 8-1/2” to Pockoski’s 43’ 1”; Burton again took third at 42’ 9”.
 
Moving on to the 12-lb. hammer, Curry and MacDonald were at loggerheads, with Curry claiming the win with a throw of 90’ 7” over MacDonald’s 90’.  Third place was Pockoski with 88’ 9”.
 
The 16-lb. hammer was a comfortable win for Curry with a throw of 78’ 5-1/2”.  Second came Davis with 75’ 5” and third, Pockoski with 74’.
 
The 28-lb. weight-over-bar ended in a tie between Burton and Curry at 17’ 6” with the win going to Burton, who had fewer misses; third place was Pockoski at 16’.
 
The 10-lb. sheaf toss was won by Steingraeber at a height of 25’, with second place a tie between Burchett and Carr at 22’.
 
The caber, 75 lb. and 15’ 8” in length, was won on degrees by Burton with a best of 85 degrees; second was Robbins at 80, and third, Curry at 75.
 
Overall points:

1. Danielle Curry 21.5
2. Mindy Pockoski 27.5
3. Beth Burton 42.5
4. Heather MacDonald 43.0
5. Jocelyn Davis 47.0
6. Stephanie Robbins 52.5
7. Katie Steingraeber 56.0
8. Emily Burchett 66.0
9. Ivory Carr 74.0
10. Josee Morneau 77.0
11. Mona Malec 87.0


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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Commerce Casino—For strongman competitors and fans alike, it was the day they were  waiting for: the opener of the 2014 edition of the World’s Strongest Man contest.

hafthor-wsm14_The Icelandic giant Hafthor Julius Bjornsson races with a 275-lb. IronMind sandbag in the loading event at the World’s Strongest Man contest today at the Commerce Casino.  Will this be his year?  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
The Icelandic giant Hafthor Julius Bjornsson races with a 275-lb. IronMind sandbag in the loading event at the World’s Strongest Man contest today at the Commerce Casino.  Will this be his year?  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


It’s too early to say who’s going to do what with a lot of action between now and the last day of the finals, but one man to keep an eye on is the Icelandic giant Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, who has been fast rising star in strongman.  Will this be his year?


And if you are in the Los Angeles area, there’s still time to act on this offer from the World’s Strongest Man organizers on Facebook: “Day two of the WSM heats is at Paramount Studios on Sunday. It features the Fingals Fingers, Squat and Deadlift.

Any fans of WSM that would like access to see the event need invitations. Please email: worldsstrongestman2014@gmail.com if you would like to come. Access would be at 9am. ID is necessary. Invite is on first come first serve basis only.”

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Aldo Alberico has added to his strength and conditioning credits by becoming the first Italian certified as officially bending the IronMind Red Nail, a benchmark short steel bend.

5’ 10” tall (178 cm) and 187 lb. (85 kg) Aldo Alberico has become the first man in Italy to officially bend the IronMind Red Nail, a world standard for short steel bends.  IronMind® | Aldo Alberico photo
5’ 10” tall (178 cm) and 187 lb. (85 kg) Aldo Alberico has become the first man in Italy to officially bend the IronMind Red Nail, a world standard for short steel bends.  IronMind® | Aldo Alberico photo


The 35-year old gym owner (Palextra and CrossFit Lugo) told IronMind, “My path has deep roots in sport. I started when I was a child with swimming, tennis, basketball and baseball and finally combat sports like judo, wrestling and boxing. I am a Certified Personal Trainer, Strength Trainer and CrossFit Trainer. I am a StrongFirst Gyria Liv2, Barbell and Bodyweight, Primal Move Liv 2 and Flexible Steel Certificated Instructor.  On 31/05/2013 I completed the Strong First Beast Tamer Challenge in front of a jury of excellence: Pavel Tsatsouline and  Dott. M. Hartle.


“I train myself 6 days out of 7 with intensity obviously different with a day off every now and then and I do this because I love working out and my goal is to become stronger every day. Usually bend 4 days a week immediately after my strength workout.  I tried several schemes over the months, but what brought me more results has been a high enough frequency with only 1-3 bends for a session. Only when the nail becomes easy, step up to a higher level. In addition to original material from IronMind, I used bolts from the hardware store for the transition,” said Alberico.

IronMind would like to thank Dario Basile for refereeing on Aldo Alberico’s attempt to bend an IronMind Red Nail under official conditions—a challenge that Alberico met, and so his name has been added to the Red Nail Roster.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Huntington Beach hosted the 2014 Calfornia’s Strongest Man contest over the weekend—Francis Brebner called the action for IronMind as Sean Demarinis extended his winning streak.

Huntington Beach hosted the 2014 Calfornia’s Strongest Man contest over the weekend—Francis Brebner called the action for IronMind as Sean Demarinis extended his winning streak.  Can’t stop him: Sean Demarinis, shown on the 800-lb. Yoke, won his fourth consecutive title at the California’s Strongest Man contest.  IronMind® | Francis Brebner photo
Can’t stop him: Sean Demarinis, shown on the 800-lb. Yoke, won his fourth consecutive title at the California’s Strongest Man contest.  IronMind® | Francis Brebner photo



2014 California’s Strongest Man
by Francis Brebner
 
California’s Strongest Man 2014, contested this past weekend at Huntington Beach, was nothing short of epic.  The event was non-stop and action-packed and ran like clockwork.  For the first time, the California’s strongest woman category was added to the customary lightweight and heavyweight men’s classes.  Nearly 50 athletes competed in the three categories in perfect weather conditions, attracting nearly a thousand spectators who cheered the athletes throughout the competition.  Athletes traveled from as far as Texas and Canada to vie for the titles.
 
In the heavyweight class, it was a sweet victory once again for Sean Demarinis, who notched his fourth California’s Strongest Man win.  He won the lightweight class in 2011 and 2012 and then moved up to win the heavyweight title in 2013, reclaiming it in 2014.  Demarinis sealed the win in the final event of the competition by lifting five Atlas Stones ranging in weight from 250 to 400 lb. onto to a nearly 5-foot platform, taking the crown of California’s Strongest Man once again.
 
Overall, the heavyweight class had a very strong line-up of athletes, with Sean Demarinis, Craig Ayer, and Martins Licis, the top three, battling all the way.

In the lightweight class, Bryan Barrett put up a great performance to win, but he had to work hard for the overall as both Tom Yannuzzi and Chris Burke, who finished second and third respectively, were snapping at his heels throughout the competition.

The woman’s category was impressive, with a total of 6 athletes.  The competition was won by Amanda Gerdes, who began strength training only three years ago under the watchful eye of her coach, Scott Brengel.
 
The event was promoted by pro strongmen Scott Brengel, Cameron Gardner, and Erik Peterson and powered by East Coast West Coast Strength Speed & Conditioning, with the help of California’s legendary strongman team, The Freak Factory.  This was the 12-year anniversary of the longest running strongman show on the West Coast and the sixth year hosting the contest next to the ocean in Huntington Beach.
 

Final Results, Top Three:
 
Heavyweight
1.  Sean Demarinis
2.  Craig Ayer
3.  Martins Licis

Lightweight
1.  Bryan Barrett
2.  Tom Yannuzzi
3.  Chris Burke

Women
1.  Amanda Gerdes
2.  Caitlin Thola
3.  Sherri Fontes

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

The 2014 MHP Strongman Champions League opened on the Caribbean island Martinique this weekend, featuring eight competitors in seven events over two days, and Ilkka Kinnunen called the action for IronMind.

Ervin Katona opened the 2014 MHP Strongman Champions League season with a big win in Martinique.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of SCL
Ervin Katona opened the 2014 MHP Strongman Champions League season with a big win in Martinique.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of SCL


MHP SCL Martinique: Ervin Katona Starts 2014 Season with a Victory
by Ilkka Kinnunen

First day ( Saturday).  The competition started at 7 pm.  A huge crowd of around 10,000 people was gathered around the venue to cheer the athletes.

First event Truck Pull with harness and rope. 27 ton truck pulled 20m distance. Winner Ervin Katona.

Second event: Log for reps 140 kg. Winner again Ervin Katona.

Third event Forward Hold winner even with his triceps injury was Kryzstof Radzikowski.

Fourth event and last for the first day: Deadlift for reps with 320 kg. Winner Didzis Zarinis (Latvia) with 11 reps.

Second day (Sunday): The competition started during the daytime at 1 pm, with very hot and sunny weather.  Around 4,000 people came even though the weather was very hot.  We did three disciplines. Started with Farmer’s Walk (160 kg) and Powerstairs (220 kg) medley. Winner was Gerald Gschiel from Austria.

Next was the Tire Flip: 8 flips with a 420-kg tire and Ervin Katona won. Last event was Truck Pull, arm over arm. 20-ton truck for 15 m. Winner again Gerald Gschiel.

The local organization Madinina Side Barbell did an excellent job and for sure MHP SCL will return 2015 to Martinique.

Overall results:

    1.    Ervin Katona
    2.    Gerald Gschiel
    3.    Lauri Nämi
    4.    Krzyzstof Radzikowski
    5.    Didzis Zarinis
    6.    Gregor Stegnar
    7.    Etienne Smit
    8.    Ovind Rein

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Adding to his laurels in the world of lower arm strength, Ivan Beritashvili has just been certified on the IronMind Red Nail, the world’s best known short steel bend.

Not content to stop with certifying on the Red Nail, Ivan Beritashvili told IronMind, “My training goal in short steel bending is deformation [of the] Red Nail to past 40 degrees in reverse technique barehanded.”  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Ivan Beritashvili
Not content to stop with certifying on the Red Nail, Ivan Beritashvili told IronMind, “My training goal in short steel bending is deformation [of the] Red Nail to past 40 degrees in reverse technique barehanded.”  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Ivan Beritashvili


Beritashvili, who is certified on the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper, told IronMInd, “I am an oil and gas facilities diagnostics engineer and post-graduate student. In about half-a-year I hope to finish my thesis.

“My main interest is developing grip-sport and steel bending in Russia. I am leader of ‘Iron Grip’ on-line community and promoter of Russian and international grip contests. I want to heartily thank David Horne for guiding me and for all his help with this.

“Also I am grip-sport and steel bending coach in Fight&Fit ‘PALADIN’ center. It is the main training base of Russian grip and bending team. For about one year of my coaching, I have grown up 1 CoC#3 [Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper] and 5 Red Nail certified athletes. Some of them already had good [foundation] in aspects of grip.

“My main social goal is to make grip-sport and steel bending popular, spectacular and prestige, to involve and coach as many people as it is possible, prepare them for contests and certifications.”

Many thanks to Maxim Morozov for refereeing Ivan Beritashvili’s official attempt to bend the IronMind Red Nail, and congratulations to Ivan on his success: your name has been added to the Red Nail Roster.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

There’s no moss growing under the feet of Mas Wrestling USA—coming off their midwestern debut at the Arnold, they’re gearing up for a worlds qualifier at the San Jose FitExpo on July 13.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/IronMind-Enterprises-Inc/480714388675525#!/pages/IronMind-Enterprises-Inc/480714388675525
Mas wrestling was a big hit at the Arnold earlier this month: “Every match was contentious,” said Mas Wrestling USA president Odd Haugen.  Pictured are Clay Edgin (left) and Markus Mannik (right), with Odd Haugen refereeing.  Mannik was the overall winner and Edgin was third place overall.   IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Mas Wrestling USA


“We have six spots for the world championships—men, women, any weight class—the best six will be qualify,” Mas Wrestling USA president Odd Haugen told IronMind.

Long a fan of both fighting and strength sports, Haugen said that he’s long been looking for the right combat-type strongman event and mas wrestling fits the bill—directly pitting one competitor against the other and it’s also what he sees as “the single best test of functional strength.”

More than that, Haugen said he sees a television future for mas wrestling because “it’s easy to understand, exciting, dramatic and very explosive.”

Meanwhile, mas wrestlers and their fans, mark your calendars: the 2014 San Jose FitExpo will host a mas wrestling clinic on July 12, with the world championships qualifying tournament on July 13.


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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Reading about Brett Jones in Pavel Tsatsouline’s book Beyond Bodybuilding inspired Paul McIlroy to chase the IronMind Red Nail.

Paul McIlroy has just been certified on the IronMind Red Nail. McIlroy is 33 years old, and weighs 165 lb. at 6 feet tall.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Paul McIlroy
Paul McIlroy has just been certified on the IronMind Red Nail. McIlroy is 33 years old, and weighs 165 lb. at 6 feet tall.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Paul McIlroy


“It was mentioned that Brett Jones was the lightest man (at that time) to ever bend the Red Nail.”  From that day on I wanted to be the lightest man ever to do it . . . but I didn’t get around to it for another 10 years lol!  I won’t be the lightest ever, but I do it I will be about 15 lb. lighter than Brett was at the time. 

Paul said he bends two or three times a week.  His background includes about 10 years of boxing and he has competed in drug free powerlifting, followed by MMA.  Now, Paul owns a gym called Centaur, where he “developed an infamous body transformation program, ‘The Amazing 12 Week Physique.’  I’ve won a few GS [kettlebell] competitions and I’m good friends with Master SFG and Red Nail Roster David Whitley,” he told IronMind.

Nice to see the lasting impact of Brett’s accomplishment: congratulations, Paul, your name has been added to the Red Nail Roster, and IronMind would like to thank John Monaghan for refereeing your attempt to bend the Red Nail under official conditions.


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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

It’s the first of 16 stages set for their 2014 season as the MHP Strongman Champions League opens this coming weekend on Martinique, in the Caribbean.

The MHP Strongman Champions League kicks off its 2014 season in Martinique this coming weekend.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of SCL
The MHP Strongman Champions League kicks off its 2014 season in Martinique this coming weekend.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of SCL


“We will have a bit smaller field than normal,” Marcel Mostert told IronMind today, “because some of the top athletes are preparing for the World’s Strongest Man 2014, a week later.  Still, it will be an excellent show for sure on this beautiful island, where we had 15.000 spectators in 2012 during the SCL Finals there.
 
“In a field with Krzysztof Radzikowski, Ervin Katona, Gregor Stegnar, Oyvind Rein (from Norway), Didzis Zarins, Etienne Smit , Lauri Nami, Gerald Gschiel (from Austria) and a few local Martinique athletes, it will still be a hard fight to crown the champion of the first stage from the MHP Strongman Champions League.  Didzis Zarins is replacing Dainis Zageris from Latvia,  because Dainis ripped off his bicep last week.
 
Events
• Truck Pull
• Farmer’s walk
• Tire Flip
• Deadlift (for reps)
• Log Lift
• Forward Hold
• Power stairs.
 
“It will be a fantastic event with a great location to kick of the MHP strongman Champions League season 2014.
 
“Also, just released today on our website, is the highlights trailer 2013.  You can check it on youtube as well, by clicking this link” said Mostert.


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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

It’s the best known benchmark of world class grip strength—officially closing the Captains of Crush (CoC) No. 3 gripper—and IronMind is proud to certify Youichi Okazaki has done just that.

Youichi Okazaki (35 years old, a little under 5’ 10” tall and weighing about 176 lb.) has just been certified on the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper—proving his world class grip strength. IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Tamotsu Okazaki
Youichi Okazaki (35 years old, a little under 5’ 10” tall and weighing about 176 lb.) has just been certified on the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper—proving his world class grip strength. IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Tamotsu Okazaki


Farming has given Youichi Okazaki a strong grip—so strong that he could close a Captains of Crush No. 2 gripper the first time he tried them, but don’t think this is the be-all, end-all of his grip training.
Asked how often he trains and what is his typical gripper workout, Mr. Okazaki told IronMind, “Twice a week 4 to 6 hours workout.  My typical gripper workout is grip by positive and negative with CoC Grippers, Ivanko Supergripper and a grip machine.  I do wrist curl, reverse wrist curl and wrist rolling too.

“My job is company work and farming.   [In terms of sports] I am the most interested in grip training, chinning exercises, bench press, running and skiing   I like fishing too.
“My best records:  CoC Gripper No.3.5  deep set close, Smedley hand dynamometer 100kg+; Bench press 110 kg.   For the next plan, I want to be certified Captains of Crush No.3.5.
“CoC Grippers are the most favorite equipment for grip training.   I'm very happy to know IronMind and those products,” Youihi Okazaki said.

We’re flattered to hear that and want to be the first to congratulate you on your success: Your name has been added to the official certification list for the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper.  IronMind would also like to thank Tamotsu Izaki for refereeing Mr. Okazaki’s to close a Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper under official conditions.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

World’s Strongest Man is returning to the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles later this month and all eyes in the strongman world will be focussed on the action.

Zydrunas Savickas won the 2012 Commerce World’s Strongest Man contest and given his performance in Columbus a week ago, it sounds as if he’s ready to rock at the encore.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Zydrunas Savickas won the 2012 Commerce World’s Strongest Man contest and given his performance in Columbus a week ago, it sounds as if he’s ready to rock at the encore.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


Filming dates for the qualifiers are March 22–25 and March 28–29 for the finals, so mark your calendar if you would like to see the show that created strongman, and you might even end up in a crowd shot.

Specific venue details are as follows: 



Qualifiers
March 22 – Commerce Casino

March 23 – Paramount Studios

March 24 – Commerce Casino

March 25 – Universal City Walk



Finals
March 28 – Venice Beach
March 29 – Commerce Casino

The World’s Strongest Man contest is the brainchild of IMG executive Barry Frank, who told IronMind he wanted to entertain people in their leisure time; and for more than three decades, Mr. Frank has done just that as men of mastadonic proportions lift, pull and otherwise pit their strength against massively defiant objects that in the past have even included a Lockheed C-130 Hercules military transport plane.  Explaining the show's concept at its most fundamental level, Mr. Frank said that people enjoy watching things they can’t do, and that extraordinary feats of strength fit the bill perfectly. 

Discussion of the top contenders this year usually begins with a focus on Brian Shaw (USA) and Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania), with such competitors as Hafthor Julius Bjornsson (Iceland), Mike Burke (USA), Terry Hollands (UK), Laurence Shahlaei (UK), Vytautas Lalas (Lithuania) and Krzysztof Radzikowski (Poland) seen as fully capable of making it to the podium, so every expectation is for full throttle competition that might well go down to the final event.

Watch for updates as IMG releases additional details about the Commerce World’s Strongest Man 2014

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

“I'm working with powerlifter Dan Green to host the 2014 Northern California Strongman Championships and Boss of Mas Wrestling Tournament at Dan's Boss Barbell Club gym in Mountain View, California on Saturday, April 26th,” Clay Edgin told IronMind.

Clay Edgin, Chairman of Northern California Mas Wrestling, has another competition on the board—Boss Barbell Club in Mountain View next month.  IronMind® | Courtesy of Northern California Mas Wrestling
Clay Edgin, Chairman of Northern California Mas Wrestling, has another competition on the board—Boss Barbell Club in Mountain View next month.  IronMind® | Courtesy of Northern California Mas Wrestling


“The strongman contest is open to all amateurs and will feature five events:

    1.    Max Apollon's Axle Clean and Press
    2.    Max Silver Dollar Deadlift
    3.    Farmers Carry / Yoke Zercher Carry Medley
    4.    Truck Pull
    5.    Atlas Stones

“None other than the all-time world record holder himself, Dan Green, will be judging the deadlift event so the competitors better bring their A-game if they want to get the down command from The Boss. I'm still working on getting some more special guest referees. Rumor has it that Odd Haugen Himself will be there to officiate the mas tournament as long as his schedule allows it.

“Immediately following the strongman competition, the Boss of Mas Wrestling Tournament will take place. This will be the first contest in the U.S. to use some of the new weight classes that the International Mas Wrestling Federation ratified into the rules. The weight divisions being contested are:

    •    Men’s LW (under 90kg)
    •    Men’s MW (90kg-105kg)
    •    Men’s MW (105kg-125kg)
    •    Men’s HW (125kg+)
    •    Women’s LW (under 65kg)
    •    Women’s MW (65kg-85kg)
    •    Women’s HW (over 85kg)


“Just a side note that these weight classes aren't ALL the weight classes in the IMWF have designated, but just the ones that we'll contest on that day. I've got some sweet prizes direct from Russia with love for the top finishers in each category,” Edgin said.

And in late-breaking news, earlier this morning Odd Haugen confirmed with IronMind that he will, in fact, be there.  And if you need one more good reason to jump in on the action, IronMind will be adding Captains of Crush grippers to prize list for the winner of each category in the Boss of Mas Wrestling Tournament.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Inspired by SCL’s IceMan competition, held in Finland’s Arctic region, Misha Koklyaev and Elbrus Nigmatullin introduced strongman to Russia’s Arctic—where temperatures a week earlier were -49 Fahrenheit.

The debut of ArcticMan enjoyed relatively balmy weather in Nadym, Russia: it was about 12 degrees Fahrenheit.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Evgeny Goncharev
The debut of ArcticMan enjoyed relatively balmy weather in Nadym, Russia: it was about 12 degrees Fahrenheit.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Evgeny Goncharev



"Tovarisch Koklyaev” Brings Strongman to the Russian Arctic
by Sergei Klimakov

Last Saturday in Nadym in Russia near the Arctic Circle was ArcticMan strongman contest. It was Russia's first outdoors Strongman competition in the Arctic.
For all participants, this was a good day. Weather gave mercy: the temperature was -11 degrees C [12 F], although a week before the tournament was cold -45 C [-49 F]. Also, the tournament was held without injury about which feared referee Misha Koklyaev.

This exotic competition attracted the attention of the crowd of townspeople and aboriginals of this region (their name is Nenets). Nenets sincerely admired the size and strength of the participants, and they respectfully called Misha "Tovarisch Koklyaev.”

Ten Russian strongmen from Siberia competed in ArcticMan. They passed six tests: Sack Сarry (3×90 kg, distance of 8 m for time), Log lift (120 kg for reps, limit 1 min), Farmer’s Walk (2×120 kg for distance), Conan Circle (350 kg for distance), Jeep Deadlift (1750 kg for reps, limit 1 min), Arm-Over-Arm Van Pull (2000 kg, distance of 25 m for time).

Records in the tournament were not established. It is winter and the Arctic Circle, so many participants noted that they are unusually rapidly losing their strength during the events. Nevertheless, here are the winning results in some events: Ivan Lykov 7 reps in Log lift, Rustem Satvalov 11 reps in Jeep Deadlift and more than 2.5 turns Conan Circle, Evgeny Markov 62.6 m in Farmer’s Walk and Valery Chernozubov 24.73 sec in Arm-over-arm.

As a result, contrary to preliminary forecasts, ArcticMan Champion's Belt was won by the rookie from Omsk, Evgeny Markov.

Final results, number of points:

1. Evgeny Markov - 49.5
2. Ivan Lykov - 47
3. Valery Savin - 44
4. Valery Chernozubov - 40
5. Rustem Satvalov - 34
6. Mikhail Sibagatov - 30
7. Sergei Andreychenko - 24.5
8. Stas Miksha - 22.5
9. Maxim Gametsky - 17.5
10. Andrei Yaschuk – 6

The main objective was to test the maximum human force in the Arctic. This work will hopefully continue. At the closing ceremony, local authorities and citizens and the Nenets have confirmed that they want ArcticMan in Nadym each year.
So Russian opponent for SCL IceMan Challenge, with full respect for the prototype, moves on.

misha-comrade_lg
The personable Misha Koklyaev quickly bonded with the Nenet people who are native to this area and they honored him by addressing him as "Tovarisch Koklyaev” [Comrade Koklyaev].  IronMind® | Elbrus Nigmatullin photo

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Zydrunas Savickas has always spoken softly and carried a big stick: just when some were writing him off, he bagged his seventh strongman title at the Arnold in what appears to have been his warmup for the World’s Strongest Man contest later this month.

Zydrunas Savickas pulled a world record 1,155 lb. (525 kg) on the Hummer Deadlift as part of his big win in Columbus last weekend, looking like he's more than ready for this year's World's Strongest Man contest.  Photo  Photo courtesy of Aryn Lockhart–Strongman Rage
Zydrunas Savickas pulled a world record 1,155 lb. (525 kg) on the Hummer Deadlift as part of his big win in Columbus last weekend, looking like he's more than ready for this year's World's Strongest Man contest.  Photo courtesy of Aryn Lockhart–Strongman Rage


Big Z Wins the Arnold's Classic for the Seventh Time
By Aryn Lockhart–Strongman Rage

Zydrunas Savickas wins his 7th Arnold’s Classic breaking deadlift and yoke  records along the way. In the heaviest competition in the world, Savickas dominated—winning three of the five events. He overhead pressed the Austrian Oak log weighing 440lbs (220kg) four times; completed the record heavy yoke of  1,410lbs (650kg)  in 3.87seconds; broke a world record of 1,155lbs (525 kg) deadlift.  He tied with Burke, Shaw and Björnsson to complete four reps with the 274lb (124kg) Cyr dumbbell. Brian Shaw placed second overall and Mike Burke took third. This was likely an impressive preview for the World’s Strongest Man coming up at the end of March.

The Arnold’s Sports Festival also hosted its 4th Amateur World Championship Strongman Competition. The competition included four weight classes. The heavy weight women’s weight class was added to the program for the first time this year.  Sixty-six athletes from nine different countries participated in the heaviest competition of its kind. The American Strongman Corporation organized the event requiring American athletes to qualify based on the North American Nationals competition that took place in October. Winners included Alanna Casey (USA, Strongwoman Fitness);  Kristin Rhodes (USA, Heavy Weight Women) -  who broke a world record with her 250lb (113kg) overhead log press; Jon Alderson (USA, Strongman Fitness); Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland, Heavy Weight Men). The winner of the Heavy Weight Men’s class will compete in the 2015 Pro Strongman competition at the Arnold’s.

The competition was dedicated to the late Mike Jenkins who was the first winner of the Amateur Strongman Competition in 2010 and then went on to win the Arnold’s in 2012. He became an international sensation placing fourth in World Strongest Man 2013.

Alanna Casey: 75 seconds over the bar for reps with a 180-lb. stone.  Photo courtesy of Aryn Lockhart–Strongman Rage
Alanna Casey: 75 seconds over the bar for reps with a 180-lb. stone.  Photo courtesy of Aryn Lockhart–Strongman Rage

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Featuring Ruslan Albegov’s 209-kg snatch, which proved to be the go-ahead lift in the super heavyweight category at the 2013 World Weightlifting Championships, on the cover, the March 2014 issue of MILO: A Journal For Serious Strength Athletes is out—ready to inform and inspire, for your best performances yet. 

"The go-ahead lift in the +105-kg category at the 2013 World Weightlifting Championships: it turned out that this 209-kg snatch gave Ruslan Albegov (Russia) the margin he needed for victory over a hard-charging Bahdor Moulaei (Iran).  Albegov got the weight overhead strongly, but then he had to take two quick steps forward to save the lift as he stood up."  MILO: A Journal For Serious Strength Athletes, March 2014 (Volume 21, Number 4).  IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen photo


"The go-ahead lift in the +105-kg category at the 2013 World Weightlifting Championships: it turned out that this 209-kg snatch gave Ruslan Albegov (Russia) the margin he needed for victory over a hard-charging Bahdor Moulaei (Iran).  Albegov got the weight overhead strongly, but then he had to take two quick steps forward to save the lift as he stood up."  MILO: A Journal For Serious Strength Athletes, March 2014 (Volume 21, Number 4).  IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen photo




Olympic-style weightlifting isn’t the only thing you’ll find in MILO: the March issue also covers the SCL finals, World’s Strongest Man, and training articles on everything from squats and deadlifts to mas wrestling.  All of our usual features are there and this time, our Roudtable Report addresses the question: Does/Would More Drug Testing Save Lives in Strength Sports and the Iron Game?  Plus, iron game history, who’s new on Captains of Crush gripper certifications, the Red Nail Roster, and a lot more.

Here’s the table of contents and if you’re new to MILO and want to learn more, follow this link—MILO: A Journal For Serious Strength Athletes.


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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Congratulations to Adam Moyers, an amateur strongman, who has just been certified on the IronMind Red Nail.

Sean Dockery (left) refereed Adam Moyers’ (right) attempt to bend an IronMind Red Nail under official conditions: Adam succeeded and has just been certified.  Adam is 6’ 1’ tall and weighs 245 lb.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Adam Moyers
Sean Dockery (left) refereed Adam Moyers’ (right) attempt to bend an IronMind Red Nail under official conditions: Adam succeeded and has just been certified.  Adam is 6’ 1’ tall and weighs 245 lb.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Adam Moyers


The 30-year old heavy equipment operator is “currently studying to become a Personal Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Specialist,” he told IronMind.

“I'm an amateur strongman competitor through NAS, and have a great crew I train with at our gym Iron Shadows.  Now that the Red Nail is out of the way I will shift my focus to the [Captain of Crush] #3 gripper.


“I would like to thank Ben Edwards and Jedd Johnson for all the help they've given me over the years with bending and grip.  A big thanks goes to Sean Dockery for being my judge and inviting me to his house for a great night of steel bending and gripping.  I also want to thank my fiancé, Brandi Harless, for supporting me in everything I do.”

Recognizing his successful bend under official conditions, IronMind has added Adam Moyers’ name to the Red Nail Roster, the official certification list for the Red Nail; and we would also like to add our thanks to Sean Dockery for serving as Adam’s referee.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

After “bending nails now off and on for about six months,” Brian Geisler has proven himself on short steel bends as he has just been certified on the IronMind Red Nail.

brian-geisler_lg
Just certified on the IronMind Red nail, a benchmark short steel bend, 30-year old Brian Geisler is six feet tall and weighs 200 lb.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Brian Geisler


Showing his aptitude for bending steel, Brian told IronMind, “I first heard of IronMind while watching strongman competitions on TV and saw the advertisements in the background.  I bent the [IronMind] Blue Nail the first time I tried.”

Six months later, Brian Geisler certified on the IronMind Red Nail, and although modest about his fast rise, Brian is quick to thank those who helped him along the way.
 
"I would like to thank Steve Freides for inviting me into his home to certify on the IronMind Red Nail.  Steve was a gracious host and made the experience fun. I would also like to thank my cousin John Manna who certified number one this year, for exposing me to the sport and helping me reach my full potential with this short steel bend. Next I'll be working on my [Captains of Crush] number 3 gripper certification, which is already well in the works.  I [also] want to thank my girlfriend, Amanda, for putting up with my training schedule.

“I’m ex-military, so physical fitness and a good challenge are what motivate me to keep pushing forward in my workouts and seeing how far I can go.”

Congratulations, Brian, it’s official and your name has been added to the Red Nail Roster—and many thanks Steve, for serving as the referee on Brian’s official attempt to bend the IronMind Red Nail.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

With a nod of appreciation to SCL’s IceMan, Russian strongman competitors Misha Kolyaev and Elbrus Nigmatullin are bringing the sport to Russia’s Arctic region and Sergei Klimatov reported on the announcement of this “double extreme” competition for IronMind.

How about strongman in temperatures that might hit -50 degrees Celsius (that’s about -58 degrees Fahrenheit)?  “Double extreme” might be an understatement for the upcoming ArcticMan strongman contest in Russia.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of Misha Koklyaev/Elbrus Nigmatullin
How about strongman in temperatures that might hit -50 degrees Celsius (that’s about -58 degrees Fahrenheit)?  “Double extreme” might be an understatement for the upcoming ArcticMan strongman contest in Russia.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of Misha Koklyaev/Elbrus Nigmatullin


Double Extreme: The First Russian Strongman Contest in the Arctic
by Sergei Klimakov

The city of Nadym on the cold peninsula of Yamal (Russia) accepts on 1st March a strongman contest. This is the region of the Russian Arctic with winter temperatures down to -50 degrees Celsius,  and this is the first Arctic strongman challenge in Russia, called "ArcticMan". "ArcticMan" is prepared by two well known Russian athletes - Misha Koklyaev and Elbrus Nigmatullin - and local authorities. In connection with a national holiday of aboriginals of Yamal, 10 athletes from Siberia, ice cold weather, directly on snow, six heavy events (Log lift, Farmer’s Walk, Conan Circle, Car Deadlift, Arm-Over-Arm Bus Pull, Sack Сarry) - this is  "ArcticMan".  Misha and Elbrus will work as as the referee and the commentator in this contest.

Elbrus said: "ArсtiсMan follows in the footsteps SCL IceMan Сhallenge. We pay tribute to the heads of SCL who offered and realized an unusual format of winter competition. This format is attractive to Russia. Strongman and extreme weather often go hand in hand, but it is almost always hot. Now in Nadym we for the first time in Russia want to test athletes in extreme cold".

Misha already participated in "IceMan". Based on this experience, Koklyaev warns athletes, "At -20 degrees Celsius already comes also the need for special clothes, shoes, ointment. The risk of injury is high," says Misha, "and this factor gives more brutality."

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Talking about mas wrestling making its debut at the Arnold, Odd Haugen told IronMind, “We have full 8-man Absolute A-B Tournament with elimination after two losses with some very big boys.”

Powered by dotFit, mas wrestling is headed to the Midwest: Mark Felix (left) and Clay Edgin (right) are among the big boys who will plant their feet, grab the still and try to pull the other other guy over the centerboard or rip the stick out of his hands.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Powered by dotFit, mas wrestling is headed to the Midwest: Mark Felix (left) and Clay Edgin (right) are among the big boys who will plant their feet, grab the still and try to pull the other other guy over the centerboard or rip the stick out of his hands.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


“Most notably are Markus Mannik of Estonia, with extensive World Cup experience, and Mark Felix wanting to try his hand (back) at MAS wrestling again after a very fine third place finish at the 2014 All American Tournament in Los Angeles,” said Haugen.

Competitors
Atle Tveit (Norway), 285 lb./130kg
Markus Mannik (Estonia) 285 lb./130kg
Steve Schmidt (Ohio, USA), 335 lb./152.5kg
Jacob Finerty (California, USA), 300 lb./136kg
Mark Felix (England, UK) 308 lb./140kg
Dale Schumaker (Ohio, USA), 415 lb./185kg
Philip Brown (Ohio, USA), 415 lb./185kg
Clay Edgin (California, USA), 315 lb./143kg
 
“Everyone will have at least one match on Friday and at least one match in the final rounds on Sunday.  Round One starts at 10:45 AM on Friday 28 on the Concourse stage (bottom of the escalator).  Winners of Round 1 will wrestle again in Round 2A against each other.  Losers of Round 1 and 2A will wrestle for 3rd, 4th, etc. places on Sunday morning at 9 AM on Concourse Stage, and winners of Round 2 will wrestle for the championship,” said Haugen.

For more information on mas wrestling, plesase visit Mas Wrestling USA.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

The Queen Mary Highland Games signaled the opening of the 2014 season, and with a crowd of 10,000 cheering them on, the heavy events were enjoyed by first timers and veterans alike, Francis Brebner reported to IronMind.

“Heather Lynn of San Diego, shown throwing the hammer, was one of the new athletes to the Highland Games,” said Francis Brebner.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Jaena Imboden
“Heather Lynn of San Diego, shown throwing the hammer, was one of the new athletes to the Highland Games,” said Francis Brebner.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Jaena Imboden


2014 Queen Mary Highland Games
by Francis Brebner
 
The Queen Mary Highland Games, held in Long Beach, in Southern California, marked the beginning of the very exciting Highland Games season.  The Games drew more than 10,000 enthusiastic spectators over the two days of heavy events competition, and a total of 105 athletes signed up to give it their all, with more than two dozen novice contestants trying their hand at the sport for the first time.
 
In the Amateur A division, 14 athletes competed in the 9 events, starting with the 22-lb. Braemar stone putt.  Edward Brown took the first win with a putt of 41’ 3-1/2”, followed Adam Breznia with 38’ 10-3/4” in second and Jacob Nicol with 37’ 11” in third.
 
After securing his first win and with confidence overflowing, Brown garnered a second win in the 16-lb. open stone, scoring a very nice putt of 49’ 2”, using the standing approach as opposed an open (glide or spin) style.   Karl Gehrke placed second with 44’ 9-1/2”, with third place going to Patrick Colonnelli, well-deserved at 42’ 8”.
 
In the 28-lb. weight-for-distance, Nicol, the lightest athlete in the competition at only 220 lb., looked very impressive when he let loose a destructive throw of 73’ 2”, nailing the win. Second place was Breznia with 70’ 7” and close behind in third was Gehrke with 69’ 3-3/4”.
 
In the 56-lb. weight-for-distance, you could feel the adrenaline oozing from Nicol as he whipped out a throw of 37’ 10” to decisively secure his second victory, almost two feet farther than his next rival, Gehrke, at 36’ 3/4”.  Breznia took third with a noble effort of 35’ 1/2”.
 
The fight for the overall continued into the 16-lb. hammer, and Brown took his third win, planting a throw of 115’ 1”.  Breznia had to be content with second at 111’ 3/4”, and Jose McKinney followed with 108’ 4-1/4”.
 
The tables were turned in the 22-lb. hammer, with Breznia bringing on the heat and forging a superb distance of 93’ 9” for his first win of the competition.  In second was Nicol with 89’ 11-1/2”, and in third McKinney at 85’ 11”.
 
The 56-lb. weight-for-height was undoubtedly the highlight of the A class competition as Breznia showcased great technique and overall strength and explosive power as he cleared the bar at 17’ for the win.  Second place was a close battle between Gehrke and McKinney, who both astonished the group by clearing 16’.  Gehrke was awarded second place on countback, and McKinney third.
 
In the 20-lb. sheaf toss, Breznia and Bryan Staggs shared top honors, tying at 25’ for first place.  Third was another tie, this one between McKinney and Gehrke at 22”.
 
The final event, tossing the caber (18’ 6” and 120-lb.), was won by Breznia, the only athlete to turn the stick with a best effort of 12:15.  Second-place Brown and third-place Gehrke both had 70-degree attempts, with Brown placing higher on countback.
 
Athletic Director for the Games West Imboden and SAAA President Chuck McLain were delighted with the large number of competitors and the high standard of the performance from all the athletic groups.
 
Asking Breznia about his overall performance, he said, “This being the first games of the season, I am happy with my distances.  I feel I have a lot more to give in my overall performance as the season gets underway.  My goal is to compete in the IHGF World Amateur Highland Games Championships and turn professional within the next few years.”
 
Amateur A: Overall

1. Adam Breznia 19.5
2. Edward Brown 29.0
3. Carl Gehrke 31.0
4. Jose McKinney 39.5
5. Jacob Nicol 42.0

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Starring Olympic gold medalist Matthias Steiner, “German weightlifting experts Frank Mantek and Michael Vater created this video to teach perfect technique in the sport of weightlifting,” and that video Weightlifting: Perfect Technique, is now available in English and Spanish, as well as in German.

Matthias Steiner’s gold medal performance at the 2008 Olympics did not occur by chance—to prepare properly, he first moved to Germany, to be coached by Frank Mantek.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of BDVG
Matthias Steiner’s gold medal performance at the 2008 Olympics did not occur by chance—to prepare properly, he first moved to Germany, to be coached by Frank Mantek.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of BDVG


Available from Amazon in Germany, Spain and the UK, Weightlifting: Perfect Technique will be coming to Amazon USA later this year as well.  And if you would like a quick taste, watch this trailer, complete with vibrant narration by Marc Huster.

“The snatch, clean and jerk are presented visually as well as explained with detailed commentary—all done in a way that allows both experts and beginners to understand and benefit from the presentation,” say Mantek and Vater, which means that their video is good not only for competitive weightlifters but also for others who train on these lifts.

Learn perfect weightlifting technique from German Weightlifting Federation experts Frank Mantek and Michael Vater.  IronMind® | Courtesy of BVDG
Learn perfect weightlifting technique from German Weightlifting Federation experts Frank Mantek and Michael Vater.  IronMind® | Courtesy of BVDG

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Jan Dellinger just called to let IronMind know that 100 bricks from the original York Barbell Gym are being sold, if you would like one as a souvenir.

This was the original Broad Street gym and the building has been razed, Dellinger said.

For details, please call Adam Smith, who works at York’s retail store: 1 (800) 358-9675, extension 226.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Interest in the traditional Highland Games heavy events continues to expand worldwide: next month will see a new competition in Finland, as well as one in Chile.

The Aulanko Spa Hotel will host the Scandinavian Highland Games on March 15.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of the Aulanko Spa Hotel
The Aulanko Spa Hotel will host the Scandinavian Highland Games on March 15.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of the Aulanko Spa Hotel


The United Strongmen Scandinavian Highland Games is organizing the international Aulanko Winter Challenge on March 15 at the Aulanko Spa Hotel.

The competition will combine “three Highland Games events and three traditional strongman events as part of the spa´s birthday party . . . [and] we will count total points for the Nordic Team title also,” according to a press from from the organizing committee, which also noted that this might turn into an annual event.

Hopping across the Atlantic and crossing the equator, too, the International Highland Games Federation (IHGF) has added Chile to its family of affiliated nations.

“Leonardo Valenzuela and Nelson Perez have been made the official IHGF representatives,” according to an IHGF press release sent to IronMind.  “Leonardo and Nelson share a deep passion for the sport of Highland Games and aspire to see the Highland Games flourish in their country, and will be promoting the very first Highland Games competition in the city of Santiago de Chile on the 22nd of March," with the expectation that "a major televised championships will follow in the near future."


Chile is the latest IHGF affiliate: Leonardo Valenzuela and Nelson Perez will spearhead efforts to promote “the Highland Games and its athletes.”  IronMind® | Image courtesy of the IHGF
Chile is the latest IHGF affiliate: Leonardo Valenzuela and Nelson Perez will spearhead efforts to promote “the Highland Games and its athletes.”  IronMind® | Image courtesy of the IHGF

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Adding a new twist to his grip contests, Jyrki Rantanen told IronMind that his,  “2014 grip year has started with Ironmind Grip nationals in Finland and the competition was held in the nightclub of Seurahuone in Huittinen city.

Jyrki Rantantan decided to take grip contests clubbing in Finland.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Jyrki Rantanen
Jyrki Rantantan decided to take grip contests clubbing in Finland.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Jyrki Rantanen


“The competition included Rolling Thunder, Apollon´s Axle, (Captains of Crush/CoC) Silver Bullet and the event we introduced in the last IronMind Grip Classic: The Hub walk, which makes the grip event more moving and spectator friendly and also even one could think it is just same as farmers walk in strongmen…it is not..you do need totally specific Hub training to do well in this event.

“Along with the IronMind Grip nationals we had Welcome to MAS happening, where people had the opportunity for the first time to test max wrestling in Finland…more serious competitions in it is also coming during the spring here.

“A few waited names were missing from the scene due last minute duty calls, but we saw some newcomers doing very well along with nearly success in national record attempt by Jaana Tanner, who narrowly took the overall win in women´s class,” said Rantanen.

If you missed the fun in person, here are a couple of links to some photos:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.625136757560037.1073741835.205418842865166&type=1

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.797589320270460.1073741837.310392368990160&type=1

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

“Great comp today (‘Hands Across the Sea’, held at three worldwide venues (England, USA and Finland), where I broke the Two Hands Pinch World Record with 122.91 kg,: David Horne reported to IronMind yesterday.

David Horne broke the world record on the adjustable two hands pinch grip device he developed and that has become a staple in the many grip strength contest he organizes and promotes.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of David Horne.
David Horne broke the world record on the adjustable two hands pinch grip device he developed and that has become a staple in the many grip strength contest he organizes and promotes.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of David Horne.


“The last time I held the record was in 2010, and then I watched Laurence Shahlaei take it by a very small amount thirty minutes later.
 
“I am over the moon with my Two Hands Pinch Lift World record. I only took three attempts (no warm ups either), 109.5 kg, 117.81 kg and then 122.91 kg. I still had an attempt left, but my skin had torn quite badly by then and it wasn't worth going for it, and damage it further and be out of training.

“I have trained 14 weeks for this, and it is part of a 40-week plan to first get the record, and now move it higher. So I'm really looking forward to more hard and thoughtful training, and hopefully more records,” said Horne.

For full results from yesterday’s contest, please follow this link.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

The Double Overhand Deadlift on the Apollon’s Axle is a staple of the grip strength world, long dominated by Rich Williams with a lift of 502 lb.

As he first proved at Odd Haugen’s grip contest at the 2013 Los Angeles FitExpo, 500 lb. is a pretty casual Apollon’s Axle Double Overhand Deadlift for Mike Burke, the current world record holder.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
As he first proved at Odd Haugen’s grip contest at the 2013 Los Angeles FitExpo, 500 lb. is a pretty casual Apollon’s Axle Double Overhand Deadlift for Mike Burke, the current world record holder.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


Mike Burke burst upon the grip strength scene when strongman caught his eye and he’s been a one-man wrecking crew ever since—turning Inch dumbbell deadlifts into a marathon, certifying on the Captains of Crush No. 3.5 gripper, casually lifting 280 lb. on the Rolling Thunder, breaking the world record on the CoC Silver Bullet and most recently, breaking his own world record on the Apollon’s Axle Double Overhand Deadlift, a record he first took from Rich Williams last year.

Mike’s latest success brought new attention to this lift and who knows where it’s headed in the future—Amy Wattles, for example, seems to have some latent strength she’s yet to unleash on this lift and must be thinking about the 300-lb. barrier the way the men once thought about the 500-lb. barrier.

Follow this link for the Apollon’s Axle Double Overhand Deadlift Rules & World Records.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

After bending “for about five months,” John Manna has been certified as officially bending the IronMind Red Nail, a benchmark short steel bend.

“I’m a commercial laundry equipment mechanic,” John Manna told IronMind, “so lower arm, wrist and grip strength are very important on a daily basis.”  John has just been certified on the Red Nail, a benchmark short steel bend.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of John Manna
“I’m a commercial laundry equipment mechanic,” John Manna told IronMind, “so lower arm, wrist and grip strength are very important on a daily basis.”  John has just been certified on the Red Nail, a benchmark short steel bend.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of John Manna


“I was first introduced to bending at a training session with John Wojciechowski and Nathaniel Brous [both of whom were certified on the IronMind Red Nail last year].  I was able to bend the [IronMind] Blue Nail my first time,” John told IronMind.

“I’ve been grip training for about 9 months, now.  I train 3 days a week, using the IronMind Hub, Rolling Thunder, Wrist Roller and Axle.  My next goal is to certify on the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper and to start working on the Gold Nail,” John said.  "I would like to thank Cesare Ricchezza, Nathaniel Brous, John Wojciechowski, Mike Sharkey, Jedd Johnson and Adam Glass for all of their help along the way, Pat Povilaitis for agreeing to be my referee and inviting me to his home, also my girlfriend Jackie for her support and putting up with all of my time spent training for this."

Performing strongman Pat “Don’t do this at home, kids” Povilaitis, who did the honors as John’s referee on his official attempt, had this to say:

“[John] followed all the rules to a ‘T’ and was a gentleman to boot.  The bend took around 13 seconds to complete.  He initially wanted to go for two Nails in the allotted 1 minute, but was nursing a sore wrist.  I convinced [John] to focus on the job at hand and avoid causing any further injury which might impact his training.  We had a nice time messing around with my gripper collection and other assorted toys.”

Many thanks, Pat, and congratulations, John: it’s official and your name has been added to the Red Nail Roster and you’re the first man to make the grade in 2014!

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Ian Wilson broke all three US national junior weightlifting records in the 105-kg category, Jim Schmitz reported to IronMind.

Ian Wilson stuck this 205-kg clean and jerk yesterday, as part of his record-breaking spree at the USA National Junior Weightlifting Championships.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Jim Schmitz
Ian Wilson stuck this 205-kg clean and jerk yesterday, as part of his record-breaking spree at the USA National Junior Weightlifting Championships.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Jim Schmitz


"Sunday, February 2, 2014, at USA’s National Junior Championships in Denver, Colorado, Ian Wilson, from Berkeley, CA, who turned 20 on January 8th set three US National Junior Records, snatching 170, clean & jerking 205 and 375 total in the 105 class.  Ian broke Casey Burgener's records of 165, 200 & 365.  Ian weighed 100.3 and his attempts were 160, 166 miss, 170 success, 195, 205, and missed the clean with 210," said Schmitz*.

*All weights are in kilos.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

The New York City  Sit-Down Arm Wrestling Showdown will be held at Cheap Shots Sports Bar on February 9, so is you think you’re strong, sign up, sit down and pull.

For 37 years, New York Armwrestling Association (NYAWA) has been dedicated to producing the best in armwrestling, and on February 9th the NYAWA will host the NYC Sitdown Armwrestling Championships at Cheap Shots Sports Bar in Flushing.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of NYAWA
For 37 years, New York Armwrestling Association (NYAWA) has been dedicated to producing the best in armwrestling, and on February 9th the NYAWA will host the NYC Sitdown Armwrestling Championships at Cheap Shots Sports Bar in Flushing.  IronMind® | Artwork courtesy of NYAWA

"The New York City Sit Down will surely produce the best brute strength arm wrestlers; since little technique can be performed in the sit down position ,” said Gene Camp, founder and president of the New York Arm Wrestling Association. “Not many people know that the NYAWA’s first arm wrestling events were all sit-down back in 1977 and 1978. This event is going to be very exciting to watch because many previous stand-up arm wrestling winners are competing without being able to use their signature techniques in this one-on-one brute strength, sit-down championship.”

For full details, please visit www.nycarms.com

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Mas wrestling debuted at the LA FitExpo in 2013 and when it proved to be a favorite with both competitors and spectators, Odd Haugen began working to build up the sport the sport in the US and this past weekend, mas wrestling returned to Los Angeles.

Jon Clark Eklund (left) and Shawn Paul Couch (right) go at it foot-to-foot and hand-to-stick in the mas wrestling tournament put on by Odd Haugen.  Couch had been hitting to the left and the right; switching gears, he dug in and got set, unloaded straight on and won the match.  That’s Robert Oberst, a US mas champion and World’s Strongest Man competitor (center) refereeing.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
 Jon Clark Eklund (left) and Shawn Paul Couch (right) go at it foot-to-foot and hand-to-stick in the mas wrestling tournament put on by Odd Haugen.  Couch had been hitting to the left and the right; switching gears, he dug in and got set, unloaded straight on and won the match.  That’s Robert Oberst, a US mas champion and World’s Strongest Man competitor (center) refereeing.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo

 
On Saturday, as the All-American Strongman contest was running, mas wrestling was available to walk-ons: men and women, big and small, younger and older—all could join in the fun and give the sport a try.  Over the day, “hundreds of people gave it a try,” Julia Haugen told IronMind.

Sunday featured the All-American Mas Wrestling Tournament: Kristin Oberst won the women’s lightweight class and Amy Wattles won the heavyweight class as well as the absolute women’s title.

On the men’s side, the under 90-kg class had some thrillers: Manuel Gonzales, Shawn Couch, Robert Lira and Jon Eklund had the crowd fully engaged as they went at it.  Couch took the -90 kg title and would go on to face +110 kg winner, Dimitar Savatino (who beat Evan Hansmann 2–1 in the superheavyweight finals) in the absolute championships but capable as Couch is, he was beaten 2–0 by the much bigger, heavier and stronger Savatino.

Watch for a full report in MILO and for more information on mas wrestling, visit MAS Wrestling USA.    

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

At 6‘ 6” tall and 320 lb., it’s no wonder that Evan Hansmann competes in strongman, and he told IronMind that he started training on grippers to improve his grip strength for strongman—well, he’s improved it so much that he just got certified on the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper.


Although he’s studying to be a nuclear medical technician, one wonders if there might not be a future in film or maybe professional wrestling for Evan Hansmann, shown here with the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper he officially slammed shut yesterday.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Although he’s studying to be a nuclear medical technician, one wonders if there might not be a future in film or maybe professional wrestling for Evan Hansmann, shown here with the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper he officially slammed shut yesterday.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
 

The most recent person to certify, Hansmann knocked off the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper following a full day of heavy strongman competition (Odd Haugen’s All-American Strongman contest), treating it as a warmup of sorts for a day that would have grip strength and mas wrestling on the schedule.

Did Evan Hansmann improve his grip strength?  We’d say so: Congratulations—you're on our list . . . the official Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper certification list, that is.

Special thanks to Mike Corlett for serving as the referee on Evan’s official attempt—one of many duties he dispatched with alacrity at yesterday’s Odd Haugen Strength Classic.

        

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

The 2014 edition of Odd Haugen’s Visegrip Viking Challenge pulled in top competitors from the grip strength world and they wasted no time breaking world records in two benchmark events: Mike Burke broke the men’s world record on the Apollon’s Axle Double Overhand Deadlift and Amy Wattle broke the women’s world record on the Captains of Crush (CoC) Silver Bullet Hold.

Burke came into the contest primarily focussed on the Apollon’s Axle Double Overhand Deadlift—he wanted to break his own world record, and after making 160, 185 and 220 kg, he jumped to 237.5 kg for a good lift.  Burke was unhappy with the way the lift felt so (reminiscent of a Ken Leistner story), he wanted to take it over—this time, he couldn’t quite finish the lift, but no matter, he had broken the world record again.

237.5 kg on the bar and Mike Burke pulled it the distance to break his own world record on the Apollon’s Axle Double Overhand Deadlift.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
237.5 kg on the bar and Mike Burke pulled it the distance to break his own world record on the Apollon’s Axle Double Overhand Deadlift.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo

Amy Wattles booted the women’s world record on the Captains of Crush Silver Bullet into orbit: she came into the contest holding the world record at 30.05 seconds and she catapulted that to a whopping 45.42 seconds.

The Rolling Thunder included Alexey Tyukalov and Mark Felix going head-to-head in a matchup featuring the current and the immediately prior world record holder: both succeeded with 123 kg (270 lb.), but neither one could complete 128 kg (281 lb.).  Burke, who had sat out this event (because he thought both Tyukalov and Felix were going to post huge lifts and to conserve energy for the Apollon’s Axle), then walked over and lifted the 128 kg!

An Odd Haugen classic, the Viking Fishing Pole/Wrist Roller was a showdown between Mike Burke, Alexey Tyukalov and Mark Felix—they were the only competitors to raise all five fish and they finished in that order, with MIke Burke showing, once again, that if you’re looking for the world’s strongest guy from the elbow to the fingertips, put Mike Burke at the top of your list.

Alexey Tyukalov took top honors, overall, in the men’s grip contest, with Mark Felix second and Mike Burke third—with Burke, having skipped the Rolling Thunder, probably thinking “could of, would of, should of .“

Watch for a full report in MILO.

   


Amy Wattles hung on for over 45 seconds before the Captains of Crush No. 2 gripper opened and the Silver Bullet went airborne.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Amy Wattles hung on for over 45 seconds before the Captains of Crush No. 2 gripper opened and the Silver Bullet went airborne.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
  
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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Brandon Hall had been casually closing a Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper at the arm wrestling booth at the LA FitExpo yesterday, so why not make it official?

You’re looking at an arm that’s winged the 56-lb. weight for height over 17 feet (standing start) and it delivers world class grip strength too: Brandon Hall has just been certified on the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
You’re looking at an arm that’s winged the 56-lb. weight for height over 17 feet (standing start) and it delivers world class grip strength too: Brandon Hall has just been certified on the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


And that’s just what the multi-talented strength athlete did as he officially closed the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper on stage at the 2014 California Armwrestling Championships.

Currently concentrating on armwrestling, Hall is a 35-year old strength athlete who has also  competed in the strongman, raw powerlifting and the Highland Games.  The 6’ 4’ 312-lb. Hall said he’s a SUPER SQUATS graduate—he was doing things like a lot of curls and his father gave him the book, told him to read it and the next morning had a protein shake waiting for him.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Once again, IronMind would like to thank Bill Collins for serving as the official referee, and congratulations, Brandon—tell your dad, thanks for the recommendation, and look at how one good thing led to another: your name has just been added to the official certification list for the No. 3 Captains of Crush gripper.


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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Kicking off the 2014 California Armwrestling Championships at the Los Angeles FitExpo yesterday, Jonathan Hoffmann shook hands with the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper, clamped down and put it away.

Professional arm wrestler Jonathan Hoffmann has been certified on the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Professional arm wrestler Jonathan Hoffmann has been certified on the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


26-year old Hoffmann owns a mortgage company, but don’t be fooled into thinking that means he’s a passive desk jockey: besides being a professional arm wrestler, Hoffmann is a USPF and AAU world record holder in the bench press.  The 6’ 2”, 260-lb. Hoffmann told IronMind, “I have the most beautiful wife and baby in the world.”

Many thanks to arm wrestling honcho Bill Collins for doing the honors as Jonathan’s referee, not to mention staging this arm wrestling contest at the LA FitExpo.  Congratulations, Jonathan—your name has been added to the official Captains of Crush No. gripper certification list.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Defending his title, Jerry Pritchett won the All American Strongman Challenge at the Los Angeles Fit Expo yesterday.

Shown working on the last stone in the last event, Jerry Pritchett finished with two event wins and took the title at the 2014 All American Strongman Challenge champion.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
Shown working on the last stone in the last event, Jerry Pritchett finished with two event wins and took the title at the 2014 All American Strongman Challenge champion.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


Pritchett had Dimitar Savitinov and Nick Best on his heels, with Mark Felix also in the hunt, but he ended the day with a victory on the stones and the overall title.  With the top two receiving invitations to the Arnold strongman contest, the Pritchett and Savitinov will head to Columbus, Ohio next month to lock horns with the likes of 2013 World’s Strongest Man winner Brian Shaw.



Final scores, top five:

1. Jerry Pritchett 50.0
2. Dimitar Savatinov 46.5
3. Nick Best 45.0
4. Mark Felix 43.0
5. Dave Ostlund 40.0


The All American Strongman Challenge is part of the MET-Rx Odd Haugen Strength Classic at the Los Angeles FitExpo.  The competition continues today with a grip strength contest and a mas wrestling tournament.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

“The MHP Strongman Champions League and Protekton Ltd signed an agreement to continue cooperating and sponsoring  in season 2014 worldwide,” Marcel Mostert reported to IronMind today.

SCL signed an agreement with Protekton Ltd: pictured (left to right) are Protekton owners, Jarek and Marek Tobi, and SCL cofounder, Ilkka Kinnunen.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of SCL
SCL signed an agreement with Protekton Ltd: pictured (left to right) are Protekton owners, Jarek and Marek Tobi, and SCL cofounder, Ilkka Kinnunen.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of SCL


“Ilkka Kinnunen went to Estonia personally to sign up with the two directors from Protekton Ltd, Jarek and Marek Tobi.

“With this agreement, Protekton Ltd becomes the official sponsor of the Association of Professional Strongman in Estonia.

“Protekton Ltd specializes in the project-based manufacture and installation of steel building construction in Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Russia and Germany.

“Competing this season are three of the best strongmen from Estonia: Lauri Nämi will begin his first competition in Martinique, Meelis Peil is also in very strong shape and will participate in future events and Rauno Heinla is ready to make his comeback from injury.

“We are very pleased that the agreement has been signed. It will give our athletes the opportunity to represent Estonia in biggest strongman league worldwide,“ said Marek Tobi, Production Manager of Protekton Ltd.

“Estonia has strong athletes and the best way to prove it, is to have them in Strongman Champions League event,“ said Janek Tobi, Chairman of the Board of Association of Professional Strongman in Estonia.

“We are really thankful to Protekton Management that they have helped us to continue our long-time cooperation with the Strongman Champions League,” Kinnunen said.

Mostert pointed out that expansion MHP Strongman Champions League in 2014 continues.

“On the 2014 SCL calendar, another contest has  been added: a special team event in Tallin, Estonia on October 18,” he said.
 
“And besides Protekton as the official side sponsor, the MHP Strongman Champions League also signed up SPX Powerteam again and another newcomer called  Strongman Rage.

“Strongman Rage produces and sells special clothes with unique logos. They  will supply a lot of clothes for SCL and will start selling  products on behalf of SCL in their webshop.

“They will produce special SCL clothing for us,  special logos, fun articles etc. All sold by their webshop, beginning April 5 with the FIBO Germany.”

        

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Odd Haugen, MET-Rx and the FitExpo continue their longstanding partnership and will once again be bringing big-time strongman to Los Angeles this coming weekend.

2013 champion Jerry Pritchett will be competing this weekend, ready to defend his strongman title at the Los Angeles FitExpo.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo
2013 champion Jerry Pritchett will be competing this weekend, ready to defend his strongman title at the Los Angeles FitExpo.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


“It will be the best ever,” Haugen told IronMind today, “not just the strongman contest, but the entire LA FitExpo.”

Along with Jerry Pritchett, watch for Nick Best, Dave Ostlund, Mark Felix and Josh Thigpen in the strongman competition—that’s a lot of World’s Strongest Man experience chasing the title.  Also on hand, although not competing, will be Brian Shaw, the 2013 World’s Strongest Man winner.

The action starts at 10:30 this Saturday: follow these links for full details on the strongman competition and the entire LA FitExpo.

                                                

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

“Our 7th season will have its kick off in Martinique, a beautiful sunny French island in the  Caribbean islands,” MHP Strongman Champions League (SCL) cofounder told IronMInd today.

Whether measured by prize money, number of competitors, locations or number of contests, MHP Strongman Champions League is the 800-lb. gorilla of strongman.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of SCL
Whether measured by prize money, number of competitors, locations or number of contests, MHP Strongman Champions League is the 800-lb. gorilla of strongman.  IronMind® | Image courtesy of SCL


“Again it will be a very busy year for the MHP Strongman Champions League, where we will have 16 stages and a few other independent competitions.

“The calendar is not filled in totally yet, but we have the feeling that we are very full already.

“Most important, of course, will be our SCL series , and we are looking forward to seeing who will be the 7th world champion in SCL, after Zydrunas Savickas (2 times), Andrus Murumets, Terry Hollands , Ervin Katona and the latest world champion, Krzysztof Radzikowski from Poland.
 
“We have reserved more than a half million USD ($500,000) for flights, hotels and prize money in the 2014 season.

“The absolute top athletes around the world will compete with us, with space always for newcomers and new champions.

“Special events, new equipment and new venues will be seen, and all episodes will be televised and broadcast in 89 countries.
“All these ingredients together will guarantee absolutely the highest standard worldwide in our beloved strongman sport.

“We wish everybody a fantastic strongman season,” said Mostert.
 
 08   March      SCL Martinique                  Martinique
 
05   April         SCL Germany                      Germany                        
 
10   May          SCL Serbia                           Serbia
 
---   May          SCL China World Teams   China                
 
13 June           SCL Finland                         Finland
 
21 June           SCL Holland                         Holland
 
29 June           SCL Latvia                            Latvia
 
04 July             SCL Portugal                       Portugal
 
19 July             SCL Croatia                         Croatia
 
03 Aug            SCL Poland                          Poland
 
24 Aug             SCL 105-kg Worlds            Ukraine
 
30 Aug             SCL Russia                           Russia
 
06 Sept.           SCL Hungary                       Hungary
 
13 Sept            SCL Turkey                          Turkey
 
05 Oct             SCL Lithuania                     Lithuania
 
--  Oct              SCL Aruba                          Aruba
 
01 Nov              SCL Brazil                           Brazil
 
8/9 Nov            SCL Malaysia                     Malaysia  FINALS

For full details on SCL, please visit their official website.
                                                
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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

“At the base of the Santa Cruz mountains, among centuries-old redwoods, California’s Strongest Hands and Mas Wrestling Tournament took place last weekend at Santa Cruz Strength,” promoter Clay Edgin reported to IronMind.

Steve Ruby completing the Hub Lift portion of the Crushed-To-Dust® Challenge, an all-around test of grip strength.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Clay Edgin
Steve Ruby completing the Hub Lift portion of the Crushed-To-Dust® Challenge, an all-around test of grip strength.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Clay Edgin


Edgin, Snodgrass, Ruby Take All at 2014 California’s Strongest Hands
by Clay Edgin

Sixteen competitors from as far away as San Diego and Chico converged on Surf City on Saturday to duke it out for the prestige of the podium and IronMind gift certificates. When the dust settled, three athletes emerged victorious in their respective divisions.

Amanda Edgin, running unopposed in the women’s division, lifted several personal records on her way to a strong finish. This was Amanda’s first venture into strength athletics and she will be competing at the Los Angeles Fit Expo in Odd Haugen’s Vise Grip Viking Challenge and All American Mas Wrestling Championships next weekend as well.

Joel Snodgrass, a last minute entrant from Chico, took top honors in the under 90-kg division with a performance which included a 155-kg double overhand IronMind Apollon’s Axle deadlift. Jacob Ward of Chico and Tyler Miller, who recently certified on the Red Nail, rounded out the top 3.

In the heavyweight class, 6’7 370-lb Stephen Ruby of Fresno won all five events. His 39.89 second IronMind CoC Silver Bullet Hold with a Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper proved that this newcomer to grip contests has quite a formidable crush. John Machnik of Fresno took second place, with Riccardo Magni securing the third spot.

In the mas wrestling tournament that followed the grip contest, Amenah Razeghi of Santa Cruz won the women’s class, beating Amanda Edgin 2-0. Both ladies are looking forward to a rematch next weekend at the Fit Expo.

Snodgrass again pulled his way to the top of the heap in a very talented field of 6 mas wrestlers under 90 kg. Second place went to Robert Lira of Gilroy, who gave up 15 lb. in bodyweight to Snodgrass ,but used his tenacity to best the champion in one of the three rounds. Tyler Miller, who trains at the host venue, took third place in the mas tournament.

Proving he is a force to be reckoned with in mas wrestling despite his inexperience, Ruby again plowed through the competition in an undefeated run towards the number one spot. James Richards made a great showing for second place and John Machnik took third.

Not content with finishing first in both contests today, Stephen Ruby went on to complete the IronMind Crushed-to-Dust® Challenge—closing a Captains of Crush No. 2 gripper with ease, lifting 200 lb. in plates on the Rolling Thunder, and deadlifting 40 lb. on the IronMind Hub, and his name has been added to the official Crushed-to-Dust certification list.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

“The MHP Strongman Champions League will continue with MHP as their main sponsor in 2014,” SCL director Marcel Mostert told IronMind today.

2013 MHP Strongman Champions League world champion Krzysztof Radzikowski (center), flanked by SCL directors Ilkka Kinnunen (left) and Marcel Mostert (right).  IronMind® | Image courtesy of SCL
2013 MHP Strongman Champions League world champion Krzysztof Radzikowski (center), flanked by SCL directors Ilkka Kinnunen (left) and Marcel Mostert (right).  IronMind® | Image courtesy of SCL


“We are both very happy with the results from last year and the MHP Strongman Champions League will have a full calendar again in 2014.
MHP has been, and still is, a very important ingredient in our road to success.  We are very thankful for that.  

“Also, our new SCL world champion, Krzystof Radzikowski, who was sponsored personally by MHP throughout 2013, thanks his main sponsor for that, and he will continue as well with MHP in 2014.
 
The SCL is the biggest strongman league worldwide at the moment, and will organize more than 20 international competitions in 2014, such as the 105 Worlds , the World Teams in China, and most important, over 16 stages (competitions) throughout the year in 16 different countries the Champions League series.

“In 2013, we had 74 athletes competing in this  series from all over the world. This year it will grow again.

“We are a full-grown, premiere televised league, with its events broadcast to more than 1 billion households worldwide.

“Again MHP provides SCL the ability to develop more quality with powerful events and top athletes all over the world,” said Mostert.
 
“MHP’s corporate mission has always been to develop premier science-based, research-driven sports supplements to help athletes achieve their greatest physical potential. Over the years, MHP has introduced many innovations and breakthroughs in sports nutrition. MHP has become the most trusted brand and industry leader among world-class athletes, strongmen, pro bodybuilders, powerlifters and fitness enthusiasts alike – and sees its partnership with the SCL a perfect blend of world class performance and performance nutrition. Over the past few years, MHP has experienced significant growth in our international business,” said Steve Downs, MHP Marketing Director.

“Our partnership with the Strongman Champions League will continue our role as the global leader in performance supplementation for world class athletes everywhere,” Downs said.

"Next week, the new calendar from the MHP Strongman Champions League 2014 will be presented here on IronMind and the official website of SCL," said Mostert.

                                                

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

It’s simple, has deep, multi-cultural roots, but you what else it is about that Mas wrestling that makes it appealing?

Mas wrestling goes back millennia, with roots in Russia, Scotland and Spain—and Norse ties as well—Odd Haugen told IronMind today.  Come give it a try at the Los FixExpo January 25 - 26 and maybe you’ll end up competing in the 2014 Mas Wrestling World Championships in Yakutsk, Russia later this year.  IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen
Mas wrestling goes back millennia, with roots in Russia, Scotland and Spain—and Norse ties as well—Odd Haugen told IronMind today.  Come give it a try at the Los FixExpo January 25 - 26 and maybe you’ll end up competing in the 2014 Mas Wrestling World Championships in Yakutsk, Russia later this year.  IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen


“It’s a true test of functional strength,” Odd Haugen told IronMind today.  “Grip, back, legs—your whole body goes into it.”

Haugen kicked off mas wrestling at the 2013 Los Angeles FitExpo and it was a huge hit, so he did an encore at the San Jose FitExpo last summer, and on January 25 - 26, he will be bringing the show back to Los Angeles as part of the Odd Haugen Strength Classic at the LA FitExpo.

On Saturday, January 25, there will be mas wrestling clinics throughout the day, in between strongman events, so you can hone your skills, and at the end of the day, Haugen will crown a king and queen of the hill, based on the best results from the people who give this a try.  And, if a  walk-on looks like he or she has what it takes to get in there for the tournament the next day, Haugen might be able to do late signups on the spot.

As for the tournament itself, “It’s the first step toward qualifying for the world championships later this year in Yakutsk, Russia,” said Haugen, who will be in there with the big boys as they give it their all on Sunday.

Follow these links for full details on the Los Angeles FitExpo and the Mas wrestling tournament there.

                                                

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

United Strongmen promoter Jyrki Rantanen told IronMind about “a new event for strongmen/women . . . the ‘Stone Squat.’”   

“In the event the competitors are first shouldering the stone and while holding it up there, perform a deep squat to get a full repetition. 

“In this competition [held at Voimakatu6 Gym in Turku, Finland] it was done with 40/60-kg stones for lightweight athletes and beginners with a time limit of 2 minutes but I see it might be 1 minute with heavier stones in bigger competitions and it might be varied with max lifts, too,” said Rantanen. 

                                                

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

“We had the 2nd Iron Grip Endurance Challenge [on Saturday], consisting of four holding events, performed at three venues worldwide (Stafford, England - Kirkkonummi, Finland - London, England),” David Horne reported to IronMind.

“It was surprising how quickly the event went compared to a normal event with four attempts. After we finished we had a meal and then we went out for some more training.
 
“Anyway, big congratulations goes to Juha Harju of Finland for his win. He has brought all his grip strength areas up to a par now, which is superb to see.

“Elizabeth Horne won the women’s class, and also featured 14th in the Open class with the men.
 
“Plenty of world records were bettered in the various classes, and the records are here," said Horne.

 

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

The International Highland Games Federation (IHGF) and the Norwegian Highland Games Association (NHGA) have signed agreements and announced the 2014 IHGF World Amateur Highland Games Championships as well as the IHGF Stones of Strength World Challenge, according to an official statement sent to IronMind.

Sveinung Tangstad (left) and Francis Brebner (right) will be collaborating on the 2014 IHGF World Amateur Highland Games Championships and the 2014 IHGF Stones of Strength World Challenge.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of IHGF
Sveinung Tangstad (left) and Francis Brebner (right) will be collaborating on the 2014 IHGF World Amateur Highland Games Championships and the 2014 IHGF Stones of Strength World Challenge.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of IHGF


Following is the official IHGF statement, in full:

In meetings held recently between Francis Brebner President of the IHGF and Sveinung Tangstad President of the (NHGA) Norwegian Highland Games Association, contracts have been signed making it official that the 2014 IHGF World Amateur Highland Games Championships will take place in Andøy, Norway, from the 28th-29th of June.

In addition to the IHGF World Amateur Championship, the NHGA will also be host of the IHGF Stones of Strength World Challenge which will open with the first event being staged in the village Alsvåg in Øksnes on the 27th with the concluding events of the World Challenge being held in the village Bø in Andøy on the 28th and 29th of June.

Sveinung Tangstad, who has been the official IHGF representative for Norway since 2005, has worked steadily in his country of Norway over the past few decades in promoting Highland Games since he first began throwing. He has encouraged others to follow in his footsteps, promoting the sport in Norway. Sveinung has a real passion for the sport and has given a great deal of his time and attention, especially towards the young generation of throwers coming into the sport, which now has several promising young stars of the future in the making.

Sveinung first envisioned the hosting of a major World class event in Norway several years ago which has now finally all come into fruition finding the perfect location at Marmelkroken, Bø in Andøy where the games will be held. They have furthermore visualization and plans of making Andøy a promising fixture in the International Highland Games circuit for the future. The IHGF are very happy to be working with both Sveinung Tangstad and Lisbeth Seppola who have worked very hard in making both these events come together.

Both events will be filmed for European TV as well as potentially TV here in the USA. They are also working on the possibilities for live streaming of the events. Tryouts for Scandinavian athletes will be held at Marmelkroken during May. The athletes line-up for both the IHGF World Amateur Highland games Championships and the IHGF Stones of Strength World Challenge to be released soon on IronMind.

 
             

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Featuring $2,500 in cash prizes, a chance to qualify for the 2014 Armlifting World Championships, and multiple weight classes for both men and women, the 2014 MET-Rx Odd Haugen Visegrip Viking Challenge presented by IronMind will put some serious heat on the world records for the Captains of Crush (CoC) Silver Bullet, the Apollon’s Axle Double Overhand Deadlift and the Rolling Thunder.

Last year, Mike Burke crushed all comers, and once again the LA FitExpo is likely to be the home of the year’s top grip strength contest as Odd Haugen’s Viking Visegrip Challenge features the big three of the grip strength world.  Last year, Mike Burke pulled this double overhand deadlift on the Apollon’s Axle to his knees—will he polish it off this year?  Come to the LA FitExpo and see it for yourself.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo


Last year, Mike Burke crushed all comers, and once again the LA FitExpo is likely to be the home of the year’s top grip strength contest as Odd Haugen’s Viking Visegrip Challenge features the big three of the grip strength world.  Last year, Mike Burke pulled this double overhand deadlift on the Apollon’s Axle to his knees—will he polish it off this year?  Come to the LA FitExpo and see it for yourself.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo




“We have a tremendous lineup,” Odd Haugen told IronMind today.  “Mark Felix, Mike Burke, Alexey Tyukalov, Amy Wattles . . . plus a number of strongman competitors, such as Jerry Prichett, who have extremely strong grips.”  Count Haugen himself as being in the top tier too, and watch for some top performances from 2013 Armlifting Junior World Champion Roman Penkovskiy.

The competition starts at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, kicking off with the Rolling Thunder—giving the world’s first head-to-head matchup between Mark Felix and Alexey Tyukalov.  Felix held the Rolling Thunder world record for more than five years, until it was broken by Tyukalov last year.

Follow this link for full contest details. 

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Indefatigable grip promoter David Horne told IronMind yesterday, “I’ve started to put together events for 2014.”

Elizabeth Horne, a top competitor in grip strength contests, casually lifts 23.95 kg, far above the women's world record on the IronMind Hub.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of David Horne
Elizabeth Horne, a top competitor in grip strength contests, casually lifts 23.95 kg, far above the women's world record on the IronMind Hub.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of David Horne


“In this year’s British Hub Lifting Champs we have included the IronMind Hub.  We also will be holding Britain’s Strongest Hands on the same day too.   All lifters will be weighed in, and of course all weights used are scaled on calibrated scales.
 
“I have also included the [CoC] Silver Bullet in the 22nd British Grip Championships also,” so here’s a chance for the top gripsters in Great Britain to attack the CoC [Captains of Crush] Silver Bullet world record.

For full details on the full menu of British grip strength competitions organized by David Horne in 2014, please follow this link.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

Correctional officer Daniel Splendoria said “having strong hands gives me an advantage in ‘physical situations’ and proving that strong hands are exactly what he has, Dan has just been certified on the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper.

On the job and in the gym, Dan Splendoria’s grip strength gives him the competitive edge—congratulations to the latest man to be certified on the benchmark Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Daniel Splendoria
On the job and in the gym, Dan Splendoria’s grip strength gives him the competitive edge—congratulations to the latest man to be certified on the benchmark Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Daniel Splendoria


Back on the advantages of grip strength, Dan added, “I am also a big fan of deadlifting.  I have been able to deadlift in the 700s for reps and never use straps.”

Asked about how he got started training on Captains of Crush grippers, Daniel said, “I purchased a Thomas Inch Dumbbell from you guys [IronMind] a long time ago and saw the grippers on your website.  I train twice a week and squeeze the crap out of them.”

“I am a Correctional Officer with a passion for deadlifting, grip strength, foot clutch jockey shift Harleys, and my family.  My 3 children—Rocco, Stella, and Scarlet—mean everything to me.  Before I could say anything about who I am, first I would have to talk about my dad —Anthony Splendoria.  He was the hardest working man I ever knew.  He was a mason contractor.  He laid brick, block, and stone on the weekdays and lifted weights on the weekends.  Every piece of fitness equipment we had he would rip, tear, or wear out.  He didn't want me to lift heavy weight once or twice but rather have endurance and do lots of reps.  After reading about 20-rep squats I decided I'd do heavy weight for lots of reps.... and it worked. 

“Since discovering IronMind in the early 2000s and ordering a Thomas Inch Dumbbell, I learned about Milo and ‘progressive resistance.’  I lived and breathed this principle.  On April 11, 2013 my dad passed away suddenly from a heart attack at the age of 63.  The worst day of my life.  Ironically, my dad’s last day was also his best day.  He told my mom and his doctor that his workout that day was his best....ever!  To me that meant everything.  He lived progressive resistance.  Always pushing and striving for better.  May everyone’s last day be their best.”

Congratulations, Dan, you have just been certified and your name added to the official certification list for the No. 3 Captains of Crush gripper—many thanks to Bill Yundt for serving as the referee on Dan’s official attempt.

   
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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

He said that he does not need strong hands on the job, but strong hands he’s got: Vano Sukhashvili has just been certified on the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper—the first man in 2014 to achieve this world standard.

Opening the new year with a bang, Vano Sukhashvili left no doubt that he’s got world class grip strength as he officially closed the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper under the watchful eye of referee Ramil Latypov in Samara, Russia.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Vano Sukhashvili
Opening the new year with a bang, Vano Sukhashvili left no doubt that he’s got world class grip strength as he officially closed the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper under the watchful eye of referee Ramil Latypov in Samara, Russia.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Vano Sukhashvili


Vano is 26 years old, stands 177 cm (about 5‘ 9-1/2”) tall and weighs 88 kg (about 194 lb.).  He repairs office equipment for a living and has been training on grip strength for about two years and could close the Captains of Crush No. 1.5  gripper (“and possibly the Captains of Crush No. 2 gripper”) the first time he tried them.  With the Captains of Crush ((CoC) No. 3 under his belt, Vano said, “I plan to the close the CoC No. 3.5.  Vano said he lifts “about 100 kg on the Rolling Thunder,” too. 

Congratulations, Vano Sukhashvili—your name has been added to the official Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper certification list, and many thanks to Ramil Latypovin for refereeing Vano’s official attempt. 

Incidentally, to give you an idea of the level of motivation and logistics involved here, not to mention the vast size of Russia, Vano and Ramil live approximately 900 km from each other!

             
                                               
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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

“Randy, I’m here in China with Mike Burke and Thor for the Guinness Records and for one other TV show,” Ilkka Kinnunen reported to IronMind today.

Hafthor Julius Bjornsson wasted no time putting his name in the Guinness World Records book in 2014.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of SCL
Hafthor Julius Bjornsson wasted no time putting his name in the Guinness World Records book in 2014.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of SCL


“Last night we had the Keg Toss for height Guinness World Record record attempt, and here is little story:

“The season started early of this year for SCL and its athletes. Yesterday Thor Björnsson and Mike Burke were challengers on Guinness World Record TV show in China, trying to make new  record in Keg Toss. The keg weighs 12.5 kg and record before the attempt was 7.40 m done by the German athletic.

“At each heigh,t the athletes had 3 tries. First the bar was put at 7.50 m. The record holder missed, but Mike and Thor cleared it easily. Next height was 7.70 m again Thor and Mike both cleared it easily. Then the bar put to 8 m. Thor made it with an unbelievable throw.  Mike´s turn: Height was there, but just did not turn over and the same thing with his all 3 throws, so Thor take his first Guinness World Record in Keg Toss with 8 m!!!

“Today we will travel back to Shanghai for other TV show called Thank God You Are Here. This show is more like a talk show, but it is one of the most popular morning shows in China,” said Kinnunen.

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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

“The 2013 Norway Open Mas Wrestling Championship was a very well organized and attended event held this past weekend at Grisen Storsenter in Tvedestrand, Norway,” Mas Wrestling USA’s Odd Haugen told IronMind today.

mas-nor-13_lg
Sweden’s Anders Lindblad (left) and Clay Edgin (USA) go at it in the 2013 Norway Open Mas Wrestling Championships.  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Mas Wrestling USA


The contest had 31 athletes, representing 4 countries: Norway, Sweden, Russia and the United States. 

“The Norwegians held their own and took home most of the medals,” Haugen said.  Only the two visitors from the birthplace of Mas wrestling, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), broke into the medal count and they did it with style: both Tatiana Grigor and Vasiili Alekseev won gold medals.   Also, Vasiili Alekseev won a hard -ought battle against 105kg+ Champion Henrik Hildeskor of Norway to become the Men's Absolute Champion.  

“Kudos to Knut Bjorvatn and team for a well produced championship. 

“Planning is already taking place for the 2014 Norway Open MAS Wrestling Championship in  July, to pick the Norwegian team for the 2014 MAS Wrestling World Championship to be held in Russia in November,” said Haugen.


2013 Norway Open MAS Wrestling Championship: Results

Men +105 kg (Open)
1. Henrik Hildeskor

2. Atle Tveit
3.Odd Haugen

Men -105 kg
1.Vasilii Alexeev
2. Bjørn Ove Einarsen
3. Christopher Bjørnsen

Men -90 kg
1. Glenn Bjørnsen
2. Kenneth Andersen
3. Lars Eirik Gran

Men -80 kg
1. Lars Eirik Gran
2. Geir Dåbu

Women +70 kg (Open)
1. Tatiana Grigor 

2. Anna Lill Gjedrum Sigvad
3. Irene Andersen

Women -70 kg
1. Christina Sundby
2. Gry Anita Opdal
                         
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by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2014 IronMind

The 2014 Arizona Scottish Gathering and Highland Games will once again host the Women’s World Championships, Athletic Director Ryan Seckman announced.

josee-morneau-fergus05_lg
Josee Morneau, shown at the 2005 Fergus Highland Games, has a standing invitation to the Women’s Highland Games World Championships.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo

A list of 15 women were invited to compete in this year’s world championships, along with standing invitations to Josee Morneau and Summer Pierson.

“We are celebrating our 50th Anniversary and we would like nothing more than to celebrate it with you and have you as part of our Event for the Sport and the community,” Seckman said to the Highland Games community.
 
“We will have our two fields so we will have plenty of room for athletes and we are looking to put on the best event we have ever had and our team is working hard to make sure that it is memorable for each athlete, sponsor, and the crowd who come to cheer you on to many Personal Records, said Seckman.”

The 2014 Arizona Scottish Gathering and Highland Games will be held March 22–23 in Phoenix and for full details, please visit http://www.arizonascots.com or email Ryan Seckman.                                       

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