IronMind Resource Pages:

Strongman and World's Strongest Man

World's Strongest Man, Jon Pall Sigmarsson, Bill Kazmaier, Jouko Ahola, Magnus Ver Magnusson, Magnus Samuelsson, Svend Karlsen, Zydrunas Savickas—if these names get you thinking about the Atlas Stones or how you can train to be in the World's Strongest Man contest yourself, IronMind is your home. Ever since MILO went to Scotland in 1994 to cover the European MusclePower and World MusclePower contests (meeting Manfred Hoeberl, Magnus Ver Magnusson, Heinz Ollesch, Ilkka Kinnunen, Wayne Price and Douglas Edmunds in the process), IronMind has been immersed in strongman.

The IronMind Draft Horse Pulling Harness™ has been used in World's Strongest Man contests for over a decade. Other IronMind products now making appearances at WSM events include the Tough-As-Nails Sandbag and extra-long versions of the S-Cubed Bar and the Apollon’s Axle. IronMind’s Strong-Enough Straps are the official lifting straps at World’s Strongest Man. We're on the field with the world's top strongmen. Read the IronMind News and check out the resources below for strongman profiles, photos, training, and results from MILO: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes, published by IronMind.

Order any of these excellent resources on strongman and World's Strongest Man in IronMind’s e-store.

 

Books


 Sons of Samson, Vol. 2 by David Webster
A big book full of facts, photos, and profiles of some traditional strongmen known by author David Webster during his career in hand balancing, strand pulling, and weightlifting; how the World's Strongest Man contest got started in 1978, WSM contest coverage through 1996, and top competitors of that time, including Bill Kazmaier and Jon Pall Sigmarsson.
 
The Conditioning Handbook: Getting in Top Shape by Brian Jones, M.S.
Your A-to-Z guide to building a high level of conditioning and endurance, this well-written, well-organized handbook presents everything you need to put together effective programs, including myriad sample workouts and routines.
 

 

DVDs

 
 Jon Pall Sigmarsson Larger than Life
Four-time World’s Strongest Man winner Jon Pall Sigmarsson was the larger-than-life Icelandic strongman whose story was captured in this powerful documentary from the Land of Fire and Ice.
 
The World's Strongest Arms DVD
We'd guess that Magnus Samuelsson also has the World's Strongest Hands, because if you're familiar with his best performances on the No. 4 Captains of Crush Gripper or on the Rolling Thunder, you know why we say that. Learn from the best.
 

 

Articles in MILO:  A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes

If you're not familiar with our quarterly strength journal, let us introduce you to this publication non pareil, unmatched in the quality and scope of its articles and photos on people, training, contests, and history covering Olympic-style weightlifting, powerliftng, strongman, Highland Games, arm wrestling, grip, and other strength sports. If you like strength, you'll love MILO.

 

Strongman Contests


"Two Big Weekends in Scotland: World Highland Games Heavy Events Championships, European Muscle Power Championships, and World Musclepower Championships" by Archie Stevenson (Vol. 2, No. 3)
The report that introduced strongman contests and contestants like Manfred Hoeberl, Magnus Ver Magnusson, Gary Taylor, Heinz Ollesch, Wayne Price, Forbes Cowan to America.
 

"Out of Africa: 1994 World's Strongest Man Contest" by Archie Stevenson (Vol. 2, No. 4)
Contest report on the 1994 World's Strongest Man with big names like Riku Kiri, Manfred Hoeberl, and Magnus Ver Magnusson, who takes his second win.
 
"Megaman Meets Magnus: 1995 World Strength Championships and 1995 World Musclepower Championships" by Archie Stevenson (Vol. 3, No. 3)
Nathan “Megaman” Jones faced off with favorite Magnus Ver Magnusson over two weekends that included strongman stars Gary Taylor, Wayne Price, Phil Martin, and Forbes Cowan, among others, as well.
 
"Old Versus New: 1995 World's Strongest Man Competition" by Archie Stevenson (Vol. 3, No. 4)
The 1995 World's Strongest Man competition held in Nassau, Bahamas, saw newcomers like Magnus Samuelsson and Nathan Jones pitted against the old guard led by Magnus Ver Magnusson, with mighty Magnus Ver winning his third title.
 
"Scottish Mights: 1996 World Musclepower Championships" by Archie Stevenson (Vol. 4, No. 3)
Forbes Cowan and Magnus Samuelsson shone in the 1996 World Musclepower contest in Scotland that included quite a few newcomers.
 
"Magnus Outmuscles 'Em in Mauritius: 1996 World's Strongest Man Competition" by Archie Stevenson (Vol. 4, No. 4)
Magnus Ver Magnusson took his fourth World's Strongest Man championships, beating Riku Kiri, Gerrit Badenhorst, Forbes Cowan and other strongman greats.
 
"European Strong Men Classic 1997" by Peter Vermeulen (Vol. 5, No. 2)
Follow the strongman contest that saw Riku Kiri, Magnus Ver Magnusson, and Berend Veneberg take top honors.
 
"Mavrocks and the Missouri Strongest Man Contest" (Vol. 5, No. 4)
Back when stones were only available in Scotland, Chris Mavromatis tells how he created his stones of strength for his strongman contest.
 
"Wins and Losses in Las Vegas: 1997 World's Strongest Man Contest" by David Webster (Vol. 5, No. 4)
Young, highly-motivated competitors dominated the dramatic World's Strongest Man competition in 1997, eliminating the top three finishers from 1996 in the preliminary round.
 
"1998 Helsinki Grand Prix Results" (Vol. 6, No. 1)
Event-by-event results of the 1998 Helsinki Grand Prix, won by Jouko Ahola.
 
"1998 British MusclePower Championships" by Jockie Reeves (Vol. 6, No. 2)
This litmus test of strength athletes in the UK has been contested for over 20 years.
 
 
"Dynamite Duos: 1998 World Team Championships" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 6, No. 3)
Two-man teams from nine countries battled, and Wout Zjilstra (Netherlands) made a world record throw in the 56-weight for height along the way to victory, beating Jouko Ahola (Finland) by one-half point.
 
"Strong-Mania Around the Globe" (Vol. 6, No. 3)
The 1998 World's Strongest Man Contest saw the largest number of competitors yet, and huge efforts by the likes of Magnus Samuelsson, who placed first, and Jouko Ahola, who placed second.

"Season of Strength: The Helsinki Grand Prix 1999" by Jyrki Rantanen (Vol. 7, No. 1)
Jouko Ahola won in a big field of big names, including Magnus Samuelsson, Svend Karlsen, Janne Virtanen, Wout Zjilstra, Heinz Ollesch, Wayne Price, and Phil Pfister.
 
"Neese Going: Congratulations to the 1999 U. S. Champion: Beauty & the Beast Strongman Challenge" by J. V. Askem (Vol. 7, No. 2)
Two contests in one: the first crowned the top US strongman for 1999, and the second was an IFSA Grand Prix event, where eight American finalists faced off against six IFSA pros. 
 
"Showman Strongman: the Dutch Grand Prix 1999" by Peter Vermeulen (Vol. 7, No. 3)
Pro and veteran strongman and showman Gerritt Badenhorst bested Jouko Ahola in a top-notch line-up that also featured the 1999 U.S. champion, Brian Neese.
 
“Strong-Mania 1999” (Vol. 7, No. 3)
NASS and other local strongman contests are an indication of the interest and growth of strongman in the U.S. and elsewhere.
 
"Two TNT Strongman Competitions" by Jyrki Rantanen (Vol. 7, No. 4)
Re-live the Viking of the North 1999 Competition and the 1999 World's Strongest Team Competition.
 
"Maltese Muscle: 1999 World's Strongest Man" by David Webster (Vol. 7, No. 4)
After the qualifying rounds and the finals, Jouko Ahola emerged to take his second World's Strongest Man title. 
 
"Setting the Stage for 2000: IFSA Helsinki Grand Prix" by Jyrki Rantanen (Vol. 8, No. 1)
Emerging strongman star Janne Virtanen was the winner—a prelude to winning the 2000 World's Strongest Man. 
 

"Strong-Mania" (Vol. 8, No. 1)
Local strongman contests in the U.S., including the NASS Metroplex, give amateurs a start in the sport.
 

"Beauty and the Beast 2000: Haugen's Hawaiian Humdinger" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 8, No. 2)
After four qualifying events, the lucky twelve, including international and American pros, advanced to the finals where Janne Virtanen won a close race.
 
"Strong-Mania" (Vol. 8, No. 3)
Strongman contests all over the U.S. included America's Strongest Man with Brian Schoonveld as the winner.
 

"Another Hot One in Helsinki: IFSA 2001 Europe's Strongest Man Competition" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 9, No. 1)
Known for its very heavy strongman contests, Finland hosted an all-star cast of strongman, and when all was said and done, Svend Karlsen had won it by one-half point.

Strongman Contests (cont.)
 

"2001 Beauty and the Beast World Strongman Challenge: Americans Turn Up the Heat in Hawaii" by Wade Gillingham (Vol. 9, No. 2)
Thirty competitors, whittled down to twelve for the finals, battled not only for top places in the competition, but also for spots at the 2001 World's Strongest Man contest.
 
"United in Strength: USA vs The World Xtreme Strongmen Competition" by Wade Gillingham (Vol. 9, No. 3)
A stalwart group of strongmen assembled in St. Louis, Missouri only nine days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and proved that, in Svend Karlsen's words, “terrorism has no right!”
 
“2005 MET-Rx Muscle Beach Grand Prix: Four Go forward to WSM” by Colin Bryce (Vol. 13, No. 2)
This qualifier gave the top four guys a ticket to 2005 World's Strongest Man: Mariusz Pudzianowski, Jesse Marunde, Janne Virtanen, and Dominic Filiou.

“2005 IFSA World Strongman Championships: Zydrunas Reigns Supreme” by Brad Gillingham (Vol. 13, No. 3)
The inaugural world championships in North America included a big international field of strongman veterans.

“2005 World's Strongest Man: Mariusz is King of the Hill” by Colin Bryce (Vol. 13, No. 3)
After the preliminary heats, the final field was narrowed to ten, and while Mariusz won for the third time, it was Jesse Marunde, in second, who wowed the crowds in China.
 
 “2006 Arnold Classic” by Colin Bryce (Vol. 14, No. 1)
The Arnold Strongman Classic is famous for its extremely heavy events and its large prize money purse, and this year was no different.
 
“2006 Mohegan Sun World's Strongest Man Super Series: Hugo's Big Bang” by Lene Alexandra Karlsen (Vol. 14, No. 2)
The starting list included four former World's Strongest Man winners—five if you include emcee Kaz—although several fell by the wayside with injuries. Who prevailed?
 
“2006 MET-Rx World's Strongest Man: The Last Half Point” by Colin Bryce (Vol. 14, No. 3)
With the final field chosen, the question was, could anyone beat Mariusz in the 2006 World's Strongest Man, or was it a fait accompli?
 
“2007 WSMSS Muscle Beach Grand Prix: Heavy Loads and Double Trouble” by Lene Alexandra Karlsen (Vol. 15, No. 2)
Lene Karlsen reports from Venice Beach, California, where David Ostlund beat four-time World's Strongest Man winner Mariusz Pudzianowski.
 
“Welcome to the Land of Viking Power!” by Lene Alexandra Karlsen (Vol. 15, No. 2)
Lene Karlsen with a back-stage look at 2001 World's Strongest Man Svend Karlsen's Viking Power Challenge, with a line-up of international strongman stars.
 
"World’s Strongest Man 2007" by Lene Alexandra Karlsen (Vol. 15, No. 4)
Mariusz shows everyone that he’s the World’s Strongest Man—for the fourth time! Lene Karlsen's insider’s look from Anaheim, California.
 
“2008 Mohegan Sun WSMSS Grand Prix: It All Came Down to the Stones” by Lene Alexandra Karlsen (Vol. 16, No. 1)
The first Super Series strongman contest of 2008 came down to the final event, where nobody managed to lift all five stones. Who won: Mariusz Pudzianowski or Derek Poundstone?
 
“Super Series Madison Square Garden Grand Prix” by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 16, No. 2)
Strongman comes to the Garden! A behind-the-scenes and on-the-floor photo essay of this WSM qualifying event.
 
“Fortissimus: A Mighty Challenge—A Magnificent Win” by Kristin Nelson (Vol. 16, No. 2)
Only the best of the best were invited to this grueling strongman competition in Quebec, Canada, to see who would be crowned as Louis Cyr’s heir. Read about the amazing finish between Derek Poundstone and Zydrunas Savickas at the last event—a truly unbelievable feat! 
 
"Mariusz Pudzianowski . . . WSM Quintuple" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 16, No. 4)
It had never been done, but then there's never been a strongman like Mariusz Pudzianowski before.  Could he win the World's Strongest Man contest for a fifth time? 
 
“2009 Giants Live–Mohegan Sun:  Derek Pounds Out a Big Win” by Colin Bryce (Vol. 17, No. 2)
Amazing photos by Randall Strossen and Colin Bryce's first-hand account of this WSM qualifying event.
 
“105-kg World Record Breakers:  The King Has Lost His Crown” by Jyrki Rantanen (Vol. 17, No. 3)
This 2-day strongman competition in Hamina, Finland ran concurrently with the Finnish Championships.  Finnish champ Janne Hartikainen started strong but Ukranian Sergey Konyushok gained the crown.
 
“Canada World Strength Presents Fortissimus 2009:  Building on the Tradition of Louis Cyr” by William Crawford, M.D. (Vol. 17, No. 3)
To uphold the reputation of Cyr, Fortissimus is billed as heavier and more challenging than any other strongman contest held in the world.  Read about the rematch for this title of the strongest man on the planet, between Zydrunas Savickas and Derek Poundstone.
 
 "Strongman Debuts in Paris" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 18, No. 1)
The 2010 Salon Body Fitness Expo in Paris featured the Strongman Champions League/Eric Favre Strongman Records competition, combining the French National Strongman Championships with a world records assault by none other than Zydrunas Savickas, in a show that brought big-time strongman to Paris, France.
 
"2011 Giants Live–London Qualifying Tour: Shaw Secures Spot at WSM" by Elizabeth Hammond (Vol. 19, No. 1)
While the fate of strongman Brian Shaw was never in doubt, follow the play-by-play for the second and third place finishers, who also earned their spots at World's Strongest Man.
 
"Old-Time Strongman Makes a Comeback" by Thom Van Vleck (Vol. 19, No. 1)
In this first-ever USAWA old-time strongman contest, the most weight wins, not time or distance, opening up a new addition to the strength world for every aspiring strongman and strongwoman.
 
"45 Hours in Finland" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D.(Vol. 19, No. 2)
Jyrki Rantanen plays host to Randall Strossen for the Strongman Champions League-Finland competition at IdeaPark.
 
"2011 World's Strongest Man: The Might of Reality TV" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 19, No. 4)
Brian Shaw and Zydrunas Savickas battle it out for the 2011 World's Strongest Man, the world's premier strongman competition.
 

"2012 Iceman III: Zydrunas Makes It Three" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 20, No. 1)
Zydrunas Savickas clashes with strongmen Laurence Shahlaei and Janusz Kaluga in Finland, as he attempts to win his third straight strongman title, and in the process sets a new world record in the Viking Press with 165 kg x 12 reps.

 

 

Strongmen of today

 

"So You Wanna Be a Strongman?" by Dennis Rogers (Vol. 1, No. 1)
Three different kinds of strongmen—Carl Braun, heavy events; Dave Patton, arm wrestler; and Slim “The Hammer Man” Farman, king of leverage―are profiled.
 

Manfred Hoeberl, strongman star, describes his approach to strongman training and competition.
 
"Magnus Ver Magnusson: World's Strongest Man―Again" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 3, No. 1)
Magnus Ver Magnusson, more than any other in the past decade, has captured the imaginations of strongman fans; read about how he got started, his training, and his lifts.

"Pulcinella: Philadelphia Strongman" by Dr. Ken E. Leistner (Vol. 3, No. 1)
Philadelphia strongman Steve Pulcinella is introduced and his background and training program, and goals are presented.
 
"Gary Taylor: Power Portfolio" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 3, No. 2)
Accomplished, all-around strongman and 1993 World's Strongest Man Gary Taylor is profiled, including his background in bodybuilding and Olympic-style weightlifting, and his training, nutrition, and goals.
 
"Gary Taylor―No Prisoner of Gravity" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 3, No. 3)
You'll enjoy this unique opportunity to watch 1993 World's Strongest Man Gary Taylor train.
 
"Wayne Price: One Giant Gentleman" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 4, No. 1)
Meet gentleman and strongman Wayne Price of South Africa, famous for his leopard print kilt, and find out about his background, diet, training, and thoughts on strongman.
 
"Jamie Reeves: Back on the Circuit" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 4, No. 2)
Jamie Reeves, who beat Jon Pall Sigmarrson and Bill Kazmaier to take first at the 1989 World's Strongest Man contest, talks about his training and his comeback.
 
"Phil Martin: The Top American Strongman Joins the Captains of Crush" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 5, No. 1)
Meet top American strongman Phil Martin, who started in the Highland Games and went all the way to World's Strongest Man, joining the Captains of Crush as well.
 
"He's Back: Manfred Hoeberl Returns to Competition" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 5, No. 1)
After a devastating car accident, strongman Manfred Hoeberl talks about why he's attempting a comeback. 
 
"Riku Kiri: Finnish Phenomenon" By Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 5, No. 2)
Finnish strongman powerhouse Riku Kiri is introduced and we learn about his diet, training, and thoughts about strongman.
 
"Gary Taylor: Get Up and Get On" by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. (Vol. 5, No. 2)
After being flattened by a 450-kg tire, Gary Taylor gives his perspective on his knee injury and its treatment and set-backs in general. 

 


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