The New Gym Equipment

I was in the new B Fit today, ( Balleys) new spinoff. It is all new with the latest equipment. I will give it an A+ for cleanliness. But the isolation machines are made to hold up a cement truck. Well I should say the movable benches could!! as well. Not to mention they are way too high to be a safe product to get a firm footing for any pressing moves. I do not know why these are made now in this fashion. I was dumb bell pressing and it was very awkward due to the fact I could not place my feet flat on the floor, I am average 5′ 11″. This is dangerous and could result in injury,,back to the weight of the benches they are very heavy, to a point that I do believe some people could not lift one end to roll it to where they need. So WAY over kill on bench make-weight. Cable cross over stanchion was nice the choice of weight to use is by flipping a switch which was hard to decipher which weight you have.  A lot of the handles on the isolation machines were big enough for Andre the giant to wrap his fingers around ,,I could see this a problem for folks with smaller hands. OK  the power rack,,,AHHHH the new power racks! well I can say one thing, They are being built-in a fashion to distract serious lifting,,of course my favorite DEAD LIFTS ( I do All mine in a power rack ) They are now building these with the bottom support cross members high enough that the bar bell hits it before any plate bottom does.. This really is bad and takes away from a good power rack,,where it is a STAPLE in building!!.  So what do they have to supplement this?? An Olympic station which has the fat Olympic rubber plates. So only good for Olympic style lifters. Olympic plates are 45 lbs but about 3 inches wide so you can only get about 3 on each end of a bar bell.  Dumb Bells only to 80 lbs.

B Fit is pretty nice and you can get a good enough workout there. But be aware of these new style machines, you will know my frustrations as well.  Call me old school , because I am. I think the older machines particularly the Hammer Strength are tops.


Lunk Alarm Unjust?

I think all of us that like fitness know where we would like to be in accomplishing our goals.  I most certainly would not join Planet fitness because of the fact that it does not have the equipment that I or other powerlifter/bodybuilders seek.  And of course the members of Planet fitness desire not to be at a hardcore gym and are happy to be in the Planet Fitness environment.   Hence if I did go on a day pass to Planet Fitness in a town where it was the only one available, I know I would not portray the LUNK as they say and harass the customers. And I am sure 99.9% of us would not be characterized as such in their commercial.  I personally have not encountered these individuals.  I find Planet Fitness’s commercial somewhat offensive and highly misleading about the powerlifing and bodybuilding community.

I wanted to get this out and see if any of you see it the same way?

Human Growth Hormone KEY Ingrediants


I have been making my own HGH (human growth hormone) by buying the KEY ingredients of GABA (Gamma-aminoburtyric-acid) 750MG a day mixed with Alpa GPC 600 MG a day. I am stronger and active in my opinion since starting this. Don’t buy into spending allot of money on the supplements that DO say HGH on them. Just look at the KEY ingredients and buy them seperatly it is so much cheaper and you can test yourself on the amount that works for you.  I have been cycling with DHEA 100 days on 30 off.  The supplement world is so huge now that the flashy label sell more than it helps you. So if you are going to supplement and need to “stack” something I recommend going on EBay  (you get EBay bucks too) or Puritans Pride, LuckyVitimins or whomever you do business with and buy to your knowledge of the KEY ingredients to set up your stack. This takes some time and research by way of looking at many labels of many different supplements. When you go into a supplement store you notice separate supplements and you also see the “special” ones for certain goals. Do some research sometimes it is way cheaper to buy the Key ingredients. The HGH advertized ones have your Key ingredients and other “crap” that you do not need.  Also those supplements may not have the amount your looking for. But sometimes they are on a real good sale. So again do some studying and blend the KEY ingredients to your needs.

Have a good Holiday season

Pec tear update

One of the best gifts I received from my wife was an hour massage from a therapist in town that is recommended.  I have been four times now and this person has done more for helping to restore and heal my torn pec than anyplace else. She can move muscle back into place as she found on out in my upper bicep area that I was unaware of. Since it is back in place my bicep is more proportionate and I have gained strength there as well. I wish that I would have been to this treatment earlier in my injury, but happy to have some needed recovery that is noticeable.  I am able to do dips comfortably< I have not tried weighted ones yet.  Wide grip pull ups are sometimes uncomfortable still.  I would recommend to those who have had a pec tear or other muscle tear to see a massage therapist after you see your sports doctor.   Earlier I went to a chiropractor for Active Release Treatment. (ART). I thought it promising to some degree but the massage therapist is showing results to my severe tear.


I decided to take a week off lifting upper body. I have stepped up cardio workouts. I did do squats yesterday, following with leg presses and FST 7 on the leg extensions to finish off a quality workout.


Power rack squats

1X 315 12 reps warm up

1X 510  10 reps

1X 510  8 reps

1X 495  6 reps

1X 405  10 reps

Leg press

1X  1100 12 reps

1X 1200 10 reps

1X  1200 10 reps

Leg raises

1X 200 12 reps

1X 190  12 reps

1X  170 8 reps

1X  180 10reps

1X 170 10 reps

1X  190 8 reps

1X 180 10 reps

no more than 30 sec rest between leg raises.



Today I will be doing more cardio on the stair climber or step climber as I feel this is good equipment in a more vertical redundant to your body weight pacing your heart rate up in a good manner. Compared to the cross trainer or as some would call “elliptical” you are using more centrifugal  force forward and denying a good quality heart rate elevation.


Pec tear on 3-10-2011

Good luck in your workouts and keep the challenge up.

Why Deadlift?


What Is The Deadlift?


Simply put the deadlift is a weight training exercise where you lift a weight (barbell, trapbar, dumbell, stone, keg, sandbag, etc) off the ground starting in a bent-over position and ending in an upright position. It is one of the three basic powerlifting lifts, and is arguably the greatest muscle building and strength producing exercise you can do. It is personall y my favorite lift.


Muscle Worked

The Deadlift is considered a compound movement, meaning it involves movement at several joints thus working several muscle groups. The deadlift could be said to work the entire body (ever look at someone deadlifting, are there any muscles not flexing?), but it does give more stimulus to certain groups of muscles. The primary muscles worked in this lift are the hamstrings, gluteals, quadriceps, trapezius, and the psoas. All the other major muscles in your body are used in stabilization.

Benefits Of Deadlifting

  1. Efficiency, Maximum Muscle, Minimum Movement
  2. Arguably the greatest strength builder out there.
  3. Great exercise for injury prevention, strong backs and hamstrings provide protection against many injuries.
  4. Bragging rights. So few people actually deadlift anymore that you will quickly become stronger than most people you know.
  5. Builds confidence. It feels amazing to know you can lift a heavy weight of the  floor. Strange but true.
  6. Requires very little space.(Good if you workout in a small room or cluttered basement)
  7. Doesn’t require any fancy equipment.
  8. Strenght built from deadlifting translates to many other exercises.
  9. Greater Energy. I know this would seem to be a unlikely benefit from a strength movement, but a stronger body is a more energetic body.
  10. A great cardiovascular workout! What? It’s true. Doing deadlifts in a high repetition fashion is an amazing cardiovascular exercise. Don’t believe me? Try doing 3 set of 20 repetitions with a moderately heavy weight(moderately heavy for you). If you’re not huffing and puffing like you just ran 10 sprints I’ll eat my words.

Tips On Technique

When bending down to grasp the bar you should keep the following points in mind:

  • Look straight ahead or slighty up.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Squat down till your legs are slightly above parallel.
  • Will vary, but torso should be roughly 45 degrees to your thighs.
  • Feet shoulder width apart.
  • Arms slightly outside your knees.
  • Bar should be around 2″ (give or take according to your biomechanics) in front of your shins.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Bench Shirts


Found this artical and would like to share with you.

Written by Jeff Behar
 What Exactly is a “Bench Shirt” and How Does It Work?

A bench shirt is a stiff supportive shirt, used to improve performance in the bench press, most often in power lifting competitions to increase their 1 rep max. The bench shirt is basically artificial shoulders and pectoral (chest). The shirt resists the bench press movement (like compressing a powerful spring) thereby giving a boost off the chest.

History of the Bench Shirt

Originally the attire for powerlifting was similar to that for Olympic lifting. Lifters had the option of wearing a one-piece lifting suit, called a singlet, or a two piece one made up of a tee shirt or tank top and a pair of shorts. Knee and wrist wraps were allowed in the form of ace bandages. Additionally, a belt no wider than 4″ could be used. However, at the 1968 AAU Senior Nationals there was significant controversy over lifters wearing multiple layers of trunks and wraps to aid their lifts. Soon, special squatting and support shorts turned up that helped when lifting. In 1973, the National Weightlifting Committee banned these supportive suits and all other supportive lifting gear other than a belt. These rules continued until 1974 when the IPF came into existence.

Bench shirts were originally brought to the market as a protective device, much like a lifting belt, knee wraps, etc. The  “Bench Shirt” came into existence in 1983, when a college student and powerlifter named John Inzer started making shirts that supported benchers’ shoulders and deltoids. The original shirts were a tight polyester material that helped protect the shoulders and pectorals during heavy benching, such as during a competition. Word spread that the bench shirt not only prevented injuries but also actually helped bounce the weight off your chest.

Gear use is currently widespread in powerlifting with more federations offering equipped lifting than unequipped.

What Can A Shirt Add to Your Lift?

Bench shirts can add approximately 10%-15% for a low quality shirt or perhaps as much as 20%, 30%+ to your single paused legal bench press with a good Inzer, Karin or Titan shirt after you learn how to use your shirt. Learning how to use the shirt, choosing a shirt that fits correctly, and choosing a shirt that fits your lifting technique is the key to getting the most out of your shirt. Some lifters depending on the equipment rules have gotten even higher percentages (45%-50%) from a bench shirt. Failure to use the shirt correctly, choosing a shirt that does not fit your technique can sometimes result in hurting your 1 rep max and having a lift that is less than a “raw” or unassisted (no shirt) lift.

Superheavyweight Ryan Kennelly, benched 1070 pounds (476.3 kg) on 4/13/08 at the APA West Coast Iron Wars held in Kennewick, Washington using a bench shirt. It is said that his “raw” max is less than 700 pounds. 

The heaviest bench press without any equipment to assist is held by Scot Mendelson with a lift of 715 lbs (324.3 kg)

Rules Governing Bench Shirts

Different power lifting federations have different rules governing allowed equipment – for example:

·           The only supportive equipment allowed by the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation for bench press is a leather belt.

·           The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) stipulates that support shirts must be “of one ply stretch material”.

·           The American Powerlifting Federation (APF) is the most popular powerlifting Federation in the World doesn’t only allows single ply, and closed back shirts.

·           The United States Powerlifting Federation (USPF) only allows single ply, and closed back shirts.

·           The American Powerlifting Association (APA) only allows open back shirts, and 2 ply gear. However, the APA also keeps limitations on the gear like no canvas, no shirts pulled down past the shoulders, etc.

·           The USA Powerlifting (USAPL) allows single ply equipment.

·           The World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters (WABDL) allows single or double ply, poly or denim, but the neck must be closed.

·           The World Natural Powerlifting Federation (WNPF) allows single or double ply, poly or denim, open or closed back, but no canvas.

Prevalence of Use

While the use of bench shirts has always been hotly debated, it is a fact that the majority of lifters use them. In particular, the vast majority of elite and famous lifters use some form of bench shirt. For instance the current bench press record Ryan Kennelly (1070 pounds (476.3 kg) on 4/13/08), as well as legend Scot Mendelson (1008 lb (457.5 kg) 2/18/06) have made amazing poundage’s using the bench shirt.

Types of Bench Shirts

In the beginning, there was only one type of bench shirt available. Now, Bench press shirts come in a wide range of styles and fitting types. Bench shirts are usually made of polyester, denim, or canvas and come in single- or multi-ply thicknesses. The two most popular types are the polyester and the denim bench press shirt. Kennely has made some of his largest lifts using a Inzer double Rage-X, and or an Inzer double denim.

An important point to note, each shirt, as well as the brand changes the way in which weight is lifted. Therefore practicing in a shirt to identify which brand, type works best for your style of lifting is essential.

Single Ply vs. Multiple Ply

This is a simple concept that improved shirts by leaps and bounds. A single ply shirt is just that, one layer of poly or denim sewn into a shirt. A double has two layers in critical areas; a triple ply has three layers of material in critical areas. The thicker the shirt, the more resistance is given, and the more additional power the bencher has available. Most polyester shirts these days are double ply, and double ply is essentially a standard in denim shirts and canvas shirts, as the extra layer prevents ripping of the material under extreme loads.

Polyester (Poly) Shirts

·           One of the first designs on the market.

·           Polyester bench press shirts are by far the most popular type of shirt being used by benchers and world record holders today.

·           Polyester bench press shirts are tight fitting shirts made with 1 or 2 layers of polyester.

·           There are three main types of polyester bench press shirts today. They are:

o   Shirts using the same (or similar) type of fabric throughout the whole shirt. These types of shirts are extremely tight and hard to get on. It usually requires 3 people to get one on.

o   Shirts which has the back split open (either permanently, or the backs may fasten up with Velcro). This type of shirt gives the lifter a bit more flexibility when they’re not lifting.

o   Shirts with a thin, “stretchy” material on the back (said to be created to get around “no open back” rules by some of the federations, such as the USAPL and APF.

·           The shirt is made in such a way, that the fabric of the shirt needs to be stretched when the bencher is holding the bar and moving it downwards. When the bencher pushes the bar back up, the fabric is relaxed.

·           In general, the sleeves of the shirt are angled in such a way as to require stretching the fabric to move the arms toward the chest when holding the bar, such that the stretch of the shirt adds to the force a lifter’s muscles can provide.

·           The additional benching power of the poly shirt comes from the stretching of the shirt material and the compression of the lifter’s body.

·           This power can make it difficult to make the bar touch the chest. For advanced lifters, thicker shirts built from multiple layers of material can make touching the bar even more difficult. The multiple layers do add additional resistance, and therefore power to the shirt.

·           Several manufacturers make poly shirts in many different designs. Some shirts are made entirely of the same material throughout, others have a different material for the back of the shirt, and still other have the back of the shirt split open and fastened with Velcro, or even left completely open.

Wearing the Poly Shirt

·           Poly shirts must fit the wearer very tight and can be extremely uncomfortable.

·           If a poly shirt doesn’t hurt, it is much too loose.

·           Poly shirts are known to chaff, cut and bruise the underarms severely.

·           Therefore many beginners might opt to try a looser fitting shirt, like denim, first.

·           They can be very difficult to get on.

·           Shirts made entirely from one type of material with a fully closed back are especially difficult, and may require several helpers to place the shirt on the lifter.

·           Shirts with Velcro backs, stretchy back material, and completely open backs have become much more common simply because they are easier to get on the lifter.

·           All poly shirts must be pulled up the lifter’s arms as far as possible first.

·           It is always important to make certain the shirt is straight. If the sleeve is twisted, it can very negatively affect a lift (seams t can be used as an indicator of straightness and positioning of the shirt).

·           Once the shirt is in position on the arms, the shirt must be pulled over the head (or pulled around the shoulders for an open back model), and  pulled down the torso, with all of the wrinkles worked out of the fabric. If the shirt is a Velcro design, the Velcro should now be fastened.

·           Once this is done the seams around the deltoid and under the armpit should be checked to ensure that they are still straight.  If not they should again be readjusted.

·           If the shirt is tight fitting like it is designed to be worn it can take as much as 15-25 minutes to get the shirt ready for the lifter.

Using the Poly Shirt

Like with any shirt type, each type and brand of poly shirt has its own unique characteristics. Some like the Titan Fury, or the open back version of Inzer’s Phenom, seem to work best in a low groove where the bar touches below the pecs (chest).  People that  bench high on the chest, seem to favor shirts like the Inzer Blast Shirts. It is important to recognize that not only do shirts fit differently for different people, but each individual shirt has its own unique groove, which must be learned in order to achieve maximum performance. For example, the Inzer EHPHD Blast Shirt tends to drive the bar path over the lifter’s face. The lifter has to compensate for this by purposely forcing the bar path lower.

Denim Shirts

·           A denim bench press shirt is similar in shape to a polyester shirt, and works in the same principal.

·           The denim must be stretched in order for the weight to be brought down to the chest.

·           Denim shirts provide more support than poly shirts because denim is less flexible than polyester.

·           Denim shirts are considered to be the top of the line.

·           The denim shirt creates its power by twisting and straining the fabric, and by compressing the lifter’s body.

·           Denim shirts do not work for everyone because the material and the way it is put the benchers body is under an enormous amount of pressure.

·           The shirts are also not the choice for many because for the denim bench press shirt to work effectively, the bencher must use perfect technique. If the technique is not 100% correct, the increase will be negligible (the bencher may even bomb on a weight that they could lift raw).

·           They can be purchased with single to triple reinforcement, with Velcro, etc.  Prices typically range from $40 for single ply to $200 for triple reinforcement.

Wearing a Denim Shirt

·           Because denim is less flexible than polyester, a denim bench press shirt does not have to be worn as tight as a polyester shirt.

·           Most denim shirts have at least a mostly split back, making them significantly easier to put on.

·           Completely open back denim shirts are easy to wear. Just slip up the arms, and tug into place.

Using the Denim Shirt

·           Because of the tightness of the fabric, the denim shirt can support much more weight than a comparable poly shirt. The stress placed on a lifter’s body by a denim shirt can be severe. In many cases, a lifter will not be able to even touch the bar to his or her chest with weight he or she could bench without the shirt.

·           In general, denim shirts perform best when used in a low groove.

·           Open back denim shirts work best when the bar is actually touched on the lifter’s stomach.

·           A denim shirt does require a great deal of very refined technique to use properly; therefore it takes a lot of practice and should not be used by beginners in powerlifting meets without sufficient prior experience using the shirt.

·           Because precise technique is of paramount importance, even skilled lifters can miss lifts that they have hit before because of technique. Technique is paramount.

Canvas Shirts

·           There are also shirts made of canvas.

·           Canvas bench shirts work on basically the same principle as denim shirts.

·           They are said to be even more supportive than denim.

·           They can be purchased with single to triple reinforcement, with Velcro, etc.  Prices typically range from $40 for single ply to $200 for triple reinforcement.

Availability and Cost

Today’s shirts are highly evolved, purpose built garments designed with the intent of lifting more weight.

There are now several companies selling bench shirts, offering varying levels of shirts, in various materials, various plys, ranging in price from less than $40 to well over $200.

Do You Want A Big Bench Press?

Then you’re probably determined to get one. It’s that same determination that will be your struggle. The more you want it, the harder you want to work and the longer you want to stay in the gym. This is going to lead to overtraining which will stunt any strength gains you’ve made and delay any dreams of an even bigger bench.

How do you know if you’re at risk of overtraining? If you feel run down after a workout, notice that you aren’t making any gains, you always do forced reps, you’re not getting enough rest, your diet stinks, you have a bad attitude or you aren’t motivated you’re probably overtraining. Insomnia is another big sign. Put it this way, if a weight continually feels heavier than normal, chances are you haven’t gotten weaker, you just haven’t recovered from previous workouts.

There are three distinct stages of metabolism. The first is a state of equilibrium easily described as the fully recovered state where energy is neither being depleted and tissue is not being damaged or repaired. The second stage is catabolism. Catabolism is the stage you are in during a workout. Energy is being depleted and muscle tissue is being damaged. Your goals should be to keep catabolism in the gym, but many people that overtrain keep this stage going long after their workouts end and lose hard-earned muscle tissue to help the recovery.

Finally the stage that usually doesn’t get much of a chance to kick in before we’re back in the gym for another session. The third stage is anabolism where energy is restored and tissue damage is being repaired. So after you lift you want to heal and reach a state of homeostasis,but instead many of us are back in the gym tearing our muscles and using energy when we haven’t even let the muscle fully recover from the previous workout. Never lift a muscle group that is still sore. I know it’s difficult but sometimes more isn’t better.

There is always the urge to overtrain thinking that if we just work harder the gains will come. How do we resist the urge? First off lets think, quality not quantity. If you lift each muscle group only once a week and spend less than 1 hr in the gym you’re on the right path. Although you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the gym the time spent must be intense.

Every single exercise and rep should be performed with a passion and you will accomplish more in 45 minutes than most people do in two hours. If you are truly pushing yourself you should be exhausted at the end of the workout. After tearing your body apart, do you think it’s going to be ready to do it again in two to three days? I think not, try at least a week.

So all you benchers out there if you’re lifting heavy, workout after workout make sure that the reason you hit a plateau is not that you are trying too often. Let your body recover, heal, and grow before you start ripping it up again. When you hit each body part several times a week you don’t really try as hard because you know you’ll get another shot at it in a week. When you only lift each body part once per week you develop a sense of urgency.

You know you better lift hard because you won’t get another chance to train it again for a week. Then as the week passes by you find yourself looking forward to your next chest day. Anyone that thinks they might be overtraining take a couple of days off and go back to the gym revived and motivated with the determination to train smarter and harder.

Mike Westerdal is the President of Critical Bench, Inc. He earned his BS from Central CT State University and holds certification as a personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise. Westerdal also has experience coaching and playing professional football. His articles are published throughout the Web and in numerous weight lifting magazines including Monster Muscle. His best RAW bench press is currently 450 lbs. He is the author of the Critical Bench Program which can be found at

The Belt Squat

Belt squats are important in many ways for a powerlifter. This equipment assists powerlifter especially ones with back injury or pain but still able to train in a manner to continue to build strength.  The belt squat unloads the pressure on the spine which is important for many reasons.  It allows faster recovery due to unloading of on the spine. It allow es lifters who cannot hold a bar on their back due to injury or discomfort. The belt pulls downward providing a traction like effect on the spine. This device is a safe and secure approach for heavy squats without a spotter and you can train to failure without the risk of injury.  The belt squat feels stable and gives a sense of confidence in raising your lifting goals.  The best usage of this equipment is to box squat on it, in other words placing a box in a size that allows for you to “sit” on it with the position at a 90 degree angle. Any lower would increase difficulty in recovering back to the standing position.  You want a level of difficulty to allow a good muscle workout but not a difficulty to increase the risk of injury.  Belt squat machines are not commonly found in the gym.  You would find them in powerlifting gyms or gyms geared specifically for the athlete (powerlifter).  You can also build one yourself to get your job done and save money. the link included will take you to one person who did this. .  Or for a very rudimentary style check out the homade deck at the bottom of the previous link. Very simple yet a little less stable due to the straps connected directly to the plates good work for balance as well.

 Other uses of the belt squat deck are, Cable dead lifts, Handle squats, cable high pulls, seated low rows. and other rowing movements.  You could discover your own different exercises on this deck.

That’s all for now. So try and find one of these or purchase on if you can or build it!.

 On a side note I am returning to the Doctor to continue my ART muscle tissue treatments for my torn pectoral muscle.  I am confident it is helping in the healing process and it has been 6 months now.  My pressing strength has increased on the machines but I am still lacking in dumbbell presses and barbell presses.  It is very frustrating but I am making a goal to get back to close to 100%.


Good night’s sleep for powerlifters

Alright, so it is important to not forget you’re a powerlifter even when you step out of your gym environment.  You know the things that go into your daily routine as an athlete you breath feel and smell powerlifting,,So let’s make sure you are able to “dream about it” too.  After a training set in the heavy section of the muscle department you are probably at bedtime ready for a good night sleep.  I sleep on a firm mattress I am a side sleeper and as the case keeping your spine in its natural state through out the night is very important to spinal health and minimising injury during lifts.  In addition to my mattress I have a 3 inch memory foam that is really good at keeping your natural spinal form. I have not slept on a “tempurpedic” and they are quite expensive too. I have layed on one in a store and they feel allot like my memory foam maybe a little firmer. But the memory foam is 40 to 80 dollars verses $1700.00 for a tempurpedic.  I also use a memory foam or firm pillow allowing the neck vertebra to stay in sync with the spine.  I took the foam off and switched beds putting on a thick down pad with a smaller pad on that making my bed very soft.  I slept well with this and it felt comfortable but I started having lower back pain.  So I switched the pads out and back to the memory foam and after a few nights it went away.  I am not saying you should change out your bed because my type of bedding may not work for you.  I fly for a living so I have slept in many many hotels across our nation.  Some of their beds really are bad.  And the pillows worse.  I have mixed feelings about the “sleep number” bed.  I slept on them at the Radisson they seem to be ok.  So you know when you go compete and your staying at a hotel you probably notice back pain the next day or two.  Unrelated to the back pain after those squats and dead lifts.  Or maybe you could not tell between the pain if any.  So some people take their pillow with them on an overnight why not roll up some memory foam and take it too?.  Seeing a chiropractor to make sure all is straight my be in the cards for you as well.  Make up your nest for the night before the competition and dream heavy!

The History of The World’s Strongest Man

 Created in 1977, the World’s Strongest Man has become the premier event in strength athletics. For over 30 years, the strongest men on the planet have come together in a series of unique and amazing tests of strength to determine the World’s Strongest Man. The competition has travelled to stunning and varied locations such as Zambia, Iceland, Mauritius, Malaysia, Morocco, China and the USA.

 Legendary figures in the sport have cemented their legacies at the World’s Strongest Man. Bill Kazmaier, Jon Pall Sigmarsson, Magnus ver Magnusson and Mariusz Pudzianowski captured multiple titles and each can claim to be the sports greatest champion.

 At Universal Studios, California, Bruce Wilhelm became the first person to earn the title of the World’s Strongest Man. Wilhelm, a former Olympic Weightlifter from the United States, repeated as winner in 1978. American domination of the event continued with Don Reinhoudt winning in the following year and the emergence of Bill Kazmaier as one of the greatest talents in the history of the sport. Kazmaier, a former world power lifting champion, overwhelmed his competition while winning the championship over three consecutive years, from 1980 through 1982

Geoff Capes, of England, became the first non-American to be crowned as the World’s Strongest Man in 1983 and the former Olympic shot-putter would later add a second title in 1985. Iceland’s Jon-Pall Sigmarsson, combined his ‘Viking Power’ and an unbelievable personality, to carry him to 4 championships between 1984 and 1990. Magnus ver Magnusson, was the dominant force in strength athletics in the 1990’s. Considered by many to be the first modern strength athlete, ver Magnusson matched the four titles of his Icelandic countryman, Sigmarsson, including wins over three consecutive years from 1994 to 1996.

 Scandinavian supremacy continued in the late 1990’s and into the next century Finland’s Jouko Ahola won pair of championships in 1997 and 1999, while Magnus Samuelsson of Sweden, Finland’s Janne Virtanen, and Norway’s Svend Karlsen each won a title of their own.

 Today, the balance of power has clearly shifted to Eastern Europe, Mariusz Pudzianowski of Poland was victorious in 2002 and 2003 before being dethroned by the Ukraine’s Vasyl Virastyuk in 2004. But the Polish strongman returned to the top in 2005, becoming just the fourth man to win 3 or more championships. 2006 led to a nail biting finish between Phil Pfister of the USA and Pudzianowski, but Pfister managed to gain the top spot in the last heat of the last event. This was the first time an American had won the title since Kazmaier in 1982.

 This delayed Mariusz winning his 4th title and equalling the record set by ver Magnusson and Sigmarsson but it wouldn’t be long before he was back at the top and setting his own records.

After picking up his 4th title in 2007, he went from strength to strength and although being pushed to the last event by Derek Poundstone in 2008 Mariusz Pudzianowski became the first athlete to claim 5 titles, a record which will be hard to beat