Since the dawn of modern man, feats of strength as well as strength competitions have been an element of society. Prevalent from the Biblical references of Samson and Goliath to greek tales of Hercules, early twentieth century circus strongmen, and finally the evolution of the modern strongman. Over the years, strongman competitions have become organized and slowly gained momentum as a mainstream sport. Humanity’s drive to compete and self improve has given man some of it’s greatest athletes and showcased feats of intelligence through various facets. Strongman is one of those facets that recognizes a particular composite of raw strength. Modern strongman competitions are comprised of strength athletes who compete in unique events to determine who is superior based on their cumulative performance through the specific criteria of each event. Strength athletics tests the athlete’s endurance, and power in various total body events that combine the rigors of rapid athletic exertion with the raw strength of power and weightlifting. The events that constitute these competitions are designed to each have a slight propensity to a specific bodily area of strength, yet all require total body synergistic strength to be completed. The events differentiate and rotate throughout the competition to showcase raw maximum power, extreme endurance and complete strength. Continue reading to see the top 5 reasons to watch modern strongman competitions…
1) Some of the Best Athletes in the World- Strongman competitions are the absolute pinnacle of raw human physical performance. From lifting refrigerators to carrying more than most people weigh in their hands for a distance, these are some of the most elite athletes in the world. Not only does a strongman have to be incredibly strong but they must be able to use this strength for extended periods of time, and many times while in motion under a time trial situation. Any weaknesses within an athlete’s overall implementation of their muscular strength will come through and result in a subpar finish. It is for this reason this sport is so amazing to view.
2) Incredibly Dynamic Events- Strongman events incorporate traditional events such as the deadlift and squat but implement as well unique elements such as slowly increasing the weight per repetition with weighted kegs. The majority of the events are more of the eccentric variety which makes this sport so distinctive to watch. Some examples of these events are lifting cars for distance, pulling airplanes and buses, holding pillars upright and walking with massive amounts of weight from pools of water, just to name a few. It is not necessarily about the sheer weight of the feats such as in powerlifting, but how an athlete can adapt their strength to an event for whatever is required of them. Each competition has its own distinctive medley of events that continually challenge the athlete in various ways. From Malta’s World’s Strongest Man to Scotland’s Highland games, each competition takes athletes to their limits with a broad repertoire of events.
3) International and National Competition- Strongmen events take the best of the best from within a region, country or the world and pit them against each other. Since there is such a wide variety of athletes involved, each brings their own specific blend of strength, body-type, background and culture to the table. This diversity provides for an additional dynamic fundamental ingredient to an already explosive competitive environment.
4) Individual Competitive Sport- Strongman is an atypical individual competitive sport for the reason that an athlete can defeat those within their heat but lose overall. This translates to the concept that a strength athlete cannot be come encompassed with the performance of their immediate competitors, simply must perform to the best of their abilities and thus essentially compete against themselves in the moment. This angle of competition means the best proficiency is exerted out of an athlete at all times, in every event.
5) Crossover with other Sports- The events that make up strongman competitions are all rooted in natural bodily movements yet with extreme factors involved. Many of the movements seen are rooted within traditional athletic training, and given the broad application of athletic training, those who have been involved within any other sport from bodybuilding to football can appreciate and comprehend the sheer power involved within this remarkable sport. Additionally, strongman training can benefit any athlete because of it’s broad development of total body strength that can be readily applied to other sports. Many athletes have been able to cross apply their athletic ability with strongman competitions, from bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger to American football players Bob Young and Bill Kazmaier.
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