MY STRONGMAN JOURNEY
Lets start with where I am now, I am a 57 year old personal trainer still in pretty good shape for any age and excellent shape for someone my age, I still have a 260kg deadlift and can OHP (overhead press) 80kg….I’m also light weight for a strongman sitting at just under 105kg.
So back to the beginning. I have always had an interest in weight lifting and building a strong physique (right back when I was 10 or 11. I was lucky enough at school to get involved in some Olympic (weight) lifting at about 14 years old and at 15/16 started weight training at a local gym (harrow leisure centre) this led to my continued training on and off for the next 20 years or so.
In 1999 I decided to re evaluate my work life and after some long discussions with my wife, we agreed that I should study and become a personal trainer, In 2002 we decided to move abroad “to the sun” and ended up in Portugal…..Even then I was interested in old time strongman and tried many of the lifts from the early 1900s.
Whilst in Portugal we had a little wind fall and I opened my first gym…..with a “functional training style” you know the sort of thing, its become more and more popular now with sleds and rigs as well as proper heavy ass Lifts like the squat and deadlift as well as kettlebells, Indian clubs, prowlers etc.
On one of my trips back to the UK I ended up in Scotland and was introduced to “The Dinnie stones” “Manhood stones” and “Strongman” through “Big AL Christie” and had the please of playing with Als kit and some dinnie trainers……. This led to me deciding to go back to Scotland and lift the Dinnie stones (Something I managed to do on 10/10/2010) as part of the training I started implementing some of the strongman techniques Tyre flips, farmers walks, etc……. Fast forward a couple of years and our return to the UK in 2010.
In 2010, after our return from Portugal I decided to open another gym and found the perfect space, an old warehouse in Watford…. this became the birth of my strongman career. With loads of strongman kit being made for me, donated to me and bits we had from Portugal I Started coaching the guys at the gym to compete, without competing myself…. eventually I was egged into competing and did my first Novice comp down in Littlehampton…. that was it the bug was well and truly bitten.
That year I went on to compete 5 times even getting my wife involved in lifting. At many of these comps we got to meet and form friendships with many of the great UK lifters…. also, in that year we decided to host our first strongman comp “Watfords strongest man”. We went on to host 5 more comps ending in “Hertfordshires strongest man” 4 years on the trot
All the time competing myself and moving from novices through Inters and an Open comp before competing in the master’s comps, coming 3rd at Yorkshire masters and 1st at Boltons strongest masters
Along the way I have Torn both my biceps, my lat and tricep, my Quad and my hamstring twice, I have dropped atlas stones on both my feet too……. Do I regret it not one bit, would I recommend it Hell Yeah, the camaraderie and the friends made is fantastic?
At 57 this year I have slowed down a bit and really only do 1 competition per year and plan on competing into my 60s, it keeps me fit and a little insane…….
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