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Project Goliath does Cheshire.

This is from projectgoliath.com and is the same comp write up that i posted on there.
Wow. What an epic day out. Clocks went forward and that cheated us out of an hour of sleep and on top of that Cheshire is 4 hours away from Cardiff. Oh and we had a rock concert to go to in Birmingham as soon as the comp finished.

Yesterday was Cheshire’s Strongest Man, an Open strongman comp. All that means is that there are no weight classes (cos im fat).

The crew.
It was my first competition and as i was sponsored by Dave’s Gym, Dave himself joined me as well as (clockwise from far left –  that’s Dave) Bish, Rich, Gaz and Zucko (with me at the front). We had hats cos why not and they are viking and stuff and….yeah. I refrained from wearing mine until after the comp was over but the rest of the boys were on strict hat wearing rules and couldnt take them off.
This was my first strongman comp after i decided not to compete in the Welsh novice and i was honestly shitting myself but from the strongmen I’d met and trained with previously they were all absolute legends so i went with the intention of having a laugh and doing my best.
After getting up at 530am (so 430am if the clocks were normal) and leaving Cardiff at about 7, we arrived in Cheshire at 10am, well ahead of time. It was good cos we could sit down, chill out and get decent seats. Eventually after all the athletes arrived we signed a disclaimer and had a ‘briefing’ and the comp was underway. Running order for events was picked out of a hat and i was 5th out of 16. Good position in my opinion, i got to see how people were coping with the implements and got a number in my head but also didn’t have to wait too long to go.
First event: The Log Clean and Press
This was max number of reps on 120kg log in 60seconds. As this was the first event, nerves were getting the better of me and i managed 4 reps but missed 2 further reps because i didn’t lock out. My legs felt like jelly and i think i lost my technique a bit on the jerk as i fatigued. I can make excuses all day long (and i probably will) but at the end of the day i got knackered and couldnt do any more reps :).
“Dave, i’m gonna be sick.” “Go lie down over there with your legs up.”

This is the most fatiguing event for me and it was good that it was first as i was freshest but i honestly thought afterwards that i was gonna be sick.

Overall i came joint 2nd with 4 reps. At first place there were 2 people with 6 reps as well.

Total time competing so far: 1 minute. I worked for the whole minute.
Learning Points: Don’t get so nervous and get stronger triceps so i can lock out the bloody reps.

Second event: The Farmers Walk
This was 130kg in each arm over 20m. This was the only head to head event and it’s better that way as you have someone to ‘race’. About 5 metres in i caught a glimpse of the guy over my left shoulder so put on the gas and managed to accelerate. The start was slow and something to work on but i picked up pace. Point to note is that we were on a slight incline (ever so slight but then again carrying 260kg anything counts).

Got a time of 10.6 seconds. At this point i was second in the event by 0.1 of a second but 3 other people beat me, two with around 9 seconds and one with a blistering pace of 7 seconds. 5th overall in that event.

Total time competing so far: 1 minute plus 10 seconds for the farmers walk. 70 seconds so far.
Learning Points: Start quicker and don’t be afraid to accelerate.
Third event: Yoke walk
360kg yoke walk over 20m. Again a slight incline which proved to be a killer for many people. Times on this event i think were slower then training all round maybe due to the yoke, maybe due to the incline but it was the same yoke for everyone…

I finished in 26seconds. This put me in 2nd place for the event. I believe i was the only guy to finish it without dropping. The guy who came first dropped it just before the end but again because he was so fast he made the time up and finished it in 19 seconds. Quite a few people didn’t finish the course and the incline was an absolute killer and is just tribute to the difficulty of the event.

The order changed for this event as the yoke height had to be changed for each person. Cos i’m tall i was near the end so i got to see everyone else doing it first. This was an advantage in this event as i think it was unexpectedly difficult.

Total time competing so far: Add 26 seconds for the yoke so thats 96 seconds in total!
Learning Points: I was pretty happy with this considering i normally hate the yoke. I need to work on my speed from the start but after seeing that everyone was having difficulty with it, i was just aiming to complete it without dropping it.
Fourth event: Deadlift
The dreaded deadlift. This was 280kg for reps with an axle. Wraps were allowed. It was just a few inches higher then a gym deadlift. I am not a great deadlifter so i wasn’t looking forward to this. It was supposed to be 260kg for reps but they upped it just before the comp. I was seriously worried about getting it off the ground for even a single as although my 1RM is 300kg i’ve only ever done this once and that was 4 months ago! As it turns out i got two reps which i was massively pleased with and was more then i could have even imagined. However one guy got 10, another got 8 and as well as quite a few more people beating me, 3 other people got 2 reps so i was low low low on the table. I believe before this event i was placed 2nd overall in the comp. Oh well 🙂
Total time competing so far: I worked for the whole minute so 96 seconds and another 60 is 156 seconds or 2 minutes 36seconds.
Learning Points: Erm, learn to deadlift. Deadlift more. Stop squatting and deadlift. Deadlift. Learn. How. To. Deadlift.
Saying that, my technique for my 2 reps was quite nice :), my back seemed nice and neutral (it feels post-apocalyptic today tho!).
Final Event: The Medley
At this point i didn’t really want to look at the score as i knew i had been doing well until the deadlift and as the medley was a decent event for me i figured i may even do well overall if i could perform here. The medley was 3 flips of a 450kg tyre. 2x100kg sandbags run 15m to a yoke and thrown over. Then a 120kg stone run 15m and thrown over a yoke. The first tyre flip was off a 10kg plate and then the other two were off the floor and the grip was horrendous. I came 4th in this event i think, i can’t really remeber but only one person completed the course and they went on to win the show.

My flipping went well and grip didn’t turn out to be a problem. I attribute my technique 100% to this guy Tom Mutaffis who is a strongman in America. I saw this video when i was just starting out and after seeing people have difficulty with the tyre flip on the day i thought of this and it turned out ok.

The sacks weren’t too bad, i fumbled a bit on the first one but they were both alrite…. then the stone. Oh the stone. In short i should have shouldered it. I lifted it quite comfortably. The problem was it was too comfortable. So instead of attempting to put it on my shoulder i lifted it to my chest and tried to walk. The crowd started cheering but i knew i wouldn’t make it the full 15m and i fell over. I should have shouldered it but i’ve never shouldered a stone before and my inexperience shot me a bit there.

Just a point on watching the video. After the 2 sacks as i turned to run at the stone i’m moving at a pitifully slow pace. The sacks were hard and i was in no rush to tackle the stone. It was heavier, more awkward and i was more knackered. That’s my excuse and thats why i look so pathetic.

I came 4th over all on the medley as i mentioned above. One person completed the course and 2 people were slightly quicker to the 2nd sack then i was.

On a downer, the guy who was leading the whole comp tore his bicep on the tyre flip and had to pull out. It was a really unfortunate occurrence and i hope he recovers quickly.

Total time competing so far: 90 seconds plus 2 minutes 36 is just over 4 minutes. My total time competing was 4 minutes. How am i in so much pain!!!! 
Learning Points: Shoulder the stone. 
5th overall!! There are mistakes i made where i got unlucky but there were also times when i got lucky so overall i think im even! Massively pleased with that placing and definitely lots of potential for improvement in the future. I really enjoyed the competition, the atmosphere and meeting all the other guys and a big thanks to the “swedish crew” who came up with me.
Thoughts: need to do guns if just for the photo ops…
Now that that was done, to birmingham and manowar. I’m not gonna go into detail. My mind was blown. My face was melted. My lower back was trashed. And i was spontaneously cramping up everywhere. Best day ever. Fact.
Goliath Ale. Yeaaaaaah.
The full ‘ikea’ crew outside the venue later that day. We ran out of ink so couldn’t finish writing manowar on the flag.

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