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Dave’s Gym Return to BodyPower 2011!

Avid readers of the blog  might remember that in May 2010 the warriors of Dave’s Gym embarked on an epic pilgrimage to BodyPower Expo, of which tales are still told around campfires to this very day. You can read about that trip here! For those who don’t know, BodyPower is the UK’s best and biggest bodybuilding/powerlifting/strongman exhibition and people flock to Birmingham from all over Britain – and for good reason! Not only are there big events like seminars with experts in the iron game and official competitions, but there are literally hundreds of stalls showing off new equipment, supplements, and most of them are looked after on the day by top bodybuilders and strength athletes.

So without let or hindrance we set off at the ungodly hour of half six for Birmingham in Dave’s minibus and before you could say “holy crap that guy is huge!!” we were in the thick of it. Walking around the NEC you literally end up rubbing shoulders with some of the greats. Massive shoulders, at that.

Big Ron Coleman! Light Weight!

Brian Shaw towering over us mere mortals

Dennis Wolf’s guns weigh more than an average man.

Hanging out with the legendary Dorian Yates!

Gunter Schlierkamp was nice enough to share his secret to big guns – Hammer Curl, EZ Curl, STRICT CURL!!

Rich Gaspari of Gaspari supplements.

Mark Felix, strongman god!

Australian bodybuilder Lee Priest

Jay Cutler himself!

Sparring masterclass with Ricky Hatton

Grip strength master Steve Gardener, Gaz is clearly in Valhalla

Pro-Bodybuilder Toney Freeman

The unfathomably gigantic Zack Khan

One of the main reasons we were going to the expo was to support friend and resident strongman Emil in the BodyPower Open Strongman competition. He’s written a full write-up over on Project Goliath so pop on over and have a look! Emil put in an amazing effort and fought his way up the ranks to place 5th out of nearly 30 competitors!

Dominating the 110kg Log Clean + Press

250kg Deadlift

Holding up a car weighing over 300kg!

The big man himself, with an even bigger man – WSM competitor Brian Shaw

In between events the rest of us took to the floor in search of fun and we never had far to look! Almost immediately a few of us were getting stuck into a pullup challenge – compete against a friend to see how many pullups you can get in 20seconds. The Gym put in a good showing, invariably getting 15+ within the time limit!

Clugston Vs Clugston!!

Matt and Gaz battle it out.

With the adrenaline flowing we took on almost every challenge we came across to show BodyPower what Dave’s gym are made of! We all put in a great showing and one of the best things about the day was the friendly competitiveness between all the random people getting in there and having a go!

Clugston managed a huge 55 reps with his bodyweight in the Hex Bar Deadlift challenge

Gaz getting a masterclass on the rolling thunder deadlift with Steve Gardener. Still in Valhalla.

Dan showing awesome poise on the gymnastic rings

One of the highlights of the day was the impromtu single arm deadlift competition held at the York Barbell stand. By the time we got there the weight was already up to 100kg and the rules stated you had to deadlift the bar from floor to lockout with only one hand grasping the bar. With the non-Dave’s Gym lifters already struggling we stepped up!

Gaz getting a comfortable 100kg and posing for the camera!
Clugston psyching himself up!

The banter started almost immediately between the four Dave’s Gymmers taking on the challenge – Gaz, Clugston, Matt Richardson, and Matt Strong. With friendly insults and encouragement almost together in the same sentence the weight quickely climbed in 5-10kg jumps untill we were the only lifters left in the competition. With 140kg on the bar, Clugston sadly had to drop out – later redeeming his good name by lifting 220kg for multiple reps in a two handed deadlift face-off! With three left in the weight continued to climb to a huge 160kg, much to the awe of the 100-strong crowd who cheered on our persistent cries for more and more weight.

Matt smashing 160kg, securing a double bodyweight deadlift with one arm!

Finally, we topped out at 170kg (which is just as well, as york were running out of plates). Gaz couldn’t break the bar off the floor and called it a day with an extra 50kg on his previous record. Matt R got the bar to his knees before his grip failed taking the number two spot behind Matt Strong who was a gnats testicle away from getting the full lock!

The Champ!

All in all the expo was a fantastic day out and non-stop fun, and for less than twenty quid it was an absolute bargain. If you’ve never been we all thoroughly recommend going for it next year – you won’t be disappointed!

Untill next year, BodyPower!!

-Dave’s Gym

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