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Dave’s Gym at the UK:Strength & Power Series

On the 16th of July a whole troupe of Dave’s Gym regulars travelled the length and breadth of Cardiff to attend the UK:Strength & Power Series regional qualifier. The UK:SPS is a regular series of competitions testing your strength, endurance, fitness, and overall ability to move different shaped pieces of metal around (something of a speciality of ours here at Dave’s Gym!). So full of piss and vinegar (and caffeine) we weighed in and had at it.

The competition was split into various weight classes: two for the ladies (Light/Heavy) and three for the blokes (Light/Middle/Heavy). Dave’s Gym had at least one entry in all weight classes except the heavyweight women so we had the potential to come away with an absolute truckload of medals!

Up untill this point the SPS organisers had released the details for only two out of the four events so nobody really knew exactly what to expect. The first event was the circus dumbell floor to overhead. The time limit was 75 seconds and the goal was to get the thick handled dumbell off the floor to an overhead position in one hand as many times as possible!

After the circus dumbell the first secret event was announced as the conan’s wheel. The idea of this event is to hold a bar in the crook of your elbows and walk for as many revolutions as possible before dropping! This is a tough event for everybody just because of the sheer pressure of the weight on your forearms and chest.

After a break for lunch we got right back to it with the single arm barbell deadlift. After our trip to the bodypower expo we were confident that we could pull some good lifts out of the bag and we definitely delivered – Matt Richardson setting a UK:SPS competition record. The rules were simple: deadlift a bar to a stable lockout with one hand. Easy?

After the deadlift the final secret event was revealed: a medley! For those who don’t know (and maybe i’m being biased here because my own medley took an ice age) medley’s have been scientifically proven to be the most horrific events ever. Fact. This particular medley consisted of a duck walk, a sled drag, a tire flip, and a barrel carry all over 20 metres each in the fastest time possible.

Thankfully for me, we don’t have any videos of this event but suffice to say the scores were so close going into the last event that it had the power to make or break your overall standing. Since there were no videos of this one, here’s a truckload of photos!

Once everybody was suitably destroyed there was a quick break and a BBQ before the overall presentation. Out of Dave’s Gym (and going through to the SPS final in October) Ruth, Will, and Matt R won their respective categories so huge congratulations to them! Everybody, regardless of position, put a monumental effort into each event and more importantly Dave’s Gym showed it was a force to be reckoned with!

“Had a marvellous day, was my first ever comp so didn’t really know what to expect but got into it pretty quickly and had a good, day albeit long day (with exception to the medley which was just soul destroying). Massive turn out from daves Gym both with competitors and supporters which was great to see. Amazing performances across the board….Bring on the finals!!!!”

“Great day and a good chance to try some strongman type events which Id never done before. Favorite event was the conan wheel and worst was the single arm DB clean and press (more like a crossfit Kettlebell swing rather than a press). Gutted to be away for the finals but im sure Matt and Ruth will dominate their weight categories! Highlights of the day included the oscar worthy final medleys by Gaz and Ruth.”

Matt R
“Was really looking forward to the competition as we’re all on similar levels but its hard to gauge how strong/fit we are in comparison to other gyms. Was really happy to find out that as a gym we dominated over most of the weight categories proving that having the knowledge of how to train properly coupled with a training mentality unrivaled by most other gyms makes us pretty unstoppable. Bring on the finals!!”

“Was a bit more confident going into this competition compared to the last one, and main goals were to smash deadlifts and improve on my lacklustre performance on the conan’s wheel last time – both of which i think i achieved! Little disappointed with my overall placing, it was that horrific medley that let me down. Still, a great day and i couldn’t be more proud of what we accomplished as a group!”

“Was an awesome day and great to have so many people from Dave’s there. Was a great atmosphere between the Dave’s gym crew with healthy competition and good support during events. Overall i was pleased with my performance doing better than i thought i would have on most of the events.”

Matt S
“I certainly felt going into the competition that as a gym we needed to perform just to show people that we really do practice what we preach. It was something new for a lot of us and the bottom line is we smashed it! The competition had a great atmosphere to it which I personally really enjoyed. I was a little disappointed with my own perfromance but can definitely see that a little more specific event preparation would go a long way. Lastly a massive thank you to Steff and Emil without whom the day would have not run the way it did.”

So there you have it! A fantastic day all round. Just want to say thanks again to the organisers, officials, spectators, and the other competitors for making it what it was. Good luck to everybody in the final, it’s time to get back to training!


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