Dan and Matt R. : WALES STRONGEST MAN (NOVICE COMP.)
There are usually 3 categories in a Strongman competition:
- Under 105kg
So first let me explain the Novice category. This is basically for people who have just started in the Strongman game, enjoy the training and just want to give it a go.
The under 105kg class is generally for more experienced strongmen who weigh, somewhat unsurprisingly, under 105kgs. These guys are seriously strong and can get up to lifting around similar weights to the Open competitors.
The Open category is usually made up of Strongmen who have been competing for years; there is no restriction on body weight within this class, so you get some absolute monsters in this category.
As far as our previous experience goes I did novice comp about a year ago and I finished a solid10th out of 17.
Matt has had no strongman experience whatsoever. He has had a short and disastrous career in Crossfit – having failed miserably to qualify for this year’s Crossfit Open Games.
We both mess around in the gym with some strongman style events now and then, other than that we usually make sure we are training the big lifts every week. Matt put more of a Crossfit style spin on his training as he still labours under the misguided belief that he will be competing in next year’s Crossfit Games (He has already bought his plane ticket to the States for this, Forever the optimist!!)
As for me if I’m not having a rest week, or month, or moaning about an injury, or rehabbing an injury then I may decide to train. Maybe.
Ok, so back to it…..given that Matt and I found out about the comp only a week before the actual event preparation was non-existent. After signing up on the Wednesday the only thing left to do was to rest until competition day on Sunday.
I have no problems with having more rest.
On to the events.
180kg Axle Deadlift
All of the events were head to head meaning that 2 people go at the same time.
I was drawn in the 3rd pair and Matt the 4th. The goal for me was to get more than 11, as it was what I had in my first comp. Naturally the goal for Matt “cocks out” Richardson was to get 1 more than me.
The outcome:Me 15 reps and Matt with 12 reps.
250kg Yoke (20m)
All I have to say about this event is that we were both shit. Matt set off pretty solidly, dropping the yoke once and put it down just short of the finish line, which meant he had to pick it up again just to move forward a matter of inches. This cost him a lot of time.
I like to think of my self as a rapid mover of heavy objects, so in my head I was literally going to sprint the 20m with no problems at all. Unfortunately what actually happened was after setting off like a bull out of a gate I hit a speed wobble that made me look as if I had been drinking for 24 hours and was somehow still standing. This was only going to end with me dropping it – which I did. I managed to quickly pick it back up and finish. Not catastrophic but not ideal.
80kg Log Clean and Press
In theory this should have been a good event for both of us, as it’s not a massive weight. However, being strongman you can’t always guarantee what the equipment will be like. This particular log was massive – about the same thickness as a beer barrel, which made more than a bit awkward to press. After watching Matt struggle with it and failing to get a single rep (he did manage to lock one out but only after resting it on top of his head. The judges disallowed it. Matt cried. I laughed.), I wasn’t feeling that confident myself.
The outcome: Me 4 reps Matt 0 reps
100kg each hand Farmers walk (20m)
Farmers walk being my favourite event, I was looking forward to this one. The distance being fairly short and the weight not massively heavy there were some very fast times being made. I’m not exactly sure what position we both finished in after this event. However, the important thing to note is that, yet again, I crushed Richardson.
Medley – 100kg brick, 75kg keg, 75kg Water Tank (20m each object)
To be done in any order.
Onto the final event and the one that you could argue favoured Matt. With Matt being the fitter athlete this event was more suited to him than the previous 4. In my mind the medley wasn’t going to take long enough to let fitness become a factor. Matt was up first and set off at a good speed which he maintained throughout, beating his head to head opponent with ease. My run also felt fast and beating my head to head opponent too I was confident that I may have beaten Matt’s time.
The result …. And a clean sweep it was, with Matt being gutted to hear that I had beaten him by split seconds he argued that if there were lasers to accurately record the time it would have been him as the victor.
Dan 5 finish at 5th place out of 12
Matt 0 finish at 11th place out of 12
Dan Bishop and Matt Richardson 5th and 11thStrongest Men in Wales ………. At Novice level………..on that day in Carmarthen!! (means nothing but it was fun J)
And onto the next one…. England’s Most Powerful Man (Novice)
On the 9th June Matt Richardson, Matt Strong and myself will be competing in this event.
Some different events and a hell of a longer way to travel but this time more time to train for it so fingers crossed.
Watch this space.