Strongman is still growing in North Carolina. Gyms dedicated solely to strongman are few and far between, but things are starting to change. Lynn Morehouse, long time strongman competitor, founder of Train Strongman, and North Carolina State Chair for North American Strongman is at the forefront of that movement.

Having competed at a high level for quite some time, Lynn has been a coach and mentor to many people in North Carolina looking to get into the sport. He has put on some of the best competitions in the United States, and continues to strive to set the bar for other promoters to follow when it comes to taking care of the athletes, while also making it entertaining for the spectator. His attention to detail in events keeps things running smoothly, and his appreciation for the athletes shines through in how he takes care of the competitors.

RECENT: Finding Strength: Cold Front CrossFit

When Lynn and other strongman competitors in the North Carolina area— such as pro strongman James Deffinbaugh, Lynn’s wife Jamie, female competitor Laura Sprague, and others—aren’t putting on some of the best events in the country, they are trying to grow their sport in the local area by welcoming new athletes who are eager to learn. Lynn has been able to work with Morrisville Crossfit to give people interested in strongman a place to train on some of the best equipment out there. However, time and space is limited there, so he has also opened up his home and weekends to bring in athletes to train in the large, two story garage he has built in his backyard, just for strongman.

I was able to make it down for North Carolina’s Strongest Man and Woman and see firsthand how well run these contests are. The competition was the first Platinum Plus competition in North Carolina, which means that it’s heavy, and the winners get either invites to the Amateur World Championships at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH, or they join the ranks of the professionals. This particular event was an invite to the Arnold Classic. Since the return for victory is high, that means the competition is harder, and heavier, than most other contests out there. These contests bring competitors out of the woodwork for their shot at greatness.

There are competitors like couple Erika and Michael Schultze, husband and wife duo, who both came out and took first place overall in their respective weight classes. This earned them both a trip the Arnold Classic and earned Erika a trip to The World’s Strongest Woman competition.

This was a big competition for women looking to get into strongman. Along with Erika, every female who won the overall in their weight class got an invite to The World’s Strongest Woman. Competitors like the dominant Danielle Curry, who attempted a 265-pound log clean and press for a world record, and new athletes like Marisa Hicks, who is a former two time national champion soccer player.

Every man and woman that set out to compete on that day was there to win, but from novice to some of the top athletes in the country, everyone was there to support each other. The spirit of strongman that got me hooked almost a decade ago was alive and well all day, as athletes cheered each other on, coaching one another during lifts, and making sure everyone had what they needed. It’s competitions like this that reassure me that what I’ve intended to do with my Finding Strength project is well worth the time and effort, and I thank everyone involved for solidifying that!

Finding Strength: The Origin Story