When I first started strongman, the idea of strongman gyms was unfathomable. Contests were held in parking lots, driveways, garages, and sometimes even in a basement with makeshift equipment and nothing but a love for the sport. The growth of strongman over the past decade is almost hard to grasp for some of the people who have been in the sport since before 2010. That growth was very apparent at the United States Strongman Nationals held on June 11th, in Louisville, KY at the 4th Street Live complex downtown.

RECENT: Finding Strength: Refuge Barbell

With over 300 competitors in attendance, the energy at 4th Street Live was extremely intense. I am in awe at how many people were not only there to compete, but also to watch, and cheer on the competitors as they battled it out for a National Championship. Athletes were not only representing themselves, but also their gyms, many of which, have already been featured in Finding Strength.

I made it down to Louisville on Friday night so that I could be in attendance for all of the rules meeting, where an entire room of people from all over the country sat, ready to hear about the events that would occur the following day — many new, many seasoned veterans, but all there for a common goal. United States Strongman President Willie Wessels, Vice President John Albrecht, Athlete Advocate Mike Johnston, and Kentucky State Representative Robbie McCann went over in great detail how the events were going to be run, and what they expected from the athletes.

Early Saturday morning, athletes amassed on 4th Street Live, ready and eager to compete. The events that lay ahead of them would be:

  1. Deadlift for reps
  2. Log Clean and Press for Reps
  3. Fingal Fingers
  4. Conan's Wheel
  5. Atlas Stones Series

These classic strongman events not only challenged the competitors but they also gave the spectators a visual show that many strongmen competitions may lack. It was apparent that the crowd was into the events, because they filled up the atrium that the competition was in, cheering them on the entire day.

My goal since starting Finding Strength has been to be a catalyst in the growth of strongman, and every strength sport for that matter. This past weekend, watching men and women of all shapes, sizes, and ages put it all out on the line, in such large numbers, really solidified the purpose and intent of my mission. I am so glad to be a part of such an amazing sport and community. Thank you to all of the athletes, fans, and volunteers for proving to me that this was all worth it!

2016 United States Strongman Nationals — 3rd Place Finish

2016 United States Strongman Nationals — 2nd Place Finish