By Greg James
If you have a large and heavy piano that you need moved out of the house and down the block, you might want to have the competitors of Utah’s Strongest Man on speed dial.
On Jan. 16-17, 24 competitors including an eight-man team from Texas assembled at CrossFit The Point, 14587 South 790 West, in Bluffdale. The athletes competed in a Texas vs. Utah showdown, a qualifier event for the United States Strongman Inc. National Championships.
“We are certainly trying to grow this sport. We have four or five competitions a year. We include a novice division, women’s division and open weight classes. The crux of this whole sport is that some pretty average people can have super human strength,” Utah Strongman State Representative Russ Anderson said.
The athletes were separated into eight weight classifications with the Utah team and Texas team competing head-to-head in seven different events. Utah lost 35-20 with one tie.
The Strong Man competition includes seven events: farmer’s carry (lifting barbells and carrying them 40 feet as fast as possible); dumb bell press (overhead lifts, counting the number of repetitions); giant tire flip (lifting a giant truck tire and flipping it over and over for 40 feet); frame carry (a large steel box weighing over 500 lbs. carried 40 feet); super yoke (a large, weighted frame, 700-1,000 lbs., carried on the shoulders); dead lift (weighted bars lifted from the ground to above the knees, counting the number of reps in a minute); and atlas stones (large stones lifted over a bar as many times as possible).
“I did power lifting in high school and college, for football. After that, I started looking for something else to compete in. I ran across this sport by luck at Max Muscle in Draper and have been hooked ever since. It is a big brotherhood. I love throwing heavy weight around and putting everyone in awe,” Shane Day, a competitor from Herriman, said.
Kyle Dudley, the owner of Max Muscle in Draper, lost in the master’s division for 40 and older competitors, 6-1. Dudley won the tire flip event.
Day won in the 220 lb. weight class 4-3.
Sean Loy, from Pleasant Grove, won the 198 lb. weight class, 6-1, while Anderson, from Mapleton, lost in the 242 lb. weight class 4-3.
“The strongman community is tight. In May, we are going to Texas to try to capture the showdown cup back. I am 56 years old and out here competing against some of these young kids. I have been doing this since 2013, and I love it,” Dudley said.
The United States Strongman National Championships are scheduled for June 27 in Indianapolis, Ind.