Europa Strongman Battle of Champions Write-Up
My strength levels going into this contest are the best that they have been, though unfortunately my event work has been lacking and so I was not sure how things would go or if I would be able to be in contention.
Thursday afternoon I flew up to Hartford for weigh-in's. My weight was close so I did not eat much throughout the day, ended up coming in at 229 lbs with shorts and a t-shirt on. After that I went out for a big dinner with a few of the other competitors.
When we arrived at the venue for the first day of competition everyone started warming up and we soon realized that the equipment was non-standard. The log was built to different specifications than what most people train with and seemed awkward in the clean position. There was also an event change and the car deadlift was moved to day two and the husafeldt stone carry was on day one now.
Log Clean & Press
The log weight ended up being 280 lbs. My plan was to clean and push press each rep, but I had trouble getting comfortable with the log. The press was not bad but I never felt right in the clean position so I could not get a good rhythm going. A couple of competitors did the viper pres which bypassed the shoulders, had I known that the log would be like this I would have trained that method as well. Ended up with (6) reps which was good for 3rd place.
The stone was 307 lbs and we had to pick it from the floor then carry for max distance. I have not touched one of these stones in about three years and really was not sure what to expect. Managed to go just under 220 feet but unfortunately a couple of other competitors went just a few feet farther which pushed me down in the standings, took 7th place on this event and was in 4th overall after day one.
Dumbbell Clean & Press
These dumbbells were huge 150 lbs circus dumbbells and I really have not trained much with a dumbbell so I was not too confident coming in. Worked up to 135 in practice and did that fairly easily so I figured that I could post a few reps. Ended up hitting 5 reps in 30 seconds but had all sorts of trouble after that. Had a 6th rep at lockout but did not hold it for long enough, this was good for 5th place but unfortunately I knew that there was not much that I could do to win the contest from here.
The car was 500-550 in hand from 15", and we had to pause each rep on the floor then wait for an "up" command. This is usually a good event for me which is why I was hoping that it would be on day one so that I could carry a lead into day two and know what I would have to do on each event. Decided not to use a suit and ended up pulling 22 reps with the 23rd right at lockout as the whistle blew. 1st Place.
Yoke / Frame Medley:
The distance for each implement was dropped to 50' which was good and bad for me since I was feeling pretty good about the yoke but knew that I would have trouble with the frame. I finished the 880 lbs yoke without a drop (PR) and then ran over to the frame. The pick was easy and I went about 30 feet then had a put down. I picked up the frame again and ended up dropping again about three feet from the finish line. We were only allowed two drops so I had to take the measurement which gave me 6th or 7th place.
The first two boxes were over 60" then they dropped down to 54" and 46" for the last two, and we had to run about 10 feet between boxes. The stone weights were lowered to 240, 285, 310, 330, and 405. I have not really touched a stone since the AZ Invitational two months ago but usually do well with stones. I loaded the first four stones without much trouble in 25 seconds, but the tacky was not grabbing and I kept slipping on the 405. This was good for 2nd Place.
Ended up finishing in 3rd Overall against the best competitors in the country. I am a little bit disappointed because I feel that I could have done better but this was my first Platinum Plus or National contest since 2008. I am really looking forward to going to the North American Strongman National Championships in November.
I will try to post up a couple of videos later this week.