Wednesday, September 2, 2009

World's Strongest Man

Where did it all beganThe concept behind "The World's Strongest Men", as it was originally named, was developed in 1977 for CBS. In 1982, CBS sold the rights to the BBC, who in turn sold the rights to TWI. In recent years, the competition has been broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2 and Five.
Initially, eight men representing various sports and strength disciplines were invited to compete against each other in unique events designed to test each individual to the fullest extent. The earliest events were relatively crude, but new ideas were introduced over the years. Some events had a basis in both powerlifting and Highland Games heavy events, and others were created based on mythological feats of strength.
The 2006 competition ended in dramatic fashion, with Phil Pfister edging out Mariusz Pudzianowski in the final event, the Atlas stones. Pfister became the first American to win the event since 1982, and the only American to win the event outside the USA.
In 2008, local debutant Derek Poundstone had a large lead over Mariusz Pudzianowski after 3 events but Pudzianowski tied the deadlift event for first place and then won the crucial plane-pull to narrow the gap. Marius and Poundstone then battled for the title of World's Strongest Man in the last event, the Atlas Stones. Marius blistered through the event and was able to keep pace with the taller and heavier Derek Poundstone. On the final stone, Pudianowski was able to capitalise on Poundstone's drop and clinched his fifth title. This win ensured Mariusz holds the record

Mariusz Pudianowski

for number of titles with five.
The World's Strongest Man is a well recognised event in strength athletics. Organized by TWI, an IMG Media company, it is broadcast around the end of December each year. Competitors qualify based on top placings at the World's Strongest Man Super Series events or are invited based on a top placing in selected national or international competitions. Thirty contestants take part across five heats; the top two in each go through to the ten-man final.
Currently, the event sponsor is Met-rx, and the top prize is known as the RV Trophy. The event has a number of rival and parallel competitions with which it is often confused including the Strongman Super Series and the IFSA World Championship . However, these are separate competitions.
Commonly contested events. There are a number of events that make up each competition. The events used in each individual contest vary in order to prevent favoring certain types of competitor.
Loading Race - Five heavy objects weighing between 220-360 lbs are loaded onto a truck bed or a similar platform over a course of about 50 ft. McGlashen Stones / Atlas Stones - Five heavy round stones increasing in weight from 220-352 lbs are placed on top of high platforms. The course tends to be about 16-33 ft. long and has seen three variations- five stones placed directly in front of platforms, five stones placed away from platforms and competitors carrying them to platforms, and platforms arranged in a straight vertical line with a stone in front of each. In recent competitions this is typically the final event. Truck / Airplane Pull - Vehicles such as transport trucks, trams, boxcars, buses or planes are pulled across a 100 ft. course by hand as fast as possible. Also, the vehicles may be pulled with a harness around the shoulders. The 2007 competition featured pulling a fire truck , and the 2008 qualifying rounds featured a coal truck . Overhead Press - The heaviest possible load is pressed overhead, or a lighter weight is used for repetitions.Fingal Fingers - A series of progressively heavier, hinged poles are lifted starting from a horizontal resting position and flipped over to the other side. The event takes its name from Fingal, a mythological Gaelic hunter-warrior.Power Stairs - A series of three Duck Walk implements ranging from 400-600 lbs are lifted, step by step, to the top of a flight of stairs. Squat - Squatting large weights, like 900 lb of bricks, a car, or people on a platform. Recently, an apparatus has been used that drops weighted kegs into a cage, one at a time after each successful lift. The athlete will continue until completion, failure or time expires.Dead Lift - Lifting weights or vehicles up to about 1,100 lb straight off the ground until knees lock in a standing position. Lift is for either maximum weight or maximum repetitions with a fixed weight. In recent years, a similar keg-loaded apparatus to that described above for the squat has been used. Keg Toss - Competitors must throw ten 50 lb kegs over a 14'6" high steel wall. Car Carry - Standing inside a roof-less, bottom-less car supported by a harness, competitors must carry the car for the maximum distance or shortest time for 25 meters. Hercules Hold - The athlete stands between two hinged pillars, gripping handles that prevent the pillars from falling to the side. The pillars are held for the longest possible time. Carry and Drag - Two weights are carried to the end of a set distance. An anchor and chain must then be dragged back the same distance.Farmer's Walk - Competitors carry heavy objects weighing from 275-375 lbs in each hand for a set distance, and compete for the fastest time. A variation involves use of a heavy frame with parallel handles.Yoke Walk / Fridge Carry - A yoke, composed of a crossbar and two weighted uprights (normally fridges) weighing about 904 lbs is carried across the shoulders for a set distance.Husafell Stone - A flat, somewhat triangular rock weighing around 385 lbs is carried high on the chest for a set distance. During the three years in which the competition took place in Africa, this event was known as the Africa Stone. Duck Walk - A 400 lb pot with a handle is carried, suspended between the legs, over a set course. Log Throw / Caber Toss - A five meter long log is thrown for distance or for height over a bar. Tug of War - One on one tug of war in a single-elimination tournament. Pole Pushing - One on one pole pushing in a Sumo-style ring in a single-elimination tournament. The pole has handles at either end. Crucifix - Weights are held straight out at each side for as long a time as possible. A common variation entails weights being held out in front, using either one or both hands.

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