Great Lakes Strongest Man LW Open Recap

Just got back from GLSM, my 4th competition. I competed in the 181lb class which had a nice showing with 12 of us. Went into this comp with 3 consecutive last place finishes from Aug '18 - Aug '19. Anyway, on to the events.

Log Clean and Press Away - 205lbs

Little disappointed with this one. I managed 2 reps which was good enough to tie for 5th with 2 others. Thought I’d manage somewhere between 3-5 reps but pressing without a ceiling was unexpectedly challenging. Ended up being pretty wobbly and I think that’s because I didn’t have a reference point for how far back I was (or wasn’t) leaning. Will have to train in the parking lot for the next outdoor comp.

On the bright side, my first comp had a 200lb log in a medley that I zeroed. Only weighed in 1lb heavier today than I did back then and even though I underperformed it was a good step in the right direction.

Farmers Hold - 250lbs

Pretty satisfied with how this one went, 52.9 seconds was good for 6th place. Was worried I wouldn’t even be able to pick it because the handles were a lot lower than what I was training with. Just to be safe I gripped near the back of the handles and seesawed them up. Biggest goal was that the handles would slip out rather than me putting them down. Spent most of my time training with 195lbs and would hit 245lbs every 2-3 weeks. Farmers are one of those lifts where I actually see a big jump in strength from higher volume submax training.

Wagon Wheel Axle Deadlift - 550lbs

Touch and go with a down command. I zeroed this along with half the field which I expected. 4 people got 13 or more reps. Seemed like if you could crack it off the ground the bounce would guarantee quite a few more reps. Deadlift has been a weak point that needs to be addressed, especially when it comes to strength off the floor. Have a couple competitive guys in heavier weight classes at my gym and one of them offered to help me out with my deadlift so I’ll for sure be taking advantage of that.

Sandbag to Shoulder - 200lbs

Managed 4 reps to get a 5 way tie for 6th place. Pretty happy with this one as I didn’t have a sandbag to train with. Closest I came was stone over bar which I cut out from training something like a month ago to give my low back a break.

During warm ups I got stuck on my chest twice. Then came back a few minutes later to accidently throw it over my shoulder and tweak my low back from hyperextending. Somehow it came together when I got on the platform though. Think a 5th rep was there if I took an extra 5 seconds for one more breath before my final attempt.

Power Stairs - 350lbs

This one was humbling. No split times so if you didn’t get all 4 stairs it was a zero. Myself and 4 others zeroed, I only managed one stair. Was easy enough to pick it up but getting it high enough to the step was a struggle. Actually, the first 1 felt pretty easy but couldn’t even get close to the 2nd one.

Overall I took 8th place which I’m very happy with because my biggest goal was to end my streak of last place finishes. I think competing more would be helpful because I seem to make silly mistakes then panic and rush. Would be beneficial to get 2-3 cues in my head and really focus on those as well for each event.

Took 3 years to stop taking last, maybe in another 5-10 years I’ll earn that qualifying spot for nationals.


Awesome job, dude. You’re a strong mf’er, takes guts to keep competing after a few tough finishes. Looking forward to your next comp.

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Good showing dude.

I admire people like you. Despite your streak of last place finishes, you refused to give up and kept trying and pushing.

Strongman (or anything else) is easy when you’re good at it and do well all the time, but you refused to quit, and I really respect that. You’ll get better with time and experience. Keep up the good work

Thanks y’all. One thing I didn’t mention is that I didn’t just take last place overall in my first comp, I took last place in every single event too. Pretty easy to improve from there and finally bumped up enough for the overall placing to reflect that.

I see a lot of easy room for improvement from cuing to just simply putting on a little more size.

Likely won’t compete again until this same comp next year but we’ll see if something pops up in the spring.


This made me smile dude. That’s a level of humour that’s hard to achieve.

Can I ask a question?
How do the weight categories work where ever you are?
In the uk under 105kg weights are often as heavy as intermediates. So there is no easy route to under 105kg strong man. I’ve never checked under 90kg. But is it the same?

This comp was a USS (United States Strongman) comp so the weight classes are a little different.

At 82.5kg/181lb we were using the same weights as the 100kg/220lb novice class.

There is a 165lb class (although I’ve never seen that option offered) but I think it would be the same weights as 181lbs, similar to what you’re saying with 105kg and intermediates.

I’m a little under sized which I think is more of the issue than the weights being heavy in this class. Overheard one of my competitors talking about his weight before doing a water cut and he was walking around over 10kg heavier than me a week before the comp.