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I'm Back! My Competitive Return to Strongman

When the world shut down for covid, I stopped lifting weights. I thought, this will be good for me. I’ll take a month or two off from the gym, let some injuries heal, and when things are better, I’ll get back at it. I ate well for awhile, kept my bodyweight up, stayed active. Eventually bought some of my own equipment. I was fine.

But a week turned into a month, into 2 months, into 6… And a year later, I found myself at the lightest bodyweight I’ve been in nearly a decade, weak as shit, and feeling horrible about myself. I lost my confidence, and I had lost my drive to do this stuff. 3 months ago, I couldn’t have definitively told you that I’d ever lift again, much less compete. That’s how bad it got for me.

Well, I got the vaccine about 6 weeks ago(not a topic I’m up for discussing), and showed up to a strongman Sunday at the gym I train at. It was tough. I was out of shape, I couldn’t press 200 lbs over my head, I don’t believe I could have deadlifted 500. For reference, I’ve pressed just under 300 and deadlifted over 600 in the past. I hated it.

But I also loved it, and I realized how much of a void there had been in my life without the gym. So, I started training hard immediately, and trying to push my bodyweight up.

3 weeks later, I decided to sign up for a show that was happening 3 weeks after that. Because I’m insane. That show was Saturday. I WON my weight class, and I won the best deadlift across classes based on wilks, for a 100 dollar cash prize. More on the deadlift below.

My first big deadlift attempt in training had been 515, which I hit about 5 weeks ago. It was absolutely a max. A couple weeks later, I failed 545. Eventually, I hit that weight for a double, I think 2 weeks after that, and failed 585. On Saturday, I hit 475, 505, 535, 555, 575 and 585, and definitely had more in me. But 585 locked up the win for me on the event.

The next event was an axle clean and press at 195 for reps, clean every rep. I went last so I knew 6 reps would win. I absolutely smoked it. 6 reps in 30 seconds, power cleaned and nearly strict pressed every rep. Walked off the platform with 30 seconds to spare. I was on fire, easily had 10+ in me.

The next event was the yoke carry. I crossed the start line for my single point, and walked off. I hate yoke, and I knew if I won the last event, the way the standings were, I’d win overall. So I said screw it, I’m gonna just win the last one.

Last event was a Hercules hold. The weight was goddamn heavy. Again, I went last. 46 seconds was the time to beat, which was really excellent. The judge kept me aware of the time to beat, so I let it go 2 seconds after. WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER.

So during the awards, I remembered they were doing a prize for best wilks on deadlift across classes, and I knew 585 at 175 bw. was pretty damn good. But one of the heavyweight men got 905, and I didn’t know his bodyweight, so I wasn’t sure how that would shake out with the formula. Turns out, mine was best.

I fucking needed this. I’m excited about lifting, and life again. I felt my swag come back to me yesterday. I felt like I came back from the dead, and I felt like I was right where I belong again. I’m not as big or as strong as I was, but I will get back there, and beyond that level. I’m ready for PRs again!



Amazing progress, glad to hear you got your fire back.

That is a bastard of a handle on the Hercules hold… Also, that’s an interesting rig. I probably would be moving out of the way of that frame that is overhead and attached to the weights as soon as I let go of the handles haha

Great post Flip and great to see you back lifting and enjoying it. Just reading this fired me up, now I cant wait to train tonight. Quality

Congratulations, @flipcollar! Do keep us updated

Great result. I know I’ve said it before but I’m glad to see you back on the forums. And I’m even happier to see you lifting and kicking ass!

Hell yeah man, excellent job.

I’m feeling good just reading about it! Welcome back to your life!

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Awesome work Flip! I’m happy for you.

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@flipcollar Congrats on the win. Please tell me your height and weight in your avi. Thank you.

Well the height is easy, haha. I’m 5’11.

Weight was probably around 195. I’ve weighed anywhere from about 190 to 205 and looked about like that.

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thank you.

Hope you don’t mind me continuing the conversation about my como over here.

Unfortunately for me, a large part of my training is going to be managing issues. Right now my knee isn’t letting me do leg press, but the trap bar deads and front squats don’t hurt so that’s what I’m going with. Although I think my strength on it isn’t going to be an issue. Though the weight is tbd, how heavy do you think I need to go on trap bar? I’d heard it’s normally about 500.

I completely missed this post when you wrote it a month ago.

I don’t remember specifically what we were talking about, but I’m assuming car deadlift based on context.

500 can be good, depending on how many reps you’re getting out of it, and if the handles are elevated. If the handles are above standard bar height, I’d do some heavier work, if possible. Car weights vary tremendously.