It Should Be Heavy
Article By Gina Cravedi
The word “strongman” by definition is someone who “performs remarkable feats of strength.” This is concept of remarkable strength was what drew me to this sport five years ago. In August 2010, I was a spectator at Massachusetts State Championships where I watched Gina Melnik backwards drag a Harley Davidson. Gina pulled and pulled, and fell, got back up, pulled and fell. Watching her move this beast of a machine was remarkable. Not everyone in the contest could do it. And that was ok.
This event was a challenge for many, and too heavy for some. When I entered the sport, this was the norm. I was told that in a contest it should not be surprising to see many people not complete events because they were such a challenge. They were supposed to be “remarkable feats of strength.”
I took on this challenge at my first competition in December of that year. Out of the five events, I zeroed four of them. And that was ok. No one laughed at me. No one told me I wasn’t good enough. Everyone cheered me on and encouraged me the entire way through. I was there, striving to be remarkable and achieve something I’ve never done before. That’s what mattered.
Me; pre-keg carry fail in December 2010
In recent years however, I’ve seen many contests where the weights aren’t a challenge for anyone. I’ve attended contests where I watch women get 30 reps on an overhead press and 40 reps on a deadlift because it’s too far too light for them. To me, the sport of strongman represented athletes pushing their strength to the limit to get single digit reps with remarkable weight. Not get a remarkably good cardio session in.
Strongman should be heavy. It’s ok to struggle. It’s even ok to zero.
Challenge yourself to do contests that might seem out of reach. Challenge yourself to achieve something you’ve never done before. Challenge yourself to be remarkable.
Gina’s competitive strongman career began in 2010, and instantly fell in love with the sport and the strongman community. In 2014, she placed fifth at Nationals in the <120lb lightweight class. Gina is also the co-founder of New England Women of Strength (N.E.W.S.), a community organization created in 2012 to share knowledge and build a pathway for women into the sport of strongman. She looks forward to returning to Nationals in 2015 and continuing to introduce women to strongman.