Tom Hibbert Runner up 90KG Worlds Strongest Man Contest WriteUp
By Tom Hibbert
The final competition of 2016 for me was undoubtedly the biggest. This is what I was ultimately working towards this year. Although I had a few setbacks with injuries I was in the best shape of the year and the strongest I’ve ever been on certain things.
I’ve never had to travel this far for a competition and adding in a 5 hour difference in time zones & a 24 hour weigh it was a good experience which I handled pretty well. Possibly ate too much during the day of travel but woke up with plenty of time to drop the last bit of water weight with around 2 hours to spare. A couple of guys resorted to sweating on a sunbed due to a tight weigh in for them!
Event 1: Max Deadlift
This was a hummer tyre set up with a slightly thicker bar which simply meant no whip in the pull. The format was last man standing and we were allowed to skip any weight. I pulled 600lb/272kg, 650lb/295kg, 675lb/307kg, & 700lb/318kg.
Although I felt good for more I stopped there. I felt a big compression in my spine at the bottom/lumbar region and enough pain to think that my competition was over. Luckily for me Todd McDougle saw this and popped me onto his chiropractic table for some adjustments. Pain was still there but he assured me I’d get through the competition.
Terry won this event and chatting to him the next day he said he would have been good for 780lbs/354kg which is monstrous!
Event 2: Loading Medley
I love a good loading medley! We had 2 x kegs & 2 x sandbags to be run around 10m and thrown over a yoke. I had to use a belt due to the injury, which I’m not used to but it didn’t affect things much. I took the win although I think I could have been quicker in between implements and also foot speed with them.
Event 3: Overhead Medley
Overhead events are usually very kind to me. This one was not! Keg went straight up then I missed the circus dumbbell. I think I had 3 goes at it. It was just one of those days. I had a slight thought of doubt before the event and I believe this mind set cost me. If I had got past the dumbbell I believe the axle and log would have gone up, but we’ll never know!
Rob Ward was the only guy to finish the event so congratulations to him on this.
Event 4: Yoke to Chain Drag
I put a lot of effort into training this as it was the heaviest yoke to date at 4 x bodyweight. I was placed against Joe Wills which is was good as I’d knew he’d be quick. I dropped the yoke once which cost me, but not as much as the penalty for sliding the yoke over the end line. I didn’t think I did but didn’t argue it.
Rob Ward again got the win here. He is by far the best Yoke runner at u90kg in the world and this confirmed that. Knowing the Joe finished 2nd in this event and me being only a split second behind him was encouraging for next year but meant I dropped 5 points for the slide.
Event 5: Power Stairs
I hadn’t trained this at all but it’s a fairly simply event technique-wise and we all had ample opportunity before the event started to practice. During practice I threw the first implement to the second step but was told this wouldn’t be allowed! I made 3 small errors during it but even without them Terry was very quick and deserved his event win here pushing me into 2nd place.
At the end of the Power Stairs I had to physically peal my own fingers back which worried me slightly heading into the last event…
Event 6: Atlas Stones
The final event and I was sitting in 2nd place, with 5 points separating me from 3rd. Although I knew I couldn’t catch Terry I wanted to put in a good showing. I didn’t quite load the first stone to my shoulder, due to severe cramping everywhere, which meant dropping and re-setting it. Second stone was loaded quickly enough but I had already wasted too much time and energy on the first stone to complete the third.
It was a truly gruelling competition and overall the stones were not a great spectacle for any of the competitors. Even though I’m taller I believe the platforms should follow the example of World’s Strongest Man and be one consistent height. Otherwise it’s like having a maximum effort on each stone instead of a gradual increase in difficulty/weight.
Overall: 2nd Place
Massive credit goes to Terry for the win and also to Aaron Molin & his team for a fantastically run show and their hospitality. I’d return to Core Fitness to compete again without hesitation.
If you had offered me 1st at England’s, 2nd at Britain’s & World’s at the beginning of the year I’d most likely have taken it. Now into the off-season and further improvements for 2017.
Tom Hibbert owns a private strength & conditioning facility in the UK (Winning Health Solutions) & a Strength Coach/Personal Trainer Education company (Winning Performance). He is also a 3 x national (England) Strongman Champion at u90kg and placed 2nd at World’s Strongest Man u90kg in 2016.
Not only has he proved himself in the sport, but that of his clients as well. He can take a strongman from novice to the international stage, like with Aaron Page. He has taken other seasoned strongmen from obscurity to the same level, like Lee Forbister. With this success he has started to be sought out by many other competitors, most recently with Slovenia’s Strongest Man & WSM competitor Matjaz Belsak. Contact Tom at http://www.winning-performance.uk for coaching inquiries
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