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Born Strong Film Review

By Kalle Beck 

SHOP Cerberus Strength

The Born Strong Documentary focuses on four Strongmen as they get ready and compete in the 2016 Arnold Strongman Classic.

The four Strongmen covered are Eddie Hall of England, Brian Shaw of The United States, Hafthor Bjornsson of Iceland, and Zydrunas Savickas of Lithuania; with interviews and insight from Mark Henry, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Todd as well as several others interjected throughout.

The majority of the first part of the film focuses on Eddie Hall, and if you are a fan of the documentary Eddie Strongman, you will enjoy this. The passion and drive Hall shows for his quest to be the strongest man in the world, along with the risks he is willing to take, are riveting and undeniable. They then go on to discuss how fast Hall has packed on weight, the necessity of having some fat to be the strongest man in the world, as well as the how to minimize the health risks associated with being 400+ pounds.

Next, Born Strong goes to Iceland to put the spotlight on Hafthor Bjornsson. They chronicle about how Strongman is born into the culture of Iceland, and how so many great Strongmen come from such a small island. Additionally, Jon Pall Sigmarsson is discussed during interviews with  Stefan Solvi Petursson.

The segment focuses on Hafthor’s taste for fancy suits and expensive clothes,  as well as  some insight into his auditioning process for Game Of Thrones, and filming the famous scene of “The Mountain vs The Viper”.

Brian Shaw is the next athlete covered, focusing on his upbringing in a small town in Colorado, how big he is, his commendable work ethic in the sport.

Zydrunas Savickas discusses what life was like growing up in Lithuania while still under Soviet control, his desire for freedom for his country, and compared it to being raised in a prison. They expand on Savickas’s life outside of Strongman, including his political career.  Zydrunas explains the difficulty of and uniqueness of competing in Strongman for 20 years.

The film then travels to Columbus, Ohio for the Arnold Classic with Mark Henry covering the magnitude and prestige of the event. Focusing first on the deadlift with Brian Shaw going over 1,000lbs, then Eddie Hall getting the world record in the deadlift with 1,026lbs.  Moving through the rest of the events including the Austrian Oak, Cyr Dumbbell, Bale Tote, and Timber Carry.

I don’t want to spoil the film for you as the conclusion is quite riveting, but I will give my wrap up here.

If you are reading this there is a good chance you are a Strongman fanatic, and will really enjoy this film and it is a must watch. Beyond that,  it is simply a great documentary regardless of subject matter. Be Strong does a great job of giving back stories on the four athletes featured, and giving a glimpse into what Strongman is like at the highest level culminating in a great coverage of the Arnold Classic 2016. I almost wish I wasn’t there stage-side watching this, because even knowing the outcome I was on the edge of my seat. You could easily watch this documentary with your family and friends that have no to limited knowledge of the sport, and it would be enjoyable.
Enough of me talking, go out and rent or buy Be Strong and tell your friends about it. Films like this are how our sport continues to grow.

Thanks to Gary Cohen the director and everyone involved on putting a spotlight on my favorite sport.


Favorite Quotes


Hafthor “If eating shit would make me stronger I’d probably eat shit”


Eddie Calling Brian “How are you doing you fat piece of shit”


Z  “it’s one of the ways to get stronger, get more muscles”


Arnold to Hall “everytime I see you, you break a world record! How do you do it?”



International: Vimeo On demand 


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