By Paul Mouser
The 105kg men’s and 82kg women’s divisions are among the most populated and competitive in the sport of strongman. From the local level to major championships, the “middleweight” categories in strongman sport draw scores of incredible athletes, and the best amongst them rival the heavyweights in pure strength while retaining the athleticism of the of the lightest weight classes. This impressive combination of strength and athleticism will be on display in highest degree at Strongman Corporation’s 2023 America’s Strongest Man 105kg and America’s Strongest Woman 82kg competitions this Saturday at the Wolfpak Chicago Pro presented by Tim Gardner Productions.
Five formidable challenges await the pro strongmen and strongwomen in the Windy City, with the cumulative scores amongst those five events determining the 2023 champions. In the first challenge, the “Press Ladder”, athletes must work through a gauntlet of increasingly heavier objects, hefting each from the ground to fully overhead. The implements include three axles (super thick, non-revolving barbells that are difficult to even grab properly), and massive log weights that essentially simulate lifting tree trunks. Finishing the entire course will guarantee a good placing on the event, but it is whoever can finish the course the fastest that will take maximum points.
The second event will almost certainly see records fall; this is the “Max Farmers Walk” event. Imagine picking up a suitcase in each hand and carrying it thirty feet… not so bad right? Well now let’s imagine those suitcases weight 400lbs each. The most weight carried over the 30ft course wins! The grip, back, and legs will be exhausted after this shockingly heavy test. The Conan’s Wheel is event three, and this one is equal parts strength, endurance, and pure grit. A thick pole attached to a pivot will be weighted down with hundreds of pounds, and the athletes will be charged with carrying the load with the pole in the crook of the elbows in front of them as many times around in a circle as possible. Due to the unfathomable pressure on the midsection and exhaustion caused during this event, is not uncommon to see even seasoned pros pass out to the floor afterwards.
The Ukrainian Deadlift is the fourth test that faces the mighty champions of America’s Strongest, and the rig developed for this is amongst the most spectacular you will see at any competition. James Deffinbaugh of Spider Strength constructed a gigantic scaffold on which the athletes stand, with a platform underneath which can be loaded with piles of kegs (or whatever else he decides to stack on there!). To enhance the challenge further, more weight will be added on each repetition! The big finale will be a five stone Atlas Stone Series, with the women’s stones ranging from 220 to 300 pounds, and the men’s stones beginning at 300 with a final stone of 400 solid concrete pounds.
Check out the live stream on our Strongman Corporation Youtube channel to catch all the incredible action this Saturday July 22nd 2023! Athlete introductions begin at 9:30am CDT (that’s 10:30am EST), action kicks off at 10am, and awards go out at 3:00pm. $24,000 in total prize money is up for grabs, as well as the title of America’s Strongest – tune in for all the exceptional performances, fierce competition, and displays of determination as the best 105kg men and 82kg women vie for the ASM/ASW title!