Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Favorite Strongman: #7 - Phil Pfister

If you look at Phile Pfister's strongman resume you'll notice that he was most often the bridesmaid and never the bride throughout most of his strongman career. Numerous 2nd place and 4th place (just off the podium) finishes. He's competed in 8 WSM's total, in a fistful of Arnold Classics and except for a miraculous finish in 2006, only has one other 1st place finish in international competition.

Why I like him:

The rain was coming down in Sanya, China in 2006 as Phil Pfister stepped onto a slippery platform with the reigning World's Strongest Man, Mariusz Pudzianowski. Earlier, on the first event of the finals, the car deadlift, Phil finished a disappointing 5th place, giving him 6 points, digging himself a hole early, he never was a deadlifter. On the power stairs he faired a little better at third place, but still the contest now belonged to Mariusz. His fourth WSM title was now looking like a formality. Phil Pfister's only chance was to win the five remaining events, and not even the super strongman from Poland had ever done that, I don't think anyone ever has.

But then a funny thing happened. Phil won the over head stone lift, narrowly edging out the Pol.

And it didn't stop there. Then he won the Fingal Fingers. Then he beat Mariusz on the bus pull, and then by fractions of a second on the car walk. And now he was five stones away from becoming the first man from the USA to win World's Strongest Man in 24 years. All he had to do was beat Mariusz one more time.... Watch the Video and enjoy.

For the official results sheet from this contest, click here. [editor's note, the only reason the margin of victory is so high for Pfister is b/c Pudzianowski never placed his last stone, he gave up once he saw Pfister had won, had he completed the last stone the final score would have been Phil Pfister 61, Mariusz Pudzianowski 60.5 - War Damn Pfister]

Monday, June 27, 2011

Favorite Strongman: #8 - Derek Boyer

He's never won World's Strongest Man. In fact, he's never gotten close. But I can't help but like Derek Boyer. A journeyman strongman from the Island of Fiji, he competed in every WSM from 1996 to 2002, then made an appearance at the 2007 competition. He has won Australia's Strongest man from 2000 to 2010. And had the privilege of competing at the 2009 Fortissimus.

Why I like him
  • Never won much of anything on the international scene but still showed up and gave it his all
  • Had a rocking mullet in the 90's
  • Face paint
  • At the 2009 Fortissimus offered help to a very sick dehydrated Derek Poundstone the night before the competition. Here is a quote from Kristin (Mrs. Poundstone) "Oh and by the way, that night Derek Boyer came to our room. He heard Derek (Poundstone) was sick and wanted to check on him and see if he needed any flu medicine. I thought that was so nice of him! When I peeked around the corner to meet him I couldn't believe how big he was! He looked like Tom McClure's shorter brother! So kudos to Derek B for being so generous!"
  • He sumo wrestles (I've always had a fascination with sumo wrestling)
  • He is a type I diabetic (insulin dependent)
  • He is on the Australian version of American Gladiators (he is known as "Thunder")
  • Kisses babies
  • Holds the bar and does a lot of talking after completing a heavy deadlift.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Favorite Strongman: #9 - Jouko Ahola

I cut my strongman teeth as a 18 year old watching a lean mean Finnish man named Jouko Ahola win WSM in '97 on ESPN. Jouko was compact and lean before Pudzianowski made it mainstream.

Why I Like Him:
  • Seems like a nice guy
  • Was known to deadlift until his nose bled.
  • Made it look easy, and at least by some of his training videos, really worked to master the events.
  • Could dominate crazy heavy atlas stones before it became cool to do so.

Career highlights:
'99 WSM
'97 WSM

Other resources:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Favorite Strongman: #10 - Derek Poundstone

Kicking off the list is none other than America's Strongest Man, Derek Poundstone.

Why I like him:

Derek is a great representative for strongman. He's done a great job of marketing himself while bringing a positive light to our sport. He is a perfect combination of brutally strong, technically sound, and extraordinarily well conditioned. And despite his accomplishments he seems very approachable outside the competitive arena.

Other reasons to like Derek Poundstone:
  • Hands down the best circus dumbbell presser in the world
  • He's a cop
  • Proposed to girlfriend after winning The 2010 Arnold Strongman Classic
  • Drives a Dodge Viper

Career Highlights:

2007 - America's Strongest Man - I was there to witness this, as he set the standard for other strongmen to strive for. He had won the competition by such a wide margin that he could have probably not done the last two events and still maintained a respectable lead over his fellow competitors. I feel like this competition raised the bar for American Strongmen and launched Derek into the international strongman spotlight.

2008 - Fortissimus - The final event, the natural stone load. The competition belonged to Zydrunas Savickas, all that was left was the formality of letting Poundstone fail on loading the 517lb. Louis Cyr natural stone to it's platform (a task that all other competitors had failed to do as well). To the amazment of everyone in attendance Derek wrestled the stone to his lap and put it on the platform, beating Zydrunas by 1 point. Hands down one of the greatest strongman moments in history.

2009 - World's Strongest Man - Mariusz Pudzianowski vs. Derek Poundstone on the stones for the win. Derek jumps out and has the lead going into the last stone, he laps it and loads it, the stone slips from the edge of the platform and falls to the ground. Mariusz completes the final stone a second behind him for the win, Poundstone takes second. A real heart breaker, but still, we know know who was stronger that day.

My top 10

I'm in maintenance mode with the diet and hovering around 286lbs. bodyweight. I've taken a break from the world of the low calorie and low carb the past several weeks because I wanted to enjoy life. The minute I get up the nerve to continue and get back on the wagon I'll let you know.

The down side of putting the diet on hold is that I've been dry on blog content lately. And I have a lot of ideas for things to write, but scarcely the time for writing them.

What I've decided to do is to make a few top ten lists just to keep things simple and interesting. Also, I want to put together something fun, and hopefully inform/entertain along the way. Plus, everyone loves a list, I mean, nobody watches David Letterman for the celebrity interviews.

My first list was actually a difficult one to put together, and I've spent the last few days going over it in my head, scratching off names and rearranging and perfecting it. So, without further adieu, the first list will be...

My Top 10 Favorite Strongmen

Friday, June 10, 2011

The BarBell BQ

The last few weeks have been busy and I haven't really had time to do a proper post about the BarBell BQ.

I wanted to host a friendly strength competition at my house, and so my fellow gym members and I all agreed to a deadlift contest. I decided in setting up the rules to make it Bodyweight/Best Deadlift and the winner would be determined by ratio so we could all be in the same class. Well, when all was said and done we had about a dozen competitors, a pile of food, and a great time.

I broke my personal best in the Deadlift by 40lbs. and cracked the 600lb. barrier. I narrowly missed 625 on a special 4th attempt. Right before that attempt my sweet little girl yells "you can do it daddy!"... Friends, I've never flipped the switch like I did then. The 625lbs. made it to my knees faster than the 605, but I just didn't have the juice to lock it out. I don't suppose I'll ever forget that moment. It's good to be someone's big strong daddy.
Anyway, enjoy a couple of videos, and click here to be taken to my Facebook photo album.