Strongman Fitness Semi-Finals at the Arnold!

Travis getting 1st place in Semi-Finals

I have been slacking on keeping up with the blog… but today I couldn’t wait to get back to the computer.

So first off. We are in Columbus, Ohio at the Arnold Sports Festival. Jaime and I came to cheer on our good friends Travis Lucas and Steve Trippe. Both worked hard last year to qualify for the first ever, world championships of Strongman Fitness! (Strongman Mens under 175lbs)

There were 4 events in the semi-finals and of 21 competitors, only 4 will qualify for the finals this Sunday on the BIG STAGE!

The first event… Axle Clean & Press for reps!

(225lbs & 60 second time limit)

Both Travis and Steve were really prepared for this event. They both are great at pressing. Steve is very fast on the clean with the continental and Travis is great at cleaning and axle to the shoulders in one motion.

I knew Travis Lucas had this event before stepping on stage. He is the best in the world at the Axle Clean & Press for his size. As always, Travis opted for no belt… and his trusty Vibrams for the axle.

Video of Travis

Video of Steve

Travis delivered and got 1st place (21 points) as planned and set the tone for the entire competition! Only 1 other competitor was able to clean the axle to shoulders in one motion and that competitor got 2nd in this event. (Note to self: learn to clean, and ditch the continental.) 

Steve did well but something felt wrong on his first rep and that cost him a lot of time.

Next up… Yoke & Sled Push Medley!

 (680lb Yoke 50ft, run back, 600lb Sled Push 50ft)

This event was a little tricky to plan for. We trained yoke well and Steve is great on Yoke. Travis still struggles with the yoke but has gotten a lot better in the last 4 months! The sled push was a different story though. The floor was so slick that the push was mainly a test of shoe grip and how much chalk was on the floor.

As for Travis, we just focused on finishing the yoke and sprinting to the Sled to gain any lost time. Basically, we knew this was a rough event for Travis so we just want to do as well as we can with it. You better believe we added a belt for this! 🙂

Video of Travis

Video of Steve

Both guys did ok, but they event left a lot of competitors frustrated. Travis dropped to 2nd with a 6th place showing in this event. He ended up with 36 points and 1st place had 38.5 points.

Uh oh… Deadlift Medley!

 (435lb Axle Deadlift, 585lb Conventional Deadlift, 735lb Frame Deadlift, & Car Deadlift for reps… 90 seconds)

This is some heavy weight for these guys! At first we were not certain how many could get through the 585lb deadlift… let alone the frame and then the car. Both Travis and Steve are excellent at the deadlift and were confident they could finish and get to the car.

Video of Travis

Video of Steve – coming soon!

Both did great!! A lot of people were stopped by the 585lb deadlift and could not go on. Travis and Steve made it to the car!

Travis was the fastest I saw on the 585lb deadlift and did it all without a deadlift suit or knee straps! How about that for raw?! Travis did 4 reps on the car but ultimately only got points for 2 of them because in the rush of the moment he did not wait for a down command. I spoke with Travis’ judge for that event (Magnús Ver Magnússon) to make sure I knew why the lifts were disallowed, and I completely agree with the call. My only comment for the future would be to make for certain all judges… not just guest celebrity judges… hold the line on how they judge. Some of the other car deadlifts I saw were bouncing up and down so fast their was no chance the competitor was waiting for a down command.

The loss of 3 reps cost Travis deeply and he dropped from 2nd to 5th place. Remember… only 4 go to finals!

Final Event… Wheelbarrow Load Race!

 (Load 175lb sandbag, 230lb keg and 250lb keg into huge wheelbarrow with 400lbs of plate weight already and push 50ft… 90 seconds)

Okay… last event. The top 5 were separated by 2 points. I told Travis he needs to just win this event and he’ll be through to the finals.

Plan as always was to sprint between loads instead of jogging like a lot of guys will do to rest. We treated the keg load like a stones event and so we opted for no belt to allow better hip mobility for the load.

Video of Travis

Another Video of Travis

Video of Steve

Travis nailed it! He got 1st on this event and secured his place in the finals this Sunday. Steve finished in great fashion with an excellent time as well!

And the winner is… Travis Lucas!

Travis took back 1st place!

Video of Travis’ announcement

I am proud to train with both of these guys and feel great about being here for them. Months ago, Travis asked me to be his coach for the Arnold and I don’t think either of us realized how serious I was going to take it… but I am honored to be his coach and I cannot wait to see him do his thing on Sunday.