Sunday 28th August 2016 Bank Holiday Weekend.
As we approach the coast through a small seaside town with a pier that dates back to 1862 and a classic South Coast of England seaside promenade, amusement arcades and a sloping pebble beach, Worthing is as English as it comes for a coastal town.
Today we are here to support our TuffWraps UK team mate, ambassador and strongman competitor James Williams as he gets himself back into the swing of competition by entering the intermediate category of Worthings strongest man.
Forever humble but quietly confident we chat to James about how he feels going into the event and what he thinks his strength's and weaknesses are for the 5 disciplines that make up the competition.
- DB clean and press
- Frame carry
- Axle deadlift
- Atlas stones
- Conan's wheel
“I fancy the clean and press, I know im a massive presser but I havent trained as much as I'd hoped to in the carrying events. The deadlift could be tough but as soon as I feel the DB in my hand on the first event i'll give it my all.”
With the fist event being the clean and press, James takes a minute to strap his wrists with some 30” Villain Tuff Wraps wrist wraps, pulls his lever belt tight and steps up to a massive 70kg dumb bell waiting on a platform. With 5 solid reps under his belt in 60 seconds that’s second place secured and a solid start to the morning.
A quick breather while the other weight catergories take their turn it’s a total change of prep and equipment into a frame carry. The loaded weight for the intermediates is 250kg and the fastest man to get that weight across a distance of 20 meters wins.
Grip strength here is key, James prepares with a pair of 30” Villain TuffWraps wrist wraps to help with the pressure and strian of hanging onto a 240kg platform, reliable supports are critical in strongman. After a very unbalanced initial lift of the frame, James almost runs the entire distance and takes a convincing first place with a time of just over 11 seconds. Its not till after we chat and hear him say how awkward it was because of a metal plate he has in his shin form a previous operation…!?
Confidence high, it was time to have a sit down and take some advice form World Strongman competitor and often training partner Adam Bishop. Both basing much of their trianing at Locker 27 in Weybridge Surrey the guys chat like good friends as relaxed as they are in the gym.
Locker 27 is an all round athletic and performance development centre catering for a huge range of diciplines:
- Olympic weight lifting
- Junior weight lifting
- Strength training
- Athletic development
- Aerial work
The list goes on……
The axle dealift is an impressive event, not only visually but technically aswell, picking up well over a quarter tonne of metal bar, tyres and weight plates in one movement from the ground up. With the starting weight at 240kg James happily advances quickly to 280kg and literally just “picks it up”…. Moving up to 300kg and a personal best that is enough to take 2nd and places James firmly in the overall lead with 2 diciplines to go.
But now its time for Costa and some cake by the sea, after all we are on the sunny South Coast and it’s a Bank Holiday weekend, calories don’t count…. ! We spent some time catching up with some of the other guys from Locker 27 there to support James and also Sean Batista competing in the novice class. Daryl and Michaela form Falkor Aerial and as previosly mentioned, World Strongman competitor Adam Bishop were on hand to chat about the day and just how well both guys competing were doing. Just from how enthusiasm everyone supporting is you can see why the strongman events are made out to be as much fun as they are.
Conan's Wheel is a carry event where the competitor picks up one end of a weighted bar connected to a centre pivot and aim's walk round the centre point as many times as possible. Getting your breath right here is critical, as once the bar is picked up its incredibly diffcult to take solid breaths, if any breaths at all while walking with 240kg on your foreams…. Casually pausing after 3.5 rotations of the wheel to ask the judge if he has done enough to win the discipline, James is encouraged with a smile to carry on and drops the bar after 4 solid laps and takes the win in a convinving fashion. We are heavily reassured otherwise but it genuinly looked easy form where we were standing!
The last event of the day and by far the most anticipated was the infamous Atlas Stones, ask anyone about strongman and everyone rembers watching the world strong men lifting these on TV! For this event the stones weighed in at 95kg, 108kg, 120kg 145kg and 160kg and the person to lift all the stones on to the barrels in the fastest time wins. With his shirt pinned up at the shoulders, forearms wrpped in tape and tac beign applied by Adam Bishop, everyone supporting James watched with with anticipation.
With no one managing the final stone it was time to step up. When the first 3 stones went up like not really looking like they weighed anything the 4th was the first one that looked like it requiered any effort and at 145kg that’s pretty acceptable! Not one to be beaten with his son, family, friends, team mates and other competitors watching the last stone was never staying on the ground for long. With a time of 27 seconds for all 5 stones it was the best result of the day and absolutely secured James with the title of Worthings Strongest Man 2016.
Final results for the day:
DB clean and press - 2nd
Frame carry - 1st
Axle deadlift - 2nd
Atlas stones - 1st
Conans wheel 1st
James will now set his sights on some winter training with a fully structured diet and training plan aiming to compete next year at national level. With coaching and training advice from Adam Bishop we have every belief James will achieve this and all of us at Hold Strong Industries are proud to be able to help support his training towards this goal.
There are several training supports from TuffWraps that James uses daily to prepare and train for Strongman, follow the links below and see how they can help support and improve your training.
Follow James on IG here: James Williams
Follow Falkor Aerial on IG here: Falkor Aerial
Follow Locker 27 on IG here: Locker 27
Follow Adam Bishop on IG here: Adam Bishop