Ever since the first World’s Strongest Man event in 1977, Strongman has stood apart from traditional strength sports for it’s eclectic mix of static and dynamic events. What other competition would you combine a deadlift for max weight along side pulling a jumbo jet down a runway?
Here’s just some of the weird and wonderful featured at the world’s greatest strength contest.
More closely associated with skin-tight underpants, crazy hair styles and big entrances, wrestling was once part of the World’s Strongest Man. Closer to Sumo Wrestling than WWE, two men go head to head in a circular ring with the aim of either pushing the other man out of the ring or forcing their opponent to touch the ground with any part of their body other than their feet. One of the best at this was 3 time World’s Strongest Man and Giants Live team member Bill Kazmaier. Here he is explaining his tactics to win in 1982:
Surely one of the strangest events at World’s Strongest Man came about because of the location of the event. In 1984, unlike nearly every edition before or since, the competition was held amid freezing conditions in Mora, Sweden. Athletes had to battle sub-zero temperatures and deep snow that year and the unique setting let the organizers push the boat out with some strange events; Ice block loading race, Horse hold (not a real horse!) and a truck pull on a frozen lake.
The strangest of all though, has to be the Sledge Push. Athletes lined up 4 at a time to push a sleigh, complete with passengers, down an icy 80-metre course as fast as possible.
You wouldn’t rate your Uber driver 5 stars if he pushed you into a snow bank at 20 miles an hour!
Whilst the squat lift is still present at World’s Strongest Man, it’s usually done with barrels, weights or some other kind of heavy object. In an attempt to increase viewership, 1980 saw the introduction of the Playboy Bunny squat lift. 4 or more bunnies would sit atop a platform whilst the athletes would squat the frame below.
These days, a playboy bunny lifting event might not go down as well.
Q: Is your refrigerator running?
Q: Then you had better go catch it!
Another event that featured at World’s Strongest Man in 1980 was the Refrigerator Race. Unlike the Fridge Carry which is more like a standard yoke or farmers walk, this required each athlete to load a full-size fridge freezer weighing 190kg on their back and haul it 30 meters UP HILL.
Last on the list of weird events is the car flip! If you’ve been to Europe’s Strongest Man at First Direct Arena or seen it on TV, you’ll know that the Car Walk is still a regular event at Strongman competitions. The car walk was first introduced in 1994 however before the car walk, there was the Car Flip! Simply lift the car onto its side and move onto the next one!
Here’s a clip from the 1986 edition with the legendery Jón Páll Sigmarsson.
The events may have changed a little since then, but The World's Strongest Man is still the most spectacular show of pure strength on the planet. Come and see the Giants Live World's Strongest Man Qualifying Tour and witness the strongest men in history up close and personal.