Adam “Bish” Bishop is a 33-year-old, full-time professional strongman who is originally from Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire. Having played professional rugby at Saracens and dabbled in skeleton Bobsleigh, Bishop has achieved great success in his chosen sport, having won Britain’s Strongest Man and reached three World’s Strongest Man Finals.
At 6’ 3” (1.91m) tall and around 145kg (320lb), Adam is actually one of the smaller men in the world’s strongman elite. He has steadily increased his size each year after rising from the U105kg ranks in 2012 to establish himself as one of the best strength athletes in the world.
Bish has spent the majority of his career working as a strength and conditioning coach for Harlequins Rugby and only turned professional as a strongman in early 2021. As a competitor, Adam is best known for his speed and athleticism, but also his tremendous deadlifting ability, despite his relative lack of body mass.
Bish’s strongman journey began during a free weekend at Loughborough University in 2010, where he was studying sports science. He was persuaded to give strongman a go by a local athlete and began in the U105kg class. Adam set himself the goal of competing at World’s Strongest Man within five years, a feat he duly accomplished in 2015, after a few years winning various domestic titles in the U105’s and transitioning into the open class.
In 2014, Bishop made his debut for Giants Live, at the Scandinavian Open, which was his first opportunity to pit himself against the world’s best strength athletes. The following year he made his WSM debut in Putrajaya, Malaysia, coming 5th in his heat. The following year he narrowly missed the WSM final, placing 3rd in his heat. That same year he came 4th at Britain’s Strongest Man and was beginning to establish himself as a legitimate contender.
In 2017 Bishop sustained a biceps injury which derailed his season, but he returned the following year to claim his first podium finish at Giants Live, at the World Tour Finals, in Manchester. At World’s in Manila, he again missed the final by one place in his heat, but successfully qualified a year later, in Bradenton, Florida, finishing 9th. At Britain’s Strongest Man he made the podium for the first time, finishing 2nd behind Graham Hicks.
2020 was a big year for Adam: he won his first British title in Sheffield, defeating Tom Stoltman and achieved his best finish at WSM to date: 6th place in the grand final. At Europe’s Strongest Man he was pipped at the post by Luke Richardson after slipping in the Atlas Stones and had to settle for 2nd. He made the WSM final again in 2021, placing 8th but lost his British title to 2021 World’s Strongest Man, Tom Stoltman.
Bishop won Britain’s strongest Man in 2020, having finished runner-up to Graham Hicks (ENG) the previous year. In taking the title he finished ahead of brothers Tom and Luke Stoltman of Scotland.
Personal Best Lifts
Bishop continues to compete at the highest level and is one of a trio of top British strongman who are capable of winning major titles. Bish will also be mounting a challenge on the world deadlift record at the Giants Live Open & World Deadlift Championship in Cardiff later this year. In 2021 he successfully joined the 1,000lb club, completing a comfortable lift at 453.5kg and moved 475kg/1047lb well off the floor. Is Bish really capable of 505kg/1,113lb? Time will tell.
Domestically, Adam’s Britain’s Strongest Man rivalry with The Albatros, Tom Stoltman, also looks set to continue, despite Stoltman retaining his title in 2022 and Bishop slipping to 3rd place, behind Ireland’s Pa O’Dwyer.
Adam can be found on Instagram where he posts details of his training and competitions. @adambishopstrongman has attracted 88k followers. Bishop is also active on YouTube under the channel name: Adam Bishop Strongman.
Channel 5 will be televising the 2022 season during the Christmas period, including the World’s Strongest Man heats and final, and the Giants Live World’s Strongest Man Arena Tour events, many of which will feature Bishop.