• 21 February, 2019
  • 5 mins

World Log Lift Challenge 2019: Preview + Special Guests

Strongman fans will be treated to a bumper helping of action at Europe’s Strongest Man in 2019. Not only will we witness the World’s Strongest Man, Thor Bjornsson, battle the World’s best for his 5th European title, but Event 1 of Europe’s Strongest Man will double up as the ‘World Log Lift Challenge’ for 2019!

Along with the already world-class field of athletes competing at Europe’s Strongest Man, we have invited 5 special guests to compete exclusively in the World Log Lift Challenge. All hoping to smash personal bests, break records – and prove their doubters wrong – in front of a 10,000 strong crowd at the First Direct Arena, Leeds on 6th April.

Brian Shaw

What more can we say about big Brian Shaw, the Colorado Colossus, the 6ft 8” and 4 x World’s Strongest Man, other than ‘is he the strongest man who ever lived?’. Big Z might have something to say about that, but you would be brave to argue against Brian’s records and consistency.

Credit: @shawstrength

Brian’s key to success over the years is largely down to his fastidious preparation for competitions. Always tailoring his training to upcoming events, Brain may not stand out in one single event, but rather is good at everything!

Brian has not always been known for his overhead pressing (coming in at over 2 meters tall, that log has a long way to travel before the referee will give the lock out signal) but he’s certainly not making his first appearance in a UK Strongman arena show just to make up the numbers – he is one of 3 other Americans all with a real chance of beating the 211kg American Log Lift record currently held by Robert Oberst.

UK fans have waited a long time to see Brian at Giants Live – this is his first time competing at a large Arena show here in the UK.

Robert Oberst

OB is the man Brian Shaw will be looking to beat on 6th April in Leeds. Even though he has publicly and repeatedly stated his dislike for our little island, the lure of glory surely keeps him coming back.

Strongman’s bad boy, Oberst, scored the American Log Lift record of 211kg in front of Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2015 and that record has looked pretty safe ever since.

At the Log Lift Challenge 2018, neither OB nor Rob Kearney managed to beat that elusive American record. OB underwent surgery on his bicep in 2018 after several injuries in the past few years, so he’s been working hard on building his strength back up to where it was in 2015 and is looking on good form for the Log Lift Challenge 2019.

Rob Kearney

Rob goes into this competition as a favourite to take OB’s crown as the King of American Log Lifters.

At just 5ft 9”, Rob has to work hard to keep up with strongmen like Shaw and OB who are nearly a foot taller. In Log Lift, height is much less of an advantage and Rob has shown that with proper technique and training he can easily lift with the best in the world and regularly beat them, too! His underdog win at the 2016 Strongman Champions League Log Lift World Championships in Lithuania and his Victory at the 2017 Giants Live North American Open clearly prove that point.

Kearney quite often opts for a distinctive looking split jerk technique with his log pressing. It will be interesting to see how far that technique can take him in the Log Lift Challenge this year.

Larry Wheels

Anyone who follows strength sports on Instagram has heard of Larry Wheels. The New York native started strength training through bodybuilding, then made a name for himself in powerlifting.

Larry possesses superhuman levels of strength, so when he started training with current World’s Strongest Man, Hapthor ‘Thor’ Bjornsson, the strongman world started to notice.

Larry has only been training strongman for a very short time, yet his log lift is already up to an incredible 202kg!

Larry is certainly a ‘wildcard’ entry – an unknown quantity! Thanks to his inexperience in strongman, he is becoming known as the Happy Gilmore of the Strongman World. Can a strongman beginner really hang with the World’s Best in Leeds? Like him or loathe him, Larry looks set to have a strong future in this sport and we can’t wait to find out what all the fuss is about!

Iron Biby

Completing our special guest lineup for the World Log Lift Challenge is the fantastically talented and immensely strong Cheick Sanou, aka Iron Biby.

With his insane 28 inch biceps, there’s no doubt that his pressing ability is second to none. In 2018 he very nearly broke Big Z’s 228kg Log Lift World Record. Biby got the log to his chest but couldn’t quite get it overhead.

He promised to come back for that record and we can’t wait to welcome him back to Yorkshire from Burkina Faso to see if another year of training has got him closer to that record!

Do you think anyone can break the Log Press World Record? Will the American record fall?

With World Records on the line and American Record Holder, Oberst; 4 x World’s Strongest Man, Brian Shaw; log lift expert Rob Kearney; and unknown quantity, Larry Wheels all fighting for that American record, it will certainly be a night to remember!

And let’s not forget the British record, either! Hicks and Eddie have some history there. Hicks took the Britain’s Strongest Man baton from the Beast in January – can he finally re-claim that British Log Lift Record too? We can’t wait to find out!

..and that’s just Event 1!