|By: Chris Mavromatis
Greetings all, it is nice to be back contributing to this great e-zine!
Let me start off by responding to some possible criticism of this months article. “Chris, your articles are usually of good length and detailed and quite informative... this months article is so short?” Yes the amount of words in this months article will be somewhat shorter than many previous, but the information is probably the most important I have ever written. The article this month is short and very explicit, but contains information that must be followed if one ever plans on becoming a premier strongman. And so...
What is the most significant axim that was verified time and time again at The Strongest Man Alive Contest 1998? PRACTICE MAKES A GREAT STRONGMAN!
That is it, it is that simple. The competitors that did well (and all of those that qualified for the Finals) in the Qualifying Events, had practiced those events. Believe it or not, there were some competitors that called me 1 month out from the contest and asked if they thought it was necessary to start practicing the events (since after all they were very strong guys). Well all I can say is, the performances of those athletes corresponded well with the fact that they hadn't practiced them much. I go back to my previous article that used the example of a football player never getting out on the football field and staying in the gym squatting, he will never be a world class football player. That makes a lot of sense, doesn't it. Well then why is it difficult for some strength athletes to believe that they have to practice strongman events consistently to get good at strongman?
"But Chris, it can be expensive and very time consuming to make many of the implements for strongman to practice with." To a point, that is true. In future articles, I will go over some ways to reduce the cost of making some of the implements, but it is definitely true that there is a significant commitment to become a world class strongman. Any parent that has nurtured their son or daughter in tennis in the hopes of their becoming a champion, knows that there is a quite significant financial and temporal commitment that has to be made. How about those $200 an hour private lessons and so on, it takes a considerable commitment to become a world champion in most sports and strongman is no different, except for the fact that the financial commitment is quite a bit less than for many sports.
Jouko Ahola had
never seen or touched the Mavrocks before he attempted to lift them, yet
he lifted all six (only one other competitor lifted No. 6 Phil Pfister)
in an absolutely jaw dropping 22 seconds. He literally toyed with them,
while most found No.'s 4 and 5 to be gargantuan tasks (which of course,
the truth be said, they are incredible trials). Is he some supernatural
stone god, who finds anything to do with stones a breeze whereas other
mortal men are tested to the limit? Even though some of his strength feats
do seem not from this world, the reason he is so great at the stones is
because he has his own set. They are not exactly the same as the Mavrocks
(mine are granite, his are concrete with a steel core) but it certainly
is essentially the same event, with the concrete rocks only not being as
pretty. This is absolutely his advantage, that and having a close to 900-lb
deadlift! He also has his own Power Stairs, Hercules Hold and etc. He is
young (27 yo) and is to determined to attempt to stay at the top of the
Strongman game for some time to come. He knows that the way to beat someone
that may be stronger at an event, is TO KNOW THE BEST WAY TO PERFORM THE
EVENT! One learns this with practice, certainly others experience helps,
but the only way that one can learn the best way for himself to perform
an event is to practice it. Each individual has different leverages and
learns through time, the most efficient way to perform an event.
Arm over Arm pull (watch some old tapes of Magnus ver and see a masterful
style to pulling vehicles arm over arm) and essentially every event deserves
That's it! Take what I have written here to heart and you will make light year strides in your strongman performances. I expect that most all of my competitors have taken it to heart (since they learned first hand) and I expect many of them to turn in much improved performances next year!!
Thank you and if
I don't get an article out before then, HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND NEW YEAR TO ALL!
Reproduction of this article, in whole or part, for any purposed other than personal use is prohibited without written consent. Copyright 1998 Chris Mavromatis.